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

Born in Gloversville, New York, Pastor lived in White Plains, New York, Alabama where his grandparents had a farm, 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.

After an additional year at Trinity Lutheran, Pastor Ettlemyer began teaching in the Mattituck School District in 1970 as an elementary teacher, a position he held 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 Ettlemyer 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.

Following his Ordination 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 at “Ground Zero” in the morgue 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.

Pastor Ettlemyer is married to his wife, Virginia (neé Nelsen), whom he met while they were at Wagner. 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 grandchildren: 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!


Church Secretary: Wendy DiNapoli


Director of Music: Candice O. Peare

Handbell Director: Diane Meyer