St. Paul Lutheran Church

Oakland, CA




Pastor Holly McHale-Larsen hails from a NAVY family and was raised in many locations; calling Seattle, Holden Village, and the Bay Area home. Pastor Holly graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies.  She received her theological education at both Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Ministry, for her, is relational and found in the common everyday experiences. She is fascinated by history, cultures and people in general. This interest has sparked a deep love of travel, especially in experiencing developing countries with her husband, an Episcopal priest, and two school-aged children. Pastor Holly is also a slow but avid runner, addicted to Netflix, a backpacker, and fears becoming a “Cat Woman.” You can reach Pr. Holly by calling the office at 510-530-6333 or by email at



Derek Sup is St. Paul's Director of Music. He inspires the congregation with a mix of traditional, modern, historic, and ethnically diverse themes. He writes and arranges music for the congregation and for the adult and bell choirs he directs. He is very active in the music community and has brought a variety of music not only to worship, but also to several evening concerts. 




Pastor Craig Minich (PC) lives in the West Bay with his partner Bruce. Craig is originally from Tampa, FL and took a BA in Literature & Philosophy at Lenior-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC, an MA in Ethics from the Graduate Theological Union, and a M.Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (the latter two in Berkeley, CA). Pr. Craig is Adult Chair fo the Sierra Pacifice Synod Youth Committee (SPSYC) which is a youth-led group of Lutheran high school leaders from our large synod who lead age appropriate youth retreats. Pr. Craig loves snowboarding, playing vintage video games, going to rock concerts, and shares his passion for justice and sharing God's grace as a Gift!



Rev. Ned O’Donnell is our pastor called to serve the East Bay Lutheran Parish’s Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes. Rev. O’Donnell received his Master of Divinity degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and was ordained in 1993. He comes with a breadth and depth of experience, serving in both suburban and urban parish settings and also bringing to this ministry a background in Clinical Pastoral Education supervisory training. Over the last ten years, Pastor Ned has served as a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Services Manager.

In the diverse settings of the nursing homes of the Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes, Pastor Ned brings his passion to serve as an advocate to those in need, his experience in providing spiritual care to those who suffer, and his skills as a volunteer coordinator. In working with hospital spiritual volunteers, he facilitated the creation of a community that provided ongoing education and mutual support of the volunteers serving that ministry.

As a theologian, Rev. O’Donnell views himself as a progressive Lutheran who is respectful of other people’s experience of the Divine, while remaining grounded in the knowledge of the God who has called him through ordination to serve in the name of Christ. This has enabled him to be present as a Christian leader in a variety of ecumenical settings and ministries. Pastor Ned understands that Lutherans have a unique way of understanding God’s grace-filled and merciful work in the world. He has been profoundly touched by Christ’s promise to always be with us, even through the worst of times, and by the privilege of ministering to others during those moments.

On a personal note, Pastor Ned grew up in New York and New Jersey. He was confirmed, married and his son, Keith, was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Edison, NJ. He is a graduate of Upsala College in NJ. After a divorce when his son was 18 months old, Pastor Ned became a single parent.  Keith is now grown, married to Michelle and living in NJ. Rev. O’Donnell moved to San Francisco in 1995.  He loves spending time with family and friends.  He also is an avid swimmer, enjoys sailing and kayaking, hiking and biking, and frequently finds himself at a movie, play or concert.


Sheldon Erickson is St. Paul’s Administrator and you can find him in the office weekdays from 9am – 5pm. Drop him an email ( or give him a call (510-530-6333) for anything about the church and he’ll find an answer for you. Sheldon’s background includes 35 years in television production. When he’s not at the church, you can usually find him at home on his sailboat Polaris with his cat Chili. He likes biking, reading and enjoys a good glass of zinfandel.