Church Staff

Click Here to meet our excellent Immanuel School faculty and staff as well!

  • Kevin Ader, Vacancy Pastor

    Pastor Kevin Ader currently serves at St. John, Kellner and is supporting Immanuel  while we seek to fill our Senior Pastor position. 


    We are very grateful to Pastor Ader for being willing to serve as our Support Pastor. 

  • I graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul in 2008 and earned my DCE certification in 2009 through the colloquy program. I am originally from Wisconsin Rapids and am very happy to be back 'home'; it is such a blessing to be called to serve our community through Immanuel Lutheran Church and school. My husband Ryan and I are blessed with two children: Maggie (born July, 2016) and Mack (November 2020).   I cannot wait to see how God will continue to use our Immanuel family to raise up our children, and the many other young ones in our congregation.   


    The school's theme this year is Everlasting Rock. How is Jesus your Everlasting Rock? What does our theme verse mean to you?

    There is a lot of comfort in the many scipture passages that compare God and His Word to rocks, cornerstones, etc. The Word and promises of God are not only reliable, but everlasting! God's wisdom does not change or grow outdate as we often see in the "wisdom" of this world. It is incredibly encouraging to know that when I follow God, I follow the Truth that will never change! 


    If you had only one sense (smell, touch, taste, etc.) which would you want? Why?

    Taste! I love food and I love to cook! Though, really, I would hate to miss out on smelling, seeing, or feeling any part of God's wonderful creation!


    Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Explain how you know.

    I was born an extrovert who has developed introverted tendencies over time.  ;)  I have always been energized by being around people, but I've recently learned to appreciate quiet moments to myself to recharge.  



    Hometown: Wisconsin Rapids, WI

    Degree: Lutheran Theology and Ministry



    Contact Tara at (715) 423-3260 ext. 225 or tdarling@immanuelrapids.com.

  • I recently moved back to Wisc. Rapids after being away for 11 years after my husband, Todd, passed away from cancer. I have two daughters that both have stayed in MN so it is just me and my black lab, Ace.  I love spending time with my girls when they come home to visit.  I was a church secretary for six years at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Gaylord, MN.  


    I am truly blessed to be back in a church family and have the love and support of the congregation.  That means so much to me because FAMILY is everything to me.

    I look forward to serving in this role and getting to know each and every one of you.

     

    The school's theme this year is Everlasting Rock. How is Jesus your Everlasting Rock? What does our theme verse mean to you?

    He strengthens me through hard times and I feel the love of his arms around me.  Going through 5 years of cancer with the husband I don't think I could have not gotten through that knowing HE was not by my side.

     

    What's your favorite way to spend a day off?

    My favorite way to spend my day off is being with my family playing hand and foot, in the summer my love is being by the lake enjoying the sounds and smells and of course enjoying a cup of coffee. 

     

    Hometown: Nekoosa, WI


    Contact Mary at (715) 423-3260 or at ilcoffice@immanuelrapids.com

  • Caitlin Shuda, Director of Contemporary Music

    I grew up in Wisconsin Rapids and at Immanuel, and I’m excited to share my love of music and worship with my extended church family here. Music has always been a big part of my life. I started playing piano when I was 4, transitioned to cello at 10, joined Gospel Choir in college at UW-Eau Claire, and taught myself guitar and ukulele since graduating and returning to Wisconsin Rapids. I am blessed to use the talents God gave me in ministry at Immanuel.

     

    When I had surgery and radiation treatments several years ago, this congregation gave me so much support, love and prayers, and I am happy to be able to return some of that support and love through my role here.

     

    The school's theme this year is Everlasting Rock. How is Jesus your Everlasting Rock? What does our theme verse mean to you?

    When I think of Jesus being our Everlasting Rock, there are several songs that come to mind, but it’s most comforting to know when everything in the world seems to fall apart, we find comfort, refuge and stability in Christ.

     

    “When I feel my hope about to break / I will cling to Your unchanging grace / Let the waters come and the earth give way / I'll be dancing in the rain! / My feet are on the rock” -My Feet are on the Rock by I Am They

     

    If you had only one sense (smell, touch, taste, etc.) which would you want? Why?

    If I had only one sense, I would pick hearing. I love listening to music and worship, and I love hearing other people share their stories.

      

    Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Explain how you know.

    I am a mix of both. I used to be more introverted when I was younger, but I have grown into my extroverted side as I have gotten older. I get energized being around people, but I also need some time to myself to recharge.

  • Jonathan Blum, Facility Administrator

    I have lived in Wisconsin Rapids for most of my life, with stops in Madison and London along the way. I previously served 4 years as the Administrator for another local Lutheran church. After working as a lawyer, I am excited to serve and support you at Immanuel.


    What is your favorite board game? Why do you like it so much? I love playing Sorry with my wife and daughters. All three gang up on me – so if I ever win, it is truly an accomplishment. 


    What song always gets you out on the dance floor, tapping your toes, or instantly improves your mood?  Definitely Roll out the Barrel – who doesn’t love a good polka? 


    What was the last show you binge watched? What are you currently watching? My last binge watch was The Last Kingdom on Netflix – I like historical fiction. No time for binge watching now – it is Brewers baseball season!


    What is your favorite tradition? My parents, siblings, and I have been season ticket holders for Badger football game for 28 years. On Wisconsin!



    Hometown: Wisconsin Rapids

    Bachelor’s Degree: Economics – Math Emphasis, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Professional Degree: Juris Doctorate, University of Wisconsin Law School


    Contact Jon at (715) 423-3260 ext. 224 or jblum@immanuelrapids.com.