Jeff Dorth

Jeff Dorth

Lead Pastor

Education: B.A. Elementary Education; Master of Divinity; Pastoral Leadership Institute 

Personal Information: My childhood was blessed with experiences that galvanized my love for my brother, Greg, and my sister, Heidi. Our parents, both now with the Lord, moved us often; I attended eight schools through twelve grades. We experienced many churches and godly pastors, teachers, and servants; I have wanted to be a pastor since I was eight years old and have treasured relationships with many mentors. While in college, I fell in love with Mary. We married in 1984 and are blessed with four children: Molly, Kenzie, Sam and Shelby. Mary and I have been privileged to serve the Lord in ministries from coast to coast: 16 years in California, 16 years in Wisconsin, and now in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. We look forward to many years, the Lord willing, of “island life” in the Low Country. 

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Enjoys: I enjoy water- playing with our family in the pool, walking on the beach along the ocean, boating, kayaking or wave-running, watching the rain fall from my reading chair in my study, and even biking through puddles on the path. Yes, I love water for many reasons, including water reminds me of my baptism and new birth into God’s family. 

Fun Fact: You may have heard of the guy who was given a shoe box full of old baseball cards found up in the attic. I’m one of those guys!

What I love about my position: Listening to God’s Word shared in homes, sung in worship, received at the Lord’s Table, and mined for nuggets of wisdom, mercy, and promise.

Bible Verse with special personal meaning: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Kevin Duff

Kevin Duff

Sharing Pastor

Personal Information: I am originally from West Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Our family enjoyed spending summers at our cottage in Northern Michigan and have many fond memories in childhood with my brother, Patrick, and sister, Molly. My parents have always been a stable source of help and encouragement in my life. I grew up in the Lutheran Church and in addition to my mother’s faith, my late grandmother’s faith has impacted my life greatly. I attended college at Michigan State and enjoyed learning about Social Sciences and History in preparation for my secondary education degree. It was not until after college that the Lord was calling upon my heart to be a pastor. Once at Concordia Seminary in St Louis, where I met my wife Holly, having lived there at the time. We were married the summer before my last year of seminary. I served as assistant pastor for five years in Florida before coming here. We have two little boys, Leo and Oliver. We love the Low Country and thank God for this privilege to walk in faith with this congregation.

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Enjoys: I enjoy living near the water. It brings me a calming peace over my soul. I am grateful our Lord has placed me near water much of my life! I enjoy the beauty of the Low Country, watching sports, playing golf, running, music and spending quality time with family. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy the taste of a good oyster!

What I love about my position: I thank God for the opportunity to share the joy of Jesus and his salvation. I love delving into God’s Word to receive his wisdom and learn about his grace with others. I love worshiping the Lord through song with my church family. I love seeing families in the community grow in faith together.

Bible Verse with special personal meaning: “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

Grace Bergt

Grace Bergt


Personal Information:  I grew up going to church whenever the doors were unlocked. I went to Lutheran School K-8 and then attended a Public High School, followed by undergraduate work at Southern-Illinois University Edwardsville. I then worked for a Senior Living Community for a number of years and served various families as a nanny. Throughout my working years, God was working on me, through family, friends, etc., and calling me to the Ministry. I resisted the call for a while, but God brought me to Concordia Seminary to begin the formation process to become a Deaconess, namely Grad School – Yikes! He sustained me through the long drives and the long nights. I finished my schooling and internship and graduated in May 2023. I am serving my first call here at Island Lutheran Church, and I am looking forward to learning about the Low-Country and getting to know the saints at ILC and working alongside them!

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Enjoys:  I enjoy hanging out with my family, reading, and being out on the beach and seeing all of God’s beautiful creation

 Fun Fact: I am a hardcore St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan

What I love about my position: I love that I get to spend my days digging into God’s Word, caring for His creation, and sharing the Good News of Salvation with all of His people!

Bible Verse with special personal meaning:  I love the psalms as a book of prayers, praise, and meditation. I especially love Psalm 46 because of the authors’ acknowledgement of God’s power and also of His care for His people. “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:11

Steve White

Steve White

Worship Minister

Education: BA University of South Carolina 1975

Personal Information: Married to Kathy. Two daughters- Jean ,28 Emily 23 . I have lived in Bluffton since 1985 and attended ILC since 1991.

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Enjoys: Playing music, fishing , being outdoors 

Fun Fact: I was a member of The Headliners band for 35 years . 

What I love about my position: I am able to blend my love of playing music while serving the Lord in our church family and beyond. 

Bible Verse with special personal meaning:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Michelle Bess

Michelle Bess

Choir Director

Education: Masters in Secondary Education from Ball State University in Muncie, IN Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN

Personal Information: We moved to Sun City in 2018 to be closer to our grown son Blaine and his wife Alexandra, and  our daughter, Bree. We spent the previous 21 years in McKinney and Frisco, TX and also lived 5 years in Lake Orion, MI before that.. Both Charlie and I grew up in Peru, IN before Charlie’s work with EDS called us to MIchigan and Texas. We have been members of several Lutheran churches throughout the country and  we love our ILC family here in the Low Country.

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Enjoys:  Family, music, tennis, woodworking, water volleyball, and pickleball

Fun Fact: I was once  in a trapeze act in our hometown’s amateur circus and also played in the circus band for several years.

What I love about my position: I love the inspiration and fellowship  that a beautiful piece of choral music can bring to a worship service and experiencing that with my choir and ILC family.

Bible Verse with special personal meaning:  Psalm 23The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul…

David Grandt

David Grandt

Church Administrator

Personal Information: I was born in Oak Park, Illinois and have been married to Laura for 52 years; we have two children (boy and girl) and four grandchildren. We moved to Hilton Head from The Hague, Netherlands. I graduated from Carthage College, Kenosha, WI with a BA Biology and received my MBA from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.


Enjoys:  boating, fishing, reading, ballroom dancing, walking on the beach with my dog Pippa, and spending quality time with my family.

Fun Fact: I am a nationally certified high performance race car instructor (retired).

What I love about my position: Being able to give back the blessings that the Lord has given me.

Bible Verse with special personal meaning: Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”