Meet the Staff
Pastor James N. McEachran
I am blessed to serve in a congregation where we gather joyfully in Christ and seek ways to love and to serve the Lord more deeply and faithfully each day. A good conversation and time of prayer is my highest joy, and I love and feel deeply called to be with the saints at life intersections and to share the good Word that God is calling all to life in Christ and ministry in the world.
I was called to Saint Andrews in 1983. A little background might be helpful. I was born in Spokane, Washington and am a graduate of Whitworth University. My theological training began in a good Baptist home and continued with two years at Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. Thankfully my internship was in a campus ministry setting at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. This led me to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. Following my basic theology degree, I had a great opportunity to study under some of the best theologians in America with an emphasis on historical theology. Between study, guest preaching and teaching in the Bay Area and eating in some amazing restaurants, I also served for three years as a Relief Minister with San Francisco Night Ministry and as a teaching assistant in liturgy and worship at the seminary.
My first call was to serve as Assistant Pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Spokane, Washington with an emphasis in Christian Education and Youth Ministry. In my third year, I was called again to serve as Associate Pastor. My eight years in Spokane were a great growth time as I served with a very creative senior pastor, building a strong congregation through an emphasis on “shared ministry.” My current extra-curricular joys are serving as Adjunct Faculty at Seattle Pacific University, where I teach a course in Comparative World Religion every fall quarter, and serving on the Human Services Commission in the City of Bellevue.
I am married to Nancy Schaefer McEachran. She teaches at Bellevue College. She is also working towards a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. We have two daughters. Erin is a ballet dancer and dance teacher. Alyssa is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.
I am a “perpetual student,” avid reader, and over-the-top fan of the Seattle Mariners. Among my avocations are Civil War history, the poetry of e.e. cummings, and the enjoyment of a good latte!
Pastor Wesley C. Telyea
Brothers and Sisters, grace and peace. It is my pleasure to serve Saint Andrew’s as the Associate Pastor. I began at Saint Andrew’s in June of 2011. Prior to serving here I spent a year serving Our Savior Lutheran Church in Issaquah, WA as their Interim Youth Ministry Assistant.
A little bit about myself. I began my theological training at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA where I received a B.A. in Religion and played lacrosse. Following my undergraduate degree I attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. I had a wonderful seminary experience spending my time eating through and around San Francisco, viewing California’s many sites, and engaging in theological conversations.
I am married to Emilee Telyea. We have one son Noah. As of January 2013, Noah is almost 3, and an absolute blast to be around. He is learning new things every day, and he keeps Emilee and me on our toes.
My hobbies include fly fishing, hunting, photography and theology.
I invite you to check out my blog: caughtbychrist.blogspot.com
Sometimes (probably more often than we realize) God guides us to places we never thought we would be. After I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Business/Computer Science, I thought I would settle into a career with Boeing Computer Services. Eight years later, I left to become a stay-at-home mom, a “career” path I didn’t think I would ever take. It turned out to be a great choice and I feel very fortunate to have had the flexibility to spend those years focusing on my family while still getting a chance to use my skills and gifts at various volunteer jobs in their schools.
We became members of Saint Andrew’s in 1997 and I was also able to donate time to church, mostly teaching Sunday Church School and Vacation Bible School, helping with youth events/retreats/mission trips, and spending about 18 months on the Congregation Council. When the position of Communications Specialist opened up in 2008, I wasn’t really seeking employment but I truly felt God guiding me toward it. I am very blessed to work for such a supportive congregation and to work with such a capable and dedicated staff. I am always open to new suggestions to make communications at Saint Andrew's more effective; please contact me with your ideas!
Outside of work, I like to read, play softball, work on word and number puzzles, and travel (especially long road trips.) I live in Bellevue with my husband Dennis. Our daughters Kayla and Rachel are in college and our son Paul will graduate from Issaquah High this June.
I felt a strong call to this congregation upon learning about Saint Andrew's. Since becoming the Director of Youth and Family Ministries in January 2010, I have been overwhelmed by the love and kindness Saint Andrew's has to share. I am incredibly excited to be here and to begin ministry.
I graduated with a B.A. in Youth Ministry from Westminster College, a small liberal arts college located in Fulton, Missouri. I was fortunate to spend November 2008 in Southern Colorado earning my certificate for youth and family ministries through Wartburg Theological Seminary and the Youth and Family Institute's certification school.
I have been blessed with a beautiful family, primarily located in St. Louis, Missouri. My father is a family physician. My mother tutors children with learning disabilities and runs a business focused on products that promote health and wellness. My older sister is a middle school Spanish teacher. My brother, a junior in college, is currently working for Disney in Orlando, Florida as a jungle cruise skipper and is also studying under a Disney design group.
I enjoy hiking, camping, snowboarding, and most water sports. I have a passion for music and I love to sing. I have a Border Collie mix, Roxy, who is my loyal companion on weekly hiking trips.
I am one of the non-"genetic Lutherans" on the church staff. When my family was looking for a new church in Bellevue with an embracing congregation and a palpable sense of the Holy Spirit at work, we found Saint Andrew's in 1999. This church has been a fantastic home for my faith journey.
I have been Facilities Manager since 2003, putting my prior work experiences in computer support and nuclear submarines to work for God's glory. Regarding the latter, that experience primarily translates to operation and maintenance of electrical, fluid, HVAC and mechanical systems. But if the church ever does upgrade to a nuclear reactor, I'm ready...
As a member of Saint Andrew's Shared Ministry team, I'm primarily responsible for keeping our facilities a clean, inviting and safe place for ministry to happen. I live in Bellevue with my wife, Teresa, and son, Sean.
My father was a Lutheran School teacher, and I knew I wanted to be just like him when I was five years old, teaching my younger brothers everyday when I got home from school. I began my “formal” career at 16, teaching Sunday School in my congregation in Racine, Wisconsin. I graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in education and taught third and fourth grade at a Lutheran school in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1966, I married Dave, a career Air Force officer, and, along with our three children, Kerry, Kristin and David Jr, criss-crossed the nation for the next 26 years. During that time, I continued my calling to Christian education by writing curriculum, teacher-training materials, devotionals and other educational materials for several publishers.
My husband and I have been members of Saint Andrew’s for over 18 years, serving as Sunday Church School teachers for the 5th Grade. When I became the Director of Christian Education, my husband--who said he’d never be a teacher--has continued to share his faith with 5th graders.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, needlework, jigsaw puzzles, traveling, and going out to dinner. Dave and I enjoy being empty-nesters and share many activities and hobbies together, including spending time with our children and grandchildren.
Born to an Irish Catholic mother and a Polish Catholic father, my brothers and I somehow came to be baptized into the Lutheran faith. My father was in the Navy so we traveled a good bit, never settling down in any one place for long. At his retirement when I was in grade ten, we settled in Bothell WA and I began exploring my Lutheran faith, beginning with a Missouri synod congregation in Bothell. Since then, I have been a member of several ELCA Lutheran churches, Magnolia Lutheran, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in BelAir, Maryland and Nativity Lutheran in Renton. I’ve often thought of myself and my faith as being much like a seed, drifting here and there, never quite finding that right place. At Saint Andrew’s I found myself taking root, a place where I am constantly surrounded by amazing energy, encouragement, and faith filled people. Saint Andrew’s is not just a place to me, nor is it just a house, although we call it a house of worship. It's home, it’s where my spirit can soar and my heart can be filled with the joy of Christ’s love.
I graduated from the University of Washington (Go Huskies!) with dual degrees, one in Communication Disorders and one in Elementary Education. After working in the Seattle Public School District for a number of years, I retired to have a family. I am the very proud mother of three dynamite children and grandmother to four beautiful granddaughters. As my children grew I felt the draw to rejoin the work force, beginning with many years as the Office Manager at Renton Lutheran Church and then moving on to a position as Administrative Assistant at Lutheran Community Services. In 2007 I joined the Saint Andrew’s team as Office Administrator. It is my privilege and pleasure to be a member of Saint Andrew’s as well as to serve the congregation.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking, traveling and flying around in single engine airplanes. No, I am not a pilot but am busy working on my ‘degree’ as a pinch hitter pilot.
Dr. Will Simpson
Greetings to you,
I am Will Simpson, Director of Music Ministries and Organist at Saint Andrew’s Lutheran. My wife Erin and I moved here from Louisville, Kentucky (one long drive). We have found Saint Andrew’s Lutheran to be one of the warmest and most caring congregations which either of us has attended. This church is a great place to do music ministry!
Having known my whole life that I wanted to make a career of being a musician, I pursued three degrees in music. My bachelor of music is from the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky. My master’s degree in music is from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana and my Doctorate is from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. My primary focuses were in piano, choral conducting, and organ.
I enjoy several different music genre, classical being the corner stone of my interests and education. My doctoral dissertation is on J.S. Bach’s Cantata 150 “Nach dir, herr, verlanget mich” (For you, O Lord, my soul longs). I have been a Bachophile all of my life.
With only occasional breaks, I have played the organ and served as music director in Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ denominations since 1983. Along the way, I have served in some wonderful churches, have played some magnificent organs, and have directed some tremendous choirs. I feel I am called to music ministry and consider myself blessed to be able to do what I love to do.
Thank you for reading a little bit about me. If you are interested in our music ministries here at Saint Andrew’s, please call or email me.
I retired from a major corporation in New Jersey in 2001, but I was not ready to be “retired” so I went to work for a CPA in Clinton, NJ and started doing tax returns for his firm. I was already the Treasurer for our non-denominational Church and also for HOPE Bible Mission based in Morristown, NJ. One of the CPA’s clients was the Jewish Center of Preston and when their bookkeeper resigned, I was asked if I could set their finances up in QuickBooks. This was a great experience and when I finished I was asked to stay on as their bookkeeper, which I did. The janitor and I were the only two gentiles in the Center and I learned a lot about the Jewish faith and the Old Testament.
In 2005 Linda and I moved to Renton to be near our son and daughter and their families and my desire was again to work part time to serve the Lord. In 2006 the Lord led me to Saint Andrew’s and it has been wonderful to continue my faith walk serving the Lord here. We have a great staff and I love the positive energy of the congregation. If I haven’t met you yet, please stop in and introduce yourself. I would enjoy meeting you personally and hearing about your faith walk here at Saint Andrew’s.