Ross D. Merkel, the current pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Oakland, CA, is the tenth pastor to serve the congregation since its founding in 1887. Ordained in 1978, he is a graduate of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Prior to being called to St. Paul in 1982, Pastor Merkel served as a Refugee Resettlement Coordinator with Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest in Phoenix, AZ and prior to that as Associate Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Phoenix.
A native Californian, he graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts and then attended Brigham Young University in Provo, UT where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Library Science.
Rev. Ross Merkel was reinstated to the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.