“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, 8 a.m. - 4 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:


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 Indians and Browns 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. Pastor Rob enjoys reading, antiquing, playing music, and learning about what it means to be a Lutheran in this ever changing world. Pastor Rob lives in Sugarcreek with his wife Tanya and daughter Isobel. His office door is always open and welcomes any and all to come in with questions they may have or just to chat.

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.

Cindy Smith PHOTO for website.jpg

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


Tom Locker, Sexton

    Tom is a lifetime resident of New Philadelphia. He graduated from New Philadelphia High School and received an Associate Degree in Banking and Finance from Stark State College. After more than thirty years in banking and business, Tom took a job at Buckeye Career Center in maintenance, where a large part of his responsibilities are safety compliance for the building. He and Vicki married in 1982 and have
three adult children. Kevin is married to Jennifer and they reside in Canal Winchester, Ohio, with their daughter, Olivia. David is married to Alyssa and they reside in Pickerington, Ohio, with their daughter, Rose. Valerie is married to Wesley and they reside in Columbus.

    Tom is a lifetime member at Emmanuel Lutheran. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys an occasional game of golf and is an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Tom has always been interested in city government and served as councilman for his ward for six years. He and Vicki enjoy traveling.


Vicki Locker, Librarian

    Vicki is a retired elementary school teacher and principal. Her favorite subject to teach was reading. Her retirement dream was to have a library and reading room at the  church with a variety of resources for all ages, and a centralized location for Sunday School curriculum and book study guides. That dream is becoming a reality with new books and resources on the shelves as well as software that is designed to make check-out quick and easy.

Join us for Story Time with Miss Vicki online through the library and church Facebook pages!


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.