Pastors John & Liz Backus

Pastor John and Pastor Liz serve as St. Mark's transitional pastors as the church carries out the call process for a permanent pastor. The two pastors most recently served eight years as pastors in North Omaha, Nebraska. Before that, the duo served 13 years in Kansas City and another 13 years in Lanesboro, Minnesota. 

Pastor John graduated seminary at Wartburg Seminary in May of 1979 and began as a youth pastor in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Pastor Liz finished her seminary career at Luther and Northwestern in St. Paul in 1982. 

The pastors have three children.


Carol Kugler is the church choir director and organist. She has three degrees including a B.A. and an M.A. in choral music education and a specialist degree in educational administration. Before her retirement, Carol taught music in the Wellston and Kirkwood school districts as well as at De Smet Jesuit High School. She taught school music for 34 years.

Carol began her love of church music as a 15-year-old organist in a Presbyterian church in Michigan. Her first directing position was during her freshman year at the University of Michigan at a nearby Baptist Church. Carol began her tenure at St. Mark's in 1991.

Carol has three sons, 10 grandchildren and is married to Dr. Morris Kugler. Carol directs the Chancel and Bell Choirs.

Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson is the main assistant for St. Mark's and is responsible for day-to-day activities, including: producing and publishing the worship bulletin and monthly newsletter, recording attendance, maintaining member and visitor records and producing the annual report. Carol started at St. Mark's in 2006.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Carol is one of six children. She is married to Alan, her high school sweetheart. They have two sons, Matthew and Mark and one granddaughter Sofia.