MEET THE STAFF OF ST. LUKE
Pastor Cliff and his family have been a part of the Cordova community for the past 20 years. Cliff Bahlinger and his wife Lisa have been married for 35 years, they have two grown daughters Sophia and Linnea. Cliff and Lisa both graduated from Louisiana State University. Cliff received his Masters of Divinity from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lisa has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Poetry. "I'm a Lutheran by choice," says Pastor Cliff, who was reared in the Roman Catholic faith in Louisiana. “ I was taking a history class on reformation history and I loved the writings of Martin Luther.” He joined a Lutheran congregation while attending LSU. After a year serving with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks, he felt the call to seminary and was ordained a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1993. The reformation spirit still burns in Cliff, “I still believe the church is in need of reformation. I continue to preach on God’s grace and the priesthood of all believers.” “Once we understand God’s great love for us, we are free to serve God and our neighbor with joy,” says Pastor Cliff. He is also "a Southerner by choice." Pastor Bahlinger said he felt led to Memphis as a place to minister because he enjoys working with people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. He accepted a call to serve as the Senior Pastor of St. Luke in 2002, "I like Memphis. I think it's a good place to be and to raise a family, and I feel blessed to be part of such a dynamic, motivated and inspired congregation." Cliff is also an LSU Tiger fan, but has come to appreciate the Memphis Tigers and enjoys attending the Grizzlies and Redbirds games. St. Luke is a congregation that has a heart to serve the community. Under Pastor Bahlinger's leadership, St. Luke has continued to be a leader in serving the community by working with Habitat for Humanity, The Church Health Center, Memphis Interfaith Hospitality Network (MIHN), More than a Meal, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) and a growing partnership with the Cordova YMCA. “My mission as a Pastor is to guide the congregation to a deeper level of faith, discipleship and service. I feel blessed to see this happening in and with the community of faith at St. Luke. We are not a perfect church and I am certainly not a perfect person, but together God is able to work here at St. Luke in the hearts and the lives the people. I hope you know you are welcome here, this is God’s church, come and be a part of it.”
Director of Youth & Family Ministries
Marta Lopez-Flohr began her faith journey as a Catholic and later a Quaker until she met her lifelong Lutheran husband, Tim Flohr. Marta earned her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies/Political Science from Columbia University, New York, NY. As an undergraduate, she spent time volunteering with youth in Washington Heights which led her to join Teach For America where she taught in the South Bronx. Marta taught at KIPP, New York and was a founding teacher of Bronx Preparatory Charter School. She later pursued studies at The Institute of Culinary Education. She had the privilege of working in catering sales in two of New York’s landmark venues, The United Nations and Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Later in her career, she served as an adjunct instructor in Drexel University’s Culinary Arts and Food Science program. She also served in various public, private, independent schools and non-profit organizations. She and her family relocated to Memphis where she worked at the University of Memphis for five years in student services before coming on board at St. Luke. Marta is also a proud Girl Scout Heart of the South volunteer. She is excited to support youth and families with living the St. Luke vision statement, “Seek God, Serve Others, Share Life” and the seven guiding principles. She also is a co-chair of the Diversity & Justice Task Force at St. Luke
Director of Music Ministries
With over 35 years of choral directing experience, Doug has served as choir director/organist/pianist in Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches while directing choirs at Collierville High School, West Memphis High School, and Marion High School. He holds degrees in choral and instrumental music education from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Danielle is originally from San Diego, CA but grew up in Bartlett. She moved to Jackson, TN to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at Union University from 2013-2020. Upon graduating with her MSW, she moved to Dyersburg, TN in 2021 and returned to Memphis in 2022 working as a social worker and mental health therapist. She has 4 years of prior experience working as a Church Administrator for a Baptist church while in graduate school, which she greatly enjoyed, and felt led to return to working in a church setting to use the knowledge and experience she has gained. She enjoys helping others, spending time with loved ones and her 2 cats, traveling, art, and playing video games in her free time.