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J.C. Cadwallader

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 Co-Deputy Director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, based in Washington, D.C.  They live in the manse along with their two children Louise and Finn and their beloved 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!

Pat McCreless

Patrick McCreless

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!

Rev. Jenny Smanik

Rev. Jinny Smanik

Interim Minister for Faith Formation

The overarching goal of her work among us will be to discern current needs and provide appropriate resources to deepen the life of faith and community connection for individuals at a variety of ages and stages, with an emphasis on family, children and youth.

Over the span of her career, Rev. Smanik, has served as Pastor, Co-Pastor, Associate Pastor, Parish Associate and Director of Christian Education in both Presbyterian and UCC churches. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she is a graduate of Heidelberg College and Yale Divinity School. She is passionate about the work of Faith Formation and has intentionally woven that passion into the work she’s done in each of the churches she has served.

Jinny (as she encourages us to call her) and her husband Bob live in Brooklyn, Connecticut and enjoy the atmosphere of the “Quiet Corner.” She loves quilting, reading and spending time with family. She has three children, The Rev. Kate Smanik, who is the Dean of Spiritual Life at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Meg Walker, who is a Transitional Kindergarten teacher in Groton, Connecticut and David Smanik, who works for Oscar Grusse in Manhattan. Jinny loves to spend time with her four grandchildren, James, Zachary, Bobby and Eileen, and is pleased to have the opportunity to serve alongside the people of the First Presbyterian Church in New Haven beginning at the end of August.

Martha Smith

Church Administrator

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.

Katie Grosh

Communication Specialist

Katie Grosh is the Communication Specialist at First Presbyterian Church of New Haven.  After majoring in geology at Carleton College, she taught environmental education at Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and served as a Chaplain at Camp Wilmot.

She is a recent graduate of Yale Divinity School (MDiv ’22) and currently also works as the Faith Initiative Coordinator at Grace Farms Foundation. She is excited to continue her east coast adventures in New Haven, including hiking in East Rock, visiting nearby friends, auditing courses at the Divinity School, and getting to participate in the life of this congregation.

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