Elders and Staff
Grace Redeemer is a Presbyterian church whose spiritual leadership rests with the Session—a body comprised of Teaching Elders (i.e., pastors and associate pastors) and Ruling Elders. In the Bible, the terms “elder” and “overseer” are used interchangeably to refer to this position of spiritual leadership over a local church. The elders are called to shepherd the flock, to teach the Scriptures to the congregation, to guard the church from false teaching, and to demonstrate Christ-like character.
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. —1st Timothy 3:2-4
You can contact the Session by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Peter Wang — Senior Pastor, Teaching Elder
A native of New Jersey, Peter came to Grace Redeemer in 2004 after ministering in Delaware and—prior to seminary—working in the financial sector. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Peter and his wife, Cedar, have three children: Matthew, Kaylyn and Mitchell. Peter serves as Moderator of Session. Email Peter.
Rev. Josh Desch — Associate Pastor, Teaching Elder
Josh oversees the youth and young adult (Crossroads) ministries as well as general pastoral ministry. He is a graduate of Covenant College (BA, History, Philosophy) in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and Covenant Theological Seminary (M.Div) in St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife, Betsy, are parents to Howie, Justice, Wren and Summer. Email Josh.
John Chung — Ruling Elder
John is a medical director in Oncology at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. John and his wife, Kayla have two children. The family started attending GRC in 2008, and John was ordained as a Ruling Elder in 2012.
Steve Hoogerhyde — Ruling Elder
Steve has attended Grace Redeemer Church since 2005 and was ordained as a Ruling Elder in 2006. An Executive Vice President of Clifton Savings Bank, Steve resides in Hackensack.
John Gregory — Ruling Elder
John has been a member of GRC since 2008. A resident of Wyckoff, he has led a Growth Group for the past 4+ years. He has sung in the GRC choir and, on occasion, led morning worship. John is an independent writer of feature articles and website content and published a historical fiction novel in 2014.
Oscar Naranjo — Ruling Elder
Oscar has been attending GRC sine 2006. He is a father of three children, daughter-in-law, and a grandchild. He is an ordained Elder and an ordained Deacon. Previous to GRC, he has served in choir; Sunday school superintendent teacher; outreach ministries to jails and hospitals; and a board of directors member of Newarks
Matthias Prinz — Ruling Elder
Matthias began attending Grace Redeemer Church in 2009 and received an ordination as a Ruling Elder in 2013. Married to Karola and father of four, Matthias is a resident of Ridgewood and a Principal in Global Commercial Consulting at Decision Resources Group.
Donald Thampy — Ruling Elder
Donald and wife, Maya, have been attending GRC since 2013 and became members within a year. They have 2 beautiful daughters, Nehara and Neriah. He's an Account Manager at Accenture, with focus on the pharmaceutical industry.
Jaclyn Chang —
Director of Operations
Jaclyn has attended Grace Redeemer since 2002, and began managing Sunday morning logistics in 2003. A graduate of New York University, she and her husband, John, have two children: Rachel and Evan. Email Jaclyn.
Karen Jacobsen —
Director of Children’s Ministries
Karen arrived at GRC after working with children in Rwanda on behalf of Food for the Hungry. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University. Email Karen.
Rev. Ken Lont —
Ken holds a B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a M.Div. from Biblical Theological Seminary. He founded Applied Biblical Counseling and also ran a family business. After a brief retirement, Ken became the first Executive Director at Grace Redeemer Church. He and his wife Judy have two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Email Ken.
Sophia Ma —
Sophia has been attending Grace Redeemer since 2014. She has lived half of her life in Asia and the other half in the United States. After 16 years in Hong Kong, Sophia is now a resident of Tenafly along with her husband, Victor and her son. She enjoys spinning classes, the Englewood Book Club and above all, the Women's Ministry at GRC. Email Sophia.
Anna Ruberti —
Anna has been a member of Grace Redeemer Church since 2000, and has served in her current capacity since 2004. Educated at Rutgers University—Newark, she and her husband, Ted, have four children: Truman, Sophia, Luke and Calvin. Email Anna.
Rachel Sang —
Assistant Director Of
Children’s Ministries - Elementary
Rachel has attended Grace Redeemer since 2001 and became a member in 2004. She has served in Children's Ministry as Sunday school teacher and nursery volunteer over the course of those years. Originally from the south, she graduated from The College of William and Mary in Virginia and relocated to New Jersey in 2001. There she met her husband, James, and they are the proud parents of two boys. Email Rachel.
Teresa Vargas —
Teresa has been the Office Manager at GRC since 2007. Previously, she worked in positions related to sales, management, and administration. She and her husband Victor are parents to Stephanie, Joshua, Emily and Natalie. Email Teresa.