|College Hill Presbyterian Church||
For about half of the year—those weeks designated as Ordinary Time on the church’s calendar--Matt Mardis-LeCroy preaches in a green stole with the word “welcome” stitched on it in several languages. It sums up his sense of the Gospel: the welcome that God extends to each one of us; the welcome we extend to one another. Matt believes passionately in the power of God’s Spirit to draw us into a community of connection, for our sake and for the sake of the world.
An ordained minister with standing both in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ, Matt has served churches in New York and Iowa as a solo, associate and senior pastor. Whatever the role or the setting, Matt tends to focus on the work he feels called to do. That means preaching, worship, pastoral care, intergenerational ministry and community outreach.
Matt’s roots run deep in Pennsylvania. He was born in Altoona, grew up in Blair County and educated at Messiah University (Grantham, PA). His passion for theology led him to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and met the love of his life. In 2005, they were married and moved to Iowa. In 2013, Matt completed his Doctor of Ministry degree (in preaching) at Chicago Theological Seminary.
Believing that ministry means meeting the needs of our neighbors, Matt has served various denominational, ecumenical and community organizations, including the Great Neck (NY) Clergy Association, Plymouth Place and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. He has loved teaching theology at Messiah and teaching preaching to lay ministers for the Iowa Conference of the UCC. He has also occasionally contributed to publications like The Des Moines Register and The Interfaith Observer.
Matt is married to the Rev. Mary Beth Mardis-LeCroy, a Presbyterian minister and musician. During their Midwestern sojourn, they grew their family to “need a minivan size” (They do not, in fact, own a minivan). Ellie is ten years old; Wil is six and Calvin was born in October of 2020. Sleep is something that Mary Beth and Matt have heard a lot of good things about; they hope to try it sometime in the future.
Bryan Holten is an experienced church musician, with a long record of service in organizations of all sizes. In addition to his work at College Hill, Bryan currently serves as Artist-Lecturer in organ and Accompanist for Choirs at Moravian College. He also remains active as a freelance recitalist, accompanist, and piano technician.
Bryan Holten is a recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studied organ performance and literature with David Higgs, Michel Bouvard, and Edoardo Bellotti. He also studied organ improvisation and harpsichord with William Porter and Edoardo Bellotti, as well as a curriculum in keyboard technique instructed by Ulrika Davidsson. In 2014, he received the Jim Cochran Recital Award, which recognizes the player of an outstanding degree recital in the school’s department of Organ and Historical Keyboards. In 2012, he was awarded second prize in the Young Professional division at the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, held annually at the First Church of Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Jean Anne Shafferman has been the CHPC Music Director since 2017 after serving many years as Choir Assistant and Soprano Soloist, and directing the children’s music ministry for seven years. In 2016, she retired after a 29-year career in church music publishing, working for the Shawnee, Alfred, and Lorenz publishing companies, respectively. During that career she presented church clinics through the United States and Canada and authored many published choral works, children’s musicals and collections, and adult cantatas. She has been a member of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, PA, since 1983. A graduate of the University of Kentucky with B.M.E. and M.A. (music theory) degrees, she was inducted into its School of Music Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. She loves singing, directing the choirs, taking long neighborhood walks, tending her flower gardens, and most of all, spending time with her children and grandchildren.