In October of 2003, The Rev. Jon R. Greenstone was called to serve as Pastor at Elias Lutheran Church in Emmitsburg. Pastor Jon was born in Washington, D.C. and raised on a small family farm in Brookeville, Maryland. Jon is the second to youngest from a family of five children. After graduating from high school Jon began a greenhouse and truck farming business. He grew flowers and vegetables and sold them at farmers markets in and around the D.C. Metro area. Farming and horticulture have been a life-long labor of love for Pastor Jon who also adds, "Getting up close with God's creation and seeing the ways we are dependent on the Lord's blessings to feed ourselves and know ourselves as finite beings enables a person to know the character of God. My calling to serve Christ's church was influenced by the wonder of earth's flora and fauna, all of which testify to the one who brought it into being.

Pastor Jon enjoys his parish responsibilities and likes to be out in the community. "Christ did not remain in Jerusalem, he went out on the country roads, he journeyed to places where the people were. This is how the church's ministry takes place, out in the community. However, we are blessed to have a wonderful historic worship space, and it is here at Elias that we welcome you to gather with us to worship and express your love for God."

Pastor Jon shares a children's sermon every Sunday at Elias

In terms of his present ministry goals with the congregation, Pastor Jon believes that Elias is a church where people are attracted by our grounding in history and local culture, but more importantly, Elias is a place where people are welcomed, encouraged in their Christian walk, instructed and energized to go out and serve Christ in Word and Deed. Elias hosts many of Emmitsburg's community ministries, such as AA three nights a week (Wed, Fri. Sat. at 8 p.m.); teaching Emmitsburg's children to sing through the Children's Praise Choir (CPC), and many other fellowship activities throughout the year. Elias is involved globally by it's involvement with the Emmitsburg Council of Churches Mission to Kenya, of which Pastor Jon has been the Director of missions in 2009 and 2011. "We seek to be a blessing by sharing the Gospel in spiritual and tangible ways."

In 2009 the Kenya Mission supplied a solar powered well pump system for Pathfinder Academy, in 2011 the Mission Team brought Bibles for 600 children, provided medical care for over 1200 persons, supplied a 2KW Solar power system that now powers the entire school with pure, clean solar energy, and the Team supplied reading glasses for the sight impaired. In these ways we serve, and get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world, this is where Elias needs to go.

Pastor Jon admits that, "Elias is unashamedly traditional. We don't foresee giving up traditional Lutheran liturgical worship and providing a consistent, family friendly worship environment. We feel this is our strength." Not that Elias is estranged from today's popular Christian contemporary music, in fact, Elias is home to "The Basement" Christian Coffee House, that provides the areas best Christian rock and praise bands. "Believe me," says Pastor Jon, if you like Christian Rock -- we are the place to be on the second Friday of each month beginning at 7 p.m. But do call to be sure of time, because The Basement does take off during the months of August and January.

Pastor hopes that new residents who have recently moved to the Emmitsburg area will want to find their spiritual home at Elias. "Being Christís church in this place is a great privilege and responsibility, we want to continually welcome our new neighbors and introduce them to who we are in the historic Lutheran tradition. But we also want to learn and listen about who they are -- and share blessings of faith and Christ's teaching together." Pastor Jon has also been a very strong leader in the Emmitsburg Council of Churches (ECC) and looks forward to continuing in ecumenical dialogue and joint projects with all of the seven churches in the ECC.

You can contact Pastor Jon at
or call the Church office  301-447-6239