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MEET OUR STAFF

George Garrison

George Garrison

Senior Pastor


George is husband to Susan and father of Christina and Stephen. He grew up in Rolla, Missouri, as the youngest of six children, so that he was an "only child" for all of high school. And the ministry is in his blood; both of George's grandfathers were full-time ministers.

George is an avid sports fan. On his shortlist of favorite films are The Shawshank Redemption and Dead Poets Society. His favorite books include Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, A. W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God, and a biography of George Washington, .

One of George's favorite things about serving at Immanuel is hearing people's stories of grace and learning how God has equipped everyone uniquely for ministry.

George may be emailed, like other staff, using his first name finished with "@immanuelpresbyterian.net".

 

  
Annette LaPlaca

Annette LaPlaca

Minister of Congregational Life


Annette thinks of herself as "the church lady." Having moved all around the United States while growing up, she has been blessed by and thankful for the family of God she found in each place. For several years now, she's loved having Immanuel as her church family, together with her husband, David, and their four children (Julia, Rob, Lucy, and D.J.).

Before coming to work at IPC, Annette was a book and magazine editor, working for Harold Shaw Publishers and Christianity Today and later freelancing from home while caring for her children. But while most editors tend to be introverts who are happiest while spending time with their computers, Annette has always been interested in people.

Annette's work at Immanuel involves helping people connect—to God, to each other, to our congregation, and to the community. She attends a lot of Immanuel committee meetings, helping each group connect with other groups and with the church leadership She loves helping people grow relationships and find places to serve within the Immanuel congregation. 

For fun, she likes to spend time with David, read, play games with her kids, and have friends over to eat her husband's cooking.  

Annette can be contacted at annette[at]immanuelpresbyterian.net.

  
Scott and Anna Scheidt

Anna and Scott Scheidt

Ministers to Youth


Scott and Anna Scheidt have been volunteering in the Immanuel Youth program for many years. Anna grew up attending Immanuel, and saw firsthand how important this group is for young people. After graduating college, Anna and Scott were married and moved back to the area, allowing them to attend Immanuel once again. They believe that the teen years are a crucial time for students to surround themselves with good friends and caring adults, who will help them to form a firm spiritual foundation. 

When Anna isn't with students, you can find her spoiling her dogs, Monkey and Lenny. She adores animals and her lifelong dream is to own a teacup piglet, however, Scott is not too fond of the idea of having a pig in the house. Anna also enjoys reading, crafting, and is currently getting the house ready for their baby girl due in May 2014. 

When Scott isn't working his day job as a construction engineer, or hanging out with students, you'll find him decked out in orange and blue, watching a Chicago bears game, or reading up on new team developments during the off season. He also, not so secretly, has a passion for karaoke. He loves all types of music, but especially enjoys cheesy 80's tunes. This past year he entered a 'Karaoke Idol' contest, and took third place in the Chicago land area.

  
Mary Hopper

Mary Hopper

Minister of Music


Mary is a longtime lover of church music. Her mother was the choir director at the Presbyterian Church Mary grew up in. Since then, she has made music a career. As Professor of Choral Music at Wheaton College, she has directed the Women's Chorale for 30 years and the Men's Glee Club for 8 years. She is currently the Director of Performance Studies in the Wheaton Conservatory.

Mary is married to Peter Welander. Their daughter, Betsy, and her husband also attend Immanuel.

In her ministry at Immanuel, Mary loves coordinating the music--choosing hymns and songs that fit with the theme of the sermon. She also loves playing the organ and leading in congregational singing.

When she isn't planning or conducting a service or college performance, Mary likes reading books on worship by Marva Dawn. She is also an avid reader of mystery and spy novels and movies. Her favorites include Smiley's People and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

  
Annika Durbina

Annika Durbin

Minister of Christian Education


Annika Durbin lives in Wheaton with her husband, Eric, and their five elementary-aged children, Jack, Ellie, Samantha, Abigail, and Will. Annika has a degree in Elementary Education (K-8) with certifications in literature and music. Before becoming a mother, she worked in local public schools as a special education aide and then a first grade teacher. Since she was very young, Annika knew that someday her life’s work would involve children. Engaging with children brings her much joy, and she believes that walking beside children on their spiritual journeys is one of the greatest honors and highest responsibilities in the body of Christ. Annika knows firsthand the value of growing up in a covenant family, having attended Immanuel since she herself was in the nursery.

Annika enjoys working in the yard, going for walks at the Arboretum, camping and hiking in the mountains of Colorado, singing in worship with her husband, reading with her kids, family game nights, and meeting friends for coffee.


  
Barb Lawrence

Barbara Lawrence

Church Secretary


Barb recognizes her role as a link between the congregation, the community, and the pastoral staff. She may seem a bit shy, but she loves people and loves developing relationships.

Her love of people equips her well for her ministry at Immanuel, in which she has ample opportunity to help out.

Barb enjoys relaxing beside her backyard swimming pool and reading, but her favorite pastime is playing with her grandchildren. 

  
Amber Johnson

Amber Johnson

Business Manager


Amber is a lifelong Warrenville resident who grew up right down the street from the current Immanuel facility. She left Warrenville to attend college in Greeley, Colorado, where she majored in international trade and relations and minored in Spanish. It was in college that Amber became a Christian. After college, at a retreat, Amber met her husband, Marc.

Now raising three daughters of her own not far from Warrenville, in North Aurora, Amber is thrilled that she can use her skills and education to help improve the church's finances. When she's not doing that, she enjoys cooking, knitting, and cross-stitching and spending time with family and friends.

  
Linden Cole

Linden Cole

Assistant Business Manager


Linden experienced major spiritual growth through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship while a student at Harvard University, where he developed a heart for missions. He taught for two years at a mission high school in Pakistan and spent many more years on the Latin America Mission Board.

His main credential as a church treasurer is a career as an actuary (someone who designs and manages risk pools). He enjoys being able to put his experience in business to use in the church.

Linden enjoys figuring out how to get places by public transportation, taking walking tours of Chicago, and visiting the city's many museums. He loves baseball games and reading Sherlock Holmes stories, anything by Emily Hahn, and books about India and Pakistan. As for movies, he counts all six of the Thin Man movies, Groundhog Day, and the Marx Brothers’ Monkey Business among his favorites.

  
Frank Lawrence

Frank Lawrence

Church Sexton

(The dictionary says a sexton is an employee or officer of a church who is responsible for the care and upkeep of church property and sometimes for ringing bells and digging graves!)

Frank grew up near Cape Girardeau, Missouri and moved to Illinois when he was in high school. He worked for Western Electric for 30 years and was employed in building maintenance at several companies before starting his own cleaning business, so he is well-suited for the job of church sexton. He loves keeping things organized and is passionate about recycling. When not at church he spends his time listening to country music and watching almost anything on the History Channel. Frank also enjoys ushering in church on Sundays.  

  
 
29w260 Batavia Road, Warrenville, Illinois 60555 • 630.393.4400 • 630.393.2053 • info@immanuelpresbyterian.net
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