WE ARE HERE TO SERVE
St. Martin’s Church Staff
St. Martin’s Ev Lutheran Church staff is here to help guide you along your journey. We have been blessed by a team of pastoral and ministry staff that reflect a heart for Christ and others. Our team shows excellence in ministry and collectively seeks to live out and implement St. Martin’s Church vision and mission to love, share, and serve boldly.
Rev. Ellen Williams, Senior Pastor
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Pr. Ellen grew up in Denison, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M in 1993 with a degree in computer science and minor in genetics. After working on the Human Genome Project as a bioinformatician and database architect, she migrated to California to work in a genomics start-up. During her time in CA, she completed masters degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology and Organizational Psychology, led a bioinformatics group studying the genetics of addiction, and owned a knitting studio and yarn shop. After completing seminary at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, she worked in South Central Los Angeles and Compton, CA in Spanish-language Lutheran churches. Sticking to her promise to come back to Texas when she could get to Austin, she comes to us after serving Saint John-San Juan Lutheran in South Austin. She is passionate about serving our neighbors, especially those who are struggling to find justice, mercy and kindness in this world and invites your help to do this work.
Mike Kaase, Business Manager
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Mike is a lifelong member of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church who recently joined St. Martin’s staff in August 2016. He previously worked as an Investigator at the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation for 22 years before taking an early retirement in July 2016. Mike previously served St. Martin’s several times as Treasurer and was educated at Southwest Texas State University earning an Accounting Degree and MBA. Mike enjoys playing hand bells with the St. Martin’s Ringers and is a lifelong fan of the Cowboys, Astros and Spurs.
Mamie Sowa, Communications Coordinator
Mamie was born in Sierra Leone but raised in Columbus, Ohio. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University Of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and is now working on her MBA at Lamar University. Mamie has over ten years of experience managing healthcare facilities. Among other things, her background includes health research, project management, and insurance consulting. Mamie is driven by a desire to understand the complexities of cross-cultural learning. She considers herself a lifelong learner, eager to build on her academic grounding in health science and business management while also expanding her knowledge of digital communication strategies. Mamie’s interests in yoga, meditation, gardening, and African dance demonstrate her belief in the power of awareness in achieving success and happiness.
Cason Miller, Director of Youth Ministry
Cason brings to St. Martin’s extensive experience working with Lutheran youth programming. Cason worked six years as a high school program coordinator and assistant director for Cross Trails ministries at Camp Chrysalis in Kerrville Texas. He was also the program director for Lutherhill ministries in La Grange Texas. Cason grew up in New Braunfels ,Texas and graduated from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin Texas. He enjoys hiking, Gardening, drinking coffee and reading books. Cason also has a movie collection of over three thousand DVDs that he enjoys with his dog, Rigby!
Tim O’Brien, Director of Music
Tim O’Brien has sung with Austin Opera, the Minnesota Opera, the Dale Warland Singers, the National Lutheran Choir, and the Rose Ensemble. Recently he performed Bach’s B Minor Mass with Portland Oregon’s The Ensemble, where his “vibrant and subtle” singing was praised by Oregon Artswatch. Dr. O’Brien’s performances can be heard on eleven commercial recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Walden Pond. Tim is an alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College, where he taught and conducted before relocating to Austin. He currently on the faculty at St. Edward’s University and is artistic director of Living Paper Song Project.
Austin Haller, Organist
Hailed as “always remarkable” (Austin Chronicle), Austin Haller serves as organist for the Austin Symphony, and he performs regularly with the Grammy®-winning choir Conspirare and with many choral ensembles in Central Texas. He has led hymn festivals and presented solo organ concerts throughout the southern United States, and has previously served as organist at St. David’s Episcopal Church and Northwest Hills United Methodist Church in Austin. His musical theatre music direction “produces a gloriously rich choral sound full of exquisite harmonies” (Broadway World), and he is the grateful recipient of Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne Awards for Music Direction. He is frequently heard performing with Broadway performers at Austin Cabaret Theatre and at Austin Shakespeare’s cabaret series at Parker Jazz Club. He is an avid runner and a passionate advocate for refugees. Learn more about Austin at austinhallermusic.com.
St. Martin’s Preschool Leadership
Calla Woodall, Preschool Director
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Calla Woodall, began working at St. Martin’s Lutheran Preschool in the spring of 2012. She has taken on many of the roles with in the school, and is very proud to take the reigns as the Director. Calla has lived in Austin since 2005, where she enjoys live music and spending time with her family. She has a seven year old Shih Tzu named Benny which keeps her pretty busy. Calla is looking forward to many more years at St. Martin’s, helping shape young minds and encouraging teachers from all walks of life.
Alexis Redondo, Assistant Preschool Director
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Alexis has worked at St. Martin’s Lutheran Preschool since 2010. In her time at St. Martin’s, she has has worked in the classroom, as support staff and now in an Administration role alongside Calla for their fifth school year. With 12 years in the education profession, she offers support to teachers, students and parents alike. She is a native Texan and has lived in Austin since 2003.