Rev. Debra North (Pastor Debby)
I began my call as Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Blakeslee in March 2018. Before coming here, I served at the two-point parish of St. John’s in Nanticoke and St. Mark’s in Pond Hill.
I discerned my call to ministry in 2006, after a 20-year career in Environmental Remediation for TRC Vectre in Mountain Lakes, NJ. After moving to Barrett Township in 2006, I attended seminary at Moravian Theological in Bethlehem and the Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia, and served an internship at Faith Evangelical Lutheran in Whitehall. I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 2010 and was ordained shortly after.
My wonderful partner in marriage and in ministry is Ed. He has been a self-employed representative in the industrial maintenance supply field for over 40 years, but will soon enjoy retirement… and spending a lot less time behind the wheel of his car! We enjoy traveling and sightseeing when we can.
We have two grown children, Chris and Jennifer, a lovely daughter-in-law Sharlene, and a vibrant granddaughter, Maura.
Ed and I love spending time with our Family of Faith in worship and in fellowship, and hope many more will join us in our mission and ministry here in the beautiful Pocono Mountains!!
Barbara Monroe, Worship Committee
Spouse: David Monroe
Anniversary: May 29, 2005
I was born and raised in Merrick, Long Island, NY and moved to the Poconos 15 years ago.
I currently work for the US Census Bureau as their Monroe County field rep.
My husband and I are Country Line and Partner Dance Instructors and DJs through our Cowboy Boogie Productions business. We travel to Dance Events all over the US.
I have been an active sales representative for AVON PRODUCTS for 40 years now and love their products.
I am a member of the Worship and Music Committee and an active Communion Assistant at the 10:30 am service.
Michael Gillis, Council President
I am a retired Chief Water and Wastewater Operator and have been a member of Faith Lutheran Church since 2008. I reside with my wife of 29 years in Pocono Pines.
Currently, I work part-time performing maintenance duties for St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish which allows me to be active in our ecumenical community. A Blue Star Family, with a son serving active duty in the U.S. Navy. I enjoy observing my son navigate the newly found waters of marriage and traveling.
I believe that through my service to our Council, choir and ecumenical endeavors that we can all make a difference, grow the church and share the love of Christ one small act of kindness at a time.
Thomas R. Hutton, Council Vice President
Thomas R Hutton married to Xian Wei Xian.
Four adult children, three daughters and one son, one adult stepson.
Coming to the Poconos as a vacationer since 1964, full-time residence beginning 1973
Lauren Catrino, Council Treasurer
Phil Newlander, Council Financial Secretary
John Lyman, Church Council Secretary
Maritza Oquendo, Church Secretary
Barbara Fox, Witness and Service, Care Team and TOMEC
Nancy Croughn, Witness and Service
Arlene Sinclair, Witness and Service
Phyllis Nutt, Learning Committee
I have been Lutheran my entire life. Born on January 6th, Epiphany, and baptized at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Camden, NJ), in which my mother was raised. This is where my aunt (father’s sister), her husband, and son were members. I began Sunday School at three, later taught Sunday School, sang in the Choir, participated in Luther League, and was married at Grace Lutheran Church (Camden, built in 1907, an offshoot of Epiphany). Later Jim and I joined Temple Lutheran (Pennsauken, also on an offshoot of Epiphany). After moving to Gloucester Twp. and after Christian left for college, we joined Apostles’ Lutheran in Washington Twp. Gloucester Co. – there are 6 or 7 Washington Twps. In NJ).
We have one son, Christian, who works for Nintendo in Seattle, WA, as a writer, translator of Japanese (self-taught speaker, reader, and somewhat writer). We have been married for 52 years. My work, after Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA), began as a teacher of English at a county vocational-technical high school. After attending Rowan University (then Glassboro State College) for my MA in Counselling, I moved to Clearview Regional HS District (Mullica Hill, NJ), to become a school counselor in the Junior High (which much later became Middle School) since I felt the Vietnam War would never be over and was tired of seeing graduates get very good jobs, they would be over there within six months, and sometimes die. I was at Clearview for 30 years, often working with children of my original “kids”.
I built our house here for summer and weekends in 1981 when our son was four. We moved up full-time, December 1, 2004. Joined Faith in 2005 or ’06. I started a Red Hats group, joined Pocono Mtn. Women’s Club (both social & charitable activities because I had really only been involved in county and state professional counseling activities and church groups in NJ).
Paul Frantz, Finance Chairperson
We have lived in Blakeslee since 1984 after graduating from Wilkes College. We have attended Faith since 1992. I supported the local Boy Scout troop in several different capacities as well as coaching softball for many years. I retired from Tobyhanna Army Depot after a 34-year career as an engineer and supervisor. I earned two master's degrees while working at Tobyhanna. I now work summers as the camp cook and have been married to Janet for 35 years and we have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Cub Scout Camp and enjoy camping, skiing, biking and working on projects to improve my home here in the Poconos.
Jacquie Halko, Worship Committee
Jacquie lived for 3 years in Valley Stream (Long Island), New York.
Current age: 70
Lived in: Staten Island (Borough of NYC) for ~10 years
Cranberry Lake (Sussex County), New Jersey, ~ 6 years. I graduated from Sparta High School.
Jacquie received a BS Degree in Medical Technology from Vermont College (Montpelier, VT) in 1971 and then worked as a Medical Technologist in a Hospital Laboratory in New Jersey for ~8 years. She married Rick Halko in July 1978 after which she “retired” to have and raise three children (Joshua, Rachel, and Jennika) … now ages 39, 37, and 34, who lives in Silver Spring, MD; Boston, MA; and Columbia, SC respectively.
Rick and Jacquie have known one another since Jacquie was born. Their parents were good friends and lived 5 houses apart. She was baptized in Rick’s Christening dress (made by Rick’s mother) and slept in Rick’s bassinet (3 years later). Rick’s mother (Aino Halko, a founding member of Faith Lutheran Church) and father (David), who retired in 1972 and lived in Arrowhead Lake, were her godparents.
Jacquie and Rick lived in New Jersey for 22 years and then in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for 7 years. When Rick retired in 2007, they moved to the house in Arrowhead Lake that had been Rick’s parent’s home until Aino Halko’s death in 1999.
Jacquie was baptized at St. John’s Methodist Church in Elmont, NY. She later attended and was confirmed at Christ Episcopal Church in Staten Island, NY. Jacquie and Rick attended Zion Lutheran Church in Long Valley, New Jersey for 21 years and then the Lutheran Church of our Savior (where Jacq was a church council member for 5 years) while living in Baton Rouge. After retiring and returning north, Jacquie and Rick “commuted” and continued as members of Zion Lutheran Church in Long Valley, NJ for ~ 8 years, where Rick resumed playing with the contemporary music group. Tired of driving more than 12,000 miles a year to church, they joined Faith Lutheran Church in 20__.