St. Stephen Lutheran Church - East San Francisco & Central Valley California

Meet The Pastor

Pastor Luke Bernthal grew up in Saginaw, MI. You might say that the pastoral ministry is in is family's bloodline. His father was a Lutheran pastor in the CLC (now retired, but still doing part-time ministry work in Eau Claire, WI), his grandfather on his mother's side, and his great-grandfather on his father's side were also Lutheran pastors.

However, when he began his college studies he had a different plan in mind: sports broadcasting. He began his college career working toward that goal by interning at a radio station and studying communication at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. The Lord, however, had other plans for Luke. After his freshmen year in college, through the influence of a future classmate (and now fellow pastor), the Lord changed the direction of his life toward the pastoral ministry. He transferred to Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, WI in the fall of 1997, and graduated with a B.A. degree 2001. He graduated from Immanuel Lutheran Seminary (also in Eau Claire, WI) in 2003. During his ministry he served congregations in the Houston area (Spring), TX (7 years) and Valentine, NE (6 years) before accepting the call to serve the dual parishes of St. Stephen Lutheran Church – East Bay in Hayward, CA and St. Stephen Lutheran Church of the San Francisco Peninsula in Mountain View, CA in January of 2017.

In addition to the two congregations he serves, Pastor Luke is also involved in the ministry of St. Stephen Lutheran School in Mountain View, CA, where he currently serves as principal and teaches Bible History and catechism classes, as well as conducting morning devotions with the children each Wednesday. He also conducts monthly services at Oakmont Assisted Living facility in Stockton, CA, as well as every-other-month worship and Bible Study with some of our St. Stephen members at a distance in Southern California and in Sacramento, CA.

Some of the aspects of the ministry Pastor Luke enjoys the most are teaching and working with children and young people. He was involved with the CLC Youth Conference Retreat from 2005-2014, and attended and was involved with the "Arise and Shine" 20's-30's retreat from 2004-2017, including serving as co-director of the retreat for 6 years (2011-2016). He also enjoys personal one-on-one ministry, and finds that bringing the comfort of the Word of God to the elderly and those who are hospitalized is some of the most impactful and encouraging work that a pastor can do.

In his spare time Pastor Luke enjoys doing outdoor activities of many kinds with his wife, Julia ("Jewels"), and enjoys watching and playing many different kinds of sports. He and his wife live in Mountain View, CA near the congregation he serves there. Please visit our contact page if you would like to get in touch with Pastor Luke.

East San Francisco Bay Area
St. Stephen East San Francisco Bay
Central Valley California
St. Stephen Central Valley
Mountain View Sister Congregation
St. Stephen Mountain View

St. Stephen is a member congregation of the Church of the Lutheran Confession  (CLC)