Our Assistant Pastor

Reverend william "sam" timbers

Assistant Pastor

   Sam's Story... 'Nobody is beyond God's reach!'

Reverend Sam was born in Detroit, MI but considers himself to be a native of Pittsburgh.  He accepted the call to serve as Emmanuel Pittsburgh‘s Assistant Pastor in 2018, though he has been a fixture within the fabric of the church leadership and discipleship for over a decade.

Reverend Sam will be the first to tell you that his life and ministry are a testimony to the awesome transformational power of God at-work in the lives of those who make themselves available.  Reverend Sam’s heart for serving for people is manifested in the passion and urgency of his evangelism and outreach activities.   He is a true servant-leader with the unique & powerful ability to connect with individuals and families from all walks of life and life experiences.

Sam's consistent message to others is to understand that noone is beyond the reach of God’s grace and mercy, and that each person’s story is different, but under the influence of the same awesome and transformational God.

In addition to serving as the Assistant Pastor, he is also the architect of many of the ministry's creative and energetic evangelism activities, while also serving as the leader of the Man-2-Man Men’s Ministry.

Our Associate Pastors

reverend lori gunter

Associate Pastor | Women's Ministry Leader

     Lori's Story... 'I am not forgotten!'

Reverend Lori Gunter is a native of McKeesport, PA.  She began her Kingdom service in childhood as a Youth Ministry and Youth Choir participant at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  

After several years of not attending church and feeling as though God had forgotten her, Reverend Lori felt the need to get back to what she knew God wanted for her life.  Her daughter, Candace, invited her several times to Emmanuel Baptist Church and after experiencing the sudden death of her mother in 2010, as well as, suffering a period of lowliness and depression, Reverend Lori was empowered to make a change!  

Feeling the pull of God, Reverend Lori began attending Emmanuel and recalls a fire that started fueling a hunger to learn more about what God had to say.  After rededicating her life to Christ, her life began to change for the better as she began to move in God’s direction.

In January 2012, Reverend Lori accepted her call to ministry and in November of 2014, she received her Ministerial license.  Reverend Lori has been in a leadership role within Emmanuel Pittsburgh’s Woman 2 Woman Women’s ministry.  

Reverend Lori is on-fire for the Lord, and this energy and enthusiasm fuels her desire to learn more about Christ, draw closer to Him, and make herself available to be used for Kingdom-transforming impact.  

Reverend Lori has been a student at the Harty Bible School since August of 2016 and was recently elected as President of her Senior class.   for Harty’s 2019-2020 school year. Reverend Gunter’s love for God and desire to fulfill His purpose for her life, has allowed her to be an exceptional student at Harty.

Her passion for sharing God’s goodness, mercy, and grace has allowed her to engage and connect to women who are lost and looking for something better in life.  She also remains connected to her youth ministry roots and makes herself available to serve the youth and teens of Emmanuel and surrounding communities.  

Reverend Lori s the proud wife of Deacon Allen Gunter Sr., the mother of four beautiful daughters (Candace, Tonya, Erika, and Jasmine), and blessed Nana of nine grandchildren.

reverend derrick johnson

Associate Pastor | Discipleship Leader

   Derrick's Story... 'I didn't see God's vision for me until later in life'

Reverend Derrick was born and raised in the Mon Valley area and was an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church as a youth.   Disciples of Emmanuel Baptist Church always told Derrick he would preach and teach the Word of God but he didn’t see the vision God had for him until later in life.  After graduating from Woodland Hills High School in 2002, he strayed away from the church.   While on his God-scripted wilderness journey, Reverend Derrick attributes the birth of his son Micah, and the death of several close family members to a radical transformation that shifted his thinking about the purpose that GOD has called for him to do.   In 2010 he returned to Emmanuel and vowed to be be "all-in" for Christ and the uplifting of God’s Kingdom. At that time he and his then girlfriend, Candace, became leaders of the EBC Youth Ministry.  Reverend Derrick is a proud father of 2 beautiful children, son Micah (16) and daughter Zaria (2).  He credits God, his grandmother, mother, father, son, and wife of 6 years, daughter, and his previous Pastor Rev. Wanda L. Sawyer-Flipping for their role in shaping him into the God fearing young man he is today!

reverend sheldon johnson

Associate Pastor | Discipleship Academy Director

   Sheldon's Story... 'If it had not been for God on my side...'

Reverend Sheldon is a Rankin-born man of God.   He was raised at Mt.  Olive Baptist Church where is grandfather was the pianist.  As a child Sheldon was known throughout the community as the funny kid who loved to play baseball.  Sheldon could always be found hanging out with his friends and playing games.

Though raised in the church, Sheldon’s life’s journey took him through a season where he stopped going to church, though he remained ‘connected’ to the Lord.  On June 24, 2001 Sheldon gave his life to the Lord and since that time has been all-in and on-fire for the Kingdom.  

Reverend Sheldon’s commitment to Kingdom work stems from a deep love for God originated from the realization that God’s grace, mercy and patience afforded him the opportunity to transform his relationship with God through Jesus.
Reverend Sheldon is an integral part of the Emmanuel Pittsburgh Discipleship Academy and the Faith Bible Institute and the early 2000s Sheldon has hosted a men’s group in his home.

Sheldon is happily married to his Sister Kitty Johnson and they are the proud parents of two children.

reverend richard walker

Associate Pastor | Prison Outreach Leader

   Rich's Story... 'I love giving God my very best!.'

Reverend Rich is affectionately known to the Emmanuel family as 'slash', because he fills so many roles and because he is always available and accessible.  No matter which of the many roles that he faithfully fills, there is no dispute that his presence and impact at Emmanuel Pittsburgh is indispensable!  Rich is a true servant-leader, still working diligently as a dedicated deacon even after becoming a licensed and ordained member of the ministerial staff.  

Reverend Walker is a 'home-grown' talent, born in Rankin, PA and lifelong disciple of the Emmanuel ministry beginning his walk and service to the Lord as a participant of the Emmanuel youth ministry as a child..   After distinguished and honorable military service in the US Army, Reverend Rich returned home and a to life committed to serving others.

He is currently working as contracted federal security officer, Reverend Richard believes that his desire to give God his best in all things and at all times has been rewarded by God constantly positioning him to encounter people who are in need of introduction to the Savior!

Emmanuel Pittsburgh's 'man-of-many-talents' currently leads our Prison Evangelism Ministry, while also coordinating our transportation ministry and church security services.  

When not at church, Richard enjoys spending time with his two beautiful daughters, his son, and grandchildren.

Our Deacons

  "Therefore, select from among you people of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
                  - Acts 6

God does nothing by accident.  Just as God draws individuals and families to His houses of worship, He appoints and equips leaders for the purpose of modeling Christ-likeness and assisting the Pastor in overseeing the daily ministry and administrative activities of the church.  God has assembled men and women after His own heart with nearly 300-years worth of combined Kingdom service and church leadership experience.  These dedicated and selfless men and women of God stand ready to SERVE God, His Kingdom, the Pastor and all of the individuals and families that God directs to the Emmanuel Church!