St. Paul Lutheran Church, School & ELC
300 W. Pecan Blvd.
McAllen, Texas 78501
Welcome to St. Paul Lutheran Church, McAllen, Texas! St. Paul is one of the 5900 congregations of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. St. Paul has been part of the McAllen community since 1916 and continues to serve through our Church, School, and Early Learning Center. Through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, we seek to KNOW God, GROW in Him, and SHOW His love to the world. If you are looking for a church home, we invite you to to explore this website, join us for our livestream and visit us in person to learn more.
FRONT (L to R): Maribel Gonzalez, Secretary; Hannah McCann, Business Manager;
BACK (L to R): Rev. Dr. James Fickenscher, Associate Pastor; Inese Dahl, Director of
Christian Education; Darrell Hagan, Sexton; Rev. Gregory Lorenz, Senior Pastor.
Rev. Gregory M. Lorenz
Gregory M. Lorenz was born in Michigan and grew up in Clarkston and Rochester, Michigan. He attended St. John Lutheran School in Rochester and graduated from Lutheran High School North, Macomb, Michigan.
In 1984 he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College, Ann Arbor with majors in Greek and Humanities and a minor in Hebrew.
In 1989 Pastor Lorenz received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He was ordained at St. John Lutheran Church, Rochester, Michigan on August 13, 1989.
He received his first call to serve with LCMS World Mission as an evangelistic
missionary/church planter to the remote village of Las Pacayas in the central highlands of Guatemala, Central America. By the grace of God, Iglesia Luterana Cristo El Camino (Christ the Way Lutheran Church) was planted in Las Pacayas in October 1993, and he continued to develop the church and her leaders.
Upon the completion of his missionary service in November 1999, Pastor Lorenz served as Interim Associate Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church and School, Rochester, Michigan, through June 2000.
From July 2000 to December 2004, Pastor Lorenz served as Associate Pastor at St.
Peter Lutheran Church and School, Macomb, Michigan, with responsibilities in Outreach and Family Life. At the same time, he also explored opportunities for Hispanic ministry throughout
In September 2000, Pastor Lorenz began to offer part-time pastoral services to Iglesia
Luterana Pan De Vida, a Lutheran Hispanic congregation in Southwest Detroit. He has also taught theological education classes for its lay leaders.
In June 2002, Pastor Lorenz, together with an action team of mission-minded pastors
and individuals, and with the cooperation of the Michigan District of the LCMS, began the Hispanic Latino Mission Society of Michigan. It is also known as LATINO (“Lutheran Action Team Improving Native [Hispanic/Latino] Outreach”).
From January of 2005 through June of 2014, St. Peter deployed Pastor Lorenz full-time to serve as sole/administrative Pastor of Pan De Vida and to serve LATINO as Executive Director.
During this time, the ministry to Hispanics was blessed with a new location in a historic
1887 church and school building for worship, office space, and community outreach to Southwest Detroit’s Mexicantown.
In 2014, Pastor Lorenz was called to serve as the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, School, and Early Learning Center in McAllen, TX. He was installed July 20, 2014. He is also serving as Circuit Visitor for the Texas District’s Circuit 28.
Pastor Lorenz married Stephanie of Vero Beach, Florida on June 2, 1984. Stephanie graduated from Concordia College, Ann Arbor with majors in Religious Studies and Music (organ). She has Parish Assistant certification through the Parish Assistant program at Concordia.
Stephanie is also a graduate of the Nursing program at Macomb Community College
and is a Registered Nurse. Pastor and Stephanie have four children: Gregory (married to Magen), Daniel (married to Ariel), Marissa (married to Jamie), and Matthew (married to Shannon); and five grandchildren: Jaxon, Amelia, Rowan, Evelyn and Mabel.
Rev. Dr. James Fickenscher
Pastor James moved around as a child, from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area to St. Louis, MO, to Monahans, TX, where he finished high school in 2004. He then pursued a degree in theoretical mathematics at the University of Texas at Dallas as a McDermott Scholar and taught Calculus I and II as a Supplemental Instructor. During this time, he also studied abroad at La Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico and Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, China.
While he went to UTD with the intent of continuing studies in math and eventually becoming a math professor, God had other plans. With a family history of pastoral and teaching ministry, he began to feel God’s tug to serve His people as a pastor. So, after finishing his degree, he went to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to become a pastor.
In 2012 Pastor James received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, but still felt that he wanted to continue his academic study and dive deeper into the language, history, and content of the Biblical text, especially the New Testament. So, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Biblical Studies at Concordia Seminary. He finished his dissertation, which focuses on Paul’s use of the Greek language in the letters of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, and received his Ph.D. from Concordia Seminary in 2022.
After finishing the Ph.D. coursework in 2014, Pastor James put Ph.D. studies on pause during the 2014-2015 academic year to serve as the Theology Teaching Fellow at Concordia University – Portland. He also served as a Guest Instructor at Concordia Seminary during his Ph.D. studies, from 2013 to 2016, and adjunct faculty for Concordia University-Portland from 2017-2018 while in the parish. He currently still serves as adjunct faculty both for Concordia University-Irvine and Concordia Seminary since 2022. Teaching about the Word of God is one of Pastor James’s greatest joys. His areas of teaching experience are New Testament Greek, the literature and history of both the Old and New Testaments, Pauline studies, the Synoptic Gospels, vocation with Biblical anthropology, and general hermeneutics. He is also an active member and presenter both for the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature.
After receiving his first call to serve as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Education for St. Paul Lutheran Church, School and Childcare, Pastor James was ordained at Village Lutheran Church, Ladue, Missouri on June 17, 2017. He was installed as pastor here at St. Paul on July 9, 2017.
Pastor James married his bride and better half, Rachel, on May 17, 2008. Rachel has a degree in education from the University of North Texas and a Master of Educational Technology from Lamar University. Currently, she puts her educational skills at work raising Pastor’s and Rachel’s two children: Gabriella (Ella) and Ian.
Director of Christian Education
Inese (pronounced like Vanessa without a “V”) Dahl grew up in Latvia, a small country in Northern Europe which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. Inese became a Christian in young adulthood when, after losing a close friend in a car accident, Jesus came into her life and turned out to be the answer to all her questions, wanderings, and search for the meaning. Realizing that God loved her and it was not “all up to her” put a smile on her face that nothing could wipe off for months!
She went through confirmation classes and was baptized and confirmed at a local Lutheran church in April of 1995. She became actively involved in her church teaching Sunday School, helping start a youth group, and leading Bible Studies.
Inese received her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Latvia in 1999. She was working as an Accountant/ General Manager Assistant at a local business while having a secret longing to do full-time what she did for volunteering at her local church. In 2001, God answered her unvoiced prayers and she was offered a scholarship to study at Concordia University Seward- Nebraska. From there, she received her Master’s Degree in Parish Education in 2003 and DCE Specialist diploma in 2006. Family Life Ministry was one of the emphasis of her studies.
She had an opportunity to return to her home country for two years and serve as a Director of Christian Education in Ventspils Evangelical Lutheran Church having the privilege to introduce this congregation to the DCE ministry. Inese interned and was later called as a DCE to Messiah Lutheran Church in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA where she also met her husband Kevin. She was involved in youth, family life, and campus ministry.
In the summer of 2016, Inese received the call to serve as a DCE at St. Paul Lutheran Church in McAllen, TX. She is excited to serve youth, families, and young adults at church, school, and beyond. She is passionate about helping young people get to know Jesus and walk with Him in real and life-changing ways. Having been led by Jesus on an amazing adventure across the world, she believes that there is nothing more exciting than life with Jesus and wants to share that truth with others.
In her free time, she loves to stay active hiking, working out, and otherwise enjoying life. Her third love in life, right after Jesus and her husband, is boogie-boarding. She could improve at cooking, but ask her to help clean up any time.