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Our Staff


Pastor Jim Killough

Pastor Jim Killough is from Omaha, Nebraska. He received his BA from Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University), in Fremont, Nebraska, and his MDiv from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained in 1990. Pastor Jim served three congregations in Nebraska: Martin Luther Lutheran Church, near Johnson; St. Timothy's Lutheran Church in Omaha; and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Omaha.

Pastor Jim is married to Deb Killough, who grew up in Shelton, Washington, and is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University. Jim and Deb met when they were both working at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland, Nebraska, in 1982. Deb is a retired early childhood teacher, who has recently enjoyed working part-time at the public library. Deb and Jim have two adult sons. Brett, and his spouse Ray, live in Omaha. Joel, his spouse Stephanie, and their daughter Cora, live in Seattle. Jim and Deb are looking forward to spending time not only with their granddaughter Cora and her parents, but also with Deb's four brothers and their families who all live in the Pacific Northwest.

In his free time, Pastor Jim enjoys reading, watching movies, and riding his bike. 

Peggy Kurtz, Music Director

Peggy Kurtz grew up in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where she began singing solos at First Lutheran Church at the age of 3.  That experience eventually led her to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a bachelor of music degree and met her husband, Dave (they sang in a show choir and were partners in the “Love Medley”).


Peggy & Dave moved to Seattle in 1975, and Peggy became the choir director at Bethany Lutheran Church.   After moving to Everett and completing her Master’s degree in voice from PLU, she was hired as Central’s choir director in 1990. 


People have commented that our choir is very high quality for its size, and Peggy takes great pride in challenging them to perform meaningful sacred choral literature.


Peggy & Dave’s daughter, Julie, and her husband Joseph, live in Washington, D.C., and have a daughter, Baldwin.  Their son A.J. and his wife Elise live in Kansas City with their daughter and two sons.

Joan Dirska, Organist

Joan grew up outside of Washington, D.C. She attended Salisbury State University of Maryland, earning a B.A. with a major in music and a minor in French. Additionally, Joan has received training as a Montessori teacher (Princeton Center for Teacher Education), a crisis counselor, and a CASA worker.


While attending SSU she started playing the organ and went on to study organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.  She earned her Church Music Certificate through Westminster Conservatory.


Joan has sung in the SSU Concert Choir and Collegium Choir, Seattle Chamber Singers, and other church choirs. She has served as the Music Director at Episcopal churches from as far away as Trenton, New Jersey and as close as Marysville.


Presently she teaches General Music and Choir to Preschool through 6th grade at St. Luke School, Shoreline and also gives private lessons to nearly 30 students weekly. 


Her three children are in their late teens and early twenties.

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