9:30 & 11 a.m. Sundays


What I do: Communicate all that is happening at The Sanctuary through print, web, video and social networking.

Favorite part of my job: learning new things. The way we communicate seems to always be growing and changing. I love learning new skills in areas like design, web site creation, photography and video editing.

Little known fact: I have broken both arms twice.

I’d rather be: riding my bike on a path through the woods.

Emily has been on staff at The Sanctuary since June, 2010. She has 10 years of professional experience in the newspaper industry as a reporter, editor, online editor and bureau chief.

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Illinois and her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from University of Illinois at Springfield. She also helped start the women’s ministry at The Sanctuary.

Emily and her husband, Kent, have four creative and energetic children — two boys and two girls.

Contact Emily: .

Pastors & Staff

Ben Kafer
Worship Arts Director

Ben is the worship arts director at The Sanctuary Church. His desire is to point people to the same peace and hope that he found in Jesus through musical expressions. Read more.

Pastor John Jou
Associate Pastor

Pastor John has been the associate pastor at The Sanctuary since August 2015. John oversees the church’s youth ministry, from birth to college. His passion is helping young people use their gifts and talents to serve God, not just in the next generation, but as an important and vibrant part of today’s church. Read more.

Pastor Ronn Smith
Lead Pastor

Pastor Ronn has been the senior pastor at The Sanctuary since the church began in September 2000. Ronn’s passion is meeting new people and sharing with them the good news of Jesus Christ. Read more.


The pastors and staff are held accountable by our elders. Read more.

Jeff and Julie Holtz
Guest Services

Jeff and Julie Holtz are the Guest Services directors at The Sanctuary. Read more.

Michele Smith
Office Manager

Michele Smith is the office manager at The Sanctuary. Read more.

Stephani Suwanski
Office Manager

Stephani is the office manager at The Sanctuary. Read more.

Rainie Curtiss
KidsTown Director

Rainie Curtiss is the KidsTown Director at The Sanctuary. She loves finding creative and fun ways to lead kids into a lifelong relationship with Jesus. Read more.

Emily Neal
Communications Director

Emily Neal is the communications director at The Sanctuary. Her passion is finding creative ways to communicate through print and digital media, social networking, video and photography. Read more.