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Holly Johnson is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but she wasn’t born that way. She grew up in the midwest (Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska) and “Pastor” was not in any part of any dream she had of what she would be when she grew up. Instead, her career dream included: Singer in a band, teacher, nurse, and admissions director. In various ways, she has covered those things except the nursing part.
In her adult life, she’s spent time on the West Coast as a youth director, a campus minister at Concordia College, a mission developer in Fargo-Moorhead, and as an administrator at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA.
Holly found Spirit Garage during what she thought would be a break from church after years of youth ministry. She says: “But before I quit, I had to go check out this church I had heard about called, “Spirit Garage” in Minneapolis. I went by myself. I hoped no one would talk to me. I walked in, and the guy who leads music was standing in the lobby. He offered me coffee and said, “Hey, they’re just getting started in there, so go ahead and get your coffee and sit anywhere you like.” Then he went into the worship space (a theater) and welcomed everyone, saying “We’re here to worship God. You can participate in whatever ways work for you. Sing if you want, dance if you want, share the meal if you want, but welcome.” Then he explained that they have been doing a series on “experiencing God through the senses,” and today was taste day. They sang Sarah Mclachlan’s song “Ice Cream,” I heard that song in a new way, I thought about communion in a new way, and I went back every week to see what would happen next. I never took that break from church.”
Holly likes good music, good poetry, good wine, good food, brunch, The Breakfast Club, and all things that blend sacred and secular.
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Digital Technology Director
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Jason is a full time teacher, part time techie, and part time musician. He teaches science to 5th and 6th graders at Community of Peace Academy in St. Paul. Jason has been involved with Spirit Garage from back when John Kerns asked him to help out and play with the offshoot of the typical worship series and help nurture and create the “Spirit Garage Underground.” He then got the call as Spirit Garage moved to the Hook and Ladder to run the sound and make everybody sound pretty. Now he does that and a lot more!
He lives in St. Paul with his wife of twenty one years, a son of thirteen, and a dog and cat. He has a music education degree and loves to make music with his band after hours and has fun camping, canoeing, biking, and hiking year round. He loves to cook for his family and is handy around a grill and the house.