St. Stephen Lutheran Church - East San Francisco & Central Valley California

Meet The Pastor

Pastor Steven Karp grew up in Pittsburgh, PA.  He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC, in 1967 and then worked for the federal government for several years before moving to Portland, OR, where he worked at Portland State University.

Members at his congregation in Portland encouraged him to go into the ministry, and in 1974 he enrolled at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO; he graduated with an M. Div. in 1978.  The call committee assigned him to a two-point parish near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  In 1983 he accepted the Call to a Lutheran Church in Edmonton.

After several years he resigned from the ministry and worked for the Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada in Edmonton, Alberta.  In 1989 he enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta, and earned an M.A. in history in 1992 and finished the course work for a Ph.D.  While at university he was elected president of the Graduate Student Association and also sat on the University’s Board of Control.  From 1992 until 2001 he was a sessional lecturer in history at the King’s University College in Edmonton.

In 1999 a friend introduced him to the Church of the Lutheran Confession and he subsequently made application to join the CLC by Colloquy; he was received into voting membership at the synod’s 2002 convention.  From 1999 to 2001 he served two mission congregations outside of Edmonton, one in Morinville, Alberta, and the other in Onoway, Alberta.  In 2001 he accepted the Call to Resurrection Lutheran Church in Calgary, where he conducted services both in German and English.  In January 2006 he accepted the Call to St. Stephen Lutheran Church of the East Bay and Central Valley.  The Karps did not move to California until May because it took several months for Elizabeth, Pastor Karp’s wife, to reclaim her U.S. citizenship (when she was born in Canada her mother was a U.S. citizen).

Pastor Karp currently serves congregations located in Hayward and Stockton, California.  He conducts a Bible study 7 pm on the 2nd to the last Tuesday of the month. On months with 5 Sundays pastor Karp participates in a pulpit exchange with the pastor of the St Stephen West Bay congregation. Other pastoral duties include officiating at baptisms, weddings and funeral services, conducting confirmation classes and visiting those unable to attend regular church services. His wife, Elizabeth, serves as the organist for both the Hayward and Stockton congregations. 

East San Francisco Bay Area
St. Stephen East San Francisco Bay
Central Valley California
St. Stephen Central Valley
Mountain View Sister Congregation
St. Stephen Mountain View

St. Stephen is a member congregation of the Church of the Lutheran Confession  (CLC)