Professional headshot of the Rev. Rachel Erin Stuart. She is a young white woman with dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. She is wearing dark glasses, dangly earrings, and a light floral print clergy shirt.

The Rev. Rachel Erin Stuart

Lead Pastor

The Rev. Rachel Erin Stuart delights in liturgy and sacred music of all kinds, teaching biblical studies and languages to congregations, and being present to people in crisis. Her dissertation, titled “Semantic Gender in the Book of Ezekiel,” explores the relationship between grammatical gender and social gender roles in several chapters of Ezekiel. Prior to her appointment here, she served as pastor of Victor First and East Bloomfield UMCs in the Rochester area, as Theologian-in-Residence at North Decatur UMC in the Atlanta area, and as field education intern at Kingston UMC near Princeton and Asbury First UMC in Rochester.

Rev. Rachel is an ordained Elder, graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2017, and completed her undergraduate degrees in physics, music, and religion at the University of Rochester in 2014. She is a life-long Methodist and does medieval reenactment for fun. She and her wife Daina live on the grounds with a gorgeous black cat that can do no wrong.

A favorite verse (or two):

Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, worker of wonders? (Exod 15:11)

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See I am making all things new.” (Rev 21:5)

The Rev. John A. Jackson


Rev. Jackson is a licensed local pastor appointed to Hurlbut in 2017 to serve as Associate Pastor. Prior to this appointment, he served as pastor of North Harmony UMC in Sherman, NY for six years. He has served and continues to serve the United Methodist Church in several conference and district level capacities and is involved with the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Ecumenical Community of Chautauqua. John is retired from careers in engineering and law and the avocation of  commercial pilot/flight instructor. He continues to serve as a professional mediator, which he describes as a ministry of helping people resolve disputes in constructive ways. He and his wife Juanita relocated to this community in 2007.

Debbie Caruso

Ministries Coordinator
E-mail Debbie Caruso

Debbie Caruso lives in Panama NY and has worked at Hurlbut Church as the church Ministries Coordinator since 2001.  Prior to coming to Hurlbut Church she was employed at Private Industry Council in Jamestown NY for 7 years and before that 16 years for Chautauqua Opportunities Inc starting in the Mayville office and then moving to the Dunkirk office. As well as her duties at Hurlbut Church, Debbie handles the house reservations, is the off season hostess, and does the bookkeeping for the United Methodist House on the Chautauqua Institution grounds.  She also volunteers for Chautauqua County 4-H serving on the Family and Consumer Science committee, organizes the county 4-H Fashion Revue, and does some judging for county presentations.  She also volunteers on Saturday mornings for the Chautauqua County Habitat for Humanity working on site at their home renovation projects.  Debbie is married to her husband Tom who is retired from the Jamestown BPU.   They have two children Andy and Amanda and three grandchildren Nicola, Ben, and Emma.

Wendy Marlinski

Music Director
Headshot of Alena Ramirez. She is a light-skinned woman with long, curly red hair wearing a floral print top.

Alena Ramirez

Custodian and Meal Ministry Coordinator
Headshot of Zach Stahlsmith. He is a young, dark-haired, light-skinned man wearing glasses, a close-cropped beard, and a light green buttondown shirt.

Zach Stahlsmith, M. Div

Minister of Technology

Utilizing his Masters of Divinity, years of Church involvement on the local, conference, and jurisdictional level, as well as years of experience as an Audio/Video Technician and Engineer, Zach helps Hurlbut Church expand it’s ministries beyond the walls of the church building and the grounds of Chautauqua to friends near and far. Through live-streaming worship services, upgrading church technology, and engaging in the art of worship, Hurlbut Church is equipped to share the Gospel through multiple avenues. Zach holds an M.Div from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, and a Bachelors of Arts Degree focusing in Religion and History from West Virginia Wesleyan College. Contact Zach at