Pastor: Rev. Michael Samson
Mike grew up in West Caldwell and Montclair, NJ. After studying business in college, he worked in marketing/affiliate relations for Turner Broadcasting's World Championship Wrestling and iN Demand Pay-Per-View in Atlanta, GA. From there, Mike went to Princeton and Gordon-Conwell seminaries and was ordained in July of 2006 as a pastor (Teaching Elder/Minister of Word and Sacrament, PCUSA). His hobbies include playing guitar/banjo/various instruments, playing sports, and especially spending time with family and friends. Mike and his wife Kelly have two sons.
Organist: Cindy Shelton
Cindy Shelton is the organist at Hope Church. After graduating from Toledo University, she married Gary Shelton and moved to Plainfield. After earning her M.S. degree from Butler University, she taught elementary school for Plainfield Schools for 26 years. She and Gary have lived in Plainfield since and raised their 2 children (Kay and Chris) here. She became Hope's organist in September of 1980.
Elders of Hope Church
The Elders make up the leadership core of Hope Church.
A distinctive mark of Presbyterian Church: the governing by a plurality of ‘presbyters’ or ‘elders’. The elders have a pastoral responsibility for the care of individuals and a programmatic responsibility to administer the life of the church. There are two types: Teaching Elders (or Pastors) are called by the congregation & installed by the Presbytery. Ruling Elders are elected by the local congregation from among themselves [Hope has 7 elders, 3 year term]. Together this ruling body is called the Session and meets monthly (Acts 14-15; 1 Timothy 5; Titus 1; James 5).