The staff and volunteers in the Church leadership provide an amazing pool of talented people who are passionate about the work of LAPC and its impact on their own lives and those of their loved ones and the Community. We are grateful to those who give so much and make LAPC the special place that it is.
Rev. Morgan Valencia King
I joined Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in November of 2021 from Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, where I served as Director of Engagement. Originally from Cleveland, Tennessee, I graduated from Rhodes College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity. My husband Jorge and I enjoy exploring the New York City parks with our Corgi, Jude.
While this foundational information is important for context, just like each of you there is a lot more to me than my education or where I have worked.
My favorite food is chocolate. My favorite word is liminal. My favorite borough is Brooklyn. I’m really into Ecclesiastes, good preaching, and community.
Above all the rest, my favorite thing is to journey alongside church folk, asking big questions of one another, and together finding hints of God’s presence in life in the big city.
A Message from the LAPC “Session” (essentially, the Church’s “Board of Directors”):
It is with great enthusiasm that we call Rev. Morgan Valencia King to serve as our Interim Pastor. He is the dynamic, high-energy, Interim Pastor we need to lead the church during its search for a permanent pastor.
We found ourselves drawn to his energy, warmth and sincerity; his strong interest in social justice and Christian education; his openness to our diverse community; and his valuable experience at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Welcome Morgan, to LAPC.
J. David Williams
Director of Music and Organist
Fascinated by the thick, sonorous orchestral sound of the 1923 Austin organ at his childhood church of First Baptist in Paris, TN, J. David Williams began self-study of the organ in junior high school due to a lack of organ teachers in the area. Since then, he has become one of the most gifted organists and musical talents in all New York City. In addition to serving as Director of Music at LAPC, he is Music Director at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan. Learn more here: www.jdavidwilliams.com
Director, The Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble
Since 2001, Janis Russell has been the Director of the Lafayette Inspirational Ensemble, a multi-racial, interfaith choir based out of LAPC. She is also a nationally known jazz and blues singer in her own right. She is most known for her moving contralto tones, but her vocal range spans from soprano to baritone, and she is equally comfortable in jazz, gospel, country, and classical. Janis is also a songwriter and arranger, and has worked as a studio musician, recording jingles and background vocals.
Sunday School Supervisor
Also known as Ruling elders, Session members work in collaboration with the Pastor to handle the responsibilities for the life of a congregation. They ensure ministries function well, worship continues and serve as stewards of the business of the church (similar to a corporation’s “Board of Directors”).
Years shown indicate when terms expire.
Clerk of Session: Sandra Long
James E. Browne
Patrice Galimore Weiss
Charlie Holder Foster
In collaboration with the Pastor, Deacons provide pastoral care to the congregation and foster an environment of welcome to new and current community members.
Years shown indicate when terms expire.
Deacon Team Leader: Randye Gilliam
Charles Williamson Jr.
Our community of faith is led by the members of the congregation.
These committees reflect the commitment we have to supporting you, your family and our community. Interested in joining one? Click on the links below to send an email to learn more.
The LAPC Prayer Team is a group of LAPC members who meet together each week to support the needs of our church, local, national and international community through collaborative congregational and community prayer.
Worship and Music Committee
The Worship and Music committee helps to plan, inspire and innovate worship at LAPC. The committee signs up congregant liturgists for each Sunday, communicates any feedback, coordinates with the Sunday School for participation in service and so much more! It’s a treasured gift that we share with God and one another as a spiritual expression of our faith.
To learn more, contact the Committee Chairs, Cara Brownell and Janis Russell
The Usher Team
The team of ushers are an important part of the worship service, as they prepare the sanctuary, greet and welcome all who attend, making sure that everyone receives a bulletin, name tag, and is seated comfortably. They spot new faces and encourage them to sign the Guest Book and they participate in the offering. The Ushers are there to help, if there is a problem.
To learn more, contact the Leader of the Usher Team, Dorene Christmas
Our growing Christian Education ministry aims to enhance the LAPC experience for youth and adults of all ages by offering targeted learning opportunities and various programs in an inviting and engaging manner. Children benefit tremendously from having a church home that offers an engaging set of learning and social opportunities and adults benefit when sharing their faith journey as they discuss the Bible and the teachings of Jesus in their daily lives.
To learn more, contact the Committee Chair, Charlie Holder-Foster
Social Justice Committee
The overall purpose of LAPC Social Justice Outreach is to identify issues, campaigns and work that directly impact the most marginalized populations of Fort Greene, Brooklyn and beyond. Working with our Pastor, the committee partners with local and national organizations to set priorities for action. We keep our congregation and the community informed on social justice issues. Our sanctuary is used as a meeting place and our volunteers currently work with churches and organizations across the U.S.
To learn more, contact the Committee Chair, Elizabeth Martin
Financial and Administrative Committees
Several Committees work with the Session and Rev. Telfort to ensure the smooth operations of the Church, ensuring its financial health, overseeing our personnel and managing our outreach and communications. The Finance Committee monitors the church finances, generates monthly income and expense reports to the Session, leads the annual budget process, oversees the annual audit, and engages in long-term planning to project future revenues and expenditures. Members also tally the Sunday collection, cut checks and make deposits. The Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Pastor are members of this committee and others are welcome to join.
To learn more, contact the Committee Chairs, Wanda Lay and Sandra Long
The mission of the Stewardship committee is to fundraise for the annual operations and long-term capital and investment needs of the Church by engaging the congregation in financial support of the church, building membership, applying for grants and using all of our assets and skills both material and personal toward that end.
To learn more, contact the Committee Co-chairs, Deb Howard and Katie Kelleher
This committee of the Session proposes and implements personnel policies and guides the Pastor in oversight of the staff. They make personnel recommendations when necessary and ensure a safe, productive working environment for the church’s small but mighty team of employees.
To learn more, contact the Committee Chair, Kara Sulmasy