St. John’s Staff
Rev. Galen M. Purpura Jr., Pastor
Rev. Galen M. Purpura Jr. was born in Cheektowaga, New York. Pastor Galen is the son of Galen M. Purpura Sr. and Patricia Rindfuss. In 1996, Pastor Galen graduated from Maryvale High School. After graduation, he enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at Erie Community College. In 2001, Pastor Galen enrolled in the Pre-Seminary program at Concordia College, New York and graduated with a B.A. in 2004. In the fall of 2004, Pastor Galen began classes at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario. In 2006, Pastor Galen served his vicarage at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Ontario under the supervision of Rev. Robert Krestick. In May 2008, Pastor Galen graduated from Seminary and was certified for the office of Holy Ministry. Pastor Galen was ordained, installed, and commissioned on June 22, 2008. In addition to his service to the parish Pastor Galen is the Protestant Police and Fire Chaplain for the Village of Depew, and Chaplain for the Niagara County Aux. Police.
Pastor Galen was united in marriage to his beautiful wife Jennifer on June 29, 2002. Pastor Galen and Jen have four children, Branden, Ava, Matthew and Adalyn. In his spare time Pastor Galen enjoys spending time with his family, camping especially at Allegany State Park, and serving with the Depew Fire Dept. as a firefighter and fire police officer.
Mrs. Lois Will, Church Organist and Music Director
(Bio coming soon!)
Mr. Brad Lynch, Contemporary Worship Leader
(Bio coming soon!)
Stella Sawyer, Administrative Assistant
Stella was born and grew up in a small town in the Utica/Rome area of Central New York, the daughter of the late David R. and Rosemay Edick. She attended the Waterville Baptist Church. After her marriage to Brian Sawyer, she was Confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church where she would later work for nearly 14 years in the Capital District of New York. She and her husband have six children and five grandsons.
In 2013, her husband accepted a job transfer to Raleigh, North Carolina where Stella worked for the Rose of Sharon Baptist Church for almost two years before moving to North Tonawanda.
She looks forward to visits from her children and grandchildren that live in the Capital District, Vermont, Virginia and Maryland – or to making visits to them! She also looks forward to serving the people of St. John’s and making a 2nd church family here.