Pastor Stephanie has been a minister here at the Reformed Church of Highland Park since 2001. Originally from Michigan, she is a graduate of Hope College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work. Stephanie was initially drawn to RCHP by its community-minded nature. She has been happy to see the community within the church grow stronger and stronger even as the church connects with the community around it. Stephanie’s other calling in life is parenting three young children.
Pastor Seth has has co-pastored RCHP since 2001. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and spent formative time in Ecuador and India before coming to RCHP. Seth and wife/co-pastor Stephanie Kaper-Dale have three daughters. Seth co-founded Who Is My Neighbor Inc (HP community development agency), started RCHP-Affordable Housing Corporation and spearheads much of the Immigration work of the church.
Amos is the Associate Pastor of Worship and Youth. He began working at RCHP first as an intern in 2011, then joined the staff in 2015. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and the Rutgers School of Social Work. Aside from his love for music and working with youth, Amos is committed to the work of building coalitions and programs to address social and political injustice, particularly in the criminal justice system, and he has worked closely with NeighborCorps Reentry Services, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and the New Jersey Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement. Amos and his spouse Sarah are also the proud parents of Leo, who turns two years old this Spring.
RCHP is led by an elected group of elders and deacons who together form the Consistory. Consistory members serve for 3 year terms, and we have 7 elders and 7 deacons. Elders tend to focus on spiritual ministries of the church, such as pastoral care, education, worship and fellowship. Deacons tend to have their focus on the needs of the world, as well as the material needs of congregants.
RCHP Elders: Mary Caterson, Diane Fisher, Bill Henry, Elaine Hudson, Carol Turner, Cassandra Oliveras, Franco Juricic
RCHP Deacons: Augus Assa, Cathy Stanford, Milagros Aguayo, Anthony DiGrigoli, Colin Jager, Grace Kamanda, Matt Hepburn
Youth Delegate: Keiko Kereh
Ian joined RCHP in 2016. He is a graduate of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. He developed his love for music from a young age, experimenting with multiple instruments before taking a further interest in piano. Upon entering college, he took a fond interest in playing and studying jazz, while still keeping to his classical roots. When he is not playing at RCHP, Ian can be found playingas a leader of his group, a sideman for other groups, accompanying community choirs or playing in musical theatre pits.
Harry Pangemanan assures that the 3,000 people who use RCHP each week are given hospitality by entering a building that has carefully maintained facilities. In addition, since Hurricane Sandy, Harry has taken on the added responsibility of coordinating the volunteer side and the project side of our Disaster Relief efforts. Harry is married to Yana, and they have two daughters.
Wendy has been serving as Sunday School Superintendent for many years. She is a graduate of Calvin College, has taught in a Christian School, and and received her Masters in Education from Eastern Michigan State University. Wendy is married to her husband Colin, and they have two children. Wendy continues to bring new ideas for Children’s educational opportunities within the life of the church.
Rev. Henny Rumagit-Poluan will join Pastors Stephanie and Seth specifically helping to provide pastoral care in Indonesian language to a growing Indonesian membership within the church and to assist the pastors in helping to link Indonesian congregants to the overall life of the church. Rev. Henny served a church in New Jersey from 2002-2011. She is a graduate of Tomohon Theological Seminary in Indonesia. She has been married to her husband James for 19 years and they have three children.
Elder Patrick A. Beckford was born in Falmouth, Jamaica and migrated to the USA in 1981. He attended St. Joseph College in Kingston, Jamaica where he met his wife Dorett. They have been married since 1984 and have two children – Patrese and Darnelle. Patrick graduated from Bloomfield College (Logistics/Material Management) after serving in the US Navy. Most recently he attended New Brunswick Seminar Certification (Theology) classes and has completed two years of Clinical Pastoral Education at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. A network engineer by profession, Patrick has a passion for ministry and service. He has served as the Jamaican Diaspora Leader for the US North East and as President of the Classis of New Brunswick.
Rev. Rivera was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. At the age of ten, his family migrated to Jersey City, New Jersey. Rev. Rivera received a BA from Rutgers University and a M.Div. from New Brunswick Theological Seminary. For the last twenty-three years he has served as a volunteer chaplain in the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center. Rev. Rivera was ordained and installed as an RCA hospital chaplain on January 30, 2011 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as the Bilingual Chaplain. His wife, Isabel Torres-Rivera, is a tenured teacher with the New Brunswick Board of Education and their three children, Rebekah, Benjamin II and Elíz are Rutgers University students and active in the family’s outreach and music ministry Latidos Puertorriqueños (Puerto Rican Heart Beats).
Born in Texas, Lara lived her middle and high school years in Nigeria. She returned to the U.S. for college and spent the next ten years in Dallas managing a midwifery birthing center. She returned to school and earned her Masters of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas, while working in a church and community-based art gallery. Lara is interested in educational and artistic ministries and is ordained in the Baptist church. She moved to New Jersey in 2008 and to Highland Park in 2012. She is married, has four children, and also works as the director of the community-based nonprofit organization Who Is My Neighbor? Inc.
Derek was born and raised in the church where he developed his passion for the things of God. From the age of three he had a God given ability to sing which helped to deepen his love for the things of God as he found music and singing were ways of praying to and connecting with. In June of 2014 Derek married the love of his life Allen Bryant AKA Chad and is proud of they fact that they are able to worship God together in a place of love and affirmation. He is grateful for the ability show the world that you can be gay and worship God knowing that God loves you just the way that you are.
April Humes is the director and mental health counselor for Church Based Mental Health Services (CBMHS). April is a licensed professional counselor in the state of NJ whose clinical interests include managing anxiety and depression, coping with trauma and loss and building healthy relationships. Through CBMHS, April offers low to no cost mental health assessments, referrals and when appropriate, short-term solution-focused therapy.
Lisa graduated from Rutgers with a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies. She began working at RCHP in August 2009 and currently serves as administrator for both the Church and the Affordable Housing Corporation. Lisa has lived in Highland Park for 20 years. She’s married and has two daughters, Emily and Jaclyn, in the Highland Park school system. Lisa’s smile is the first welcome that many people receive at RCHP. You also might see her walking around town with her cute little dog Coconut!
After graduating from Highland Park High School, Emily attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, to complete her Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. Next, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy at Rutgers University. While working on the RCHP Anti-Trafficking Project, the opportunity arose for her to combine her passion for food, the environment, and issues of immigration at Global Grace Café.
Kris Ryan is a student at Princeton Theological Seminary who will be entering his third year as a dual degree student (MDiv/MA) this fall. Before entering PTS, he worked as a high school history and religion teacher and coached football and track & field. Kris lives in Princeton with his wife Rachel and their four children.
Katherine is from Abilene, TX and is currently a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Before moving to NJ she spent time in Scotland working as a youth and community worker at a small Baptist church. Katherine is excited to contribute and learn from the amazing ministry taking place at RCHP. She enjoys reading, running, creating art, and spending time with friends and family.
I am an MDiv student at Princeton Seminary, and this summer I am looking forward to learning how we as the church can better be participants in God’s kingdom of love and justice. I will be involved in Neighborcorps, Interfaith-RISE, and other facets of the day-to-day life of RCHP. In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to music, exercising, and connecting with friends.
My name is Mattheis is originally from a small farm town outside of Normal, IL (I don’t think you get more classic Americana then being raised outside a town called “Normal” in the heart of the heartland!) I went to undergrad at a small liberal arts college called Elmhurst College on the West side of Chicago, where I doubled in History and Theology and also ate hotdogs for four wonderful years. After that I spent some time in Florida as a case manager for homeless youth, and a year as a youth director back home. With my wife Emma (originally from St. Louis) I’ve been living in Princeton for two years now and am going into year three of a four year dual degree program at the Seminary. I’m looking at pursuing ordination in the United Methodist Church and teaching, but as they say “if you want to make God laugh make your plans” so we’ll see. I’m excited to be working at RCHP this summer and will be primarily running The Table on Sundays and working with the NeighborCorps re-entry program throughout the week. I look forward to meeting you all!