Robert 2017 updated
The Reverend Robert Salamone
Rector

Fr. Robert came to Emmanuel from New Jersey after being sidetracked in Western North Carolina for 15 years. While there he pastored both the local Roman Catholic church and St. James Episcopal which just happened to be right across the street! During his over 30 years of ordained ministry, Robert has held a variety of positions both pastoral and administrative. He has served as chaplain to a number of civic and religious organizations and has been elected to leadership roles both in the religious community he came from and dioceses he has been privileged to serve in. Robert and his wife Karen (a clinical psychologist)  enjoy the beach, walking, cycling, swimming and their pets. Contact Father Robert.

The Reverend Samuel Porras
Associate Rector

Samuel Porras was born in Medellin, Colombia. He entered the seminary when he was 16 years old, completed his philosophy studies in Bogota, Colombia, at the Universidad de San Buenaventura. When he was 26 years old he arrived to Atlanta with the Catholic diocese of Atlanta to complete his theology studies. He completed his Master’s degree in Theology from Mount Saint’s Mary Seminary and College in 1997 and was ordained in the Catholic Church in the same year. He served as a priest in the Catholic Church for about seven years and then he left the active ministry because he wanted to begin a family. He was working in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster since he left the active ministry and during the years he has completed additional studies related to the insurance industry. He was officially received as a priest for the Episcopal Church on May 15, 2016. He initiated the Hispanic service at Saint Gabriel’s since the end of January 2016. He currently helps Saint Gabriel in Oakwood GA with the Spanish celebration every Sunday. He was part of our team of four Priest who initiated the Hispanic ministry here at Emmanuel since February 2017 and has been part of Emmanuel’s staff since November 18, 2017 when he joined our parish as an associate rector. 

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Melissa Fulcher
Director of Administration

Melissa came to Emmanuel in 1999 as a temp and within 2 months became one of Emmanuel's own. At Emmanuel my job consist of administration along with "other" task (nothing to big, nothing to small that we can't jump right in to) to assisting the Rector in the needs and programs at Emmanuel. I enjoy the many challenges that come my way.

I have been married to my hubby, Ricky for 40 years. I have a awesome family, 2 sons (Michael and Shane), 1 daughter-in-law (Erin) and 4 grandchildren (whom I adore), Tristan, Kylie, Alyssa and Madison. If you ask me my favorite thing to do it is spending time with my grandchildren and family. Contact Melissa

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Georgia Collier
Rector's Associate for Children's Formation and Family Life

Georgia Collier began her work as a volunteer for the children's programs at Emmanuel for Vacation Bible School during the summer of 2002. She was immediately hooked and has enjoyed serving the children's ministry ever since. Georgia began her formal training for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2011. Through training, we learn that our only Teach is Christ, and we position ourselves to understand the mystery of the liturgical celebration. Her greatest joy is seeing the excitement and wonder of Christ through a child's eye.

Georgia enjoys time with her husband of 18 years, Curt, and their children Harris and Mary Morgan. They live in Jackson County where they are surrounded by God's beautiful countryside. Contact Georgia

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Michael Brewer
Director of Music

Michael Brewer is a Web Developer Principal at UGA, as well as the Principal Conductor of the Classic City Band, Georgia's oldest continuously-operating community band, and the Athens Brass Choir, a community brass ensemble. He also plays bass trombone with the Athens Symphony, sings with the Athens Master Chorale,  and participates in local theatrical companies (including both Town & Gown and ACT). A lifelong member of Emmanuel Episcopal, Michael lives in Athens with his lovely wife, Terri Tillman, and many, many cats (and one dog). Contact Michael

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Sam Polk
Organist

Mississippi native Sam Polk began playing the piano for church at age eleven. His fascination with the organ led to organ lessons as early as the seventh grade. Attending the University of Southern Mississippi he earned the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance and church music studying under Dr. Paul D. Andersen. During undergraduate school he was active as a choral and vocal studio accompanist in addition to winning the Collegiate Artist Award in Organ from the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. While under full scholarship he completed coursework for the Master of Music degree in organ performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Roberta Gary.

Mr. Polk has served churches in Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia and began his tenure as organist for Emmanuel Episcopal Church in January 2008. He is also employed by A. E. Schlueter Pipe Organ Sales and Service in Lithonia, Georgia. Contact Sam

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Karen Holland
Director of Finance

My name is Karen Holland. I perform all the bookkeeping functions for Emmanuel Church along with helping out with projects for the staff and church members. I am married to a wonderful man, Greg, with a stepson, Keith. I have a son, Joshua, who, because of a car accident, is now quadriplegic. When time permits, I enjoy gardening and playing with the dog.  Contact Karen.

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Amy Wraga
Director of Emmanuel Day School

Amy has been directing the day school since the fall of 2002. She holds a bachelors degree from Rutgers College in New Jersey and holds a Child Development Specialist certificate. In 2005, she was one of the first in Georgia to complete the Early Childhood Program Administration program at Flint River Technical College. She has recently become certified to teach early childhood continuing education classes. Amy has been an active volunteer in the PTO for over 10 years, holding many offices including President. She has taught parenting classes at two Mother's Centers and women's support groups at her church.

Amy lives in Oconee County with her two sons and her husband Bill, a UGA professor in the College of Education. Contact Amy

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Denise Thomas
Sexton

Denise if the mother of three children; Bethany, Nanette and Kierra. She lives presently in Comer, Georgia. Denise is originally from the Winder-Athens area. Denise keeps our facilities clean and helps out with the maintenance of the campus. She likes to play the piano and sing gospel songs. 

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Leah Goodwin
Emmanuel Thrift Store Manager

Leah Goodwin is the manager of the Emmanuel Thrift Store. She has been in retail all of her life, and co-owned a gift shop downtown for over 20 years. She loves the variety of merchandise, helping people find just the right thing and doing displays. She is mom to two high-schoolers, Amelia (17) and Abel (14), two mutts, and a cockatiel. In her spare time she frequents thrift stores and flea markets. Contact Leah