Ministry Leaders

Clergy

Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison

Priest-in-Charge

The Rev. James (Jim) Harrison is a second career priest. Following in the footsteps of his father (and grandfather and great-grandfather!) he is a pattern maker by trade. He worked for thirty-one years for General Motors, first in Mansfield, Ohio and then in Flint, Michigan. Upon retirement, Jim attended Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois where he earned his Masters in Divinity.

Before coming to St John’s, Jim served as curate at Christ Church in Winnetka, Illinois, where he and his wife, Missy were both on staff. He has also served as rector of Transfiguration Episcopal Church in Indian River, Michigan and rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Appleton, Wisconsin. Jim has served on the Anti-Racism Ministry and Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan. He also served on the Mosaic Taskforce, a diversity ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. He has enjoyed serving on program staff and as chaplain for youth camp in both dioceses. He joined the St. John’s staff in December 2018, along with his wife, Missy, who is St. John’s Director of Children and Youth Ministry.

Jim enjoys running as a spiritual discipline as well as a great way to explore his surroundings. Jim, Missy, and their dog, Sidney love to find new trails to visit. He is happy to be near their son and his family, residents of Mount Pleasant, and looks forward to visits with their daughter, son-in-law, and newest grandson who live in Iowa City.

Mary Jo Schuetz

Mary Jo Schuetz

Priest Associate

The Rev. Mary J. Schuetz studied at Michigan State University, Whitaker School of Theology and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Her previous ministries include service as deacon and priest at Episcopal Tri Parish Cluster, consisting of Grace, Standish, St. Paul’s, Gladwin and Holy Family, Midland. Mary Jo was an Associate Rector of St. John’s, Saginaw and served 10 years as Rector of St. Paul’s, Gladwin. After retiring from St. Paul’s, she served as Interim-Priest-in-Charge at Trinity, Bay City.

With previous rector Rob Skirving’s election to be Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, Mary Jo joined The Rev. Michael Wilson in serving St. John’s as Parish Vicar during our church’s rector transition. She assumed full vicar duties in January 2015 when Mike resigned to focus on his health. Mary Jo is also chaplain to our Daughters of the King Chapter and a spiritual director. Iconography is an interest and spiritual discipline for Mary Jo. One of her works- a depiction of Jesus- may be found in St. John’s Elliott Chapel.

Returning to St. John’s Episcopal has been a gift for Mary Jo and her husband Jim. She was called to ordained ministry and supported by St. John’s while the Rev. William T. Elliott was Rector. St. John’s has been a strong part of her spiritual life and growth. Mary Jo and Jim look forward to continued ministry with St. John’s.

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

Retired

The Rev. Michael Hoover Wilson brings to the people of Midland and St. John’s 39 years of full-time parochial ministry experience with the concentration on care of seniors. Before retirement, Mike was Rector of Saint James Episcopal Church, Port Charlotte, FL for 19 years.

The son of an Episcopal priest, Mike was raised and schooled in CT, OH and IL before receiving his BA from Sewanee. After earning his Master of Sacred Theology degree from Berkley at Yale, Mike completed the pastoral counseling program offered by Syracuse’s Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center. While the full-time Rector of Zion Church in Avon, NY, he studied at Bexley Hall Theological Seminary and practiced counseling at the Rochester Psychiatric Center. With previous rector Rob Skirving’s election to be Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, Mike joined The Rev. Mary J. Schuetz in serving St. John’s as Parish Vicar during our church’s rector transition. In January 2015, Mike resigned from his official vicar duties to focus on his health.

After 42 years of marriage, 3 children and 4 grandchildren, his high school sweetheart died suddenly. Two years later, Mike married Patricia Phillips, who had been a childhood best friend to his deceased wife and kept in touch over the years.

An amateur photographer and unpublished writer, Mike also enjoys reading about America’s Civil War and visiting battlefield memorials. He and wife, Pat, have decided to make Midland and St. John’s their permanent home base in the autumn of life and look forward to many years of fellowship and continued service to the community.

Parish Staff

Mair Alsgaard

Mair Alsgaard

Organist

In addition to having ministered at various times for St. John’s Episcopal Church as Music Director, Mair was the Music Resource Coordinator for the Diocese of Saginaw, Music and Liturgy Director for St. Brigid R.C. Church and, for almost 20 years, Music Director at Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church. A member of the American Guild of Organists, Michigan Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association, Mair received the Midland Musician of the Year Award and Woman of the Year Award for community service.

She and her late husband, Richard, enjoyed over 63 years of marriage. She is parent of 4 and grandmother to 6 children. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Mair is a Music Education graduate of the University of Southampton’s Weymouth College and continued music studies at Central Michigan University after moving to Midland in the 1960’s.

Amon Eady

Amon Eady

Director of Music

Joining St. John’s staff in summer 2018, Amon also serves as Director of Choral Activities at Central Michigan University, where he conducts four ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.

Dr. Eady taught at middle school and high school levels for nine years in Tennessee, where he also served as a mentor teacher in musical literacy instruction in the urban environment. He has also presented at state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education on developing the male chorus, the building of a comprehensive choral program, and new and diverse methods of teacher training.

Dr. Eady’s choirs have also performed at state and regional conventions of ACDA and he was recognized by the Tennessee Music Educators Association as Music Educator of the Year (2014). Among his research interests is the rehabilitative impact of choral singing on incarcerated individuals. Dr. Eady holds the bachelor of music education degree and master of music degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, as well as the doctor of philosophy degree in choral conducting and music education from Florida State University.

A lifelong church musician, Amon is excited to be serving here at St. John’s. He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife Deidra, son Liam, and daughter Rowan.

Missy Harrison

Missy Harrison

Director of Children and Youth

Missy’s involvement with the Episcopal Church is a life-long one. She was raised by a mother who served as organist, youth minister, deacon, and priest for Episcopal churches so you might say that service was in her blood. Early vocations for Missy included gymnastics coach, Girl Scout leader, and travel agent. In 2002, Missy took the plunge into Children and Youth Ministries at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church (Fenton, MI). It has been a blessing to become a Godly Play Story teller, take youth on pilgrimages, run a Messy Church, create and offer programs at Camp Chickagami and Camp Lakotah, and so much more.

When not walking her dog or goofing off with her grandchildren, you can find her creating labyrinths out of clay or writing her Sacred Play Space blog.

Denise Isenbarger

Denise Isenbarger

Bookkeeper and Business Manager

Joining the St. John’s staff in the summer of 2014, Denise has and continues to serve Bookkeeper and Business Manager for various organizations including the John H. Goodrow Fund and First Presbyterian Church (Mt. Pleasant). She has also conducted guardianship reviews for Isabella County. Her volunteer efforts include vacation bible school, quilting, hunger walks, the commission on aging, ushering at graduations, working Le Tour de Monte Pleasant, reading to pre-schoolers and serving as an English partner to international students. Denise has lived in several areas in the lower peninsula including Oakland County, Berkley, Royal Oak and Troy; her current home is in Mt. Pleasant. A graduate of Troy High School and Central Michigan University, Denise has 5 siblings and many nieces and nephews. She enjoys walking, musical and theatrical performances, reading, movies, food and laughter.
Nick Lowthian

Nick Lowthian

Sexton

Nick joined St. John’s staff in November 2018 and welcomes the opportunity to look and care after a piece of living history. He aims to make St. John’s a little bit better every day. Nick has built things since childhood and has long been a “fix it” guy, always enjoying pulling things apart & putting them back together. While naturally a carpenter, he has worked in many different fields to be well-rounded.

Nick and wife, Mandy, are the proud parents of little youngsters Julia Grace and Emmett James. After living in Traverse City for about 8 years, they are happy to be closer to family in Midland now. If Nick had an extra 24 hrs a month, he’d spend it fixing something, then packing up the family for an adventure, then wrapping up the day with kids & wife piled on the couch watching old movies.

Ellen Woodard

Ellen Woodard

Administrative Assistant

Ellen joined St. John’s office staff in summer 2018, returning to her hometown of Midland where her grandchildren, sisters and Dad live. As a full-time house-hubby, Ellen’s husband, Randy, affords her the time to pursue extra-curricular handbell ringing activities including solo ringing, and directing the handbell choirs at Memorial Presbyterian Church. A graduate of Midland H.S. and DePauw University, Ellen also has a Master’s degree in music performance (french horn) from the University of Michigan. As a ‘wanna-be’ musician, she worked up the technology ladder from secretary/word processor to systems administrator and computer applications technician, most recently working as a database developer and data manager for clinical trials at U of M’s School of Public Health. Ellen thoroughly enjoys being back in Midland, close to family, and especially cutting her one-way commute down from 45+ minutes to 5 minutes!

Vestry

With our Rector, Vestry members oversee resource development, people, property and money to support the mission and ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church. They have a standing monthly meeting whose minutes are always posted publically. More about this group of elected leaders may be found on our Church Governance page.

We are grateful to all who have served in the past, especially to the Vestry class members who concluded their terms of service in January 2022:  Charles Bash, Basil Clark and Sue Rye.

Below are photos from a past vestry retreat.  Retreats are typically held each fall.