Leadership & Staff

Senior Pastor

Dr. Leo Endel accepted the call to be our pastor starting July 12, 2015. Leo was born in Florida and moved several times with his Air Force family before graduating high school in Missouri. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Central Missouri State University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has years of experience as pastor in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota both as senior and interim pastor.

He and his wife Sarah have two young adult daughters. Sarah teaches at Rochester Community and Technical College.

Dr. Endel is Executive Director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention. He has been a member of Emmanuel for over 12 years and has served twice as our interim pastor. His energetic personality and dynamic preaching are well liked and respected in the Minnesota-Wisconsin convention churches.

Executive Pastor

Steve Melvin retired from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention after serving as Church Starting Catalyst for 21 years – working with established churches to start new churches. He has served as pastor and interim pastor of several churches in Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa.

Steve has a Bachelor’s degree in music (piano performance) from Union University; a Master’s degree in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

Associate Pastor

Terry Forrest was called to be the associate pastor at Emmanuel in September of 2019. He has pastored at Austin Baptist Chapel in Austin Minnesota, and worked as a church planter in Byron and Rochester. Pastor Terry also has a soccer ministry where professional Brazilian coaches come to the US to teach soccer and share the gospel to children in our community. 

Pastor Terry has an Master of Arts in Theological Studies and a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He also has an undergraduate degree in computer science and has worked as a software engineer since 1987.

Terry and his wife Patty, have lived in Byron for more than 30 years. Together, they have four children and three grandchildren.

Youth Pastor

Jonathan Lemaster and his wife, Rebecca, were married in 2001. They have four daughters: Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, and Grace. Jonathan has been a bi-vocational pastor for many years. He works as a senior capability analyst with UnitedHealthcare and youth pastor at Emmanual since 2020. Previously Jonathan served as pastor at Eagles Nest Church in Pequot Lakes, MN, a pastor in Duluth, MN, and a youth pastor in Hannibal, MO.

Jonathan and Rebecca are both graduates of Hannibal-LaGrange University and he has studied at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Josh Rhoades has been a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church since 1998. He moved to Rochester from Ohio, accepting a job working as a medical technologist at the Mayo Clinic. A year later he was licensed to the ministry and began theological studies at Bethel Seminary. After graduating seminary in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Theology, he became a bi-vocational youth pastor at Emmanuel. He served in that capacity until Fall of 2011. Josh has also taught children’s Bible study, led small group bible studies, and is currently serving as a interim pastor for a sister congregation.

Josh and Amy married in 2003 and have three children. He enjoys reading, coaching little league basketball and baseball, watching football and basketball, and going on adventures with his children.

Tim Amert has lived in Rochester, Minnesota, and has been employed by IBM as an electrical engineer since 1984. Tim has a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. At Emmanuel Baptist Church in Rochester, Tim has served as treasurer since 2008. Tim has led a class for adults on Sunday mornings since 2013. In 2018, Tim started serving as a board member for the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Foundation. In 2019, Tim was elected a trustee of the International Mission Board.

Tim was married to Becky for 16 years before her death from breast cancer. Tim has three sons and three grandchildren.