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!