The senior pastor at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri, Jeff Cloeter is the sixth in an unbroken line of Lutheran ministers, stretching back to Ernst Ottmar Cloeter in 1849. Ottmar was a missionary to the Ojibwe people, and Jeff, too, identifies as a missionary, called not to a distant or exotic culture, but one that is perhaps even more mystifying: twenty-first century America.
Jeff understands that our society is one of contradictions. He speaks with compassionate leadership to a people who both yearn for and are suspicious of authority. He brings clarity to the complexity of modern life, finding simplicity amid the chaos of a fractured world. He is able to do this because he has found his place as part of a larger story, a heritage that began long before Ottmar, and he remains focused on Christ as the unchanging Truth that connects us all.
Jeff received his Masters of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 2005 and was called that same year to Christ Memorial, in St. Louis, where he led youth and young adult ministry as well planting Christ Memorial’s urban mission site, Reliant. He became senior pastor of Christ Memorial in 2014.
Jeff’s knowledge and deep understanding of the Bible and theology are the foundation of his writing, but he also speaks from the perspective of an active member of a diverse urban community. In his ministry and personal life, he has been particularly called to the needs of the people of St. Louis, a city whose struggles with poverty, racial division, and violence encapsulate the destructive forces acting on our society as a whole and our need for a Savior. He served as a founding board member of Eagle College Prep in St. Louis, a network of urban charter schools. He also serves on the board of directors for The Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis.
Seeing the joys and responsibilities of family life as a reflection of God’s love, Jeff’s voice is also shaped by his roles as a husband and the father of four young children. His children's book, Tales from Kabekona, celebrates the wisdom and imagination of childhood.
Throughout his writing and ministry, Jeff is guided by two words: loved and sent. It is his hope to encourage others to realize how much they are loved by God and what He has sent them into the world to do.
- Megan Roegner