~ OUR STAFF ~
Pastor Kay Bender Braun
Pastor Kay Braun grew up in the Carolinas, and graduated from the University of South Carolina, with a degree in journalism. She and John married in 1984 and relocated to Philadelphia for her to attend seminary and for John to take a sports job with the Inquirer. Before becoming a pastor, she was a newspaper reporter and worked in medical public relations.
Pastor Kay was ordained in 2000. St. James is her third call and she feels blessed to be here! She is with us to administer the sacraments, preach and teach, provide spiritual and emotional support to members and the community, and to help connect the congregation with the Synod and the ELCA.
Pastor and John moved to Pottstown in May 2015. They have two adult sons and two spirited dogs!
Director of Music Ministry
Director of Discipleship
Sharon Smith was raised in Philadelphia, PA. She is a lifelong Lutheran. Sharon received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Muhlenberg College and a Masters in the Art of Religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. She served as Director of Christian Education at St. John Lutheran Church in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia followed by the same position at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pottstown. Most recently, she served as Interim Director of Youth and Family at St. John Lutheran Church in Boyertown, PA. Sharon has been active, through various committees, on the synod level. Currently, she serves on the Tanzania Companionship Team.
Sharon has been married for 30 plus years to Harry Smith and they have two daughters,
Michaela and Danielle. The family resides in Boyertown.
Barbara J. Eisenhart
Barbara, who was born in Reading, is a near-life-long member of New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church. She was active in the youth groups, served as Sunday School teacher, Sunday School pianist and member of the choir for over 40 years. She has over 40 years of handbell choir experience. She was formerly on the New Hanover Lutheran Church staff as Administrative Assistant for 32 years. She is recently retired from Pottstown Hospital/Tower Health.
Barbara lives in New Berlinville with her husband Carl. They have 2 sons, Steven and Brian and two grandchildren, Erin and Alex. In addition to her love for her work in the church and her passion for handbells, Barbara enjoys planting and nurturing flowers, creating photo books and spending time with her family.
After serving six years as St. James' Treasurer, Sherry joined the staff as Financial Administrator in 2009. In this roll, she is involved in all aspects of financial stewardship including billing, offerings and donations, payroll, monthly reporting to Council, special project financial planning, and drafting the annual budget as part of the Finance Committee.
Sherry is a lifelong Lutheran from the Lehigh Valley: baptized at St John's in Phillipsburg, NJ; spent her early childhood at Trinity Lutheran in Hecktown (between Nazareth & Bethlehem), her family's church dating back to colonial times; confirmed at Good Shepherd in Wilson Borough; and married at St. James in 2001.
She graduated from Moravian College and Lehigh University with degrees in chemistry. She was a research chemist with Occidental Chemical for ten years, and currently teaches as adjunct faculty at Montgomery County Community College, Pottstown. She and husband Don reside in Pottsgrove, and have three children.
Cherub Choir Director