The Elder or Deacon as referred to in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 was already a highly visible and highly regarded position within the Church during Paul's day.  It also was one of high importance in that the brand new Church needed leaders who would be above reproach and able to lead them forth in the work of the mission of the Church.  It is also important to us to see that in this day and age, the qualifications and importance of this position are not diminished.  For the Church, and the Elders who are elected and serve within the Church, need to take as much care now in carrying out this mission as in the Early Church.  God's Word and the ministry of the Church must be spread and performed without hinderance.  

Board of Elders Responsibilities

1. Assist the Pastors in all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the Congregation

2. Consider complaints and grievances of members of the Congregation after Matthew 18:15-16 has been fully observed, and they shall report to the Congregation those which cannot be otherwise dealt with in accordance with Matthew 18:17-18

3. Make every effort to induce members who have been negligent in their attendence of services and in the use of the sacraments to mend their sinful ways and fully enjoy the rights and privileges of their membership

4. The care of the poor and sick is part of their duty, and they shall, if necessary, provide help and support, especially for needy members of the Congregation

5. Be an example of Christian conduct and conversation 

6. Perform all required Human Resources duties as related to paid church workers

7. Perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Voters' Assembly or Church Council

Meet Your Elders

Mike Sweet 

Head Elder 

Tell people more about the classes you offer. Add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection to display dynamic content.

Wade Benjamin 

District #3

Tell people more about the classes you offer. Add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection to display dynamic content.

Paul Niccum

District #6

Member at Emanuel for: 23 years Favorite Bible verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart,    and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  

Why it is my favorite verse: These verses keep my grounded. They keep me from relying on myself, and remind me to rely on Jesus.

Favorite cookie: Oatmeal Raisin 

Paul Sims

District #9 

Member at Emanuel for: 52 years Favorite Bible verse: 1 Timothy 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,  of whom I am the foremost.  

Why it is my favorite verse: It stirs self-reflection in me. It is a very humbling Bible verse for me—I realize how much I need Christ and what he did for me.

Favorite cookie: Monster Cookies 

Steve Poling

District #12

Member at Emanuel for: 14 years

Favorite Bible verse: Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  

Why it is my favorite verse: This verse helps me to keep things in proper perspective, and to serve the Lord by serving others.

Favorite cookie: Chocolate Chip 

Ben Gatchell

District #1

Member at Emanuel for:17 years

Favorite Bible verse: Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  

Why it is my favorite verse: This verse reminds me that I can trust the Lord is always watching over us.

Favorite cookie: Free

Dennis Herman

District #4

Member at Emanuel for: 68 years

Special Committee: Special Events Committee

Favorite Bible verse: “ For I know the plans I have for you………Jeremiah 29: 11

Why it is my favorite verse:  God’s plans are always best!

Favorite cookie: Chocolate Chunk

Josh Werling 

District #7

Member at Emanuel for: 43 years Favorite Bible verse:  Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Why it is my favorite verse: This is what I want for my family—to serve the Lord.

Favorite cookie: Chocolate Chip 

Terry Werling

District #10

Member at Emanuel for: 79 years Favorite Bible verse: Psalm 119:89-96, and this prayer on page 80 in the Small Catechism: We thank you, kind Father, that You give us time to hear Your Holy Word. Grant that fearing & loving You, we may set aside our work to receive Your Son’s words, which are spirit and life, and so, refreshed and renewed by the preaching of Your Gospel, we might live in the peace and quietness that come through faith alone; we ask it for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Why it is my favorite: I find this prayer very relaxing.

Favorite cookie: Peanut Butter 


District #13

Tell people more about the classes you offer. Add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection to display dynamic content.

Ben Koeneman

District #2

Tell people more about the classes you offer. Add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection to display dynamic content.

Benjamin Castens

District #5

Member at Emanuel: 18 years

Favorite Bible verse: Psalm 37:5 

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act  

Why it is my favorite verse: This is my confirmation verse. I love how simply it breaks down everything into 1 statement—trust in God, He will act. We know He will act according to His will in our lives.

Favorite cookie: Double chocolate chunk (not just wimpy little chocolate chips, but chocolate CHUNK made with chocolate dough) 

John Colter

District #8

Member at Emanuel for: 7 years

Special Committee: Worship Committee, Social Media Special Committee

Favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts"

Why it is my favorite verse:   I had to memorize it for our mission trip to Africa for a VBS skit, and it came at a time in my life when my wife and I were really struggling to have children and find answers to which path God was leading us.  Since then, we have been led down the wonderful path of adoption and the Lord has opened my eyes to greater things that I couldn't have even imagined before.  

Favorite cookie: The FREE ones!! I LOVE COOKIES!!

Mark Schuller

District #11

Member at Emanuel for: 4 years (I grew up attending St. Paul, Gar Creek) 

Favorite Bible verse:  Luke 11:28

But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  

Why it is my favorite verse: It was my confirmation verse and was also one of my great-grandmother’s favorite Bible verses.

Favorite cookie: Anything with chocolate

Jerry Schlund

District #14

Member at Emanuel for: 29 years Favorite Bible verse: Psalm 8:1

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Why it is my favorite verse: It is a short and simple Psalm where somebody takes the time to realize how great God is.

Favorite Cookie: White chocolate chip and macadamia nut. 

Emanuel Lutheran


email: churchoffice@emanuelnh.org

800 Green St.

New Haven, Indiana 46774

    Write Us

    ©2019 by Emanuel Lutheran Church.