The Rev. Jerome M. Cloninger is a native of North Carolina. He grew up in the Claremont/Catawba area of Catawba County. He attended St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Claremont until he was married. After marriage, he attended Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, NC.
Pastor Jerome worked for 16 years in the furniture industry, most of which were spent on the assembly line. He worked full-time and went to school full-time, earning an Associates of Arts from Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory in 1993 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lenoir Rhyne College (now University), Hickory in 1999.
Pastor Jerome attended seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Gettysburg (LTSG) in Gettysburg, PA. His vicarage was served at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kansas City, MO. Pastor Jerome graduated from LTSG in May 2003 and was ordained July 6th, 2003 at Mt. Pisgah.
Pastor Jerome served his first call (2003-2009) at Salem Lutheran Church in Wakefield, Nebraska. While in Nebraska, he served as a Natural Church Development Coach and as a member of the NE Synod Candidacy Committee.
In 2009, Pastor Jerome accepted the call to serve Grace, returning to his home state. He has served on the Elections Committee for the NC Synod Assembly several times and currently serves as a Synod Companion.
Pastor Jerome has been married to his high school sweetheart, Kim, since 1988. They have five children: Beth, Aimee, Jeremiah, Gabriella and Ezekiel.