Our Staff and Officers

The mix of diverse backgrounds and experiences of our staff and lay leaders come together for a common purpose: to live in God’s grace and share God’s love.

Meet Our Pastors

Rev. Dr. Greg Stovell
Head of Staff
(212) 675-6150

Rev. Dr. Greg Stovell has joined The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York as our new Pastor/Head of Staff effective September 1, 2020. Dr. Stovell is originally from Mexico City, and split his formative years between London and Mexico City. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Dubuque and a Masters in Divinity from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Dr. Stovell also earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Theological Seminary.

Dr. Stovell has a diverse theological background, serving churches in New Jersey, and Illinois, before being called to First Presbyterian in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His West Chester church boasted a vibrant 1,200-member congregation that Dr. Stovell shepherded for the last 10 years as the Lead Pastor.

Dr. Greg Stovell joins the First Church family along with his wife Susie, daughter Susie, and son Harry.

Rev. Dr. Barbara E. Davis
Executive Minister
(646) 230-3901

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Davis is the Executive Minister at First Church. Her ministerial areas of focus include spiritual formation and pastoral care.

Barbara hails from western Pennsylvania, where she was deeply influenced by her upbringing in the Methodist Church and netting tadpoles in the pond near her house.

She graduated from Thiel College in Greenville, PA, where she majored in religion, with minors in English and Classical Languages. She then moved from rural to urban living to attend Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she completed her M.Div. Her call to ministry led her to First Church in 1998. Barbara is a member of the Metro Association of the United Church of Christ (UCC), from which she was ordained in 2004. In 2016, she finished her doctoral work in Religious Education at Fordham University where she wrote about the “Unresolved Conflict Over Revelation in American Protestantism.” 

Barbara has served on the board of the Religious Education Association and is currently part of the Boundary Awareness Training Team for the Metro Association of the UCC. The mother of two amazing daughters, Barbara has been a leader in the parent body at their Quaker school in Brooklyn. An avid reader, essayist, sketcher, sky watcher, nature observer and proud Brooklynite, Barbara can often be found cycling the city’s streets.

Rev. Dr. Mark Hostetter
Associate Pastor for Stewardship & Mission to the Corporate World
(212) 675-6150

Mark Hostetter is Associate Pastor for Stewardship and Mission to the Corporate World. This is an unpaid and unique part-time position where Mark serves as a liturgist in worship, occasional preacher, and frequent teacher. Dr. Hostetter is CEO of Vinik Asset Management, a Tampa investment firm; is active in the leadership of Auburn Theological Seminary’s Board of Directors; and continues his work with the national Presbyterian Church (USA), most recently as Moderator of the Way Forward Commission of the General Assembly. Mark received his B.A. degree in Economics at Harvard University, his J.D. from Columbia University, and his M.Div. and D.Div. degrees from New York Theological Seminary. He has been a member of the board for several organizations, including The Actors Fund, Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, and Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center in New York. He is co-founder of the Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell, Montana which he began with his partner Alex Habib. Together they are parents of three children, Lani, Lea, and Kai.

Our Staff

Hannah Faye Allred MDiv
Staff Associate for Congregational Care

Sophia Canfield
Online Streaming Coordinator

Sophia Canfield is the Online Streaming Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York. Her areas of focus include video production, live streaming, photography, and communications.

She received her BS in Sociology and Film Studies from Hunter College and is currently continuing her studies at Hunter College in the MFA in Integrated Media Arts program.

Sophia began at the church to create a system to bring those at home back to church – virtually! Her passion for video editing and videography is much attributed to her love for putting puzzle pieces together and solving problems with a creative solution. She is committed to making creative video content which captures the essence of the community. She rejoiced to be returning to a church setting after being a deacon at her home church of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Sophia will never let go of her theatrical background in her acting work, but finds new ways of incorporating it into her life; by photographing Off-Broadway shows and cabarets as well as participating in them! Some productions in which she has been involved include: a woman’s story of survival in awareness of breast cancer working with Amy Marcs, A Class Act NY’s productions for professional child actors, and performing in the Off-Broadway productions at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian of Nude with Violin and Blithe Spirit. If you have a good eye, you can also spot her in films and TV shows including: Dr. Strange, Spider-Man Homecoming, The Deuce,  Bull, Quantico, Madame Secretary and Mozart in the Jungle!

When she is not editing videos, you can find her taking creative photographs, writing scripts, baking multi-layer cakes, going on adventures with her family around the world, singing Broadway showtunes, and painting intricate figurines!

Kathleen Cook
Nursery School Director

Kathleen Cook has served as the Director of the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School (FPCNS) since her appointment in 2013.

Her career as an educator began as a Kindergarten teacher in the NYC Department of Education public school system. She transitioned to ISAAGNY schools in 1996 and enjoyed nine years of experience teaching young children from Kindergarten through Third grade at The Town School, The Packer Collegiate Institute and Friends Seminary.

She also completed nine years of administrative experience prior to joining FPCNS. First as the Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid at Bank Street School for Children for six years, followed by three years at the Trevor Day School where she was the Director of Lower School Admissions for Nursery-Fifth Grades and a member of the Trevor Leadership Team.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College: School of Education and also holds a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University: Teachers College. She credits her parents who immigrated to the United States in 1971 from Haiti for her work ethic and strong values. She is the youngest of six children and considers herself quite fortunate to have had a strong educational foundation.

She is married to Pierre Cook, the Athletic Director at the Marymount School and are proud parents of their daughter Vivian Cook.

Tony Feliciano
Sexton

Jon Harris
Family Music Ministries Coordinator

Jon Harris sings and worships with the children of First Church every week, as the church’s Family Music Ministry Coordinator. Born and raised in upstate New York, and always singing and dancing anywhere and everywhere, Jon joined his first official singing group at age 5, when he was recruited into his school’s chorus, after a stand-out performance as the disagreeable frog in his kindergarten class’s musical – “The Little Red Hen.”  That first chorus really cemented his love of music, and with it began a route of performance threaded throughout his entire academic, social, and spiritual life. In school, he performed in all of the vocal groups and outlets he could find, including the worship group for his small local church.

At NYU, Jon studied Music Education and History. After college Jon explored many artistic endeavors: he traveled the world as a flight attendant, worked on cinematic costuming for Bollywood films, designed jewelry for top celebrity pop stars, styled for Vogue and W Magazines, but he always missed singing. Then he became a nanny to a young fellow artist and it all clicked into place. Jon created a cool singing studio and classes for her and her friends. Now it has expanded to a fully developed and realized program, JTV! More, because of his success with JTV, Jon has been recruited by several Manhattan and Brooklyn private schools to develop, teach, and lead their adolescent music programs. Likewise, after a successful semester at First Presbyterian Church’s nursery school, Jon began working with First Church youth worship. 

A self-proclaimed renaissance man, when not singing with the kiddies, Jon can be found traveling, fine dining, creating and enjoying art, exploring puzzles and trivia, or trying out a new hobby. “I’m just hoping to bring more harmony to myself and our world,” he says.

Lisa Polite
Administrative Assistant

Paul Schnabel
Director of Finance and Facilities

Michael Shake
Director of Music

Michael Shake was called as the sixth director of music for the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York in June 2019. At First Church, he shepherds the musical life of the community as a keyboardist, conductor, and team member in creating weekly worship and broader worship and music opportunities.

Michael previously served King of Glory Lutheran Church and Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas; and, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, hailed by USA TODAY as one of the “ten great places to be enthralled by heavenly music.” He has been a solo and collaborative artist, and clinician for regional and national events, including the 2011 Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the 2013 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, the 2017 Southwest Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, the 2017 East Texas Pipe Organ Festival, and has been featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. He is a former dean of the Dallas Chapter – American Guild of Organists

A native of Florence, South Carolina, Michael holds degrees in organ and sacred music from Erskine College and Emory University. He has been a conductor at the Choral Institute at Oxford, a collaborative program of Westminster Choir College and St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, and a conducting fellow of the Voices of Ascension Conductor Academy with Dennis Keene. The recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Erskine College, Michael is married to Laura Bowden and enjoys learning about aviation, cooking, and travel.

Nicole Stansifer
Director of Engagement

Nicole Stansifer is the Director of Engagement at First Church. Her areas of focus include oversight for the Outreach & Service Ministry and helping people get engaged in the full life of the church.

Nicole moved to NYC from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was born and raised. She grew up in the Presbyterian Church – Presbytery of Santa Fe. She is an ordained ruling elder in the PC(USA), having served on and chaired a variety of committees and task forces at the congregational and presbytery levels. 

Nicole graduated from the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she completed undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Organizational Communication. She then spent one year serving in Kenya through the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program. After returning from Kenya, she completed a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at UNM and worked at the Presbyterian-related Menaul School in Albuquerque. Professionally, she has also co-lead an effort to build a YAV program site in Albuquerque and worked at the American Red Cross in Disaster and International Services.

Nicole enjoys hiking, reading, yoga, tennis, singing, running, exploring the city, and spending time at Prospect Park. She is always happy to talk about her home state of New Mexico – the Land of Enchantment – and its landscapes, food, and cultures.

Babs Tennent
Assistant Director of Finance and Facilities

Audrey Webber MDiv
Associate for Hospitality and Visual Arts

Audrey Webber is the Associate for Hospitality and Visual Arts. Her areas of focus include hospitality, new relationships with the church, communications, and programming and initiatives around the visual arts. 

Audrey considers herself to be a New Yorker since she has lived here since she was in middle school.  She graduated from Hunter College with a double major in Religious Studies and Art History and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with her MDiv.

Audrey is passionate about hospitality and on a mission to use creative ways to connect with our loving God and one another.  She is committed to leading the church in finding new and innovative initiatives to help communities feel welcome while retaining the tradition and amazing sources the church has to offer.  She always loves when she is able to incorporate her love of the church, hospitality, and the arts into invitational initiatives and programs for the whole church family.  She has had the opportunity to combine these interests in her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, and through leading workshops about spirituality and the arts.

In her free time, Audrey loves a chance to create art, write, root on the Yankees, visit the Met Museum, watch some 1930s and ’40s movies, and spend time with her husband Woodie, their one year old son Russell, and their Chihuahua Banjo.

Our Staff

16

Hannah Faye Allred

Staff Associate for Congregational Care

5

Keith Blacknall

Facilities Staff

20

Shaniqua Brockington

Facilities Staff

13

Sophia Canfield

Online Streaming Coordinator

Sophia Canfield is the Online Streaming Coordinator. Her areas of focus include video production, live streaming, photography, and communications.

10

Kathleen Cook

Nursery School Director

Kathleen Cook has served as the Director of the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School (FPCNS) since her appointment in 2013.

1

Alfonso Cruz

Facilities Staff

4

Joe Diaz

Facilities Staff

8

Sandra Gutierrez

Facilities Staff

19

Tony Feliciano

Sexton

11

Jon Harris

Family Music Ministries Coordinator

Jon Harris sings and worships with the children of First Church every week, as the church’s Family Music Ministry Coordinator.

6

Lisa Polite

Administrative Assistant

23

Jonathan Rodriguez

Facilities Staff

21

Paul Schnabel

Director of Finance and Facilities

17

Michael Shake

Director of Music

Michael Shake was called as the sixth director of music for the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York in June 2019.

12

Nicole Stansifer

Director of Engagement

Nicole Stansifer is the Director of Engagement at First Church. Her areas of focus include oversight for the Outreach & Service Ministry and helping people get engaged in the full life of the church.

22

Babs Tennent

Assistant Director of Finance and Facilities

7

Robert Toussaint

Facilities Staff

3

Eric Velez

Facilities Staff

9

Audrey Webber

Associate for Hospitality and Visual Arts

Audrey Webber is the Associate for Hospitality and Visual Arts. Her areas of focus include hospitality, new relationships with the church, communications, and programming around the visual arts.

Session

The Session is the governing body of the church. First Church, like all Presbyterian churches, is a representative democracy.

We are governed by elders who are chosen from and by the entire congregation. Governance and authority over church matters resides with these elected leaders. Elders serve a three-year term. Meet our elders and the program and/or committee they lead below.

15

Rev. Dr. Greg Stovell
Head of Staff

Larry

Lawrence Tallamy
Clerk of Session

Sorrel Ann Alburger Class of 2021
Cuba
John M. Griem Class of 2021
Homelessness
Margaret McClure Class of 2021
Personnel
David Richardson Class of 2021
LGBTQ
Mark Robertson Class of 2021
Personnel
Nancy Sellar Class of 2021
Nursery School

Christine S. Flouton Class of 2022
Shelby H. Garner Class of 2022
Douglas E. Krehbiel Class of 2022
Jeffrey Metzler Class of 2022
Katie K. Simon Class of 2022
Rod Thompson Class of 2022

Charles W. Anderson Class of 2023
Kenneth Bower Class of 2023
Donna L. Halverstadt Class of 2023
Lara Steensland Mullarkey Class of 2023
Jeff Nichols Class of 2023
Mary O’Hara Smith Class of 2023

Deacons

The role of the Deacons is one of “sympathy, service and witness” to the love of God as shown in the life of Jesus Christ. The origin of “deacon” is the Greek diakonos, “servant.”

At First Church we have an elected Board of Deacons who minister with compassion to anyone in need, whether they are members of the church, visitors, neighbors or other members of the community. Deacons meet on a monthly basis to determine how best to meet those needs. They receive care and prayer requests from those who themselves, or whose loved ones, are ill, or have other special needs, and can refer people for pastoral care.

Each month, two Deacons for the Month are appointed by the Board of Deacons to act as specific points of contact for those in need. Any Deacon, however, can assist. Requests for Deacons should be directed to the Deacons of the Month or if urgent, to the Pastoral staff.

Mark Fontaine and Meg Harper
Co-Moderator

Suzanne Cohen and Don Lee
Co-Secretaries

Gregoire Vabre
Treasurer

Logan F. Kennedy
Suzanne Cohen
Mark Fontaine
David Kipin
Don Lee

Lisa C. Caswell
 Suzanne Greene
Meg Harper
Carla Trum Mercado
Pamela Price Morgan
Gregoire Vabre

Geraldine H. Bunai
Eileen H. Choi
David C. Garlow
Bradley McCormick
Suzanne D. H. Mecs
Heather S. Mee

Trustees

The Board of Trustees holds and manages properties and, as authorized, conducts business for the church. They oversee investments and work with the Session and the Joint Finance Committee to develop a sustainable church budget.

Martha Ferry
President

Andrew Nkongho
Vice President

Janet Shin
Secretary

Anne Gray
Treasurer

Reade H. Ryan, Jr.
Counsel

Martha Ferry
Eric Hilton
Andrew Nkongho, Jr.

Jeff Buick
Marian H. Hewitt
Allegra LaViola Nagraj

Richard Korchak
John McGinn
Janet J. Shin

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