Senior Pastor Ron Feltman
Pastor Ron Feltman became senior pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in August 2012 after having served as part-time associate pastor since 2006.
Pastor Feltman was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He is an avid Gamecock, having graduated from the University of South Carolina. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.
Between 1986 and 2003, Pastor Feltman served congregations in Elloree, Columbia, West Columbia, and Irmo, all in South Carolina. In 2003, after 17 years of parish ministry in South Carolina, Pastor Feltman answered the call to the full time ministry of stewardship by becoming a financial associate for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. He also worked as a recruiter, trainer, and compliance officer for Thrivent Financial. He was pleased to go back to his first vocational love—parish ministry—full time in 2012.
His particular passion in ministry is leading worship, preaching, and teaching. He also loves helping others become more generous disciples and discovering the ways in which faith can be a part of their everyday life. What he loves most about Epiphany is that it is a congregation with a big mission but the heart and personality of a small church.
His greatest joys in life are his wife, Heather, and his son and daugher-in-law Seth and Anna Lancaster. Heather is an ELCA diaconal minister who serves as the executive director of Adoptions Unlimited in Chicago. Seth is a securities analyst for Performance Trust, and Anna is a Registered Nurse.
In his free time, Pastor Feltman enjoys photography and playing golf.
Office Manager J.D. Graham
J.D. Graham is the newest member to the Epiphany family.
Director of Music John Tanis
Involved in church music since the age of twelve, John Tanis, Music Director here at Epiphany, brings a wealth of experience as organist, choral director, vocalist, composer/arranger, and creative worship ideas through music. His contributions to the worship experience here at Epiphany have included composing a number of liturgical settings, arranging and composing choral music for our vocal ensembles, two commissions of music, writing a number of Sunday School Christmas programs and worship experiences, proposing a variety of innovative experiences to enhance our worship experience, commencing a liturgical dance ensemble, starting a Flute Ensemble. Since being Music Director at Epiphany since the fall of 1996, John has introduced and implemented some worship ideas which have now become “traditions” such as 1) the nail drop at Good Friday services 2) the “sung” Lord’s Prayer 3) the placing of flags along the walkway on special “holiday” Sundays, 4) The Epiphany “cafe” on Wednesday evenings during Lent, 5) Holiday concert “tours” of Epiphany’s musical groups, among others.
John continues to direct the New Life Ensemble, The Glory Ringers Handbell Ensemble, The Angel Voices Community Children’s Choir (which he began as a music “outreach” opportunity for young singers ages six through twelve), maintains a studio for private and small group lessons on piano, guitar, voice, directing the weekly “music” component for our Sunday School students, accompanying and singing with the Praise Band at the 9:15 Sunday contemporary worship, playing at worship services on the Berghaus pipe organ. John also enjoys adding his creative touches to decorating for Vacation Bible School, and, on occasion, enhancing the ambiance in the worship space with “visuals”. After nearly forty years of teaching music education in both public and private schools at all levels, John enjoys his time away from Epiphany on his five acre “farmette” in rural Indiana.
Youth Directors Todd & Kareen Ripperda
“Todd and Kareen Ripperda have been members of Epiphany Lutheran Church since 1998. Together they have been the Directors of Youth Ministry for the past ten years and for the six previous headed the Youth Committee and worked closely assisting the past Youth Ministers. They met at Michigan State University where they both received degrees in Marketing and Advertising. They have been married for 18 years and have four children.
After settling in Elmhurst, and trying nearly ever church in the area, they decided to make Epiphany their church home. Immediately after becoming members they met with Pastor Beach to see how they could get involved at the church. The next weekend they were on a retreat with the confirmands; they were hooked and never looked back. They share, “Working with the youth at Epiphany has strengthened our faith and blessed our lives more than we would have ever imagined. We never planned on being Youth Directors, but God works in wonderful ways. Just be careful when you volunteer at a church because God might just get ahold of you!”