Pastors & Staff

  • Rev. w. Robert (Rob) Martin, III

    Lead Pastor and Head of Staff

    The Rev. W. Robert Martin III began his ministry as St. Andrew Presbyterian Church's lead pastor in January 2021. As such, he has learned firsthand how to begin meeting and ministering to a congregation during a time of pandemic and social distancing. Over this three decades in ministry, Pastor Rob also has served as a chaplain in the Tenderloin of San Francisco ministering to folks dying of AIDS, as a chaplain for Warren Wilson Presbyterian College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, and as a pastor of churches in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Palo Alto, California. He has served as a liturgical writer for PC(USA) General Assemblies and for various national conferences around the country.

  • Rev. Kyle Otterbein

    Associate Pastor

    Pastor Kyle has served as St. Andrew's associate pastor since 1999. He has a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia and is a proud graduate of the University of Washington. When he is not cheering on the Huskies or the Seattle Mariners, he loves gathering with St. Andrew's small group ministries and finding new ways to tell the story of the gospel. He is also a Gottman Institute 7 Principles Program Educator.

  • Randy Hausler

    Director of Youth Ministries

    As one of the first baptisms on record at what was then St. Andrew United Presbyterian Church, Randy Hausler was born into the church family. After working alongside Phil Butin (St. Andrew's first youth director) and other church leaders, Randy answered the call to Youth Ministry. His first call in Youth Ministry was to Kendall Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida. In 1985, Randy returned to St. Andrew to fill the position of Youth Director. Since then, he has developed the church's strong junior high and senior high ministries and had a lasting impact on a generation of St. Andrew families. He lives in Iowa City with his wife, Peggy. They have three daughters: Molly, Mary, and Anna. In his free time, Randy enjoys Hawkeye Football, working in the yard, traveling with Peggy, family and friends, and back yard bonfires. 

  • Heather Woodin

    Director of Children's & Family Ministries

    Heather has served as St. Andrew's Director of Children's and Family Ministry, off and on, since 1999. She is the oldest of four children in a family that moved often. By high school graduation, she had spent significant amounts of time in Canada, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Journalism, then served 13 years as a news reporter for the Quad-City Times and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. She and her husband, Jim, have two delightful adult children, Corey and Amanda. Her joys in this life include spending time with kids, cooking delicious meals with Jim, laughing with friends, connecting with sisters in faith, and making lists to keep everyone organized. She has a ridiculous, excessive aversion to glitter.

  • Mary Jane Claassen

    INTERIM Director of Music Ministries

    Mary Jane Claassen has served as St. Andrew's interim Director of Musical Ministries since September 2021. She has been a church musician and music educator in various forms her whole life and grew up a Presbyterian preacher’s kid. As a singer, she has sung professionally for opera and musical theatre companies, and as a keyboardist, has played for churches and accompanied singers and instrumentalists. In Iowa City, she maintains a small private voice studio and enjoys participating in local music and theatre events. She is engaged to Adam Knight, the producing artistic director of Riverside Theatre and they live downtown in the historic Emma Harvat home with her two boys, Micah and Jonathan Claassen who are 12 and 9 years old. She is extremely excited to meet everyone and become a part of the St. Andrew family.

  • Lee Rabe

    Assistant Director of Instrumental Ministries

    Lee has been sharing his musical talents with St. Andrew since 2003. He leads the church's Brass and Woodwind Ensembles and oversees their combinations in jazz and traditional orchestras. He also serves as an elementary band teacher for the Iowa City Community School District.

  • Nelda Wittig

    Assist. Director of Children's Vocal Ministries

    Music has always been a huge part of Nelda's life. She comes from a singing family, having sung a cappella 4-part harmony with her parents and siblings and also her extended family. She was introduced to the piano at the age of five. She plays piano, organ, and guitar and teaches piano to a few children in her home. After college at Hesston College, a Mennonite school in Kansas, Nelda went on to technical school where she learned how to tune, rebuild, and refinish pianos. That knowledge led her to a life-long career of selling (not tuning!) pianos, and she has been at West Music Company for 26 years. Along with selling pianos, she has taught group adult piano and organ classes. She has conducted children's choirs in the past and has led a cappella congregational singing in her home church. In her free time, Nelda loves the challenge of games, puzzles, and cards and has been known to become competitive! Nelda and her husband, Bill, have three daughters and twin grandchildren.

  • Laura kastens

    assist. director of handbell ministries

    This is Laura's second stint as a staff member, the first time around serving as assistant director of vocal ministries (2002-2012). She comes from a musical family and started playing piano in kindergarten and clarinet when she was in the 4th grade. After receiving a a BS in music education from the University of Illinois, she taught in the Evanston, Illinois, public schools and worked at Buffalo Grove High School. She has spent more than 25 years directing children's, youth, and adult vocal and handbell church choirs. Since 2000, she has been the administrator for the Departments of American Studies and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Laura is a volunteer in the Oakdale Community Choir which provides choral singing experiences for men incarcerated at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center (inside singers) and for community volunteers (outside singers) who have an interest in learning more about issues in the prison system locally and across the state and nation. She has two adult children, multiple grandchildren, and a needy dog.

  • Jeff Charis-carlson

    Director of Communications & Media Ministries

    After more than two decades working as a journalist in the Eastern Iowa area, Jeff Charis-Carlson signed on as Communications Consultant for St. Andrew in November 2019 and officially joined the staff in June 2021. He and his wife Christina, a local physician, have three children who often can be found creating either art or music.

  • John Benson

    Finance Administrator

    After retiring in 2017 as a senior vice president of Hills Bank and Trust, John Benson found a new ministry as St. Andrew's finance administrator. Both he and his wife, Patti, are active in St. Andrew's choir and have three children.


  • Rev. Mark Wilson Martin

    Pastor emeritus

    In recognition of Pastor Mark's long tenure and lasting legacy in the Iowa City area, St. Andrew's Session gained permission in 2018 to recognize him as a Pastor Emeritus for the congregation. The title honors Mark's 21 years at St. Andrew, his mentoring of pastors throughout the Presbytery of East Iowa, and his post-retirement work with World Renew Disaster Response Services.