Pastor Johnold Strey is originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School (1993), Martin Luther College (BA, 1997), Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (MDiv, 2001), and Santa Clara University (MA, Pastoral Liturgy & Liturgical Music, 2009). As a part of his seminary training, he served as vicar at St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, California from August 1999 to August 2000. He served as pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Belmont, California from his ordination on July 15, 2001 to June 12, 2011. He was installed as associate pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, California on July 3, 2011, where he served for five years, concluding August 28, 2016. Pastor Strey was installed as associate pastor at Crown of Life Lutheran Church on September 25, 2016, where his work focuses especially on the worship and education ministry of the congregation.
Pastor Strey is also involved in Crown of Life’s national church denomination, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), especially in the area of worship. He is a member of the WELS Hymnal Project’s Rites Committee, and serves as a presenter for the WELS School of Worship Enrichment, a regional weekend worship seminar offered at various times and locations around the country by the WELS Commission on Worship. Pastor Strey has also been a presenter for the triennial WELS National Worship Conference, and served for ten years as the District Worship Coordinator for the WELS Arizona-California District prior to accepting the call to serve Crown of Life. He is currently authoring a book about worship for Northwestern Publishing House.
Pastor Strey and Emily Gresens were married in the summer of 2000. Emily is a graduate of Fox Valley Lutheran High School (1995) and Wisconsin Lutheran College (BA, Elementary Education & Music Education, 2000). She taught Kindergarten at St. Matthew Lutheran School in Milwaukee (2000-01), and music and choir at Bayside Middle School in Foster City, California (2001-03). During her two years as a middle school teacher, Emily also sang as a soprano in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She has taught Music Together classes since 2004, and operates her own Music Together center called Musical Beginnings. Emily has also had several articles published in Forward in Christ magazine, a monthly periodical published by WELS. Pastor and Emily have been blessed with four children.