Our Pastors


     Senior Interim Pastor Elise Rothfusz

Having been part of a military family that was frequently on the move, Pastor Elise learned that a constant in her life was the Church and God. God planted the seed of her calling when she was a sophomore in Tucson, AZ while attending a Lutheran Women Convention. After graduating high school, she attended Luther College in Decorah, IA as a religion major with minors in music and classical studies.

She met her husband, John, while attending Luther Seminary. She served at St. John Lutheran Church in Bluff Springs and Eureka Presbyterian Church as an interim pastor before being called to Salem in May 2009. One of her favorite parts of being a pastor is hearing stories of where God is working in people’s lives and how God’s Word helps them connect with God.

Pastor Elise and her husband have three children and live in Washington, IL where John also as a pastor. Outside of ministry activities, Pastor Elise enjoys reading, singing, crafts and most of all spending time with her family.


     Deacon Jill Goldhammer

Jill began in the position in October, 2005 and was commissioned as an Associate in Ministry at Salem in April, 2006 after completing the ELCA Candidacy process. Jill is a life-long Peorian and a life-long Lutheran. She graduated from Woodruff High School and Bradley University. She earned a Master’s Degree in the Administration of Youth Services from Sangamon State University in 1993 and completed the AIM Lutheran education requirements at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Jill has served on the Northern Conference Youth Board for 20+ years and is a member of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. She currently serves as the ELCA Practice Discipleship Coach for our synod.

Jill has a great love for parish ministry and is specifically called to help congregations provide faith formation opportunities for children, youth and families that result in lifelong commitments to Christ. Some of her favorite activities at Salem are VBS, Be Like Jesus Weekend, the annual Youth Service, and Breaking Bread.


Our Staff 

Office Coordinator

Brenda Newcomb | bnewcomb@salemofpeoria.com

Director of Communications

Meghan Peterson | mpeterson@salemofpeoria.com

Director of Senior Ministry

Joanie Creager | jcreager@salemofpeoria.com

Preschool Director

Pam Machacek | pmachacek@comcast.net

Parish Nurse

Lori Reimer | lreimer@salemofpeoria.com

Director of Music

Marcia Richardson | mrichardson@salemofpeoria.com

Director of Sunday School

Gretchen Petrakis | gpetrakis@salemofpeoria.com

Membership Coordinator

Cindy Turner | cturner@salemofpeoria.com

Discipleship Engagement Coordinator

Matt Bastian | mbastian@salemofpeoria.com