Pastor Michelle Elfers


Greetings!  For my first post, I share a bit about my background.

I am very excited to be living in Wisconsin again and to be living closer to family in Sauk County.  I grew up in Ohio, but have always considered Wisconsin to be my home.  I vacationed at my cousin’s dairy farm in Sauk County every year as a child, and I still enjoy going to visit at the farm as often as I can.  My dad’s side of the family immigrated to Wisconsin from Germany and settled on land near our cousin’s farm in the mid 1800’s.  I previously lived in Madison for 15 years after moving here for graduate studies.  I was fortunate to find work locally upon graduation.

It has taken a while to find my calling.  I spent many years as a student and completed a BA in Anthropology from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, a MA in Portuguese and then a JD from UW-Madison, and an M.Div. from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  During my time as a student I was able to  study abroad in Brazil twice (once in high school through Rotary and again as a junior through Wright State).  During my undergrad studies, I also traveled to Japan and China through University-sponsored summer programs.  While in seminary I participated in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul trip, traveling to Rome, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, and Istanbul.  I also went to Latvia and Russia with a classmate from Russia one summer during seminary.  My international adventures began because I wanted to go to Germany in high school, and I finally made the journey to Germany in 2010 and visited many of the Luther sites.  

Serving as a pastor is a change of career for me.  I first worked as an International Student and Faculty Adviser at UW-Madison for 3 years and then as an attorney in the area of immigration for 7 years, also in Madison.

Before serving at St John’s, I served as pastor of New Hope Lutheran Church in Blanchardville and Hollandale, Wisconsin.  Previously, I served as the pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Indianapolis and at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky.  

In addition to travel and learning about other cultures, I enjoy gardening, bike riding and cross-country skiing.  I love animals and currently have a cat and dog.  

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