Church Staff

Also see our School Staff.


noid65Ronald Waterstradt, Pastor

Pastor Waterstradt was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, the oldest of six brothers and sisters. He grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he went to St. Luke Lutheran School.

Ron attended high school at the preparatory department of Concordia College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His college training was at Concordia and at Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin. He completed his studies for the Ministry at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin, graduating in 1966.

Pastor and his wife, Jeanette, met at Zion Lutheran Church in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he served as Vicar and she was a Sunday School teacher. They were married shortly after graduation from the Seminary. Jeanette works as an administrative assistant for the Association of California Water Agencies in Citrus Heights.

The Waterstradts have two children: David, who is a pastor in Palos Heights, Illinois, and Rachel, who is a professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Pastor Waterstradt’s first call was to a dual parish in Clare and Gladwin, Michigan. He served there for twenty years. The parish began two daughter congregations during his pastorate there.

In 1986 the Waterstradts moved to California when Ron was called to Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, a mission congregation on the north side of San Diego. He served there until late in 1989 when he accepted the call to St. Mark’s. He was installed on the first Sunday of 1990.


noid64Jason Schmidt, Pastor

Pastor Jason Schmidt graduated from Northwestern Prep School (1992) in Watertown, WI. He then attended Dr. Martin Luther College (now Martin Luther College) in New Ulm, MN where he received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1996 and his Seminary Certification in 1998. Following graduation from Martin Luther College he furthered his preparation for the public ministry at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI. As part of his formal seminary education he served a vicarship in Salt Lake City, UT. He completed his seminary education in 2002. After graduating he was assigned to serve Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bremerton, WA and after two years was reassigned to serve Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in South Shore, SD. His blog can be found at:

Pastor Schmidt and Shannon met while attending Martin Luther College. In the summer of 2000 they were married in Tucson, AZ right before Pastor’s vicar year. God has blessed their family with three beautiful children.

In addition to serving in the ministry Pastor Schmidt enjoys spending time with his family, gardening and other outdoor activities.


id000065Johnold Strey, Pastor

Pastor Johnold Strey is originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN with a Bachelor of Arts in 1997 and graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI with a Master of Divinity in 2001. During his seminary training, he served as vicar at St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA during the 1999-2000 school year. He was assigned to serve Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Belmont, CA following his seminary graduation, and served there from 2001 to 2011. During his time at Gloria Dei, he pursued further education at Santa Clara University, graduating in 2009 with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Liturgy (worship) and Liturgical Music (church music).

Pastor Strey came to St. Mark’s in 2011 to serve as the pastor who oversees worship and adult discipleship. In addition to his work at St. Mark’s, he serves as the worship coordinator for the Arizona-California District of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), the church denomination to which St. Mark’s belongs. He is also a presenter and consultant for the WELS School of Worship Enrichment, and has served as a presenter at the triennial WELS National Worship Conference in 2008 and 2011. He is currently authoring a book about worship to be published by Northwestern Publishing House. His blog can be found at:

Pastor Strey and his wife, Emily (Gresens), were married in the summer of 2000. They met in the Lutheran Chorale of Milwaukee, a WELS choir that performs several sacred concerts every year. Emily graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Music Education. She has been musically active in a number of ways: teaching music and choir at a Bay Area middle school, singing for two seasons with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, teaching for Music Together (a national franchise offering music classes for small children), and serving as a soloist, pianist, and organist in church services. Pastor and Emily have been blessed with three children.