Rev. John Williams, Senior Pastor

No one would have guessed that the shy, quiet boy from Independence, Missouri would grow up to be a minister. But, since my ordination thirty-two  wonderful years ago, I have been joyfully serving Christ’s church. Blessed with an amazing education at Culver-Stockton College where I received a Bachelors degree in Religion and Philosophy, I was fortunate to continue studies at Phillips Graduate Seminary where I received a Masters of Divinity Degree and later a Masters in Sacred Theology at Christian Theological Seminary. I was privileged to serve the First Christian Church in Blue Mound, IL, Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin, IN, First Christian Church in Tacoma, WA and most recently here at Federated Church in West Lafayette.

Of course, I couldn’t do it alone, and have been fortunate to share the last thirty-four years with my wife and partner, Cherilyn. Our son, Adam, has been a constant source of joy and is now a law student in Seattle, WA, giving us a great place to visit on occasion. When I’m not enjoying some activity at church, I love music, theater and movies. Chances are good that on a Friday night you’ll find us at a local theater.

It is a real honor to serve Federated Church. It is a church where everyone is welcome, all traditions are respected, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared in profound ways. Federated Church is filled with loving, conscientious and caring people who diligently seek to live out their faith. I am humbled and thankful to serve as the Senior Pastor at Federated Church in West Lafayette. Come and join us!

Susan Thomas, Director of Children’s Education susan.thomas@federatedchurch.net

I was born and raised in West Lafayette, IN and attended West Lafayette Schools and Purdue University. Children and their well-being have always been important to me. From a young age I provided child care for neighbors and church members, taught Sunday school, worked with youth groups and directed many Vacation Bible School programs, so I felt prepared for the challenge of this position in our church family.

My Grandfather, Paul E. Million Sr., was my best friend and mentor as a child. He was a Disciples of Christ Minister for many years. I felt his influence and God’s call to pursue my ministry license, and to work with Children.

I have enjoyed working with others to start a new worship center for our children where we hold Worship & Wonder. Our F.I.S.H. group (3rd-6th graders) is fun and has a beautiful new room to create, praise, and worship God in. Come join us in spreading the good news of God’s love while we nurture His and our most blessed gift, the children.

Stephen Eberhard, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry stephen.eberhard@federatedchurch.net 

Stephen was born in New Bern, North Carolina, but moved to West Lafayette, Indiana with his family at the age of 8. Stephen grew up attending First Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) in Downtown Lafayette where both of his parents were ministers. Stephen met his wife, Megan, while attending Harrison High School (2010 graduates) and they wed in July 2016. They also recently welcomed their first daughter, Bonnie Mae, in February 2019.

Stephen received his Bachelor’s of Science in Public Affairs at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, earning a degree in civic leadership and a minor in political science. After gaining some experience working on various political campaigns, Stephen decided to answer his call to ministry.

Currently, Stephen is seeking ordination with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) while completing his Masters of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He will finish his studies next May 2020.

Joyce Francis, Administrative Assistant   joyce.francis@federatedchurch.net

It’s funny how God knows you better than you know yourself.  One of my favorite quotes is: Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”  I would have never imagined that I could find the most perfect job in my forties, but I have.

I have enjoyed married life for over 25 years and we have two children that bring such joy and laughter to our lives.  God has placed me in a position here at Federated with the most wonderful and caring people.  I really enjoy meeting the members and am truly blessed in this position.

Jeanne Wilhelm, Director of Music

As a believer in Jesus Christ the Son of God, I feel called to serve God and God’s people through music. In both liturgical and contemporary settings, I have directed choirs of all sizes and ages, as well as handbells, praise teams and drama teams.

I graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Music Education (vocal and instrumentation), and began directing church choirs a hundred years ago as a teenager. I am thrilled to be at a church that recognizes the importance of music in worship, and where the congregation is so open to a wide variety of styles.

Dan Hartley, Financial Secretary

After 37 years of doing “geeky” stuff at Purdue University, a new calling summoned me to the best “job” that anyone could be blessed to enjoy. For nearly seven years, I enjoyed serving as Federated’s Administrative Assistant, Financial Secretary and Technology Coordinator, retiring from the Administrative Assistant portion of those duties at the end of August 2016, and from the Technology Coordinator position at the end of February 2017 (but still doing that as a volunteer).

Miscellaneous tidbits: Oldest of eight children, baptized by a Disciples of Christ congregation at age 12, recipient of the God and Country award (fellow Scouts will know this one), sings way better than he ever played the bass clarinet in middle school, came to Purdue as a science student in 1969 and sang in the Varsity Glee Club under Al Stewart’s direction, was irritated upon his first visit to Federated Church 35-odd years ago because they serve communion only on the first Sunday of the month (he eventually got over it), loves to cook and enjoys knotty problems. He is intensely proud of his children, Christopher and Catharine, even as he is gratified that they managed to survive childhood with him to become happy, successful adults – with no small measure of help from their wonderful mom!

I and wife Lois are now answering the call to a new and final chapter of this earthly journey on the way to the Great Reunion, accepting His will to both honor and let go of the past while joyfully serving Him far better than either of us could do alone.

Judy Schreiner, Receptionist & Event Coordinator

I have been a member of Federated Church since 1982.   I work three days a week as the front desk receptionist.  Some of my other duties include keeping Federated’s membership / visitor records up to date, serving as the church’s wedding / event coordinator and being a member of Federated’s Care Council Ministry besides doing many other miscellaneous jobs at the church.


Gary Tyner, Organist

garyI have been blessed to serve as Federated’s organist since 2002. Previous travels have allowed me to perform at a variety of churches, military chapels, and Christian retreats over the years. Those fond memories help me to really appreciate the opportunity to continue my music ministry with my wonderful Federated Church family now and, hopefully, for years to come.