Christ Church’s ministry leaders provide support to its pastoral team, facilitating excellence in both felt-need and spiritual areas.
Pastor Anthony Franklin is the senior associate pastor at Christ Church. He provides pastoral oversight to our staff, Men’s ministry, and the Small Group System of more than 60 groups. He holds a master’s degree in professional studies from Alliance Theological Seminary. He has served alongside his Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. David Ireland for over 20 years, and directs the church’s small group system. Under his leadership a large network of small groups-consisting of Christ Church members and friends, meet regularly for an informal time of prayer, Bible-discussion, and relationship building activities. Among his many responsibilities Anthony also provides oversight to various ministries including the men’s ministry and marriage builder’s ministry.
A prolific musician and worship leader, Anthony uses his musical gifts to facilitate intimate moments in the presence of God. His preaching and teaching ministry has taken him beyond the walls of his local church to strengthen the body of Christ in the U.S., and overseas. Pastor Anthony holds a Master’s degree in urban ministry from Alliance Theological Seminary. He and his wife Barbara met at Nyack College and have been happily married since 1981. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Tara and Jessica, and one granddaughter, Gianna.
Marlinda serves as the Worship & Creative Arts pastor of Christ Church. She is a candidate for a master’s degree in theology from Alliance Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Dr. Ireland, founded the church in 1986 with only six other adults. An accomplished musician, Marlinda is widely known as a facilitator of dynamic worship because of her consistent dependence upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is often called upon to lead worship at conferences throughout the United States as well as teach the topic. Her insightful approach to the scriptures has been highly commended by many church leaders. Marlinda is the author of the book, What is God Waiting For?, published by Regal Books.
Marcus is the Director, Singles Ministry, providing support to over 700 singles in various stages of life. His diverse management and accounting background has afforded him the opportunity to further the Kingdom of God in a variety of projects and activities. Since 1995, he has been a committed member of Christ Church and is currently a District Leader in the Small Group System, providing pastoral oversight to over 200 families. He holds a master’s of Divinity degree with a concentration in urban studies from Alliance Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from New Jersey City University. He is a candidate for a doctorate in ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also an associate member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Marcus and his wife Grace have three children.
Marco is the Director, Creative Ministry. He provides oversight to the creative side of pulpit presentations. By using illustrative sermons, object lessons and other creative expressions, the message from the pulpit is clarified, enabling the hearer to be transformed. Marco also provides ongoing training and spiritual development to members in our congregation through the School of the Holy Spirit. Marco’s passion for children continues as he assists the children’s pastor in shepherding the pre-teen children of Christ Church. During his previous employment, he gained notable status as an exhibit designer and fabricator at the American Museum of Natural History and was the exhibits director at Staten Island Children’s Museum. His love for God, art and children has propelled him into his new role. Marco is a graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Ann is the Director, Pastoral Care at Christ Church. She assists the pastoral team in providing social support, spiritual guidance, and referral services to people faced with personal challenges. Having been a member of Christ Church since its formative years and dedicating 16 years of service to the ministry, she is a pillar and a model within Christ Church. She received certification as a Lay Christian Counselor from Somerset Christian College. Ann has helped hundreds of people achieve stability in their lives. She and her husband, Arnold, currently lead “Overcomers,” a 12-Step Christian support group structured to assist people grappling with life-controlling addictions and other life altering problems. With a management background of 19 years in customer service, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Christ Church and understands what it means to care for people and their families.
Ryan serves as the Director of the Quest College Ministry and Young Adults Ministry, providing leadership and oversight to the growing community of young adults, college students and emerging leaders. Ryan serves as a youth/young adult conference speaker and lecturer, including the New Jersey State Department’s MLK Youth Leadership Conference as well as a host of other conferences and seminars. As a worship leader, Ryan leads thousands of men and women in worship at Christ Church and regionally. As a preacher and expositor of the Word of God, Ryan serves every generation to develop and grow in their relationship with the Lord. Ryan has been a member of Christ Church for over 13 years, serving in a myriad of ministries: usher ministry, choir, worship team, and as a Life Group leader. Among his other responsibilities, Ryan serves as an event producer, leading the effort in regional events such as Prayerfest, hosted annually.
Prior to serving on full-time staff, Ryan served in the following ministries: Living Hope Church (Trenton, New Jersey); Office of Internship & Spiritual Formation (Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack, NY). Through these experiences, Ryan offers a unique perspective with real-life application of how to live the Word of God daily.
Ryan is a graduate of Seton Hall University (South Orange, New Jersey) as a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Ryan also has a Master of Divinity from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary (Nyack, New York). Ryan is a member on the Alliance Theological Seminary’s Alumni Board as well as the Council of Faith and Spirituality at Montclair State University. Ryan is the recipient of the Outstanding Partnership Award from Intervarsity-Newark and the Dr. David A. Denyer Award from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary, citing exemplary performance in academics, preaching, soul care and service to the community. Ryan’s passion is to build up the next generation as authentic servants and worshippers of God. Ryan and his wife, Kristyn (worship leader and teacher) were married on October 10, 2010.
Lionel has been working with youth since 2000 and has come on staff as youth director since 2014. He previously worked as a teacher in the Paterson Public Schools from 2008-2014. He has a heart for sharing the truth of the Gospel in a relevant fashion to an ever changing generation through preaching, teaching, and spoken word poetry. In addition to local church leadership, he has shared the good news in prisons, schools, political functions, NFL/ NCAA chapels, national conferences, and churches throughout the country. He serves in a leadership capacity within the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Elementary Education, and completing a Masters of Divinity at Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary.
In her current position as Director of Church Life, Sandra’s duties are vast and multifaceted. Her core focus is the assimilation of members and frequent visitors into the life of Christ Church. And most importantly, she is responsible for the spiritual formation of members within the church in an effort to enhance their ongoing discipleship development. For over 10 years, Sandra has served in various volunteer capacities at Christ Church. She is also an ordained deacon. Prior to Christ Church, Sandra was the Director of Funded Initiatives at the Girl Scouts (GSUSA) national headquarters in New York City. She was directly accountable for the development; administration and evaluation of grant funded projects utilizing millions of dollars secured through private and federal funding sources. These dollars were used to help make Girl Scout programs opportunities available to girls in the areas of science, math and technology, social impact issues, financial literacy and the arts.
One of her most notable positions was Assistant Director of School-Age Programs while working for the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW), now known as Sesame Workshop. She was instrumental in securing funding for projects and establishing national and regional partnerships with over 1,000 organizations and community groups to support outreach programs. In another role as Regional Director of the Community Education Services Division with CTW, she trained Public Broadcast System outreach coordinators on viewing techniques, reading strategies, and related activities for preschoolers that extended the reach of Sesame Street. She received a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Policy from Seton Hall University and a Bachelors of Science in Social Sciences from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. She is certified in Civic and Divorce Mediation.