Pastor Jennifer Ginn came to the ministry after working professionally as a teacher and an editor. She has been a pastor in North Carolina since 2000. She earned a BA in English from Wake Forest University and an MA from UT-Knoxville, then returned to NC for continued graduate work at UNC-CH. After teaching at NCSU in Raleigh for six years and then working in editing and manuscript development at SAS Institute in Cary for another six, she and her husband answered God's call to ministry by moving to Chicago for seminary and spending a year of pastoral internship in central Iowa. She earned a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, was ordained in 2000, and served St. John's Lutheran Church in Salisbury until early 2009, when she began her ministry at Cross & Crown.
Pastor Ginn is also a writer, having published her work in The Lutheran, Christian Century, and the devotional guide Christ in Our Home. Her passions include telling Gospel stories by heart, teaching and mentoring, and walking alongside others as they grow in Christ's love. She is grateful for the gifted and loving people who worship at Cross & Crown and serve in many ways throughout Matthews and the Charlotte area.
Pastor Brook Seaford, holds a BA from Wake Forest, an MBA from Queens University of Charlotte, and an MDiv from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He answered God's call while working in the insurance industry. His wife, Kristan, is a mental health counselor and public speaker. They have 5 young children who are active in theater, sports, and a whole host of other activities. In addition to church, they are passionate advocates for NoBarriers, OPAF, and Wounded Warriors. Pastor Brook is a member of the Matthews Rotary and can often be found writing sermons at his favorite local coffee shop, Brakeman's. Cross & Crown has been blessed by his enthusiasm and energy.
Larry Stratemeyer began his work at Cross & Crown as Director of Music Ministries in June of 2020, having formerly served St. Gabriel's Catholic Church and before that St. Patrick Cathedral, both in Charlotte. He is also an adjunct instructor at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. Larry grew up in the Lutheran church and during his career has directed church choirs, accompanied worship services, directed handbells and children's choirs, coordinated music programs for Vacation Bible School and worked with folk and contemporary choirs. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music/University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Master of Music in organ performance and literature, as well as the Doctor of Musical Arts, from the Eastman School of Music. He also studied at the le Conservatoire National de Région de Rueil-Malmaison in France. Larry brings to Cross & Crown exemplary skills at both the organ and the piano, an interest in the full range of musical expression within the church, and a commitment to faith and worship. Aside from his lifelong involvement in making music for the church, Larry enjoys working in the yard, taking walks, and going to art museums.
LeAnne Bates has been the Administrative Assistant at Cross & Crown for 12 years. An avid scrapbooker and baker, she also enjoys decorating her home for the season and holidays. She married her high school sweetheart of 30 years and is the proud mother to a young adult daughter, who after graduating from ECU is now employed and living on her own. LeAnne grew up in Miami, Florida, and has always loved the beach. Among her duties at Cross & Crown, she especially enjoys designing and producing our weekly newsletter and working with staff and church members.
Jessica Pontes is a North Carolina native having been born in Mayberry. She happily acknowledges that her hometown is all about Andy Griffith. She now calls Matthews her home. Jessica is Mom to three amazing boys--Aiden, Bravin and Christopher--who she refers to as her ABCs. Before having her sons, she worked as a nanny and realizing her love for people became a CNA in 2007. Her goal is to complete nursing school in the next year.