Garrett Wendt,
Lead Pastor
Garrett Wendt, Lead Pastor

GARRETT has a passion for inspiring people to go deeper in their relationship with God helping them to realize their full potential in Christ as they walk out their spiritual journey. He is a passionate Bible teacher who holds the Word of God as the highest authority. He is a husband, father, teacher, musician, worship leader, guitar builder, martial artist and most importantly, a follower of Christ.

He is married to Julianna, his childhood sweetheart, best friend and partner in ministry. They have two children together, Alex and Andrew.

Garrett grew up in a large Christian family as number 2 of 6 children. His father was miraculously healed from a disease called sarcoidosis when Garrett was very young. This was a major turning point for their family that fueled their newfound faith. His calling came on his 18th birthday at a large youth conference in Tulsa, OK. The youth minister called him out, prayed over him and had him minister in music on the keyboard. This was a supernatural experience for Garrett as he felt a tangible anointing come upon him as they laid hands on him.

God used him in music ministry as he traveled across the United States in a worship band in venues ranging from small churches to large youth conferences. In 2000, he and his wife stepped into a Children’s Pastor position as he became a licensed minister. In 2005, Garrett and Juli planted what is today, LifeTree Fellowship. His vision is to cultivate people’s RELATIONSHIP with God, helping them grow in meaningful COMMUNITY and to engage OUR WORLD in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Juli Wendt,
Juli Wendt, Co-Pastor

JULIANNA is a very gifted and compassionate teacher of children. She has been serving in Children’s Ministry as a worker, leader and Pastor for 24 years. She has been trained by Willie George Ministries/Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK, Willow Creek, Saddleback and Group Publishing. Her creative approach really helps her express the truths of God’s Word to these young hearts.

Julianna was born in Rome, Italy and lived there until the age of 3. She then moved to upstate New York where in the 3rd grade she met Garrett. After years of friendship, they fell in love and were married right after high school. Juli has always played a major role beside Garrett in ministry while also fulfilling a specific calling of her own.

After the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, Juli was given a new mandate from God to reach out to children on the mission field as well. She now leads short-term missions trips to Haiti and trains teams from all over the U.S. to go and serve. Juli is the New York State Representative for Restore Haiti, based in Nashville, TN and a Board Member.

Chris Rimlinger,
Chris Rimlinger, Elder

CHRIS serves as an Elder at LifeTree Fellowship. He is very knowledgeable of God’s Word, an excellent counselor, passionate intercessor, and has a real heart for ministry and furthering the Kingdom of God. He is married to Kris who serves as the Treasurer of LifeTree and has a son, Josh.

Chris runs his own web development company, New Market Ventures

He is an adventurer with experiences that include 300 skydives, base jumping off the New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia, visiting the Great Wall of China, white water rafting, an African safari, flying a fighter plane, and much more. His experience serving the Lord has ranged from youth ministry to global missions and church leadership. He is gifted in his ability to relate to people of every age and walk of life.

He is currently pursuing poverty alleviation in Haiti through business partnering and training.

Kris Rimlinger,
Kris Rimlinger, Treasurer

KRIS serves as the Treasurer for LifeTree Fellowship. She is married to Chris and enjoys her role supporting him in his adventures, businesses and ministry. Their son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Liza, live in Cleveland.

She has her own bookkeeping business working with and serving several small businesses, ministries, and non-profits.  She plays a vital role in keeping the finance ministry at LifeTree IRS compliant in addition to upholding the integrity of our finances and our congregation’s giving.

Kris is also a skilled sound technician and oversees our technical department which includes sound, multimedia, web streaming and lighting.

Chris and Kris also serve on the Board of Directors of Our World Outreach.


John Backus,
John Backus, Elder

JOHN serves at LifeTree Fellowship as an Elder and an Officer as the Church’s corporate Secretary. John is also a member of LifeTree Fellowship’s worship band. John’s life was radically transformed when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 2009. 

In February 2014, John “retired” from a 20 year career in the diagnostics industry to focus on local and international outreach efforts as President & CEO of Our World Outreach (OWO), which carries out a weekly Food Distribution following Lifetree Fellowship’s Sunday Morning service.

During the West African Ebola crisis, John traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to connect with local church leaders as part of OWO’s effort to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and OTC medications to over a dozen health clinics in the Greater Monrovia area. This effort continues post-Ebola and has expanded in scope to provide a broader range of needed medical supplies to Liberian clinics.

John and his wife Teri love helping others in need, both at home and on international mission-trips.

Teri Backus, Secretary OWO
Teri Backus, Secretary OWO

TERI is a Reading Educator in the Pittsford School District. Teri, who shares John’s passion for helping others, serves as Secretary for Our World Outreach. John and Teri have two Children, Adam and Rachel, a grandson, Jonah, and six sponsored children in Jacmel, Haiti.

Teri serves alongside John in overseeing and coordinating the OWO Food Distribution for those in need in the Rochester area.

In 2013 she went on her first trip to Haiti. This was a life-changer for her. Teri has given much volunteer time to the mission and even taken a leadership role in leading teams to Haiti. 

Teri loves all things purple!!

Mary Ann Emerson, Deacon
Mary Ann Emerson, Deacon

MARY ANN serves as a Deacon at LifeTree Fellowship. 

Mary Ann has been a spiritual mom to Pastor Garrett & Juli since about 1996 where they met in a LifeGroup together in a previous church.

She has tremendous gifts of Faith and Encouragement. Everyone at LifeTree knows, if you have a problem, she will speak God’s Promises over you rather than glorify the problem.

The Lord raised her from her death-bed years ago after a visit from a pastor who told her if she did not learn to stand on God’s Word, the enemy was going to take her life. She saw an open vision that motivated her to dig into scripture and she was healed!

She has also been miraculously healed from diabetes being symptom free for a few years now per the doctors report!


Andrew Wendt, Worship
Andrew Wendt, Worship

ANDREW serves as the Worship Leader and Music Director at LifeTree Fellowship. 

Andrew has a passion for music and the Presence of God. He has been writing and performing in bands since he was a teenager. He plays guitar and bass.

Andy has his Bachelors Degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

In 2013, while he was away at school, he was photographing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. After some time, he felt a “nudge” inside to go back to his dorm. About 20 minutes after leaving the site, the bombs went off.

This was a major lesson in listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit!

Check out his music at:

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