Karla Elliott

Karla Elliott

Associate Pastor

I was born and raised in Lafayette and attended Purdue for undergrad, where I met my husband, Pete, the summer before our senior year. We moved around quite a bit early in our marriage, living in Minnesota and South Dakota, before settling in Chesterton, Indiana, where Pete was the sports editor of the local newspaper while I attended law school in Chicago. After law school graduation, we spent several years in the Washington, D.C., area where I worked as a labor & employment litigator for a national law firm and Pete worked as a sports writer for a suburban Virginia newspaper.  

Family brought us back to the Indianapolis area when our oldest son was about to start kindergarten, and our younger two boys were born here. I worked for many years in a private law practice before moving to the corporate world where I last served as CEO and General Counsel for a national company based in Noblesville prior to my call to ministry. Pete transitioned from sports journalism to teaching English at the college level and is now a professor at Anderson University. 

I answered the call to ministry in 2018 and began seminary classes shortly thereafter, ultimately transitioning to full-time vocational ministry early in 2020. I was blessed to be appointed to first to one and then two wonderful congregations in Tipton County before returning to southern Hamilton County as St. Mark’s Associate Pastor in July of 2022.  

Pete and I have now been married longer than we were not! Our oldest son, Ben, lives in Louisville with his wife Janay and their three dogs where Ben is currently completing his first year of medical school rotations. Our second son, Zach, is in his senior year at DePaul University in Chicago, where he lives with his pup, Georgia. Our youngest son, Sam, is in his freshman year of high school at HSE, loves all of his brothers’ (and his own) dogs, and is a budding cross-country and track runner. 

I’m a genealogy junkie, insatiable reader, can connect many, many conversation topics to songs, and rarely encounter a movie I can’t relate to a sermon in some way. I am passionate about Jesus Christ and helping others discover and grow their relationships with him, especially those that may be lost or lonely or hurting in the world. I’m also passionate about finding new and fresh ways to engage the community, especially our younger generations – like my own kids and their peers – in Christ’s mission here on Earth. 

Fun Facts about Pastor Karla

Favorite Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life 

Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird 

Favorite Vacation Destination: Outer Banks, North Carolina 

Favorite Local Restaurant/coffee shop: Born and raised in Lafayette, I absolutely have to say Arni’s is the best local restaurant ever! My parents used to bring us (half-baked, frozen) pizzas every time they visited us when we lived in the D.C. area! And, although it is a chain restaurant, our favorite for a night out is Cooper’s Hawk. 

What is your most memorable moment to-date at St. Mark’s UMC?  My first opportunity to preach here at St. Mark’s at the get together under the tent on the lawn – it was an incredible way to meet so many people who were so welcoming to my whole family. 

What most excites you about the future of St. Mark’s UMC?  I see in St. Mark’s a loving and welcoming congregation that truly works to live into its mission – it’s that kind of passion that can truly change the world …