Dr. Bruce Peffer


Gail Weinrich

Office Administrator

Angela & Alethia


Richard Schmieg

Musician & Youth Leader

Staff Directory

Dr. Bruce Peffer – Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Bruce A. Peffer was born in Battle Creek, Iowa to Harold and Delores Peffer, the 4 th of 5 sons. He lived in Reseda, California for several years and then moved back to Iowa, where he finished his Elementary and Secondary education. Dr. Peffer graduated with a B.A. degree in Social Work/Sociology from Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska in 1982. He received the M.Div. degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri in 1986, spending his year of Vicarage at Zion Lutheran Church in Clark, New Jersey. Later, he earned the D.Min. degree in Evangelism and Mission from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2001. His Final Doctoral Project was entitled: “Worship Evangelism Within a Lutheran Context.” Pastor Peffer was ordained into the ministry of the LC-MS in June, 1986 and served in his first Call in the ministry as Asst. Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church and School in Staten Island, New York from 1986 to 1990. Pastor Peffer then went through a year of Chaplaincy training (Clinical Pastoral Education) from 1990 to 1991, 3 months at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, and a 9-month residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. He became a Board Certified Chaplain and Fellow in The College of Chaplains, Inc. in 1994. Dr. Peffer served as a Chaplain at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital in Gonzales, Texas from 1991 to 1995. In 1995 Dr. Peffer accepted the call to become Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Marcos, Texas, where he served until 2003. He then accepted a Call to become the Campus Pastor and Asst. Professor of Theology at Concordia University Texas, Austin, Texas, where he served until the end of 2015. Pastor Bruce has developed a special relationship with Holy Trinity Institute, a Lutheran Children’s home in Moreira, Brazil, which provides a safe family environment, and meets the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of children who come from difficult situations, often involving neglect and/or abuse. Pastor Bruce has been leading mission trips to the Institute over the past 7 years, taking college students to do some special project for the Institute, leading devotions and just loving the children. Pastor Bruce has sponsored several Godsons at the Institute over the years and is presently supporting 3 teenage boys, Felipe, Fernando and Rodrigo. He stills stays in touch with 2 former Godsons who had to leave the Institute. He enjoys doing mission projects at the Institute, visiting his Godsons and his many other friends throughout Brazil. Pastor Bruce is single but enjoys the company of his two affectionate Red Abyssinian cats, Dylan and Marley. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading literature, watching sports, going to live musical performances and playing his guitars.
Gail Weinrich – Office Administrator
Where would we be without Gail? She’s been keeping things running smoothly for nearly six years now. Gail and her husband Bob are members at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church here in Downey.
Angela & Aletheia Teague – Organists
We are blessed to have two extremely talented young organists. Coming from a very musical family, these multi-instrumentalists lead the traditional side of our blended service, midweek services, funerals, and our highly anticipated annual Christmas concert. Aletheia and Angela Teague have been serving at Messiah since 2012. Angela is 20 years old, and in addition to her work at Messiah, she attends Santa Ana College and works part time as a personal assistant. Aletheia is 18 years old is currently finishing high school. Aletheia also holds a part time position as organist of her home church in Anaheim.
Richard Schmieg – Contemporary Worship & Youth Leader
Richard Schmieg is our San Diego-born contemporary worship leader, elder, and middle/high/college youth director. A man with many interests, Richard is also a signed composer and songwriter, an aspiring Spanish teacher, and a soon-to- be husband who has been serving at Messiah since 2010. Richard has been leading worship since 2008, and has accompanied and led our many youth retreats, overnighters, and VBS since he arrived at Messiah. Working with music and youth are two of the most emotive forces in his life, and Messiah has given him a place to call home and thrive. Our newest elder, Richard has also been enjoying participating even more in the worship services as well as serving the congregation in other ways. He received his B.A. in Comparative Religions with a minor in Christian Studies from CSU Fullerton in 2011 and is currently working towards the start of a credential to teach high school Spanish.

Messiah Lutheran Church, 10711 Parmount Blvd Downey, CA 90241 | Phone 562.923.1215 | Fax 562.923.9211 | Emergency 562.417.7211 | Email:

© 2016 Messiah Lutheran Church.