Interim Pastor Mary Armstrong-Reiner

Pastor Mary has been selected as our Interim Pastor.   Pastor Mary is a farmer’s daughter from the Midwest.  She was born in Hannibal, MO and raised on a farm on the Illinois side three miles from Hannibal with her dad Fred, mom Agnes, and three younger brothers, Tim, Tom, and Ted Schwartz.  Her brother Tim is also a minister and Chaplain in the American Baptist denomination, and Tom and Ted are sixth generation farmers in Illinois.After college, pastor Mary moved to Kansas City and joined Atonement Lutheran Church in Overland Park, KS, where she was very active for five years before attending seminary.  Pastor Mary was a student at both Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where she met her husband David.  David and Mary have been married for 24 years and have two sons, Christopher (17) and Samuel (15).

Pastor Mary has been ordained 21 years this coming fall and has served as an associate pastor at All Saints, Lilburn, Lutheran Campus Pastor at Georgia Tech and Georgia State, co-Pastor with her husband in Illinois, and recently Interim pastor at three local congregations.  Her passions in ministry include: working with children, teenagers, and adults in everything from Sunday School to the Hunger Walk to bible study and making sandwiches and meals for those in need.  She also has a passion for social justice ministry as well as working to end hunger and homelessness and providing VBS for children with special needs to experience Jesus in their own way.  This comes from her son Christopher, who is on the Autism spectrum.

In her personal time, Pastor Mary likes to read, bake and cook, do crafts, watch movies, travel, enjoy baseball games, walk, and help out with her son Sam’s work in Boys Scouts. It is her pleasure to be here at Messiah and she looks forward to getting to know all you here at Messiah.


Ms. Christine Bergman, Office Administrator

Chris grew up Lutheran and graduated from one of our ELCA colleges, Carthage, in Kenosha, WI.  That is where she met her husband, Rev. Dr. Devin Strong of Lutheran Campus Ministry at Georgia Tech.  Chris and Devin have twin daughters, Hope and Joy, who are now college students.  Chris has worked as a church office administrator in parishes in Ohio, Michigan, and now here in Georgia.  She loves working in a church setting!  Her hobbies are singing, cooking, playing cards, and watching live theater.




Ms. Carole Harris-Mitchell, Minister of Music

Carole received her Master of Music degree from Georgia State University, with a concentration in piano pedagogy, organ and piano. She maintains a piano studio in her home in Lilburn, and her students actively participate in GCMTA events, Federated Festivals, and other events…where several of her students have been recipients of special awards and scholarship.

Carole has been an organist and pianist for churches and other community functions throughout  the metro Atlanta area for 35 years. In addition to her time at Messiah, she is also a piano teacher at Greater Atlanta Christian Schools in Norcross. She is very proud to teach alongside her daughter, Julie Mitchell Smith, who is also on the piano faculty at GACS.




Tracy  Brown, Sunday School Coordinator

Tracy has been married to her husband John for 24 years, and they have five children. Their family  moved to Georgia in March of 2002 from Massachusetts. Tracy and her family visited Messiah three days after their move and became members the same year!

Tracy and her oldest daughter have been working with the youth of Messiah for several years. They have recently attended a conference in Ohio that has given them even more ideas and enthusiasm for the children’s ministry!