STAFF

Pastor Jay Grave

Thank you so much for considering St. John Lutheran Church. 


I am Pastor Jay Grave. I have been the Pastor here since the Spring of 2022. I grew up in a small farming town in Iowa and the first congregation I served was here in Texas. Since then, I have served congregations in Missouri, Minnesota, and Louisiana before returning to Texas. Bellville reminds me of my hometown and I am excited to raise my own family here. 


I am married to my wonderful wife,  Elizabeth, a native Texan, and we have three children. A daughter in her 20’s, a teenage daughter, and a pre-school-age son! As you can guess, we stay pretty busy! We love to visit new places and meet new people and listen to live music. I love to be on the water in a boat or under the water doing scuba. 


I believe that God has uniquely gifted every person, that God’s grace is a free gift to all and that our salvation has been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ. In response to this freely given new life, we are called to partner with God and all of God’s creation to make the world a better place. At St. John, we do this in many ways. We worship together, we serve the community together, we fellowship and sing, and sometimes dance together. We study scripture and pray, encourage and console each other.


I am excited that you are here and I look forward to meeting you as we continue Learning, Living, and Leading in Love Through God’s grace!


In Christ, 

Pastor Jay


email: rev.jgrave@stjohn-bellville.org

Marshall thompson

      Mr. Marshall started his Church music ministry as the Saturday 4pm organist at

Immaculate Conception Church in Springfield, Missouri in 1984 as a 13 year old under the

tutelage of then Music Director Michael Kern. Kern influenced Mr. Marshall in his joy of

Hymns, Folk, and Contemporary styles of Christian Music. During this time, Mr. Marshall was

also blessed to have as his private teacher, Wilfred Adler, a decorated jazz musician as well as a retired classical professor at Southwest Missouri State, now Missouri State University in

Springfield. Eventually attending MSU under classical piano performance scholarship, Mr.

Marshall continued at Immaculate Conception Church through 1991 eventually accompanying all services with new Music Director and decorated organist, Mary Beth Wittry, who provided him with basic organ training and church accompanying skills.

       Mr. Marshall co wrote with local original/cover band Freeway Green, singing lead and

backed other rock/country bands in local and regional venues and had as many as 20-25 private piano students after employment at Bass Pro taking catalog orders and flipping patties at Steak N’ Shake.

      In the summer of 1991, Mr. Marshall moved back to his birthplace in Los Angeles as an

aspiring songwriter and keyboardist and attended the Los Angeles Recording Workshop trade

school and became experienced in live sound and analogue recording techniques, including tape editing and tape recorder alignment. After briefly holding a local sound editing job, he was immersed in the L.A. songwriter/coffee house revival through harmonica player, Clay Goldstein, and was quickly spread around gigs and studio work thanks to Church accompaniment skill on piano and organ.

      During this time, his band the Previous, led by Andras Jones toured extensively for 4 years

recording 3 records with the group ending up in Olympia, Washington as the band’s base. Mr.

Marshall returned to Los Angeles in 1996 and became father of his 1st child, Ry, working mail

and front desk at a retirement residence. Again, Mr. Marshall quickly became in demand for up

and coming songwriters armed with acoustic guitars that wanted a full sound and started

producing and recording demos for them in his house shared with his wife and son. Mr.

Marshall turned down a European tour with the late R&B legend Solomon Burke after playing New Year’s “97 in Lake Lugano Italy to be closer to his family and worked locally until 1999.

     For 8 years, Mr. Marshall, toured as a keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist for a full variety of acts

from Vegas shows to South by Southwest, London to Brisbane while starting to sub at Lutheran, Baptist, and Catholic Churches and adding to his family with the birth of twins, Azur and Violet. The Lutheran Church in Pacific Palisades offered Marshall the organist and choir director job in 2008 through an absolute angel, Pati Vining and her daughter Allison. Mr. Marshall adapted easily from Catholic Liturgy and provided a country/blues feel for the contemporary service and found a much needed Christ centered family amidst “burn-out”. “The Church was right across from the high school and was central in sharing Christ’s light with my family.”

     “I am very honored and grateful to be a part of St. John-Bellville and hope to share the gift

of light through music. Please check out our ministry and be a part of the widest variety

(Traditional, Gospel, Country and Contemporary) in Bellville. Also inquire about discount

lessons in improvisation and sight-reading for piano, guitar, and drums.

Email: marshall@stjohn-bellville.org

Shazta krupala

Hi!! My name is Shazta Krupala and I am the new Youth Director for Junior High

and High School here at St. John. 


Just a little bit about me: I was born in Bellville just a short time ago in 1983; wink wink. I am the daughter of Jamie and Leslie Krupala. I have three beautiful children; two at home, Lillian and Waylen, and my oldest, Brianna, is

college age. My best friend is my grandmother, Pat Krupala. We all live here in Bellville , Texas. Even though I attended Sunday School when I was little bitty here at St. John, I became a Lutheran at 11 years old at St. Paul’s in Columbus. My pastor there, Pastor John Hunsicker, and his wife Joan, were huge influences in my upbringing and were definitely a major part of molding my faith to what it is today! 


Through life challenges, I moved back to Bellville with my children and joined St. John three years ago. I am so

very very grateful for my church family here and I know God pushed me to find my way  into services for the Lord. I truly feel like I have a second home here, I feel needed, I feel loved and most of all, I feel like I belong. These feelings I have about our church and church family show exactly how I want our youth to feel; it’s what I teach and pray for

everyday.


If you get a chance, take a peek in the LYO and Confirmation rooms. Between a  few volunteers and myself, we have really put together a great meeting space for these kiddos. Both age groups have amazing schedules that include local service work once a month. I am so very excited for this new year and what all we have planned for some

pretty awesome young adults!!


Email: srkrupala@gmail.com

Crissy Marshall

My family became members of St. John in 2019 and I have been the financial secretary with St. John since June 2021. My husband Chase and I have two wonderful children, Livia and Chase. The church has been an integral part of our lives since joining as members in 2019 and we continue to grow in our faith here everyday. 

I grew up in Bellville, graduated from UT-Austin in 2010 and I am proud to now be part of a dynamic and mission-driven team that shares the love of God with not only our members, but also the community and beyond.


Email: crissy@stjohn-bellville.org



Tracye Lassus

Happy day!  I'm Tracye Lassus and am so excited to be part of the St. John Lutheran of Bellville team.  I grew up in Ballinger, TX and graduated from Texas Tech University.  My husband, Randy, and I have been married 20+ years and moved to Bellville in 2009.  We have a teenage daughter and a preteen son who keep us hopping from ball games to other school activities.  We joined St. John Lutheran of Bellville in 2011, and it quickly became like home.  Camp Hope, MAD Club, LYO, VBS, and Mission Trips have all created opportunities for memory making with our church youth for me.  I also teach a dance fitness class called REFIT here at St. John and in Brenham.  As a self described 'cheerleader,' I love this opportunity to share in person, on social media, and any other way about how God loves each of us.  I'm looking forward to seeing what new memories are going to be made with my church family at St. John Lutheran of Bellville!  

email: tracye@stjohn-bellville.org