Pastor: Reverend Gary V. Ettlemyer, B.S.Ed., M.A., M.Div.

Born in Gloversville, New York, Pastor Ettlemyer spent much of his childhood in White Plains, New York, Alabama, and Georgia. In 1958 he returned with his family to Tarrytown, New York where his father acquired a funeral business. Following graduation from Sleepy Hollow High School in 1965 (Regents, Honors in Spanish), he received his B.S.Ed. in Elementary Education from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York in 1969. He began his teaching career at Trinity Lutheran School, Staten Island while finishing his degree at Wagner.

Following his time at Trinity Lutheran, Pastor Ettlemyer was an elementary teacher in the Mattituck School District from 1970 until his Ordination in 1984. In 1972 he received his M.A. from the State University at Stony Brook. From 1980 to 1984 while still teaching, Pastor studied at the George Mercer, Jr. Memorial School of Theology (Episcopal), Garden City, New York. Under the supervision of the East Coast Synod, AELC and Christ Seminary – Seminex – St. Louis, he completed the equivalent course requirements for the M.Div. from Seminex, and was certified for Ordination in July 1984.

Pastor Ettlemyer was ordained by The Reverend Dr. Rudolph P.F. Ressmeyer, Bishop of the East Coast Synod – Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America (AELC). The Ordination took place on the Feast of St. Augustine, August 28, 1984. Pastor Ettlemyer was called by the East Coast Synod to a three-fold form of ministry at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Greenport, New York: Pastoral Assistant at St. Peter’s, Director of Chaplaincy at the San Simeon by the Sound Nursing Home (owned and operated by the congregation), and CEO of the San Simeon Retirement Community, under development. Prior to the Call he had served as Council President and a Deacon ordained by the congregation.

In 1987 Pastor Ettlemyer was called to Christ Lutheran Church, Yonkers, New York where he served until 1992. While at Christ Lutheran he served on the Worship Committee of the Metropolitan New York Synod.

In 1992 Pastor Ettlemyer was called to be Pastor of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lynbrook, New York where he served until 1998. While at St. John’s he was active as Chaplain to the Lynbrook Fire Department and the Lynbrook Police Department.  He was honored as “Man of the Year” by the Village of Lynbrook for activities related to those two departments. He also served on the Board of the Interdenominational Housing Program of Long Island.

In 1998 he was called to be Pastor of Spruce Run Evangelical Lutheran Church. He continues his public service as Chaplain of the Glen Gardner Fire Department while still maintaining his chaplaincy status in Lynbrook.

During his time at Spruce Run, Pastor also served in the morgue at “Ground Zero” after 9/11 in his capacity as a Fire Department chaplain. This was largely due to his also having been raised in his family’s funeral business.

In 2014 Pastor accepted a request that he become Clergy on Call for the Office of the Country Prosecutor of Hunterdon County, serving on call one to two days per month. In 2016 he completed state requirements to become a certified Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) and Chaplain under the Certification Board and the Mental Health Association of New Jersey.

Pastor Ettlemyer also actively participates in One Voice – Faith Communities of Hunterdon County, NJ, an organization that brings together law enforcement, the Safe Communities Coalition, and faith based community leaders to have “one voice” in addressing issues of substance abuse, crime and safety in communities. Working closely with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, One Voice promotes education and cooperation between community faith based leaders, chaplains, and law enforcement.

Pastor Ettlemyer is married to his wife, Virginia (neé Nelsen), whom he met while they were at Wagner College. Ginny received her B.S. in Nursing degree from Wagner, and is retired from nursing after a fruitful career in ICU/CCU nursing, providing private critical care nursing, and working in Post-partum Maternity Care. Pastor and Ginny have two sons who are married and three grand-children: Michael (married to Annelies van der Wateren – son, Andrew Robert) and Martin (married to Frances X. Carias – children, Gary Thomas and Sophia Grace).

Pastor is an avid photographer and woodworker who enjoys reading on those subjects as well as all things “Lutheran.”  He especially enjoys children of all ages and they are always welcome at worship!


Church Secretary:  Karen Smith


Director of Music: Candice O. Peare

Handbell Director: Charlotte Steiner