Our latest new members

Get to know the newest members at Lord of Life.

What can you do to be welcoming?
Say hello.
Invite them to join you.  
Include them in your conversation.  
Ask questions.  
Pray for them.
Debbie WelshonsI was raised Lutheran in a small town in Wisconsin. After attending the University of Minnesota, I began working in Hastings, Minnesota where I met and Married Joel. In 1982, we moved to Houston, were blessed with two children, and celebrated 45 years of marriage before Joel passed away. Now that I am retired, I enjoy having more time for reading, working in my yard, or just walking outside, enjoying nature. I feel Lord of Life is a caring community with many opportunities to grow in faith.

Susan Welbes – I’ve lived in South Montgomery County since 1997 and the Houston area since 1974. I’m a mother of two adult girls and my husband and I have been married for over 35 years. I was the Director of Human Resources for The Woodlands Township from 1998-2020, and currently serve as the Administrative Services Division Director for Travis County’s Transportation and Natural Resources Division (where they support remote work, so I can remain in the area!). I have attended church throughout my life primarily at Missouri Synod or WELS Churches. I find that my beliefs and faith are more closely aligned with the ELCA and have enjoyed visiting our State and National Parks.
DeLynne & Andy Ano – We have recently moved back to The Woodlands after 10 years and are so grateful we found Lord of Life. We have two sons – our oldest son is in Ohio with his wife and our 3 grandchildren, our youngest son and his husband are here with us. Andy plays guitar and enjoys fishing and boating. DeLynne loves to travel and read.
Bob & Kristie Bailes – Bob and Kristie have lived in The Woodlands for 10 years and Texas for 25 years. Bob is a Chemical Engineer recently retired after 38 years with ExxonMobil. Kristie is a retired Operating Room Registered Nurse. They have two grown children and two granddaughters. Through many ExxonMobil relocations over the years, Bob and Kristie attended a variety of churches. They have served as youth group leaders, Sunday School teachers, ushers, communion assistants, and church board members at various points along the way. Now in retirement Bob and Kristie split their time between The Woodlands and their home in NW Montana. In addition to spending time with their children and grandchildren, they enjoy golf, pickleball, hiking, boating, fishing, and traveling.
Matt and Julie Speilman and AlexMatt was born in Flint, Michigan, and grew up in Minnesota. Julie grew up nearby in Prestonwood. Alex was born on St. Patrick’s Day 2015 also in Flint. We came to Houston in 2020 from Dublin, Ireland, having lived there for 2 years. Matt grew up in a Lutheran family, first Missouri Synod and later ELCA. Julie grew up attending Lakewood Methodist Church. We have attended non-denominational churches since we were married. We are happy to find an inclusive church home as we look to settle in the Woodlands through Alex’s school years. We enjoy travel, exploring and walking in nature. We are all big readers. We recently welcomed two kittens into our family. They are our third generation of cats.
Shirley Czerwinski – I live at the Conservatory in The Woodlands where I am involved in many activities such as games, exercise, bible study and I am a Hug a Bear volunteer. I was raised Catholic but for many years I’ve gone to the Community Church in Montgomery. I have two sons. One is a member of Lord of Life. While raising my sons I spent 10 years on my hometown farm in Bremond, TX. It was a wonderful experience for all of us as we had a veggie garden and fruit orchard. I moved back to Houston once my sons went off to college. I enjoy volunteering at schools, Vitas Hospice, hospitals, The Wolf Sanctuary, Assistant League Thrift shop and Crisis Hotline. Presently my goal is to be a good grandmother to my 4 grandchildren and to be more involved in my relationship with my heavenly Father. I look forward to friendships at Lord or life and attend the Women of the Word bible study.
Brad & Chris Haney – My husband and I moved here in December of 2023 with my parents – also new members of the church – for a new adventure. We are excited to find a church that is so welcoming and accepting of all people, no matter their journey. Both my husband and I are avid gym-goers, love a good movie night, and enjoy connecting with others. We are thankful to have found Lord of Life and look forward to meeting everyone!
Emilie Grohmann; Keegan, Kade, Karter I was raised a Lutheran in the Tomball/Magnolia area and attended a Lutheran church in Cypress growing up. My family and I currently live in Montgomery. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 14, 9 and 3. I work at a private Christian School where I have taught classes of all ages, infants to Jr. High, as well as in the office. My family and I enjoy playing spending time with family, board games, playing baseball and golf, camping, fishing, anything outdoors and active. We are excited to join the LOL family.


Zoraya & Allan Stern, Maia, Marissa, Nathan Allan (born in Houston) and I (born in New York) met at UT Austin in Architecture school. Allan was raised Lutheran and I was raised Catholic and became Lutheran when we married in 1993. We have 4 children:  Nicholas (25), Texas Tech Graduate – Computer Science, lives in Austin, TX, plays cello and swims.  Nathan (22), UT Austin Graduate – Computer & Electrical Engineering, moving to Madison, WI, plays bass and swims.  Maia (19), Biology major at UT Austin, plays flute and swims.  Marissa (14), Freshman at Grand Oaks High School, plays French Horn and swims.  Luna (4) – we all LOVE our Cavapoo.  We moved to Washington DC in 2000 and returned to TX in 2014. Allan is an Engineer at ExxonMobil. He plays the bass guitar and loves to play golf. I am an Architect at HKS Architects. I play the flute and love photography and enjoy learning tennis and golf. And, we both love traveling the world! 
Ken Harvey
Fall 2023

Dianna Eldridge – I have been married to my Husband, Andy, for over 30 years.  I am a mother of two adult children, ages 29 and 31 and grandmother of 3.  I recently move here from Michigan.

Naomi Haught, son Garrison – My son Garrison and I recently moved to The Woodlands from Katy so I could start a new job with flexible hours and Garrison could attend a Conroe ISD school.  I enjoy reading and playing handbells while Garrison like playing outside, swimming and with Legos.  We both enjoy volunteering and scouting and are extremely involved in his Cub Scout pack. Our favorite family activity is attending the family advent retreat at Camp Chryalis every December. My personal favorite place in Texas is probably Lutherhill.

Brenda Jaffe – I from California originally, where I was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan Beach.  I’m glad I found Lord of Life Lutheran recently and feel very welcome. I have two children: Lily lives in Austin with her daughter, my granddaughter, Adeline (6). Lily works in the medical field. Jay lives in Europe where he is teaching English as a second language to Germans. He speaks fluent German as well as other languages. They both are impressive musicians. I enjoy entertaining, cooking, knitting, hiking and skiing.  I have tried golf – not very good. I like to travel both abroad and domestically. I’m famous for my 12 days of Christmas Party!
James Liberto – I was born and raised in Chicago, IL and moved down to Spring, TX with my mother and sister in 2007 to be closer to my brother and his family. I have an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. Shortly after was on disability/SSI due to health issues. I enjoy watching TV programs/series, reading, and light cooking. I play my flute here and there.

Angela & Nathan Crissey, children Conrad & Beverly -We have lived in The Woodlands for three years after moving here from San Jose, CA.  Angela works in HR and Nathan works in professional services for different tech companies.  We enjoy spending time with family, swimming, and playing with our dogs.  We’re excited to join the Lord of Life community.


Jeff & Gail Perl – We lived in Ohio most of our lives.  We retired in Ft. Myers, FL for eight years.  We moved to the Woodlands to be near our daughter and family.  Our other daughter and husband live in Chesterfield, MA.  We’ve resided in the Woodlands for a year and half and love it here.  We enjoy reading, swimming, working out, fishing, attending art fairs, and the theater, but our favorite pastime is enjoying our family and friends.

Tiffany Perl, children Iris & Luna – Greetings! I grew up in Ohio and met my husband, Jon, in California where we crossed paths as airline pilots. In 2011, we moved to The Woodlands and share three children: Jon’s son, 19, who attends UCSB, and our daughters, 6 and 4. In our free time, I have volunteered with Bike the Woodlands Coalition in partnership with The Woodlands Township to plan a month long celebration of National Bike Month; Jon has volunteered at God’s Garage in Conroe repairing donated vehicles and gifting them to single mothers, widows and wives of deployed military. With our kids and my parents (who recently moved to The Woodlands), we partake in and appreciate many of the family-friendly events and amenities in the area. I am grateful to continue my religious journey having the opportunity to connect and share in experience with the welcoming Lord of Life community.
Shelton Bradford – I was born in Houston, Texas. My faith journey is complicated. I was baptized in Methodist Church, and my godfather was a devout Baptist. I recently decided to be a Lutheran. My first Lutheran Church was Christ the King in Houston, Texas. I recently moved near Spring. My hobbies are reading books, going to the public library and sometimes the gym. I enjoy movies, eating good food, and drinking good drinks. I also like to swim and enjoy visiting the Woodlands when I can.
May 2023

Kerry Carpenter –  I was raised in Los Angeles, and have since lived in Missouri, Florida, Utah, and Texas. After 16 years as a school nurse, I recently began teaching high school students to prepare them for national certification as clinical medical assistants. I love animals, plants, books, coffee, baking, and eating. I’ve been vegan for about 7 years. I am grateful to have found this caring community at Lord of Life. It’s awesome to always look forward to being here!



Erik & Alex DeHaven, Wren, WalkerWe have lived in The Woodlands area for almost 5 years and are blessed to have found our home church at Lord of Life. We enjoy spending time together as a family, eating good food, and everything football. We look forward to continuing our faith journey with our LOL family.

Mike & Tara Devoley, Sophie, Luke– Tara and I are from the Chicago area and Arizona, respectively, but met at Northern Arizona University. Our kids were born here in Texas!  We both work at Lone Star College – Montgomery campus, where I teach Psychology and Tara is an Academic Advisor specializing in college transfers.  We have been married for almost 20 years and “Texans” for 18 of them.  We live in Harper’s Landing and love going for walks with our dogs, camping/hiking in Huntsville State Park and road-tripping to other state and national parks. We look forward to getting to know you through small groups and other church activities.




Erin & Andris Dikmanis, Ethan, Isla –  We are originally from Long Island, NY but have called the Woodlands home since 2014, when we also started attending services at LOL. Erin is a research scientist at HARC in the Woodlands and Andris is the Director of Sports Performance at the John Cooper School. As a family, we love to cook and to play outside, either lacrosse (which Andris also coaches), soccer, swimming, or exploring the trails around the Woodlands. We are looking forward to being more active in the LOL church family.




Alison & Luke Stephens, Jack, Jude –  We are originally from Southern Indiana but have called Texas home since 2010. We moved to the Woodlands in Fall of 2022 after living in Corpus Christi for a few years and are so thankful to have found a church home at Lord of Life. We loved the warm welcome, messages of inclusivity, and our kids were won over by the Easter Vigil that included s’mores over a campfire. Luke is a Chemical Engineer and Alison is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. On the weekends  you can find us at our kids soccer games, road biking, running, and trying out all the fabulous restaurants in the area. We look forward to getting to know everyone.




Chris & Whitney Terrell, Russell – Originally from Georgia, we moved to the woodlands area in January and are delighted to have found Lord of Life. We welcomed our son Russell to our family last September. 



Linda Metz – I was born and raised in Cleveland, so this is a new adventure for me here. I moved to Texas in October of 2019 from Cleveland, Ohio to care for my brother who had suffered a stroke.  I was blessed with 3 children, two daughters and a son.  My faith became stronger when my son at the age of 12 was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  My faith got me through his illness and when he went to heaven 9 month later.  I have one daughter and granddaughter who live in Cleveland and one who lives in San Diego.  I enjoy spending time with them when I travel to see them.  Between taking care of my brother, I am still trying to find a life here.  I have made the first step by becoming a member of Lord of Life.

Amie & Macy CherryAmie grew up in Sugarland and Macy grew up in a small town in East Texas called Carthage.  We enjoy playing games, bird watching and anything outdoors.
Cynthia “Cindy” Brunswick – I look forward to meeting the Lord of Life community. 
 Recently, I relocated to Houston from Chicago to be closer to family and an for awesome job opportunity. As a life-long educator and Lutheran, I am excited to share this part of my journey with you.
Laura Ammons & Michael Heilers – Mike and Laura enjoy travel and hiking in nature. We are both very deeply spiritual and love to share our experiences of God and Christ. Laura enjoys her calling as a hospice chaplain and Mike loves to help people at CVS as a manager. Together, we share 3 sons and a daughter, 6 grandchildren and 3 cats.