Our Staff

Messiah Lutheran Pastor Jerome Burce
The Rev. Dr. Jerome Burce
Senior Pastor
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Pastor Burce came to Messiah in 1994 from previous positions in Connecticut and Papua New Guinea where he was born and raised, his parents being missionaries. He was trained at Christ Seminary—Seminex, an institution that lived briefly in the 1970's and early '80s. He later earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Hartford Seminary. His key pastoral and theological interest lies in helping people hear and discover how the story of Jesus and the promise of God in Christ arising from that is good news for all of us today. A published author, he uses spare time to contribute text studies and occasional essays to Crossings.org, a website dedicated to reading Scripture and the world from a distinctly Lutheran perspective.
The Rev. Seth Bridger
Associate Pastor
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Pastor Seth Bridger joined Messiah in 2017 after serving as Director of Recruiting & Admissions at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Pastor Seth and his wife, Pastor Shelley Nelson-Bridger, were both ordained in 2006 from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. They spent time in Savannah, Georgia, before accepting a co-pastorate in Cincinnati. Pastor Seth and Shelley have two sons, Zachary and Noah.
Pastor Seth is passionate about Jesus, kayaking and outdoor pursuits including golf, cycling, and soccer. On his “bucket list” is hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. He enjoys family time, bagels with cream cheese, a good cup of coffee, participating in several yearly fantasy baseball and football leagues, and an occasional walleye fishing trip.

Helen Casselberry
School Principal

Helen Casselberry joined Messiah's staff in July, 2011, as principal of Messiah Lutheran School. Taking great joy in student growth, Mrs. Casselberry believes that education is a celebration of God's love for us and the talents He has invested in us. She considers education a unique ministry through which school staff may directly serve students and families while preparing them for service to God and others. She looks forward to strengthening the tradition of academic excellence and culture of Christian love established at Messiah. Helen and her husband Tim have attended Messiah Lutheran since 2007 and became members in 2008.
Darlene Waugh
Administrative Manager
Director of the Pierstorf Memorial Fund

A lifelong member of Messiah, Darlene has served since 1999 as the business administrator for Messiah Church and School and manager of the church office. She has also worked extensively in youth ministry, with a particular focus on summer mission trips and confirmation camp. In recent years she has been serving as the Northeastern Ohio Synod's coordinator for national youth gatherings of the ELCA. Trained as an accountant, Darlene worked for Key Bank and its predecessor institutions before coming to Messiah. 

In 2020 Darlene assumed the Executive Director position for the Pierstorf Memorial Loan Fund, previously held by Marty Uhle for the prior 8 years. For more information on how to obtain an interest free undergraduate college loan, visit www.pierstorf.org.
Deaconess Ruth Mortensen
Pastoral Assistant

Deaconess Ruth is a child of God, a wife, mother, and deaconess. She joined Messiah community with her family in fall 2016.  In 2017 she became a Eucharist Minister and joined the staff as Pastoral Assistant with a focus on caring for the Home Bound in February of 2019.   Deaconess Ruth is a member of the Lutheran Diaconal Association.  

Deaconess Ruth has been a Parish Deaconess, a Church musician, Spiritual director, and active volunteer at the North Olmsted Food pantry and for many years a volunteer in multiple North Olmsted schools.  Ruth enjoys baking, walking, and traveling.  Ruth and her husband Dale have two young adult children, Signe and Luke.   
Connie Triplett
Connie Triplett
Music Director 

Mrs. Connie Triplett is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher and grew up in rural Illinois. Her interest in music began at the young age of five with piano lessons. Her parents encouraged her at age thirteen to switch to organ lessons to be able to serve as a church musician. At Concordia University Connie took coursework in education, music, math, Spanish and theology. Connie is very excited for the opportunity to serve as Messiah’s Music Director. Connie has many favorite hymns and songs of the church, with “Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice” at the top of the list. In her free time, Mrs. Triplett enjoys hiking, playing board games, reading, and traveling to visit family and friends.

Lisa Daley
Office Manager
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Lisa works in the church office as lead secretary for the church and bookkeeper for both church and school. She is the mother of four adult daughters, and her husband is a retired pastor of the Christian Reformed Church in Cleveland. She is also a talented musician and regularly plays for Messiah's informal Saturday evening Holy Communion service.
Photo of Danielle Twigg
Danielle Twigg
Communications Manager

Danielle joined our staff in 2018.  She is a Messiah School graduate and member of Messiah Church since 1999.  Danielle handles all written material produced at Messiah.  Danielle is married to Owen and they have 3 children, 2 of them are enrolled in Messiah School.

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