Pastors & Staff at Advent

Pastor Danielle Miller | Senior Pastor

Originally from Lancaster County, PA, Pastor Danielle has lived throughout the United States and abroad before landing in the Upper West Side with her husband Joel, a family physician in the Bronx, and their two children. She attended Loyola University of Maryland in Baltimore for undergraduate studies and graduated with a Masters in Divinity from The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. Pastor Danielle also currently serves as Director/Dean of Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership Ministries. Previously she served as pastor of Oceanside Lutheran Church in Oceanside, NY. Pastor Danielle believes in intentional inclusion that celebrates the gifts of the individual and community. She is committed to sharing God’s unconditional love for all people. Pastor Danielle enjoys good books, good company, and good food. She finds joy in impromptu dance parties with her children, storytelling and bad puns. You can reach Pastor Danielle at


Pastor Gary E. Mills | Latino Ministry

Gary MillsPr. Mills is from Benson, Minnesota. He holds an Associate of Arts degree in Linguistics from San Marcos University in Lima, Perú, a Bachelor of Music/Organ Performance degree with a minor in Harpsichord performance, as well as a Master of Sacred Music/Organ Performance degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Chicago with a concentration in Old Testament Studies. Pr. Mills did his internship at Trinity Lutheran in Brooklyn, under the supervision of Pr. James Sudbrock. He served as Pastor-Developer for Iglesia Luterana Sta. María-St. Mary’s Lutheran Church in Chicago, Pastor-Developer for Advent Lutheran Church in the Bronx, and Pastor-Developer for Iglesia Luterana de Cristo-Christ Lutheran Church in Freeport, New York before being called to serve as Assistant to the Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod in 1996, where he worked until coming to Advent in 2012. En Español: Pr. Mills es de Benson, Minnesota. Posee un Asociado en Artes Lingüísticas de la Universidad de San Marcos en Lima, Perú, un Bachillerato de Música / Órgano grado de rendimiento con un menor en el rendimiento del clavicordio, así como una Maestría en Música Sacra / Órgano grado de rendimiento de la Universidad de Wittenberg en Springfield , Ohio, una Maestría en Divinidad del Seminario Teológico Noroeste Lutero en St. Paul, Minnesota, y un título de Doctor de Teología por la Universidad de Chicago con una concentración en Estudios del Antiguo Testamento. Pr. Mills hizo su internado en la Iglesia Luterana Trinidad en Brooklyn, bajo la supervisión de Pr. James Sudbrock. Él sirvió como Pastor-desarrollador de Iglesia Luterana Sta. María en Chicago, Pastor-desarrollador de Adviento Iglesia Luterana en el Bronx, y el Pastordesarrollador de la Iglesia Luterana de Cristo en Freeport, Nueva York, antes de ser llamado a servir como asistente al Obispo del Sínodo Metropolitano de Nueva York en 1996, donde trabajó hasta llegar a servir en Adviento en 2012. Pastor Mills can be contacted at


Pastor James Sudbrock | Pastoral Associate

Pastor SudbrockPastor James Sudbrock’s primary responsibilites at Advent lie in Adult Education and Pastoral Care. Pastor Subdbrock holds Masters degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and New York Theological Seminary and an honorary doctorate from Wagner College. He served his seminary internship in Cuba; congregations in San Francisco, CA, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Mt. Vernon, NY; as coordinator of the Bronx Lutheran churches and the Lutheran judicatories in the New York area; as Assistant to the Bishop and Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod; as Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplain at the Wartburg Adult Caring Community, Mt. Vernon, NY. Pastor Sudbrock is married to Eleanore Feucht Sudbrock, educator, author, and human resources consultant. They live on Broadway in the Bronx, overlooking Van Cortlandt Park, and have two married children and five beautiful, bright granddaughters. You may contact Pastor Sudbrock at


Carlos Lopez | Deacon

Carlos Lopez_web thumbnailCarlos R Lopez Jimenez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He is a research physician by profession and deacon by heart. Carlos went to medical school in the Dominican Republic and moved to United States in the early 90s. He attended Columbia University School of Public Health in 2001 and completed his MS in Biostatistic, Patient Oriented Research. He also attended DAU School of Life in Lima, Peru in 2014 where earned the title of Logotherapist. Carlos graduated from Diakonia in 2010 and continued his internship to become Roster Deacon in 2015. Deacon Lopez has a passion for our Spanish-language ministry and our food ministries, where he is largely involved. Carlos can be reached at


Adolfo Ramirez | Deacon

Adolfo Ramirez_websizeAdolfo reengaged in church life in 1993 and quickly sought opportunities to lead in the church and care for others. He served as a level two parish catechist in the Roman Catholic Church for three years and began volunteering at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In 2003 he began the chaplaincy program at NY Presbyterian, which he completed in 2007. Meanwhile, in 2005 Adolfo was ordained as a deacon in the Diocese de Vitória in Brazil.  One year later to the day, he was ordained as a pastor in the same diocese. Adolfo joined Advent in 2013, and began taking Diakonia classes to learn about Lutheran theology. He graduated from the program in 2016. On January 29, 2017, our congregation voted to call Adolfo to serve as a deacon to our congregation, and on March 12, 2017 Adolfo was installed as a deacon in the Metro New York Synod. Adolfo’s ministry focuses on visitation, and taking care of the sick and elderly. He can be reached at


Frank Martignetti | Director of Music Ministries

Frank Martignetti has been a professional church musician since 1994, serving Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian, and UCC congregations. A choral conductor, music educator, organist, and vocalist, he has led workshops on liturgy and worship, choral techniques and repertoire, and global hymnody for a variety of audiences, including chapters of the American Guild of Organists and Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University.  Frank currently serves as Sub-Dean of the Greater Bridgeport (CT) Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Noted for his abiity to build and revitalize programs, Frank has served as Artistic Director of the Mystic River Chorale, Mystic, CT since 2008, and the director of the choral and music education programs at the University of Bridgeport, CT, where he has taught since 2005.  His choruses have performed at distinguished venues including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and notable performances conducted include the New England premiere of the concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s MassMartignetti holds degrees in history, conducting and music education from the University of Rochester, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Eastman School of Music, and is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Music Education at New York University. Frank may be contacted at


Kevin Bowen | Communications Coordinator, Youth Ministry Coordinator

Street Portrait_square_betterAfter childhood days of Sunday school, Confirmation, and youth group at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, California, two summers as a counselor at a Lutheran camp in the woods called El Camino Pines, and a degree in English from California Lutheran University, Kevin Bowen joined Advent as our Middle and High School Youth Director in 2013. He absorbed the role of our Communications Director in June, 2014. He completed a Master of Arts degree in English Education at The City College of New York in May 2014, with aspirations of one day becoming that sort-of cool high school English teacher. He also played with his band Vannuys at the ELCA Western States Youth Gathering in Anaheim and the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, and currently writes and performs music in the city. Kevin can be contacted at


Zachary Stevens-Walter | Office Administrator & Sunday School Coordinator

Zachary is a passionate worship leader, administrator, and all-around religious professional. Born and raised Lutheran, he recently graduated from Union Seminary, where he studied preaching and worship, was co-chair of the arts caucus, and was the recipient of the Robert E. Seever award for excellence in worship. Originally from El Cerro, New Mexico, Zachary came to New York as a student at The New School where he studied Visual Art and Non-Fiction Writing and minored in religious studies. Zachary has presented at Kanuga’s Christian Formation Conference, preached at the Academy of Young Preachers, and is an active member of the Institute for a New New Testament. In all of his endeavors, Zachary works to bridge social barriers through oral teaching and learning, ancient models for deepening worship and strengthening fellowship. He has worked intimately with such organizations as Music that Makes Community (where Zachary is a presenter and facilitator); St. Lydia’s Lutheran Church (where Zachary is the Vespers Liturgist and resident percussionist); and Yes And Ministry (an organization which Stevens-Walter cofounded). All three of these organizations share a commitment to revitalizing oral teaching models of singing and learning, grounded in faith and healing.

Stevens-Walter is also a musician and multi-instrumentalist, moonlighting as a session musician and producer for a small independent record label called Mochi House. He has recorded and performed with several musical groups (Alaska Alaska, Mainland, Oh! My Blackbird, Columbus, Waldo) on a wide variety of instruments (sax, flute, clarinet, upright bass, mandolin, and hand-percussion, to name a few). He enjoys birdwatching, chess, and fresh vegetables.

Zachary can be reached at


Linda Kelly | Financial Secretary and Bookkeeper

Linda portraitIn her former life, Linda installed financial systems and implemented process changes as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Lehigh University in Industrial Engineering.  She is happy to bring her acquired financial skills to Advent as the Financial Secretary and Bookkeeper. Linda, a lifelong Lutheran, has been involved in Advent finances for over 10 years and she and her family have been members for 15 years. She lives on the Upper West Side with her husband, Jim and four sons. Linda can be reached at



Aaron Wunsch | Artistic Director of Music Mondays and the Advent Chorale

Aaron WunschMusic Director of the Advent Chorale and Artistic Director of Music Mondays, pianist Aaron Wunsch appears regularly on concert stages throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Performances include the Salle Cortot in Paris, Royal Albert Hall in London, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, and several recital tours of China. Also lauded for his “masterful” chamber music performances (Hartford Courant), he has performed with Lynn Harrell, Charles Neidich, and Rolf Schulte, and has also worked closely with the composers Charles Wuorinen, Kaija Saariaho, Chen Yi, and Steven Stucky. A native of Wisconsin, he studied at Yale, as a Fulbright Scholar at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and is currently a faculty member at The Juilliard School, where he completed his doctorate in 2008. He regularly gives master classes at conservatories and universities throughout Asia, including those in Jakarta, Beijing, Guangzhou, and in Shanghai, where he was 2010 Visiting Professor at Shanghai Normal University. Aaron is also the Co-Music Director of the Skaneateles Festival in upstate New York. Aaron may be contacted at or by visiting


Michelle Alvarado, Associate Minister of Music

Michelle Butler_webMichelle Alvarado received her M.M. in piano performance from the University of Iowa in 2011 where she held a teaching assistantship and studied under Dr. Ksenia Nosikova. Since then she has completed a year at Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of Pavlina Dokovska and continues her studies with Dokovska while freelancing in New York City.

From the summers of 2009-2012 Michelle had the opportunity to work as a counselor at the Young Artists World Piano Festival in St. Paul, MN. In the summer of 2011 she traveled to Italy where she participated in the Amalfi Coast Music Festival.

In her first semester as a graduate student at Iowa she was the winner of the University’s concerto competition and performed with the University Chamber Orchestra in the spring of 2010. Before attending the University of Iowa she taught privately near her home in Minnesota as well as at the Hovland Conservatory and also continued private study with Dr. Paul Wirth.

Michelle completed her B.M. in piano performance in 2008 from Bob Jones University. Through both undergrad and grad school Michelle has had the opportunity to perform in several masterclasses with artists such as Asaff Weismann, Kenneth Drake, Scott McBride Smith, and Thomas Mastroianni.

Michelle is currently pursuing a career as a collaborative pianist and is also working as a soloist in NYC. She enjoys arranging and working with all types of artists in a variety of genres.


Josh Weidmann, Building Manager


Joshua Weidmann has worked at Advent for nine years and counting.  His commitment to our building is real and sincere. Don’t hesitate to contact him at for any questions, concerns or comments regarding our space.  Our church is large, so anything brought to his attention is greatly appreciated!




Laura Jara, Custodian

Laura Potrait_square_webLaura Jara has served longer on our staff than any current staff member — over 20 years. For all that time she has kept our premises beautiful and clean. Laura lives here in the Upper West Side, and enjoys music and spending time with her family.