Our Pastors & Staff
Interim Pastor, Reverend Ronald Sylvester
Reverend Ron Sylvester did his undergraduate work at Barrington College and his graduate studies at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife Paula have served the Lord in two churches as the “settled” pastoral couple. The first was the Village Church in Medway Ma. for 16 plus years. The second was the East Glenville Community Church in Glenville, NY. for 23 years. In the last five years they have served the Lord in four churches in MA. NH. and CT. as an “interim” pastoral couple.
Ron and Paula have a yearning for churches to be healthy. They see interim ministry as a means to help churches pursue better health at a time that is opportune for them between “settled” pastors. Ron considers the pillars of effective ministry to be: relationships, the priesthood of believers, and discipleship.
Ron’s philosophy of interim ministry is to “coach” church leaders, and encourage members in their faith through a transitional period in the life of the church. His expectation is to objectively and lovingly help the church to understand and own its strengths and weaknesses. Only then will it have the stability and peace required to make any important changes necessary to embrace the leadership of a new “settled” pastor.
Ron and Paula are “longtime” New Englanders. Both were born and raised in Massachusetts. Each received Jesus as savior and Lord of their lives in their youth. They married in 1971. Paula earned her LPN degree and has served as a nurse in every conceivable venue of that profession from hospital to private duty to community to office and now, corporate. They are the proud parents of four adults and their spouses as well as the grandparents of four delightful granddaughters. Paula enjoys “thrift” shopping, sewing and home decorating. Ron likes to read, golf, and cycle.
EMAIL: Ron Silvester
Associate Pastor, Neil Murphy
Neil is the oldest of four children and was born and raised in Andover, MA in a Christian home. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Business at UMass Lowell, which is also when he began to sense a call to ministry. After discerning the call, he continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and graduated in 2018 with a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.). During his time at GCTS, he worked as a Director of Youth Ministry at the First Baptist Church of Reading, MA. Neil is passionate about the local church, making disciples who make disciples, youth ministry, evangelism, missions, preaching, and teaching. He also loves just about all types of music (especially jazz!) and plays both upright and electric basses.
Office Administrator, Barbara Seifert
Barbara has her B.S. in Communications and previous to this position, worked in Human Resources and Training & Development within the software industry for several years. She and her husband Jeff have been married for 28 years. They have three college aged children and live in Westford. As a volunteer, Barbara served for several years as the Church Clerk. She has also served on the Associate Pastoral Search Committee, Immanuel Cafe, Women’s Ministry’s Mom’s Cottage, Vacation Bible School, and the Nursery/Children's Church.
Bookkeeper, Bruce Fottler
Bruce grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to the Boston area while in high school. After attending Northeastern University, he spent 25 years in accounting, credit management, and treasury management positions. While his career-track mostly put him behind a desk, he dabbled in creative pursuits such as producing, writing, and directing film shorts. Bruce is also an author of five published novels. Bruce and his wife, Melody, have been attending Immanuel Church for a few years now. They have two children, Jacob and Drew, and live in Chelmsford.
Children's Ministry Coordinator, Amanda Hughes
Amanda received her B.A. in Music Ed at EWU, and her Master’s in Music at UMass Lowell. She spent many years as a public school teacher, with the bulk of her career in Lexington Public Schools working in the Music Dept. as well as Special Ed. Additionally, she has been on staff at Boston Flute Academy for many years working as an ensemble coach and flute instructor. Amanda and her husband Russ, have been attending Immanuel for about 20 years. During this time, she has served on VBS, run seasonal choirs for children and adults, and currently serves on the Worship and Evangelism Teams. During off hours, she loves spending time with her family, and her two German Shepherds, Shiloh and Akiva.