About St. Paul's

Our Staff

Pastor Jonathan P. Conrad - Senior Pastor

Pastor Jonathan Conrad (PJ) was born in Statesville, NC, and raised in Winston-Salem, NC.

PJ earned his Bachelor's Degree from North Carolina State University. He worked in radio for ten years at WTOB (Winston), WSJS (Winston), WRBZ (Raleigh), and WPTF (Raleigh). Among his radio duties were producing the local morning and afternoon talk shows, announcing the weekly Trading Post show, and co-hosting a nightly sports show.

PJ followed the Holy Spirit to Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1999 and earned his Master of Divinity in 2003.

PJ began his ministry as Associate Pastor of St. Michael Lutheran Church (Unionville, PA). He served that congregation for 5 years. During his time at St. Michael, PJ met and married Kristen. The couple were married in August 2007.

In 2008, PJ and Kristen moved to Tucson, Arizona, so Kristen could complete an internship for her psychology doctorate. While Kristen continued her education, PJ served three congregations on an interim basis: Lord of Grace Lutheran (Tucson), Streams in the Desert Lutheran (Tucson), and Mountain View Lutheran (Phoenix).

PJ was called to Grace Lutheran in August 2009. Since he has been at Grace, PJ has not only served the congregation but has acted as President of the Cooperative Community Ministry of Thomasville, President of the Thomasville Rotary Club, Chairperson for the NC Lutheran Synod Convocation, and Chairperson of the NC Lutheran Synod Stewardship Task Force. Currently, PJ is the Chairperson for the Synod's Campus Ministry Team.

PJ loves to read, work out, catch the latest superhero movies, and be the best father and husband he can be.

Pastor Mark Opgrand - Associate Pastor

Pastor Mark Arnold Opgrand was born and baptized in Medford, Oregon, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from high school in Beaverton, Oregon, he attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, graduating in 1970. Prior to seminary, he worked six summers and a winter at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington State. He graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1979.

Pastor Mark served as a parish pastor in Caldwell, Texas, and worked as United Campus Minister in Odessa, Texas, before moving to Indiana, where he served as Lutheran Campus Pastor at Purdue University. Since 1997, he has been at St. Paul's as Associate Pastor.

After the death of his wife Carol Thysell in 2001, Mark married Rebecca Higgins in 2005. Rebecca is the Principal of Blair Elementary School at Porter's Neck. Their family includes son Reed and daughter-in-law Sarah, grandchildren Savannah and Jackson, and daughter Celeste and son-in-law Chad, all of whom live in the Wilmington area. Pastor Mark and Rebecca share their home with "Possum," a sweet terrier mix, and "Chessie," an "in charge" Yorkie.

Pastor Mark enjoys reading, preaching, studying, creating children's sermons, pastoral care, working with Stephen Ministry, and playing in SPIRIT (St. Paul's Intergenerational Rejoicing Instrumental Troupe). He also enjoys films, digital photography, technology, and all the latest gadgets.

E-Mail: mopgrand@stpaulswilmington.org

William H. Remele Jr. - Director of Music and Organist

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Bill has worked in church music and taught in schools (K-12) and community colleges in the Southeast and Midwest. His degrees are from Centre College of Kentucky (BA) and Samford University of Alabama (MM). Bill has served St. Paul's since 1993 in the capacities of principal organist and music director.

He also has taught mathematics and is the lead instructor of fine arts, specializing in music, at Brunswick Community College. Music classes he has taught include music appreciation, music fundamentals, music theory, class piano, chorus, and introduction to jazz. Bill is active in the greater Wilmington music community serving on advisory boards of the Wilmington Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Wilmington Boys Choir, Wilmington Symphonic Winds, and Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. He has played numerous organ recitals in our area and beyond and accompanied the Southeastern Oratorio Society.

Bill holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association, American Guild of Organists, Choristers Guild, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Though he appreciates and performs music of most genres, his areas of specialty are music of the Renaissance and Baroque. Favorite pastimes include walks outdoors, travel, keeping up with friends and former choir members and students, and a good cup of coffee.

Kathleen Kalish - Office Administrator

Kathleen Kalish has been with St. Paul?s since May 2001. She comes to us with a diverse background, including working with Habitat for Humanity while in high school in Americus, Georgia and a coordinator for special events for the Arthritis Foundation in Los Angeles, California. She has also been an office manager for an internet start-up company in Baltimore, Maryland as well as a homeowners association in coastal North Carolina. All of this varied experience helps her juggle the various (and unique!) needs of St. Paul's.

Kathleen's greatest pride and joy is her son, Joshua, of whom you will see plenty of pictures if you come into her office. She enjoys spending time at the park with him, reading a good book or making yummy treats to bring in the office to share!

Curtis R. (Robby) Anderson - Music Associate

Robby is a graduate of New Hanover public schools, UNC-Wilmington (BA in Music Education), UNC-Greensboro (MM in Conducting) and Boston University (DMME Music Education studies).

He recently retired from the North Carolina public school system after 33 years in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Pender County Schools teaching vocal, instrumental and general music in grades K-12. Robby has played trumpet in the Wilmington Symphony since 1976 and currently participates in other community groups such as the Salvation Army Brass Band, Harbour Towne Fest Band and Cape Fear Chorale.

He comes to St. Paul's after ten years as choir director with Burgaw Presbyterian Church. Previous experience includes directing choirs at Zion United Methodist Church (Winnabow), Pearsall Presbyterian Church (Wilmington), and singing in the choir of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington in the 1980's under former St. Paul organist, Charlsie Harris.

Robby's association with St. Paul's goes back several decades, playing trumpet in many Christmas Eve services. Some folks may remember his aunt Vernelle, who was secretary at St. Paul's in the late 1970's.