Acting Interim Pastor Rick Barger

Pastor Rick and his wife, Harriet, joined Messiah a year ago after moving to Decatur.  Rick has served as the lead pastor for thriving congregations in Florida, Colorado, and Georgia, and as the president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.  Deeply invested in mission work in Haiti, leadership development, and as an author, he is excited about the new birth and renewed vision and mission arising from this historic Decatur congregation.


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, Music Director

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.