Erin Hayes-Cook – Pastor

Pastor Erin was born in a small town in picturesque Warren County, New Jersey. While there she spent her days with family and friends exploring the woods, reading, and using the wonderful imagination one develops when one is an only child. Her weekends were spent at a small Baptist Church a few miles from home. In the search for the perfect college she found Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. When she visited the school she fell in love with the way they approached education through the liberal arts lens. During her college years, Pastor Erin sensed a call to ministry which was affirmed by her home church. So she filled her time with the gospel choir, Christian fellowship, and starting a multi-cultural sisterhood. Right after college Pastor Erin said yes to the adventure of Princeton Theological Seminary. Since her graduation in 2005 she has served Presbyterian churches in the Philadelphia area.

She has lived out her call by leading retreats, taking youth on mission trips, leading worship, writing curriculum, advocating for the vulnerable and inserting play in ministry. With a passion for the arts and social justice Pastor Erin tries to incorporate each in worship and work of the church. She believes that God is already at work in the world and lives of everyone. It is our hope to find out where together. Because of her bi-racial identity, Pastor Erin leads from the middle which makes her aware of the middle places in all our lives. You will find her hanging out at a local coffee shop, still waiting for one to come in Rahway. Or you will see her running slowly through the streets while training for her next race. She finds joy in cooking a beautiful meal.

Ruth-Noemi Belonni-Rosario – Music Director

Ruth-Noemi was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she worked as a piano and choir teacher. In 2013, Ruth-Noemi came to the United States to do a Masters in Sacred Music, concentrating in Choral Conducting, from which she graduated in May 2014. Her musical background is very diverse, and she is eager to help lead communal worship in interesting and different ways.
Carol Ann Bregman – Church Administrator

Carol Ann was born in Rahway and has lived there for most of her life. She has always enjoyed working closely with people from her first job until the job just prior to working at the church, which was in the pharmaceutical industry. In April 2007, a job opportunity presented itself at a beautiful church that she had passed so many times in her travels. It was then that Carol Ann became the Church Administrator at First Pres.

Answering the phone and door and editing the Sunday worship bulletin, as well as the monthly newsletter, Tower Chimes, were expected parts of the job. However, what pleasantly surprised her was the personal interaction she had with so many people, whether it’s church family stopping in, or a new person coming to the church for a meeting, wanting to inquire about the church, etc. Creating a welcoming environment where people feel connected as they enter the church is what we strive to achieve at First Pres. Carol Ann hopes that she is one of the people you meet at the church who fulfills that expectation.

In her spare time, Carol Ann loves to read, walk, listen to music, and enjoys spending time with her dog.

My Hours:
Monday-Thursday 9-3:30
Carole Huntley – Treasurer