St. John’s Staff

Paul E. Markquart



Pastor Paul was ordained in 1991. Prior to being called to St. John’s in July 2006, he served St. Paul and Christ Lutheran Churches in Lancaster, WI for three years and Norway Grove Memorial Lutheran in DeForest for over 11 years.

Before attending Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, he served as Youth and Education Director at Advent Lutheran in Cedarburg, WI. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA. In addition to his degree he was involved in the campus ministry; served on youth encounter teams and spent summers working at Lutheran Bible Camps in Wisconsin and Colorado.

With his wife, Melissa, Pastor Paul has three children; Hannah, Jack and Christian, and two family dogs. Outside of work he has a passion for the outdoors, which includes hunting upland birds like pheasants and grouse.

In my ministry I hope to help people not only experience the love and forgiveness of God in their lives, but to experience God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. I do this by working to foster genuine Christian community and by helping people find the joy of serving God in their lives.  ~ Pastor Paul

ondrawilliamsOndra Williams

Director of Worship & Music


Ondra Williams, a native of Clinton, Wisconsin, is an accomplished pianist and vocal coach who has taught and performed throughout the midwest. Ms. Williams holds a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She has played for venues such as Valleyfair! Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota; Noble Fool Theatricals of Chicago, Illinois; One Voice Youth Choir of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Bowling Green Children’s Chorus of Ohio; and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. In 2011 she served as the pianist in the stage orchestra onboard the Celebrity Summit cruiseliner.

At age thirteen Ondra started accompanying the choir at her home church, Jefferson Prairie Lutheran in Poplar Grove, Illinois. She currently serves as the Director of Music and Worship at St. John’s. Ondra enjoys visiting coffee shops, walking her dog, traveling, swimming, collecting foreign coins, bicycling, and playing board games and cards.

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice.  – Philippians 4:4

Laura McGoveran

Coordinator for Congregational Life


Originally from the Eau Claire area, Laura grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma, returning to Wisconsin in 1996. Laura has worked at several churches, most recently in DeForest, Wisconsin, where she currently lives. Laura is married to Rydell, and they have 4 children, Lisa, Joe, Julie and Sarah, and 4 grandchildren. Laura loves to be with family, quilting, reading and gardening – there never seems to be enough time!

Shirley Schiffnershirley200

Financial Director
Shirley Schiffner has been the Financial Director since 2011 after retiring from the Oregon School District. Some of the duties she performs are paying bills, staff payroll, budgeting, and recording congregational offerings. Her pride and joy are her eight grandchildren. She enjoys reading, cross-stitching, cabin time and watching/listening to Wisconsin sports events.
jenkooistraJen Kooistra
Director of Youth, Family and Education Ministries

Jen Kooistra serves as the Director of Youth, Family, and Education Ministries. Her passion in those areas began when Jen was a high school student who served as a delegate to the Constituting Convention of the ELCA. She subsequently became involved in LYO in the La Crosse Area Synod. She received her teaching license from Gustavus Adolophus College. Many summers were spent on staff at Sugar Creek Bible Camp. Through her work at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent, MN and ELC in Mount Horeb, WI, Jen found her true calling in empowering parents to be central to the faith formation of their children, fostering cross+generation relationships to pass on important stories of faith, and connecting high school youth with other faith-filled youth across the synod.

John Carter

Building and Grounds Superintendent


David Klarich
Technical Director
Beverly Brinkman
Nursery Attendant
Vickie Normington
Assistant Custodian