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“Lord, when I feel that what I'm doing is insignificant and unimportant, help me to remember that everything I do is significant and important in your eyes, because you love me and you put me here.”  - Brennan Manning

Emmanuel's office is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Click here to contact us, or feel free to call.


While we are all "ministers" of the church, a few of us spend a bit more time in the building every week.
Get to know our staff here:

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Rev. Robert Eller, Pastor      E-Mail

    Pastor Rob Eller is the pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Pastor Rob grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, but despite living there has been a lifelong Cleveland Guardians and Ohio State Buckeyes fan. A 2021 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, Pastor Rob joins us after working as a history teacher with prior degrees in history from Mercyhurst University and education from Gannon University. Wanting to help everyone, especially those in need, he also spent a year with AmeriCorps in a school based setting, working one-on-one with students, running an afterschool tutoring program and a summer day camp. In his free time, Pastor Rob enjoys reading, antiquing, playing with his kids, and learning about what it means to be a Lutheran and Christian in rural America and this ever changing world.

    One of Pastor Rob's focuses in ministry is serving the those in need in our community and advocating for them on their behalf. Before entering the ministry, he volunteered at a homeless shelter, the local food bank, and served with AmeriCorps. This work has led him to join the board of directors for the Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County. 

    Having been described as "an old soul", Pastor Rob loves traditional liturgy and hymns and finds great comfort in the traditions from which they come. He is considered to be "High Church" and loves the smells and bells of that style of worship. He finds comfort and value in upholding the traditions that have been passed down in the church throughout the centuries.

    Pastor Rob also has a podcast, The Sermon in the Valley, where he records his Sunday sermons as well as other various episodes on matters related to the church, our faith, and society.

    Pastor Rob lives in Sugarcreek with his wife Tanya, daughter Isobel, son Fredrick, and two cats Titus and Theophilus. His office door is always open and he welcomes any and all to come in with questions they may have or just to have a cup of coffee and chat. Pastor Rob also hosts Free Prayer twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays, where you can come to chat, ask questions, or pray with him.

Ruth Patrick, Worship Coordinator / Choir Director

    Ruth was born in Pennsylvania but has lived most of her life in Ohio. She attended Capital University and received a B.S. in Music Education, then teaching elementary music in the Austintown School System. In 1982 she married Steve Patrick, a Lutheran minister. Steve served churches in Magnolia/Sandyville, Dover, Mansfield, Lakewood and New Philadelphia before retiring in 2014.
    Ruth began her church music career playing a pump organ for children's Sunday School classes in her home church in Greenford, Ohio, when she was about twelve years old. She eventually became the organist for worship services there, as well. Ruth has directed children's and adult choirs and has served as organist/pianist and Director of Music at several of the churches in which she and Steve served.

    Ruth and Steve have one son, Martin. He and his wife, Maggie, live in Northfield, Minnesota, with their rescue greyhound and 3 cats. Ruth's other interests include travel, reading, "antiquing," and taking long rides in the country with her husband.

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Cindy Smith, Organist/Pianist

    Cindy was raised in Strasburg, graduated from Strasburg Franklin High School in 1977, and attended Kent State University (Tusc., Stark, and Main campuses) studying music. While in college, Cindy sang in the university choirs and accompanied other vocalists for their juries and recitals.

   In 1991, Cindy got involved in Little Theater's production of West SIde Story, where she met her husband Dane. They married in 1992 at the United Methodist Church in Strasburg and they have a son, Pierce, who lives in Columbus.

   She's worked as a bank teller, loan processor, escrow agent, and most recently as a legal assistant preparing deeds for real estate transactions. In addition to her day jobs, she served as organist at St. John's United Church of Christ in Strasburg during various years from 1978 through 2015 and as their choir director from 2017 until the pandemic shut everything down in 2020.

   Cindy accepted the organist position at Emmanuel in the late fall of 2020 and officially began her first Sunday at Emmanuel in January of 2021.

Office Administrator      E-Mail


Financial Secretary      E-Mail





Emmanuel Church Council

    Emmanuel has a dedicated Church Council of six members and the pastor who handle all of the major decisions of this church. These faithful people discuss the vision of the church, and others matters brought before them by various committees.
  Our Council meets on the second Monday evening of each month at 6:30 pm in the second floor committee room and anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend these meetings.

Our current council members:

Tricia Self - President           Sam Bates - Vice President

Kenny Lab - Treasurer         Wayne York - Secretary

Deb Ritenour   Neil Rupe   Chris Smith

Dane Smith   Heidi Torch

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