The Grace Presbyterian Team

Brian Russo | Pastor

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Brian has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 2009, after he graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. In November of 2022 Brian was called by Grace to become our Senior Pastor and Head of Staff, and in January of 2023 he began his ministry with us.

Brian believes that faith must be lived in relationship to others in order for it to be alive and at work. That means we must risk being vulnerable and learn to love even where there are differences. Believing the Church should dare to ask the big questions, engaging the world rather than condemning it, his educational platforms and preaching style operate on this premise.

Brian comes to us from Doylestown, PA, with his wife Anya and his son Seth. As a family they share passions for new culinary experiences and imaginative adventures. As for himself, Brian enjoys listening to Radiohead, taking pictures, and writing satire.

If Brian could be anywhere in the world, he would be back in Florence, Italy where he studied abroad.

Grace Presbyterian Church Music Director Valerie Clayton

Valerie Clayton | Music Director

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Valerie is from “West Philadelphia born and raised”.  She was encouraged to use her rudimentary piano skills as a church accompanist starting in the sixth grade. Valerie found her true joy and calling to church music ministry after her graduation from Boston University. She used her teaching skills to develop, coach and encourage congregants and choir members, to not only make a joyful noise, but to be a blessing through music. She has a graduate degree in voice from Temple University and has studied conducting at Westminster Choir College.

If Valerie could be anywhere in the world, she would be on some tropical island dancing and enjoying the sun, surf and a tropical drink of course!

Grace Presbyterian Church Sexton Dave Downs

Dave Downs | Church Sexton

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A native of Jenkintown, Dave joined Grace’s staff in the Fall of 2000 and has been a strong pair of helping hands ever since. Never one to shy away from a tough task, the word “no” seemingly is not in his vocabulary; the ideal attitude to have in any line of work but especially for one responsible for the upkeep of the storied and beautiful Grace property. He rounds out his talents by having won a church baking contest at age 13 with a Cherry Cheesecake. Sharing a delicious dessert after a steak dinner with family and friends is a favorite pastime of Dave’s. It’s no wonder Dave has a consistently positive response to requests for his now-famous cinnamon buns.

If Dave could be anywhere in the world, he would be traveling in Europe, either Germany or Ireland.

Kevin Engleman | Organist

Kevin grew up in a small church that had but an electric organ and as useful as that instrument was for the congregation it was a Christmas Eve service that Kevin attended at a friend’s church where he felt God’s call to be a church organist for it was on that inspirational night that he first experienced the full glory of a pipe organ. During his tenure at Grace he has seen growth not only in numbers but also in outreach into communities near and abroad through mission and ministry. Kevin has gifts of personality, skill and talent; additionally, he has his bachelor’s degree in music (Organ, major instrument) from Mansfield University and has studied choral conducting at the graduate level (has Orff Schulwerk level 1 certification).

If Kevin could be anywhere in the world, he would be in the middle of the chancel of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London when the organ is being played.

Grace Presbyterian Church Financial Secretary Tina Hinks

Tina Hinks | Financial Secretary

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Tina grew up in the Jenkintown area and is married with 3 children.  She and her husband, Jeff, joined Grace in 2003.  Their children, Dan, Tom, and Jamie were baptized and confirmed at Grace.  In 2004, Tina came to work at Grace as Financial Secretary.  She enjoys her “behind the scene” view in the office, and is always amazed to see God at work in the activity, fellowship, hard work, and generosity that happens here.  She also enjoys working with staff and volunteers to help support the various ministries here at Grace.

If Tina could be anywhere in the world, she would be enjoying the experiences and special meals together with her family on an new and exciting family trip.

Joel Bielefeldt | Director of Next Gen

Joel grew up on a sheep farm in central Jersey, yes central jersey does exist.  If you wanted to find Joel, he was either playing barefoot outside or helping his mom in the kitchen.  Over the years, Joel’s love for cooking grew and ultimately led him to the Culinary Institute of America. It was during this time that God called Joel to leave the kitchen to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministries from Eastern University.  After graduating in 2005 Joel has served as the Director of Student Ministries in churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as serving as the Director of Missions at The Philadelphia Project.  Joel loves all things sports, especially fantasy football, cooking, going to the beach, diet coke, and just recently started bicycling.  Joel is married to his amazing wife Laura (teacher and coffee enthusiast), and they have two boys, Austin and Micah who seem to be growing up way too fast.  Joel is very excited to be back at Grace to serve this great congregation and community.

If Joel could be anywhere in the world, he would be with his family on the beaches in Hawaii or on his grandparents farm in Iowa.

Grace Presbyterian Church Cynthia Kaminski

Cynthia Kaminski | Nursery School Director

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Cindy Kaminski is the director of Grace Nursery School. She lives in Glenside with her husband, Kevin,  daughter, Ashley and her son, Ryan. Cindy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University. She later earned her PA Teaching Certification in 2010.  She has been teaching for eleven years with experience teaching children two years of age through Pre-K. Cindy is currently the teacher in the Three Year old class, and will aide Mrs. Edwardson in the Four year old class. In her free time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and friends and her dog Molly.  She enjoys cooking and listening to music.

If Cindy could be anywhere in the world, she would be laying on the beach in the Outer Banks with her wonderful family. 

Stephanie Schindler | Administrative Assistant

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