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The Rev. Andrew J. Potsko

Pastor of Outreach and Mission

After graduating from Bensalem High School (PA) in 1995, Andrew began his undergrad at Concordia College in St. Paul, MN. After a couple years, he began traveling around the world with Lutheran Youth Encounter (a relational music ministry) for five years. He received his B.A. in Multi-Cultural Studies at Trinity Lutheran College in Seattle, WA. After working in Youth and Music ministry for ten years, Andrew moved to Columbus, OH and earned his Masters of Divinity at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 2019. He and his wife, Rachel, as well as their two daughters, Eleanora and Lily Anna, love to spend time outdoors. Besides hunting and fishing, studying the Bible and playing Scrabble, Andrew is also a gifted children’s musician and storyteller and enjoys sharing the love of God to people of all ages.

The Rev. Dr. Bruce R. Roth

Lead Pastor

He graduated from Worthington High School in 1987, The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Education in 1991, Trinity Lutheran Seminary in 1995, and ear​​ned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2002 from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  Pastor Bruce is married to Kelly Roth, a local dentist, and has three children; Kory, Alex and Sarah. He served as the Northeastern Ohio Synod's Evangelism Committee Chair, the Canton/Massillon Conference Dean, and the President of UrbanArk, Inc. He is currently serving as the team chaplin for the Jackson High School Varsity Football Team. Pastor Bruce loves to golf and travel, and he is passionate about helping people experience the love of God in such a profound way that their lives are changed forever. 


The Rev. Herbert S. Garnes III

Visitation Pastor

Pastor Herb is the Visitation Pastor at St. Stephen Martyr Lutheran Church.  He is a graduate of the University of Mount Union and Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Pastor Herb retired in 2007 after serving as the pastor of St. Jacob's Lutheran Church in North Canton for 37 years. In addition to being SSMLC's visitation pastor, he continues to serve as a member of Northeastern Ohio Synod's Congregational Resource Team, a chaplain for the Aultman Hospice program and a docent at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Pastor Garnes lives in Plain Township with his wife Debbie and their two dogs, Bailey and Sampson. Pastor Herb and Debbie have one son, Bert, who lives in Douglasville, Georgia, with his wife Kris.

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