Congregation Council

The Congregation Council has general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The duties of the Congregation Council include:

  • To lead the congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and goals.
  • To seek to involve all members of the congregation in worship, learning, witness, service, and support.
  • To oversee and provide for the administration of the congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.
  • To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor/staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling or employment.
  • To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.
  • To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill, and, as differences/conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.
  • To arrange for pastoral service during sickness/absence of pastor.
  • To emphasize partnership with the synod and church-wide units of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as cooperation with other congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.
  • Responsibility for the financial and property matters of the congregation.
  • Seeing that the provisions of this constitution, its bylaws, and continuing resolutions are carried out.
  • Providing for an annual review of the membership roster.
  • Responsibility for the employment/supervision of the salaried lay workers of the congregation.
  • Submission of a comprehensive report to the congregation at its annual meeting.

Council members are elected for a 2-year term.

2017 Congregation Council Members

Gail Buchanan, Council President

Attends:  10:45

Occupation:  Retired

*Please describe how you participate in the life of Living Springs.                                          

I graduated from Columbia College with a degree in mathematics.  Ted and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  We have two children, Ben who lives in Chapin and Julia, who lives in Columbia.

I retired after 41 years of state service.  In 1984, I had the opportunity to work for a new state agency, the Health and Human Services Finance Commission, later renamed the Department of Health and Human Services.  This agency administers the state’s Medicaid program (health insurance for the poor).  I held multiple positions there, ultimately serving as a Bureau Chief.  In 2005, I retired from full time employment.  I then worked for the agency on a part time basis as a senior consultant and continued in that role until 2012.

Our family is a charter member of Living Springs.  I have served on multiple ministry teams over the years.  I have also served as a member of congregational council, chaired the foundation board for the Preschool, chaired a call committee and served as Sunday School Superintendent.  I have taught Sunday School, Bible School, First Communion and Confirmation.  I coordinated a midweek ministry program and a bus ministry for Rice Estate.


I currently serve on the Lifelong Discipleship team and am very excited about the new adult faith milestones.  I also serve as the council liaison to the Ministry of Hope team and the intern committee.  I coordinate a dinner meal with games and crafts several times a year for the Rice Estate residents where our members treat them to a special evening out.  The residents especially enjoy the fellowship with our members.  I serve on Altar Guild, as a communion assistant, torchbearer, and greeter.  I attend Sunday evening bible study.


*Please describe why you desire to serve on Council.                                                                          

To be a good steward of the gifts that God has given me to fulfill God’s vision for Living Springs.




Jan Berger, Council Vice-President

Occupation:  Benefits Administrator, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

*Please describe how you participate in the life of Living Springs.                                                  

I am a called disciple of Christ and serving in response to God’s blessings is important to me.  Our family primarily worships at the 10:45 service, but we also worship at the 8:15 service when able.  I have taught Sunday School for 22 years and Confirmation for 15 years.  I have previously served on Church Council for four 2-year terms.  I have served on various Ministry Teams with some in the Chair role.  A great joy of mind is serving in Worship through various roles: Worship Assistant, Lector, Usher, Crucifer, Torchbearer, and Acolyte.  I have played in the Handbell Choir for 20 years and love it!  I have participated in vocal choir and other musical ensembles in the past.  I enjoy playing the role of mid-wife in the Living Nativity.  I have served on two prior call committees.  I currently serve on Altar Guild.  Our family is spirit led to participate in the backpack ministry,  First Communion Instruction, and teaching other youth education classes within the Faith Milestones program.  I participate in as many WELCA events as my time allows.

I have been married to Rocky for 31 years and we have a daughter, Caroline, who lives in Summerville and teaches K-4 at Westview Primary in Goose Creek.  I am a twin (for those that don’t know that).  We just adopted the cutest puppy:  Maddie.

*Please describe your service in the community and professional organizations.                                          

I serve as Secretary to Legal Staff  Professionals of South Carolina, a legal service association.  I am also the local Columbia Chapter Chair of Membership.  I volunteer time at Findlay House.  Other community service opportunities come through spirit tugs within Living Springs.   

*Please describe why you desire to serve on Council.                                                                          

I love my God and want to serve Him.  I believe serving on Church Council is an opportunity to use my legal and administration skills, to grow stronger in my faith, and serve where needed.                                                                           

*Which of the Mission Vision areas does the Spirit lead you?                   

While all areas are equally important, I feel led by the Spirit to serve in Youth/Community Partnerships and Active Discipleship.

Bob Turnmire, Secretary

Attends: 10:45 service
Occupation: IT Manager for SC State Budget & Control Board

Service at LSLC:
-Previous Council member at Living Springs (1998-2001)
-Former choir member, youth group leader and Sunday School teacher
-Current handbell choir member, usher, communion assistant, counter
-Served on several ministry teams over the years
-Assist in many workdays and special events at Living Springs

Mike Davidson, Council Treasurer

Bill Franck, Financial Secretary

Attends: 8:15 service
Occupation: retired

Service at LSLC:
-prior LSLC congregational council
-prior Financial Secretary (15 years)
-Inreach and Stewardship committees
-lector, communion assistant, usher, greeter and counter
-served on two call committees

 Ann Lynn Caughman

Attends: 10:45 service

*Please describe how you participate in the life of Living Springs.                                                             

I have participated in the backpack program since it started.  I served as worship assistant and lector at the 5:05 service and recently joined the choir.

*Please describe your service in the community and professional organizations.

American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing Honor Society).

*Please describe why you desire to serve on Council.                                                           

Being a church council member fits into my larger goal of giving more time to my church now that I’m retired.

*Which of the Mission Vision areas does the Spirit lead you?                    

Discipleship – music ministry, worship, culture of prayer.

 Michael Grimmer

Attends: 8:15 service

Occupation:  Currently Director of Quality but transitioning to Aluminum Sales for Flack Steel.

*Please describe how you participate in the life of  Living Springs.                                      

Currently my level of participation is attending service and occasionally assuming the usher responsibilities.

*Please describe your service in the community and professional organizations.

None at this time.  I have participated in several prior, but at this time no other commitments.

*Why do you desire to serve on Council? 

The Living Springs family has been very good to my family and it is greatly appreciated.  By serving, it is my way of saying, “Thank You!”.

Ed Brennan

Attends: 10:45 service
Occupation: Commercial Construction Superintendent

Service at LSLC:
-Member of the chancel choir
-A former President of the Lutheran Men in Mission group at LSLC
-Facilities Member and past Facilities chairperson
-Served on church council 2 terms totaling 9 years


Rachel Peterson

Attends:  8:15 service


Katie Prizer

Attends: 10:45 service

Occupation:  School Counselor

*Please describe how you participate in the life of Living Springs                                                   

I attend Sunday School and the 10:45 service with my wife, Kristen, and our children.  Lydia is 6 years old and our twins, Luke and Sam, are 3 years old.  I help with the Spark! Your Faith camp in the summer and serve as a lector during service.  I have also baked items for Hannah House meals and attended the Book Club meetings.  In the past, I have assisted with Faith Milestones.                                                                                                          

*Please describe your service in the community and professional organizations.

Member of SC School Counselor Association and American School Counselor Association.  

*Please describe why you desire to serve on Council.                                                                    

I would like to have a positive effect in my faith community.  I feel I would also grow in my relationship with God by serving.  I long to be more involved in Living Springs.  I truly love attending this church and feel at home here.  I love that the church is so thoroughly involved in the Columbia community by working with Hannah House, Ridge View JV Football team, and many others.  I would love to be able to serve on the council to further these missions and help with any future opportunities that present themselves.

*Which one of God’s visions for Living Springs is the Spirit tugging at your heart?                   

Ministries of Hope – especially Hannah house & hospital ministries.


Aaron Smith

Attends: 10:45 service
Occupation: IT Technician

Service at LSLC:
-Co-chairperson of all the youth
-Sunday school teacher for k-2
-service projects
-represented Living Springs at the annual SC Synod Assembly (2012)


 Laura Stuart, Youth Representative