My beloved Mt. Tam Church,
Last Sunday, as SPRC chair Ann Mary Belek read Superintendent Staci Current’s letter to our congregation sharing the news about your next pastor, I was filled with tears—tears of joy that you will be receiving such a gifted pastor and tears of thanksgiving for all that has been in the past eleven years. I cried buckets as Tricia sang “Amazing Grace,” because God’s grace is amazing and this church is truly blessed. Below is an introduction to your next pastor, Luke Ham and his family. Luke and Stephanie, Caleb and Wesley will begin their time with you on July 1. And I’m still your pastor until then! So we will continue to work together, pray together, laugh together and worship together, because the church goes on and God is always good.
Luke and Stephanie Ham with sons Caleb (Age 5) and Wesley (Age 1)
Born in Akron, Ohio (at the same hospital as NBA players Steph Curry and LeBron James), Pastor Luke was raised in the Napa Valley where he grew up attending Lutheran and Catholic schools. In fact, Luke’s Catholic high school (Justin-Siena) was in the Marin County Athletic League for sports so Luke grew up visiting many of the different schools in the Marin area for games and tournaments.
After graduating from high school, Luke went on to attend Chico State University. On the 2nd week of freshman year, Luke met the love of his life, Stephanie, and they have been together ever since. Luke graduated with a B.A. in Comparative Religious Studies and Stephanie graduated with her degree in Liberal Studies and a CA multiple-subject teaching credential. They were married in 2009 at The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Mill Valley and held their wedding reception at the Mill Valley Community Center.
After graduating from college, Luke immediately began seminary at Pacific School of Religion and took the position of Youth and Outreach minister at Wayside UMC in Vallejo. During that time Luke also completed a 1-year residency as a Chaplain at San Francisco General Hospital. In 2011, Luke took a full-time youth minister position at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo. This position turned into a pastoral appointment after Luke graduated seminary in May 2012. Under his leadership, the youth group grew from engaging 50 different youth per week to engaging 90 youth per week. After teaching in Private Christian Schools, in 2014, Stephanie joined the staff of San Ramon Valley UMC as the full-time children’s minister.
In 2017, Luke was asked to take a new appointment as the Senior Pastor of Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel. It was during his time at this congregation that he invited the people of the church to envision what it might look like to develop partnerships with other UMCs in the area in order to provide a stronger Christian witness to the Monterey Peninsula as a whole. One of the results of this work was that Monterey UMC (in consultation with the Bishop) invited Luke to serve as pastor at their congregation as well. This equipped Monterey UMC to be able to bring an ordained deacon on staff and develop new and vital ministries to the community.
Luke and Stephanie love to be engaged in their local community. Some formal ways Luke has done that in his past appointments has been through serving as a volunteer chaplain in Police Departments, Fire Departments and Nursing Homes. He also has been engaged in numerous civic/nonprofit organizations such as foundation boards and county commissions. Luke finds great joy in being around people and you can often find him chatting with folks at local coffee houses, restaurants, bars or breweries. He also has a passion for being involved in his children’s school. Most recently, Luke served on the safety committee at Carmelo School in Carmel Valley and Stephanie served on the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) at the same school.
Stephanie enjoys being a part of local parents groups and also has been quite active in setting up “learning pods” for elementary school students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luke and Stephanie root for the Golden State Warriors, SF Giants, SF 49ers, Sacramento Rivercats and San Jose Sharks and enjoy going to as many games as they can!