PASTOR EDWARD walsh
Edward Walsh is a dedicated servant of God, driven by a deep passion to participate in the divine narrative of reconciling a fallen world to its Creator. Ed began serving as Executive Director of EFC-ER in August 2023 after serving as the Director of Church Health and Director of Finance and Administration from November 2017 to July 2023. Before moving to Canton, Ed was the Pastor of Administration at
Pathway Church in Beaver Falls, PA, from 2002 to 2017. His involvement as the Board President of Tiger Pause Youth Ministry in Beaver Falls from 2004 to 2015, and as the Executive Pastor at Morningside Church in Port St. Lucie, FL, from 1988 to 2002, further showcases his dedication to advancing God's kingdom. He earned a Master of Arts in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL and a B.S. in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Beyond his ministry and work, Ed treasures family moments with his wife, Brenda, their three grown daughters, and three grandchildren. He finds joy in reading, racquetball, and bicycle riding.
Pastor Dave Mercadante
DIRECTOR OF leadership development
Dave Mercadante is our Director of Leadership Development. Dave accepted the invitation to join the EFC-ER team in March 2021. He served most recently as the Senior Pastor of Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting in Trinity, North Carolina and as Ministry Director of Atlantic Friends Christian Ministries. In 2017, Dave founded Love InDeed, a non-profit ministry that serves under-resourced residents of Randolph County, NC. Dave has been married to Emily for 15 years and they have four children: Lucy, Maggie, Oliver and Hope. Some of his pastimes include reading, running, gardening, chess, and maintaining his hobby farm (with goats and chickens!).
Assistant to the Director of Leadership Development
Jeff has served as assistant to the Leadership Development Team Director since August 2022. One of his main roles is to walk Friends through the Recording of Ordination journey...reading candidate assignments, scheduling & conducting the gate interviews, & building connections with Friends all across the Eastern Region. "It is such a blessing to watch how God weaves our lives together along the way in our journey with Jesus!" He served as pastor of New Heart Community of Friends (formerly Hunter Hills) in Greensboro, NC, from July 2005 to August 2023. Jeff & his wife, Sherri, & son (Zephan) moved back to their hometown of Canton, OH at the end of August 2023. Jeff & Sherri enjoy reading together & hiking throughout NC's Blue Ridge Mountain trails, and they look forward to exploring their home state of OH. They have four adult children - Royce (& husband Jake) Bradley, Bryant, Zephan, & Zayna.
PASTor rusty savage
director of multiplication
Rusty joined the EFC-ER team in October 2019. His ministry focus is in the areas of church planting, international partnerships, and cross-cultural ministry in North America. Before joining the EFC-ER staff, he served in pastoral ministry for 17 years and loved (almost) every minute of it! Rusty and his wife, Kara have four young children and live in Damascus, Ohio. Rusty’s passion is to see people join God in His mission to the world as devoted disciples of Jesus.
Pastor ANDY BLACK
Director of Finance & administration
Andy Black joined the EFC-ER team in July 2023 in a part-time capacity as our Director of Finance and Administration team. He continues to serve as the Worship and Administrative Pastor at First Friends Church in Salem, OH, where he has been on staff since 2010. He and his wife Amy have been married since 2012 and love traveling and going on adventures with their two daughters, Betta, and Lana. Andy enjoys making music, playing sports, and swimming with his girls.
Pastor Samuel Navarro
COORDINATOR OF HISPANIC MINISTRIES
Pastor Samuel Navarro joined the EFC-ER staff in August of 2023 as our Coordinator for Hispanic Ministries! Pastor Samuel lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife, Iris, and daughter, Katherine, where he has served as the Pastor of the Philadelphia Amigos since 2018 and led the church in a period of significant growth. After experiencing healing from a congenital bone disease that caused more than 150 fractures in his body, Pastor Samuel was called into ministry at the age of 14. He served in music ministry, youth ministry, international evangelism, and as an associate pastor in Los Angeles before coming to Philadelphia. Pastor Samuel writes that his "passion is to fulfill God's purpose with his life; he loves to work together with others in the kingdom of God fulfilling the Great Commission ordered by our Lord Jesus Christ."
Pastor bruce bell
Pastor Bruce Bell joined the EFC-ER staff as our Church Connections (Pastor) in August 2023. He lives with his wife of 44 years, Judy in Grove City, Ohio, and has four grown children and seven grandchildren. He retired from full-time ministry in 2021 after serving for over four decades in the pastorate. He most recently served at Friends Worship Center in Columbus (2003-2021), after pastoring at Goshen Friends (1983-2003). He also served at Martinsville Trinity Friends as Youth Pastor (1981-1983) and Poland Bethel also as Youth Pastor (1977-1979). During those years, he and Judy have also enjoyed serving on a few boards and committees with EFC-ER. Since retiring, Bruce and Judy have been traveling to promote the Practical Ministry Certificate for the Leadership Development Team and Malone University. They have really been blessed getting to catch up with many churches, pastors and parishioners as well as getting to know many new faces. They look forward to this new opportunity to serve the Lord and build His kingdom.
Marie began working with EFC-ER in October 2017. She is currently managing the database, mailings, and working with our churches and pastors when assistance is needed. She and her husband Kenny, interim pastor of Mount Pleasant Friends Church, have been married since October 1984. They enjoy taking day trips, motorcycle rides, and reading. Marie’s hope for EFC-ER is to see continued growth in our churches.
Sarah began working as our Communications Coordinator in May of 2023. Sarah and her husband Gabriel served the local church for 13 years in Mid-America Yearly Meeting before moving to Ohio. They are now a part of Canton First Friends Church where Gabriel leads as Worship Pastor. They have four kids and love to hike, bike and travel together. Sarah has a heart for discipleship and loves to come alongside others to listen and encourage them as they find and follow Jesus. She will help serve through her gifts of graphic design, communications and staff support.
In 2015 Clark began his part-time role of maintaining the EFC-ER headquarters building in a variety of ways. He loves to help out wherever there is a need. He has attended Canton First Friends Church since 1971 where he has served as an elder and presiding clerk for many years. He has served on several Yearly Meeting boards including Pension and Finance and is currently is a member of the Finance and
Administration Team. Since 2015 Clark has served as the presiding clerk/moderator of the Yearly Meeting Business sessions. He also serves on the camp Gideon Board of Directors.
Clark and his wife Marva have three adult children: Matt (Laura), Scott, and Kristi (Douglas) Smith, and have 12 grandchildren. They love to travel, and visit their grandkids. Clark worked at Ohio Edison for 17 years and then at Malone University for 16 years as the IT Director. Following his retirement from Malone University in 2012, he worked in the Stark County Auditor’s Office as the assistant IT Director and later in the Stark County Probate Court providing computer support.