Rev. James hopkins

Senior Pastor

The Reverend James P. Hopkins has served as Pastor of the First Lutheran Church of Boston since 2019. Previously he served at Lutheran Church of The Way in Raynham, MA. Rev. Hopkins was called to New England directly upon the completion of his M.Div at Concordia Theological Seminary, where he played basketball, wrote for the Jerome Exegetical Seminar, and tutored in Greek. He holds a B.A. from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL (2008), and performed postgraduate studies in International Relations at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Prior to being called into the Office of the Holy Ministry, Rev. Hopkins worked in the Department of Defense and served in the Marine Corps, both on active duty and in the Reserves. In addition to deployments to Afghanistan and the Middle East, he was also posted in Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Panama, and Nicaragua. After 23 years of total service, he retired from the Navy Chaplain Corps in 2023.

Rev. Hopkins and his wife, Caroline, were married in 2014 at their home congregation, St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL. Together they have four children: Lucia Noelle, Christoph Joseph, Ambrose James, and Penelope Anne. In his spare time, Rev. Hopkins enjoys listening to Chicago Cubs games and fishing. He and his family relish exploring New England, especially the Aquarium, and spending time with family and friends who frequently come to visit.

Rev. miguel barcelos

Associate Pastor

The Rev. Miguel Barcelos joined the First Lutheran Church of Boston as its new Associate Pastor and Director of Student and Young Adult Ministry in 2023.
Rev. Barcelos holds a B.A. in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (focusing on Portuguese studies) from the University of Lisbon, an M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, and performed other graduate studies in Literary Theory (University of Lisbon) and Theology—New Testament (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL).

Prior to being ordained into the ministry, Rev. Barcelos was a researcher at the University of Lisbon (Center for Lusophone and European Literatures and Cultures), European Institute for Cultural Sciences Father Manuel Antunes, Aberta University (Center for Global Studies), and editor of a revision of an old Bible translation at the Bible Society of Portugal. Ongoing projects with the Center for Global Studies and the Bible translation often keep him busy after work.

Born and raised in the Azores, Rev. Barcelos loves hiking, dipping in the ocean, and catching sunsets. An Azorean turned Lisboner, he also enjoys long late-night walks in the city, the symphony, street art, and urban photography.

Dr. Jonathan Wessler


Jonathan Wessler has served as Kantor at First Lutheran Church since 2016. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music, studying with William Porter. He previously earned the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, studying with David Boe, and the Master of Sacred Music degree from the University of Notre Dame, studying with Craig Cramer. He additionally mentored under Sherry Seckler and Christiaan Teeuwsen. He holds the Associate’s certificate from the American Guild of Organists and was a finalist in the 2007 Arthur Poister Organ Competition.

Kantor Wessler maintains an active career as a recitalist and continuo player, appearing frequently with the Cantata Singers, the Concord Chorus, and the Peoria Bach Festival. He is the general editor of the Leupold Foundation's edition of the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach and a member of the Lutheran Missal Project editorial team, and gives presentations and lectures on early Lutheran music and liturgy.

Prior to his appointment at FLC, Kantor Wessler served as the Assistant Organist at the Church of St. Paul in Harvard Square and St. Paul’s Choir School. He and his wife Joy live in suburban Boston with their children, Julia, Matthew, Benjamin, and Lucas.

Joy Wessler

Parish Administrator

Joy Wessler joined the staff as Parish Administrator in 2023, having previously served for five years as secretary on the FLC Council. A graduate of the nursing program at Concordia University Wisconsin, she worked as a Registered Nurse in critical care for five years in South Bend, IN and Rochester, NY. For the past fifteen years, she has enjoyed being a homemaker and homeschooling her four children, Julia, Matthew, Benjamin, and Lucas.