Christus Victor

Making Christ Known

We are an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation growing in the likeness of Christ by:

Worshiping, praying, and studying God’s word;
Being together with other people; and
Acting in faith through words and deeds both inside and outside our church walls.

Introducing the Rev. Linda Thurston

Dear Friends in Christ: In a few weeks you will be asked to vote on calling the Rev. Linda Thurston to the position of Associate Pastor at Christus Victor Lutheran Church. 

The MCSELCA office referred Pastor Linda to us, and according to the process, the Call Committee has met and interviewed her.  Her references have been checked, and a recommendation to call her was sent to the church counsel. The church counsel has interviewed her, and all have heard her preach.  The council recommends calling her to this position.

Pastor Linda is excited about coming to CVLC as she sees her skills and passion to serve meeting our needs and mission as well as hers. The paragraph below tells you a bit about this accomplished, caring individual and her family.

Please direct question about the process or Pastor Linda to Jerry Briggs, Council President.


Pastor Linda Thurston is a New Jersey native who was raised in the Presbyterian Church.  She majored in history at Yale University, and taught high school social studies in New Jersey and Ohio.  She and her husband, who was raised Roman Catholic, eventually joined a Lutheran Church, because, as she says, it was “liturgical enough for him and Protestant enough for me.”  Working with the youth group at Grace Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights, OH, she felt the call to pastoral ministry and returned to New Jersey to attend Princeton Theological Seminary.  She graduated from PTS in 2005, served as an intern at St. Paul Lutheran Church in East Windsor, NJ, and then spent a year of study at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.  She was ordained in 2008 and served as the solo pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Hamilton, NJ from 2008-2013.  She resigned her call in 2013 to better manage the needs of her family.  During her time On Leave From Call, she has been serving as Mobility Liaison for the NJ Synod, working with the Synod’s Youth Ministry and Witness and Discipleship Teams, and coordinating adult education in the congregation where her family worships.  She has extensive training and experience in education and youth ministry, and is particularly passionate about adult and youth faith formation, especially Biblical literacy. 

Pastor Linda is married to Tom Cunniff, Associate General Counsel for the ELCA.  They are the parents of three daughters – Beth (17), Cassie (13) and Julia (10).