Our people

  • Rev. Noel D. Vanek

    Our Pastor

    "Pastor Noel" as he prefers to be called, brings a wealth of ministerial experience to our community.  He has served as a pastor in the New York City area more than 25 years. We welcome his leadership, guidance, and friendship, along with his inquisitive yet prayerful spirit and sly sense of humor.


    See more from Noel at his Pastor's Blog, or through one of his recent sermons.



  • Rev. Asayo Thomas

    Assistant Pastor

    Asayo was ordained and installed as Assistant Pastor for Spiritual Development and the outreach of our church by the United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Association, New York Conference on August 30, 2020. She has been practicing meditation for 25 years and leading a spiritual retreat for the seminary and clergy of the United Church of Christ. 


    Her passion is to connect you to the scriptures not only intellectually but also spiritually through Christological meditation in-depth. Of course, beyond anything, she wants you to live within the heart of the Trinity in every breath through the love of Jesus Christ. She also has been working at a boarding school as an international student advisor and community service program coordinator for 17 years. 

  • Paul L. Johnson

    Our Music Director

    Paul has served as organist/choir director/handbell choir director at the Community Church of the Pelhams since November 1983. A composer/lyricist, he has also worked as a musical director in over 150 productions in Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and regional theatres and in cabaret revues. 

  • Virginia Rios

    Church Secretary

    Virginia has worked at Community Church as Office Assistant for 16 years, has lived in Pelham for 23 years and has been married for 37 years.  The mother of two grown boys, she is lucky to have her children live nearby - especially her young grandson with whom she enjoys spending her free time.