Pastor/Head of Staff
Dr. Richard N. Sommersrick@firstprescaldwell.org
Born in Virginia, Rick grew up primarily in the Carolinas. After graduating from Duke University with a degree in Marine Biology, Rick worked for a public school system in North Carolina for three years. He then entered Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and eventually earned the degree of Doctor of Ministry. Rick’s previous pastorates have included serving as Pastor of the Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church in Ft. Defiance, Virginia (1987-1991); Associate Pastor at the American Church in Paris, France (1991-1996); and Pastor/Head of Staff at the Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia (1996-2007).
Rick is married to Teresa Rhodes and they have one son, Richard, a teacher in Atlanta. Rick’s hobbies include sports, travel and reading.
Rev. Don Browndon@firstprescaldwell.org
Born in Ridgewood, NJ, Don grew up in Paramus and lived there until leaving for College. After graduating from Gordon College with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration, Don worked in Corporate Finance in Boston and Fort Lauderdale. He held the position of Manager of International Treasury at Alamo Rent-A-Car and Sr. Treasury Manager at Spherion Corp. Don graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando FL in 2004 and moved back to NJ in January 2005 to become the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of West Caldwell. He remained there until the union with the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell this past year when he became our Associate Pastor.
Don has two daughters, Emily and Peri. When not working he enjoys the adventure of finding new restaurants, exploring NY and watching sports.
Minister of Music
Rev. Barbara Jo Piercybarb@firstprescaldwell.org
Rev. Barbara Jo Piercy is the Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church, where she is responsible for the administration of the church music program and concert series. She is the director of choirs for children and youth and the primary keyboard player for worship services. In addition, she has extensive training and experience in planning liturgy for worship. Barbara graduated from Carroll College, a Presbyterian college in Waukesha, WI with a BA in Sacred Music and Organ Performance and received a MM degree in organ performance at the University of Illinois. She completed several years of doctoral work in sacred music at Indiana University before moving to Caldwell. In 2000, Barbara completed a Master of Divinity degree from Drew Seminary in Madison, NJ and was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament PC(USA) in 2003.
Associate Director of Music
Noel holds degrees in music education, organ performance, and choral conducting from Olivet University, the University of Illinois, and Indiana University. He is the director of the adult choirs and handbell choirs and offers musical assistance to the youth choirs. He is also a noted vocal coach in the Essex County area. Noel teaches 5th & 6th grade general music and chorus in the Franklin Township School District and is a published composer of handbell music.
Scott and his wife Michele have been involved in developing and leading worship services for the past 15 years, first at Jacksonville Chapel and then at Emergence Church. He grew up in Northern New Jersey surrounded by music which became an integral part of his life. By day he’s a point-of-purchase display project manager and at night he’s a musician at local restaurants and coffee shops. He and Michele live in Valley Cottage, New York along with their dog and are expecting their first child. They are very excited to be a part of launching the Illuminate service at FPC.
Communications Specialist/Youth Intern
Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University in Public Relations & Journalism. She has been working at FPC since 2014 in several different capacities and now thoroughly enjoys her time working on church communications and assisting with the children & youth programs. Lauren has been involved with the church as a Sunday School teacher and Pittsburgh Project Advisor. She is currently working on her master’s degree in School Psychology at Montclair State University. In her free time, Lauren enjoys singing at cabaret theaters in NYC and seeing musicals and movies.
Christine was born in New Jersey and is a resident of Denville, NJ. After completing business school, she gained extensive experience working within companies that range from a large publicly traded corporation to a privately owned corporation, and most recently a family owned franchise enterprise. An active participant in community service projects, she helped facilitate the construction of a new children’s park in the role of treasurer and committee member and is continually involved in various school and local service projects. A former Girl Scout leader, she enjoys hiking, camping, travel, and gardening. Christine and her husband Eric have two daughters, Abigail and Rachel.
Building Manager / Head Sexton
Chris grew up in Caldwell and has a background in building management as well as a number of construction skills. Chris is a husband to Anabela and father to daughters Alyssa and Eliana.
Jennifer was born in Paterson and raised in Stamford, Ct. She is presently enrolled at New York Theological Seminary in the Certificate Program in Youth Ministry. Jennifer has worked since 2008 as an Executive Secretary at 2 different churches. Among other accomplishments, Jennifer has planted 5 dance ministries and has led mission trips to Guatemala. Her hobbies include worship dance, gathering with youth at coffee shops and reading a good book. Jennifer is married to Elias Garcia and lives in Passaic.
Kaitlyn was born and raised in Caldwell and has been an active full time member of the congregation since her confirmation in 2008. She recently graduated Montclair State University in the Spring of 2016 with a BS, with Teaching Certification, in Physical Education and Health. Kaitlyn has been involved with the church on many levels including being the Youth Intern, Pittsburgh Project Advisor, Sunday School Teacher, and being involved in the choir for 15 years.
Director, Weekday Nursery School
Before stepping into her current role at the weekday nursery school, Kathleen was the teacher of the school’s Kindergarten Enrichment Program. She earned a masters from New York University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and is a certified teacher of preschool through twelfth grade. Kathleen lives in Verona with her husband, Bruce and their two children, Evan and Kate.
Superintendent, Prospect Hill Cemetery