The Reverend Jocelyn Corris “J.C.” Cadwallader
Rev. Jocelyn (J.C.) Cadwallader is the Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church and has been serving in this capacity since September of 2017.
Pastor J.C. came to New Haven after four years in ministry in theWashington, D.C. area. She served two different congregations as interim pastor in the National Capital Presbytery (Western Presbyterian Church and Takoma Park Presbyterian Church) and served the Presbytery as chair of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry. Prior to her time in D.C., Pastor J.C. lived in Chicago, where she served as the Director of Masters Level Recruitment and Admissions at McCormick Theological Seminary. Her first call in ministry was to the Pastoral Residency program sponsored by the Lilly Foundation at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. It was here where she discovered her love of parish ministry and was ordained in March 2009.
Pastor J.C. first received her call into ministry while she was in college. Passionate about mission, she served as a Young Adult Volunteer with PC(USA) World Mission for a year in Belfast, Northern Ireland (youth work) and a year in Nashville, TN (homeless ministry). Transformed by these experiences, she has continued to support the Young Adult Volunteer Program by serving as facilitator for various discernment and transition events as well as Board Membership with the Washington, D.C. YAV site.
Pastor J.C. earned her Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and did her undergraduate work at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She is a native of Pennsylvania, though spent formative years in South Windsor, CT and Cary, NC. She is married to Heather Renwick, a lawyer, who currently serves as the Legal Director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, based in Washington, D.C. They live in the manse along with their beloved and ball-loving dog, Charlie.
In her free time, Pastor J.C. enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, baking, playing board games, traveling near and far, and of course, trying new things!
Director of Music
Patrick McCreless is Organist and Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of New Haven, where he has served since 1999. As a Professor of Music at Yale, he teaches music theory in the Department of Music, of which he was Chair in the years 2001-2007. As a scholar, he has published on a wide range of musical topics—the music of Schubert, Wagner, Elgar, Nielsen and Shostakovich; the history of music theory; music performance and analysis; and music and rhetoric. In recent years he has lectured on these topics in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, Brazil, and China, as well as in the US. He also holds church music and congregational song dear to his heart. He delights in choir leadership, and always welcomes new singers!
Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth
Kimberley works closely with the Christian Education committee, nursery caregivers, youth group leaders, and Sunday school teachers. She is a graduate of Drew Theological School (MDiv) and Sarah Lawrence College (BA) and has 10+ years of experience with all ages in education and ministry settings, from nurseries to nursing homes. At First Presbyterian Church, she aims to equip children and youth to participate fully in the life of the congregation, with emphases on gathering in intentional community and learning to lead worship (by doing so themselves!).
Having initially studied in the field of Creative Arts Therapy, Kimberley found in ministry a way to be present with people in an ongoing and communal capacity which suits her. Educational Ministries are her vocational home, but she also loves Ethics, Hermeneutics, and Theology. She plays ukulele and writes educational song parodies whenever she gets the chance.
Martha Smith is the office administrator, the “go to” person keeping track of the church calendar, building space scheduling, in addition to assembling the Sunday Bulletin and Inkling Newsletter. A member of First Presbyterian Church of New Haven since 2001, she has served on Session and enjoys singing in the choir.