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Column: John Moeller named CEO of Lutheran Services of Georgia

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Jan. 27, 2017

Nonprofit leader John Moeller will be the new CEO of Lutheran Services of Georgia, a statewide organization serving vulnerable populations, beginning Feb. 15.

Moeller has been president and CEO of Action Ministries since 2011, and his last day with the Atlanta nonprofit will be Feb. 14.

John Moeller

John Moeller at Action Ministries (Special: Action Ministries)

“We’re breaking up on Valentine’s Day,” Moeller laughingly said in a telephone interview Jan. 25. “It’s been a great five-and-a-half years. We’ve established an incredible team. That’s why I think I can step away.”

Lutheran Services of Georgia has been without a permanent CEO for more than two years. Gary Johnstone, who has been serving as the interim CEO, will resume his position as the nonprofit’s chief operations officer.

Moeller called Johnstone an “incredible person” for serving as interim and for having the “humility to step back in the No. 2 role” in helping manage the organization.

“The LSG staff and board are thrilled to welcome John, and we anxiously await his expertise and leadership as we continue in our commitment to serve many of Georgia’s most vulnerable populations with an unwavering passion and the highest quality of services,” said the Rev. Dr. David Hardy, LSG’s board chair, in a statement.

“John has a reputation in the community as a visionary leader and as a builder and grower of organizations,” Hardy continued. “Our board and senior leadership unanimously agreed that John is the dynamic leader needed to propel LSG to the next level — to grow its programs and improve its services, so that ultimately we can better serve our clients and our community.”

John Moeller

John Moeller

Before joining Action Ministries, Moeller served as CEO of Must Ministries in Marietta for 10 years. Ordained as a minister in the United Methodist Church, Moeller served as pastor to UMC congregations in North Georgia from 1991 to 2001 before joining the nonprofit sector. Moeller retains his ordination status and currently serves as an ordained elder.

“As a person of faith, I’ve always been motivated to working on the plight of those most vulnerable,” Moeller said. Although he is not a Lutheran, Moeller said his beliefs are aligned with the mission of Lutheran Services of Georgia.

The nonprofit seeks to enhance the stability, wellness, health, and safety of individuals and families in Georgia. For more than 30 years, Lutheran Services of Georgia has provided assistance to tens of thousands of people — helping transform their loss, grief and trauma into hopeful futures. LSG offers programs and services in the areas of adoption, specialized foster care, family intervention services, disability services, refugee and immigration services as well as disaster relief.

“I am eager to get to work and look forward to increasing LSG’s impact around the state and advancing our vision and mission in the communities it serves,” said Moeller.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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