The Reverend Dr. Raymond R. Roberts, Senior Pastor
"The Presbyterian Church in Westfield has a distinguished past, a very strong pastoral staff, an amazing cadre of capable leaders, and the potential, by God's grace, to be a truly great church that will make a profound impact on the lives of individuals and our community... To borrow a nautical metaphor, I sense the wind lofting our sails..."
--The Reverend Dr. Raymond R. Roberts
Ray was raised in Farmington, Missouri. After graduating from Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri he attended Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. In 1999 he received a Ph.D. in History and Theology from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia under the supervision of Douglas F. Ottati.
In 1984 he was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. He has served congregations in Amherst, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; and Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. He began his ministry at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield in March, 2005.
He is the author of the book: Whose Kids Are They Anyway?: Religion and Morality in America's Public Schools. He co-authored with Max Stackhouse the chapter "The Mainline Protestant Tradition in the Twentieth Century" which was published in Toward an Evangelical Public Policy: Political Strategies for the Health of the Nation. In addition, he has written numerous articles and book reviews that have been appeared in publications such as Interpretation, The Journal of Political Theology, The Christian Century, and The Presbyterian Outlook.
Ray is an active member of the Society of Christian Ethics (an international society of Christian ethicists). He also serves on the Committee on Ministry of Elizabeth Presbytery. In addition to reading and writing, his hobbies include gardening and writing and playing music. Ray and Sallie were married in 1984. They have two children, Harrison and Katherine.
email Dr. Roberts: email@example.com
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Michael Samson, Associate Pastor
Rev. Michael Samson was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He grew up attending Grace Presbyterian Church in Montclair, NJ. Michael earned a B.B.A with a concentration in Marketing from Radford University in Virginia. Mike's seminary was completed at Princeton Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity degree and afterwards at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for his Master of Theology in Preaching degree.
email Rev. Samson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Wilmarth, Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission
Emily Wilmarth, Associate Pastor for Youth, joined our staff in August, 2010. Emily’s commitment to youth ministry is evident from her four years experience as Youth Director at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, a large suburban church with an active youth program. Emily began to feel called to youth ministry when she worked as a counselor at Montreat but wanted more experience before attending seminary. She received her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2008. Before coming to Westfield, Emily most recently served as a Resident Pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA and a part of the Lilly Transition into Ministry program, serving Central for two years alongside two other Resident Pastors. This position has given her the opportunity to serve in most areas of church life, and affirmed her call to pastoral ministry.
Emily was raised in Houston, Texas, where her childhood pastor was Rev. Dr. William Forbes.
Emily received her undergraduate degree in Religion with a concentration in Feminist and Gender Studies at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania.
email Emily WIlmarth: email@example.com
Ed Alstrom, Director of Music and choir director
email Ed Alstrom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed comes to us from the Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) in Morristown, where he served as Music Director from November 2009 to August 2012. Ed grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey and started playing organ at age 5, and guitar and bass as a teenager. He attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and graduated with a B.M. in Organ Performance. He has previously played/directed at the Presbyterian Church of West Caldwell, Calvary Lutheran in Verona, Upper Ridgewood Community Church in Ridgewood, and Holy Spirit Lutheran in Leonia. He has written and arranged many sacred choral pieces, some of which will be performed here in Westfield.
Ed has had a rich and varied music career in many genres, playing around the area in jazz, pop, rock, gospel, and blues formats. He has appeared on stage with the likes of Bette Midler, Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Chuck Berry, Ronnie Spector, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Marvin Hamlisch, and many others. Ed has extensive experience in the musical pits of Broadway and off-Broadway, and on the NY Cabaret circuit, where he has garnered several prestigious awards.
He has recorded 4 CDs with his own groups, and played on many others. He also serves as Associate Music Director at radio station WFDU-FM (89.1 FM – wfdu.fm) in Teaneck, where he also appears as a co-host on the ‘Big Apple Country’ show on Tuesday mornings, and as a substitute show host.
Details of Ed’s personal goings-on are on his website, www.edalstrom.com.