Teller Teams We Count On

By Susan Shinn Turner

For years, the “Tellers Team” has been a key component of giving at St. John’s.

“We used to count the money ourselves,” says a former church office worker who’s now a team member, “but we were robbed at gunpoint many years ago. And Pastor Carl Sachtleben thought it would be a good idea for the staff not to count the money, because of confidentiality concerns.”

That’s where the teller team had its beginnings.

Ruth Ann Diehl, business manager, said that when she started at St. John’s in 2000, two members, Grace Millar and Cullen Lentz, had been doing it for years — and it had gotten to be overwhelming.

Four teams of two-person tellers were formed. The teams rotate through fifth Sunday duties. Each week, a team gathers in a secure location to count cash and checks. Most have backgrounds in either banking or business.

The work they do is timesaving for the staff, Diehl says. And it’s an opportunity to serve and stay active, physically and mentally, she says. It’s also a time of fellowship among team members and with the church staff.

Lentz trained another longtime member of the teller team, and he in turn has trained a number of volunteers.

This teller was a regional manager for 23 stores in three states.

“In my job, I would check cash registers to make sure the correct money was in there, as well as the safe,” he says, “so this kind of work was part of my professional life. I enjoy it as a service to the church.”

Another team member had 22 years of banking experience before going into sales for a national company.

“When I was asked to serve, it just fell right in line with what I did in my career,” he says. He’s now been on the team for five years.

Another retired banker has a similar story. “I have a heart to give. Paul Carter was getting ready to retire from the team, and he trained me. As I get older, I’m limited in how I can volunteer. This is something I can do. I’ve had the same partner for four years, and we always call and remind each other when it’s our turn to serve.”

Want to help? Contact Ruth Ann Diehl,

Introducing New Ways to Give at St. John’s

This summer, St. John’s introduced a new way to give. In addition to using offering envelopes and our website, you can now give by texting.

With less and less people carrying cash and checks, this is another option to make giving more convenient, and you don’t need internet access to give once you register. This can also be a good way to teach teens with their first jobs about tithing, in a way that is convenient and makes sense to them.

Just text the amount you wish to give to 704.802.1349. The first time you give, you will be prompted to set up your payment method. After that’s been set up, you can just text the amount to 704.802.1349. You will receive a confirmation text each time. You also have the option to set up automatic recurring gifts.

Text giving allows you to give to specific funds, as well. Just type funds to receive a list of funds. If you know how to text, you will find it to be user friendly and intuitive. Once you text the number, you are prompted with any instructions you may need. The texting option includes other keywords that will offer assistance, allow you to edit your payment, refund your gift, etc. You can probably guess most of the keywords. For instance, for instructions, type assist and to edit, type edit.

You can find more detailed instructions in our Ways to Give brochure in the tract racks or online, at The brochure also provides helpful refreshers on other ways to give, including tips that help the teller volunteers with their jobs tremendously.

Do you still have questions about the new way to give? Contact Ruth Ann Diehl, business manager at

Thank you for your faithful stewardship!


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