Pastor Johnold StreyGospel Gifts is the website of Johnold J. Strey, pastor at Crown of Life Lutheran Church and School in Hubertus, Wisconsin. Crown of Life is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). This blog contains Pastor Strey’s sermons, his thoughts about Lutheran worship and theology, and practical information about the ministry at Crown of Life Lutheran Church.

Pastor Strey is originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and is a graduate of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (1993) in Jackson, Wisconsin. He holds degrees from:

As a part of his seminary training, he served as vicar at St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, California from August 1999 to August 2000. He served as pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Belmont, California (south of San Francisco) from his ordination on July 15, 2001 to June 12, 2011. He was installed as associate pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, California (Sacramento County) on July 3, 2011, where he served for five years, concluding August 28, 2016. Pastor Strey was installed as associate pastor at his current congregation, Crown of Life Lutheran Church in Hubertus, Wisconsin (northwest of Milwaukee) on September 25, 2016, and became senior pastor of the congregation on July 1, 2018.

In addition to his parish responsibilities, he has served the WELS at large in the following capacities:

  • Northern California Delegate Conference chairman (2003 to 2015)
  • Christian Worship Supplement Introduction Committee member (2006 to 2008)
  • Arizona-California District worship coordinator (2006 to 2016)
  • School of Worship Enrichment presenter/consultant (2007 to present)
  • National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts workshop presenter (2008, 2011, 2014)
  • WELS Hymnal Project Rites Committee member (2013 to 2020)
  • Director of the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Adult Chorale (fall 2018 to present)
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Secretary of the Board of Directors, Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (Nov. 2019 to present)
  • Author of the NPH People’s Bible Teachings book on Christian Worship (to be published in early to mid-2021)

Johnold Strey and Emily Gresens were married in the summer of 2000. Emily is a graduate of Fox Valley Lutheran High School (1995) and Wisconsin Lutheran College (BA, Elementary Education & Music Education, 2000). She taught Kindergarten at St. Matthew Lutheran School in Milwaukee (2000-01), and music and choir at Bayside Middle School in Foster City, California (2001-03). During her two years as a middle school teacher, Emily also sang as a soprano in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She has taught Music Together classes since 2004, and operates her own Music Together center called Musical Beginnings. She serves alongside her husband as the rehearsal accompanist for the Kettle Moraine Lutheran Adult Chorale. Emily has also had several articles published in Forward in Christ magazine. Pastor and Emily have been blessed with four children.