Full-time Staff

Bishop Jeffrey Clements

As bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod, Bishop Clements serves as the Synod’s pastor of Word and Sacrament. He is the Synod’s President and Chief Executive and Administrative Officer, spiritual leader, preacher, and teacher.

Find out more about Bishop Jeffrey Clements.

Deacon Cheryl Erdmann

Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy and Special Events

  • Candidacy for Rostered Ministry in the ELCA
  • Relates to the Congregational Life Committee
  • Events Coordinator for special events, including the Congregational Resourcing Event and the Professional Leaders Conference
  • Synod Assembly Co-chairperson
  • Nominating Committee Coordinator
  • Receives applications for the Gary Wollersheim Rostered Ministers Debt Reduction Fund grants and the Continuing Education and Sabbatical grants.

309-794-4004 (office)
815-236-6657 (mobile)

The Rev. Gary Erickson

Assistant to the Bishop and Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM)

  • Stewardship
  • Outreach Committee
  • Racial Justice Team
  • Liaison to the East and Northeast Conferences

309-794-4004 (office)
815-289-6055 (mobile)

The Rev. Pat Esker

Assistant to the Bishop for Operations and Governance

  • Relates to the Constitution Review Committee
  • Relates to the Resolutions Committee
  • Relates to Synod Council
  • Synod Statistician-including roster changes
  • Oversight of Synod communications
  • Oversight of Synod policies and procedures
  • Oversight of Synod financials
  • Oversight of legal matters

309-794-4004 (office)
815-297-5186 (mobile)

Deacon Karin Graddy

Assistant to the Bishop for Communication

309-794-4004 (office)
815-762-0758 (mobile)

The Rev. Marilyn Hanson

Assistant to the Bishop

  • Call Process Coordinator
  • Synod Assembly Co-chairperson
  • Relates to the Ministry Support Committee
  • Liaison to the Central and South Conferences

309-794-4004 (office)
815-494-7599 (mobile)

Part-time Staff

The Rev. Dr. Denver Bitner

Assistant to the Bishop for the North and Northwest Conferences

  • Relates to North Conference, Northwest Conference, and Synod staff
  • Reports to the Bishop


The Rev. Michel Clark

Assistant to the Bishop for the West and Southwest Conferences

  • Relates to West Conference, Southwest Conference, and Synod staff
  • Reports to the Bishop


Support Staff

Julie Lewis

Executive Secretary to the Bishop/Office Manager


Nancy Corey

Administrative Assistant to Pastor Gary Erickson; Registrar

Rock Island Office