Morning Star Lutheran Staff
head of staff pastor
Pastor John Mouritsen has been a part of the Morning Star family since 1999, when he arrived with his wife Kristen and two children, Kieran and Sofia. In that time, the toddler and 8-week-old have grown into wonderful young adults and made empty-nesters out of him and Kristen.
PJ enjoys reading, cars (ones old enough to work on), the Panthers, and traveling.
He was raised in Connecticut and Ohio but has now lived in North Carolina longer than anywhere else, and for that, he’s grateful.
Pastor John has said on more than one occasion that even if he weren’t one of the pastors at MSLC, he and his family would attend this church. Pastor John loves the fact that this congregation is open and honest about the ups and downs of life and looks for ways to live out faith in every day that we are given – no matter where we are, or what we face.
He is impressed by little acts of service and devotion that are not normally celebrated but are often the most important parts of passing on faith to the next generation.
Minister of music
Edmund – or Ed, as he’s known to the MSLC family – was born in Richmond, Virginia and lived there until age 10, then spent his teenage years in Monmouth County, New Jersey
He has served as Minister of Music and Organist at Morning Star Evangelical Lutheran Church since February 2004. Prior to that, he served as Director of Music/Organist at churches in Durham, Nashville and Richmond. Ed directs two adult vocal choirs, two inter-generational handbell choirs, a youth handbell choir, and two instrumental ensembles, as well as vocal and instrumental opportunities for children.
He is a graduate of Duke University and Scarritt Graduate School. Ed has conducted handbell festivals in the Carolinas, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland and served on the handbell faculties at Montreat Conference on Workship and Music; Massanetta Church Music Conference; Music and Worship Arts Week at Lake Junaluska; Lutheridge Summer Music Week; and Lutheridge Handbell Weekend.
He and his wife Judy live in Indian Trail and are members of MSLC. They have two grown children, a son and a daughter, Lucas and Mandy, who were active MSLC members in their childhood and teen years.
Minister of discipleship
Wendy Roberts was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and spent a few years of her childhood in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but most of her life has been in Charlotte.
She did her undergraduate study at Appalachian State University and graduated in 2002 from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, with a Master of Arts in Religion. Wendy is a consecrated Deacon of the ELCA.
Wendy joined Morning Star in 2011 as Diaconal Minister with Children and Youth. She says a lifelong passion for volunteering has morphed into a love for creatively connecting children and youth with ways to grow and live their faith in Christ – especially through serving others.
She enjoys spending time with her family (husband Chris and children Jace and Lauren, doing anything outdoors, running, reading, and cooking.
BRITTANY PERRYINTERIM MINISTER with youth
Brittany joined the MSLC staff in November 2019 and is one of our own – she grew up as a Morning Star Lutheran member and was active in the Youth Group.
Brittany is a graduate of Central Cabarrus High and Lenoir-Rhyne University, and she spent a year after graduation working with Lutheran Volunteer Corps at a women’s homeless shelter in Wilmington, Del. She says that time helped her find a passion for social justice, and it is when she discerned a call to ministry.
She says she’s always been pulled toward youth ministry. For five summers, Brittany worked at Camp Agape as a counselor and on the leadership staff. “There’s just something about worshiping in the middle of the woods that really connects people with God,” she says. During college, she interned at Peace United Church of Christ, as the Sunday School/Youth coordinator.
Brittany’s parents, John and Katie, are active MSLC members. In her spare time, she likes to curl up with a mug of hot tea and a good book. But when the weather is warm, you can find Brittany hiking, hammocking and “enjoying God’s beautiful creation.” She also enjoys D-I-Y projects and is learning to knit.
Stephanie joined MSLC as the secretary in April 2019. She was born and raised in Maryland, and she has worked for about 25 years as a church secretary. She and her husband Bill spent nearly 20 years in Orlando, Fla., where Stephanie was secretary at First Baptist Church.
They moved to North Carolina in 2003, because of her husband’s job, and they now live in Union County. Their son Adam also lives in the area.
In her spare time, Stephanie likes to travel (favorite destinations: Maryland and Arizona, to visit family), the outdoors, cooking and entertaining. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities and also is an animal-lover who does pet care. Stephanie says that given her choice, she’d pick the beach over the mountains, but she enjoys them both.
Stephanie says she has been inspired and encouraged by the staff and volunteers at Morning Star and appreciates everyone's prayers and support.
Chrissy Stublakski has a degree in early childhood education. She has been a preschool teacher, a technology teacher, a camp leader, and Morning Star has been blessed to have her as part of our staff family for over 20 years.
Chrissy is married to the love of her life, Billy. They have a daughter, Angelica, who attends MSLC and is active in youth activities. Chrissy and Billy have been active members of St. Luke's Catholic Church for 17 years.
"The smiling faces, the hugs and the families. I have been blessed to be a part of Morning Star for over 20 years now! I love this place - the spirit, the fellowship and the children."
Jerry Sutton has a Master’s of Science in Physical Education with additional course work in Educational Leadership and Administration from Eastern Michigan University, where he also earned his Bachelor degree.
Jerry served as a Community School Coordinator for 16 years, where he developed education programs. He has worked in financial planning and tax consulting, was a Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, owned and operated his own business for 38 years, and served as Business and Stewardship Manager for a mega church in Detroit Michigan prior to joining Morning Star staff.
Jerry has been the Business Administrator for Morning Star for 11 years. He manages human resources, building maintenance, technology and the financial budget operations of the church, accounts payable, payroll, negotiates service contracts, prepares budget reports for the Finance team, and oversees the electronic tithing program.
Jerry has been married to Penny for 48 years. They have two sons and two granddaughters. Jerry and his wife Penny attend Forrest Hills Church in Ballantyne in NC and have been active members for 11 years.
Associate Minister of Music
Dr. Pester, a native of Dayton, Ohio, is an organist, composer, and musicologist. As an organist, he has performed across the United States and in Europe. In addition to his solo appearances, he has performed extensively in collaborative endeavors, including as continuo organist with the renowned renaissance wind band, Piffaro. As a writer, his scholarly reviews have been published by Cambridge University Press in the journal 19th Century Music Review. Additionally, he has written liner notes for commercial recordings on the Raven and Pro Organo labels. As a composer, his latest two anthems are published by Paraclete Press, and he has been commissioned by multiple churches for choral works for various functions.
Dr. Pester is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (B.M.), Yale University (M.M., M.A. in Religion), and Duke University (M.A., Ph.D.). His primary teachers include Profs. Hans Davidsson, William Porter, Martin Jean, Jeffrey Brillhart, and Robert Parkins. He earned his doctoral degree in historical musicology with a dissertation titled “L’orgue fantastique: Imagination in the Organ Lofts of Paris, 1918-1939.” (Dr. Philip Rupprecht, advisor.)