The Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser, bishop
The bishop has primary responsibility for the ministry of Word and Sacrament in this synod and its congregations; provides pastoral care and leadership for the synod, its congregations, and its rostered leaders (pastors, associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers); oversees and administers the work of the synod; serves as ecumenical officer for the synod.
The Rev. Dr. D. Michael Bennethum, executive associate of the bishop; director for evangelical mission
Pr. Bennethum is the executive associate of the bishop and ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod.
The Rev. Mary W. Gade, associate of the bishop
Pr. Gade works with congregations in the East Berks Mission District; she also relates to candidacy, misconduct prevention and intervention, and campus ministry.
The Rev. Kurt E. Garbe, associate of the bishop
Pr. Garbe works with congregations in the Lehigh Mission District; he relates to the Leadership Development Ministry Team, Bear Creek Camp, planning for synod assemblies and Bishop’s Conferences, and the companion synod program.
Deacon Karen Matthias-Long, associate of the bishop
Ms. Matthias-Long oversees youth ministry in the synod, serves as staff liaison to the Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry Team, Faith Formation Resource Ministry Team, and Connection Building Ministry Team. She also is the “go-to” person for social media. Karen works with Debbie Frey on the Resource Center.
The Rev. Paul D. Braden, website and publications
Pr. Braden retired from Salem Lutheran Church, Bethlehem, in 2012. He oversees the synod website and produces the weekly E-News that goes to rostered leaders and congregations. He also produces Synod News, the monthly publication for congregational newsletters and bulletins.
The Rev. Fred Crawford III, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Crawford is retired and under contract at Christ Church in Mahanoy City. He works with congregations in the Hazleton/Lehighton Mission District.
The Rev. Jean L. Huber, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Huber is the pastor of Arndts Lutheran Church in Easton. She works with congregations in the Bethlehem-Easton Mission District.
The Rev. Peter H. Kuritz, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Kuritz is pastor at Good Shepherd and St. John Churches in Wilkes-Barre. He works with congregations in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Mission District.
The Rev. Niels H. Nielsen, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Nielsen is the pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Dingmans Ferry. He works with congregations in the Pocono Mission District.
The Rev. John C. Richter, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Richter retired from his position as vice president of church relations, Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, in 2014. He works with congregations in the West Berks Mission District.
The Rev. Carl D. Shankweiler, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Shankweiler is the synod archivist and works with congregations in the Schuylkill Mission District.
The Rev. Peggy M. Wuertele, part-time associate of the bishop
Pr. Wuertele serves as the bishop’s liaison to the rostered ministers and congregations of the Northern Lehigh Valley Mission District, oversees the annual First Call Education Event, and assists the bishop with the Transition Ministry Committee and related matters.
Samuel R. Zeiser, bishop
Barbara J. Huffman de Belón,
Carl Shankweiler, secretary
Donald R. Dillman, treasurer
Ms. Laurie Christman
Ms. Christman is the synod’s receptionist and is responsible for the following areas of ministry: supply pastors, computer back-up, tracking annual congregational reports and the synod council mailing.
Ms. Debbie Frey
Ms. Frey is responsible for the following areas of ministry: event registrar, Bishop’s Conference Planning Committee member, synod assembly planning, assistant to Ms. Matthias-Long, parish study books, synod resource center, absence records and computer maintenance liaison.
Ms. Diane Hemerly
Ms. Hemerly is responsible for the following areas of ministry: finance and payroll, Bulletin of Reports and Minutes book, synod assembly planning, assistant to Pastors Bennethum, Gade, Garbe and Region 7 Coordinator Peggy Wuertele, and interim ministry updates.
Ms. Debbie Skinner
Ms. Skinner is responsible for the following areas of ministry: benevolence (clerk), monthly mailing and daily prayers.
Ms. Brenda Stauffer
Ms. Stauffer is the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop and is also responsible for the following ministries: rosters, transition information, managing the database and office supplies.