Saint Stephens Staff

The staff at Saint Stephens is a dynamic group of individuals, each committed to fulfilling God's calling, in large part through their work here at Saint Stephens. 


They also function together as an incredible team, working together to grow our church, mission, and community here in Merrill, knowing that together we can achieve more than any one of us could ever hope to achieve alone. We believe God has led each of us to be here in this time and place to do God's work. 


Along the way, we have a lot of fun! Laughter is a vital part of our workday and smiles are the norm. We are definitely blessed!

  • pastor michael southcombe

    senior minister

    Reverend Michael Southcombe is a 1995 Graduate of Eden Theological Seminary, and has served as a local church pastor for over 25 years in 2 settled pastorates and as an Intentional Interim before returning to a settled pastorate with Saint Stephens.  With 28 years experience as a chaplain while also serving churches, he has broad experience in caring for families in crisis, conflict mediation and guiding congregations through changing times.  He and his wife, Sue, have 3 grown children, 4 grandchildren and are excited to be a part of Merrill and the ministry of this active and faithful congregation.


    You can contact Rev. Southcombe via email at: mike@ststephensucc.net
  • TERRA HOLDRIDGE

    Administrative director

    Terra Holdridge has been living in Merrill since 2011. She was born in Merrill, grew up in Tomahawk, but visited Merrill often as her dad and stepmom live in Merrill. Terra has an Associate degree in Supervisory Management, a Technical diploma in Accounting and Accelerated Certificate in Leadership from NTC. She is excited to be putting her education to use at Saint Stephens after working in the travel industry for the last 5 years. Terra is married to Nick and has two children. Her family enjoys camping, hiking, and most other outdoor activities.


    Responsibilities:

    • Website
    • Financial
    • Church Database
    • Reports & Statistics
    • Payroll
    • Food For Kids Administration

    You can contact Terra via email at: terra@ststephensucc.net

  • KIMBERLY McCASKILL

    ADMINISTRATIVE Assistant


    "GroW WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED!"

    Kimberly McCaskill is a lifelong Wisconsin resident who hails from the “Holy Land” area (St. Joe, St. Peter, St. Cloud, Mount Calvary, etc.), which is near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where her father-in-law has been active in planting nearly half a dozen Converge Worldwide (formerly the Baptist General Conference) churches. (Journey Church in Merrill is a Converge church.)

     

    She has been looking for a way to serve a Christian community with the gifts and talents God has given her.  Kimberly has a heart for children and has been a dance teacher and substitute for Merrill Public Schools in her past.  She also enjoys putting her creative skills into the Sunday School program at Saint Stephens in her capacity as Administrative Assistant.


    Responsibilities:

    • Administrative Support
    • Bulletin
    • Medical Ministry
    • Orders Supplies
    • Sunday School Support
    You can reach Kimberly via email at:  kimberly@ststephensucc.net

  • DARLENE JOHNSON

    ACCOMPANIST AND DIRECTOR of the chime choir


    WORLD TRAVELER WITH STORIES TO TELL

    Darlene Johnson quite simply makes beautiful music here at Saint Stephens. On the organ or the piano or directing the chime choir, she lends her talents to our music ministry. Darlene is our primary accompanist for worship services in addition to funerals, weddings, and other special occasions. When she is not playing music or giving piano lessons, she can be found relaxing at her cabin, canning, or spending time with her husband, Jim, and her children and grandchildren. 


    Responsibilities:

    • Organist
    • Pianist
    • Director of Chime Choir
  • JAMES BJORKLUND

    MUSIC DIRECTOR


    HISTORY BUFF

    James "Jim" Bjorklund joined Saint Stephens as our Music Director on August 1, 2016, after retiring  from the position of High School Choir Director at Merrill High School after 24 years. He taught for 13 years at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Illinois, prior to coming to to Merrill.


    A native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Jim is a 1979 graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he studied with Weston Noble. He earned a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University where he taught undergraduate studio voice. Over the years, Jim has directed several church choirs in various denominations, most recently at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church here in Merrill. Jim just started his fifth year of teaching studio voice and techniques at the University of Wisconsin - Marathon County. 


    When not teaching music, Jim also enjoys performing. He has performed three times with the Robert Shaw Choral Institute Choir at Carnegie Hall. Locally, he has been active in recent Wausau Community Theater productions, performing lead roles in "South Pacific," "Man of LaMancha," "Les Miserables," and "1776" to name several.


    Jim and his wife, Pamela, are also busy being grandparents to five active grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, reading, hunting, and studying history.


    Responsibilities:

    • Choir Director
    • Music Scheduling
    You can reach Jim via email at:  james@ststephensucc.net
  • TIMOTHY RUPRECHT

    Facilities Manager


    "Difficult and meaningful will always bring more satisfaction than easy and meaningless." - maxime lagace

    Timothy "Tim" Ruprecht was born and raised in Merrill, Wisconsin. He brings a strong work ethic and pride in maintaining a church property, along with lots of experience working for a church and an understand of all that entails, having spent 15 years as the custodian at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church here in Merrill.


    He and his wife, Dawn, are the proud parents of two sons and two grandchildren ... one grandson and a new baby granddaughter. When he is not hanging around churches or enjoying his family, Tim enjoys oil painting and doing martial arts, which he has been doing since he was 12 years old.


    Responsibilities:

    • Maintenance
    • Janitorial
    • Repairs
    • Groundskeeping
    • Supply Purchasing

    You can reach Tim via email at:  timothy@ststephensucc.net