Religious Leader Spotlight: Reverend John Richter – A Teacher at Heart

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John Richter
I love the moment the light bulb turns on and someone gets it. It’s that moment when someone realizes, ‘Oh, that’s what God is doing in my life.’ I love helping people navigate spiritual waters.”
Rev. John Richter, Sr. Pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church

CULLMAN – Rev. John Richter is the Sr. Pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church. Born and raised in Cullman, he is a lifetime member of St. John’s and began his role as Sr. Pastor in 2003. He has been married to his beautiful wife Tiffany for nearly 10 years. They met on a blind date in New Braunfels, Texas while he was there for church meetings. The couple has two children, Vella, 5, and John Isaac, almost 3.

Each religious leader has a story to tell. Some realize early on that he/she was born to spread the Word of God, while others receive their calling much later in life. Richter shared his story to the religious life.

“I presume I have always been called to preach from the perspective that God knows the plans He has for us,” he explained.

“For me, though, the calling to ministry was gradual. I didn’t necessarily run like Jonah but was seeking a career in academia, looking to teach history or religion at the college level.”

“Some ministers have powerful, Paul-like road to Damascus experiences,” he continued.

“That wasn’t me. I suppose I knew intuitively that I was being formed for the task. A couple of short-term mission trips, desires, interests, and a love for Christ and his church were/are key. It just always seemed a possibility that I’d be connected to the church in some way, though I never knew exactly what that would look like. Things have simply fallen into place,” he smiled warmly.

When asked about some of his most rewarding moments as a pastor, Richter’s face lit up and a big smile spread across his face.

“Here’s where I’m a teacher at heart,” he beamed. “I love the moment the light bulb turns on and someone gets it. It’s that moment when someone realizes, ‘Oh, that’s what God is doing in my life.’ I love helping people navigate spiritual waters.”

Just like the rest of us, Richter enjoyed telling about the church he leads.

“St. John’s is the oldest congregation in the city of Cullman. It was founded by the German settlers who arrived in the 1870s. If someone is into theology, I say we are the church that exists because Lutherans and Presbyterians were told to get along and play nice, which reflects our formal theology,” he grinned.

“On a simpler note, we are a good fit for people who appreciate the diversity of Christian expression. Those who come from formal church backgrounds will likely find us informal, while those who come from informal backgrounds will tend to think we are formal. Either way, we are the only church of our kind in the state of Alabama as congregations like ours are more common in the Midwest and upper Midwest where many 19th century German immigrants settled.”

Rooted in local history, St. John’s has a passionate leader to guide them into the future.  Full of faith and dedication, Rev. John has been the perfect fit as Sr. Pastor. St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church is located at 512 2nd Avenue SE, Cullman, AL 35055. Call them at 256-734-0344 and visit their webpage at SJEPC.com.

See Also: Crowds Enjoy St. Paddy's Day in Cullman: St. John's Church Hosts St. Patrick's Day at Grumpy's Italian Grill