Steven J. Cox, Senior Pastor
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Pastor Steve is a lifelong Lutheran, born and raised in Alvin, TX where his mother provided him with a profound understanding of forgiveness and grace. Pastor Steve attended Texas Lutheran University where he received a BA in Music.
After serving multiple congregations in the hill country in choir director, youth director and outreach coordinator positions, he felt called to ordained ministry. He graduated from Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest with a Masters of Divinity degree and was ordained in 2008. His first call was with St. Paul Rehburg in Burton, TX.
Pastor Steve and his wife Rebecca, are the parents of two children. Steve loves spending time with his family, discovering and discerning God’s will for his life, and working out at the YMCA where he is affectionately known as “Padre.” Of his greatest joys is watching his daughter play her guitar and sing loudly, and getting lost in the infectious laughter of his son. He loves music and plays multiple instruments, but is most fond of the guitar and singing. His door is always open for prayer and conversation, a good cup of coffee, or a jam session. Stop on by!
Anna Gordy, Pastor
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Pastor Anna grew up all over the Deep South where she became very familiar with the question, “what’s a Lutheran?” But with three Lutheran parents, two of whom are also pastors, the answers weren’t too hard to come by. She moved to Texas after high school to attend Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and earned a BA in Theology with a focus on youth ministry.
After years of professional youth ministry in a variety of locations and with several ecumenical partners, Pastor Anna took some time off to be a full-time parent, but before too long, she answered a long-heard call to be a Minister of Word and Sacrament. A nomadic lifestyle meant the long road through seminary, but after a nine and a half year process, she earned a Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and was ordained in 2017.
Pastor Anna is mother to four children; they are her first call and deepest joy. She is a passionate fiber artist, creation lover, and advocate for the gospel. She believes firmly that the Church is where the gospel and the world intersect and seeks justice for all of God’s people. Pastor Anna loves storytelling and believes we are a people of story and that we worship a God who comes to us in story especially through the Bible. She also believes that our God is a God of relationship who comes to us through the lives of others, and she wants to hear where your story and God’s story intersect! Come visit her in the church office and sit a spell.
Chip Wilson, Minister of Faith Formation
Chip Wilson hails from Houston, Texas, but he has deep family roots here in the San Antonio area. The nephew of a Baptist pastor, Chip’s journey is ministry began in 2001 when he was licensed in for ministry. He served as a youth minister for several years and was ordained in 2010.
In 2011, Chip visited a Lutheran congregation, and new immediately that the ELCA was the place for him. Chip comes to APLC after serving three years in youth and family ministry and a year of authorized lay ministry. Chip’s personal motto in life is, “Have faith in everything you do,” and as Minister of Faith Formation, he helps this congregation grow and show their faith in their daily lives.
Mike Ceyanes, Minister of Youth
Mike is a native Texan from the Houston area. Throughout high school and college he worked with youth organizations including the Missouri City YMCA, The First Colony Aqua Camp, Cross Trails Ministries at Camp Chrysalis, and New Hope Lutheran Church. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He began his ministry at APLC in 1999 and has since completed the Youth and Family Ministry Certification with The Center for Youth Ministries of Wartburg Seminary. He happily serves the youth and families of APLC in faith formation and community life.
Dr. Shelbie Simmons, Minister of Music
Shelbie joined the staff of Abiding Presence in May 2014 and brings a wide variety of skills and gifts, among which is a powerful presence on organ and piano, and choral conducting. Shelbie says, “I have a passion for combining theology and music and constantly engaging people. Everyone has something to contribute to the worship and music process, and I strive to include everyone.”
Shelbie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance from University of North Texas – Denton, a K-12th Grade Vocal/General Music Teaching Certificate from the University of Texas, and Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. She has 10 years experience teaching music in public schools and over 18 years of experience as a full time church musician. She founded the Arts at Messiah Concert Series at Messiah Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City. She also founded the Oklahoma City Bach Society in 2004. She has conducted and performed numerous concerts, specializing in the music of German Baroque composers.
Sandy Musk, Music Associate
Sandy Musk directs the Children’s Chorus and Chapel Chimers, and accompanies the Sanctuary Choir. Her introduction to the music world began when she started taking dance lessons at age 4. Piano and organ lessons followed in 3rd and 6th grade and she began playing the organ for daily church services and weddings when she was thirteen.
Sandy is a San Antonio native and graduate of Holmes High School and Incarnate Word College. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from UTSA, and her Master of Music degree from Sam Houston State University. She also has an Early Childhood Endorsement, and Kodaly Certification. She is currently teaching elementary music to the children of Northside School District.
Sandy’s pride and joy are her two children, who have grown up with band, dancing, sports, and are very computer savvy.
Sue Evans, Business Manager
Sue says, “Abiding Presence is my place of Grace because of the love it shows my husband, two children and me on a daily basis.” Sue started work here in 2003 and is currently the Business Manager. She enjoys the energy the church brings to her life, as we continue to grow towards the future.
Gaye Hank, Communications Manager
After several years of volunteer service in the music office, Gaye joined the APLC Staff in 2006 on a part time basis. In 2011 she took on full time duties as Communications Manager and works to tell the story of Abiding Presence in a way that welcomes, invites, and enables full participation of both members and guests.
Gaye and her husband Dennis were married at Abiding Presence in 1991 and are both active members in the church. They enjoy spending time with their two sons, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren, and are enthusiastic SPURS fans.
Frances Harrelson, Day School Director
Working in the Early Childhood education has always been a passion for Frances. In the 18 years that Frances has been director of Abiding Presence Day School, the school as grown from a two day a week Mother’s Day Out with 25 children to a four day NAEYC accredited day school with over 90 children. Frances is married with two children and two granddaughters – one of them attending the day school now!
Linda Janszen, Executive Director
Katie Soliday, Assistant Executive Director
Delia Hartman, Treasurer
Christiana Robinson, Secretary
Elanore Decker, Evangelism Ministry Action Team Leader
Valerie Amos, Care & Nurture Ministry Action Team Leader
Johnnie Jordan, Worship Arts Music Ministry Action Team Leader
Leni Kirkman, Stewardship Ministry Action Team Leader
Wendy Taylor, Faith Formation Ministry Action Team Leader