Getting to Know Our Pastors

Rev. Dr. Jon M. Walton

Jon Walton is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He earned his M.Div. degree at Union Theological Seminary, New York City and his D.Min. degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California.  He has previously served congregations in New Canaan, Connecticut; Setauket, New York; and Wilmington, Delaware.   He is the former co-moderator of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians and continues to serve as a member of the board.  A noted preacher, he has spoken at some of America’s most well known pulpits including the Washington National Cathedral,  and innumerable college, seminary, and conference settings.  His lectures and sermons are published in a wide variety of sermon anthologies, books on preaching, and articles in professional journals.  He is the author of the book, Imperfect Peace: Teaching Sermons on Troubling Texts.

Rev. Dr. Barbara E. Senecal-Davis

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Senecal-Davis is the Executive Minister at First Church where she oversees the programmatic life and program staff of the church.  She is a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where she majored in religion and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (M.Div., ’96), New York City. Barbara recently completed a doctorate in Religious Education from Fordham University. She has been a consultant and author of religious educational curricula including The Whole People of God and Seasons of the Spirit. She and her partner Karen live in Brooklyn with their two daughters.

Rev. William H. Critzman

The Rev. William Critzman, Minister of Discipleship, oversees community programming, member engagement, and financial stewardship.  As part of the pastoral team, he also shares in the ministries of care, educational enrichment, and worship leadership for the whole congregation.  He holds a BA with honors from Wagner College, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary NYC, where he was awarded The Jonathan Kneeland Award for Preaching, and is currently a Member in Training at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.  Prior to seminary, Will was a theatre producer and fundraiser for the arts.  He lives in Harlem with his dog, Pink.

Rev. Dr. Mark Hostetter

Mark Hostetter is Associate Pastor for Stewardship and Mission to the Corporate World.  This is an unpaid and unique part-time position which allows Mark to work full time as CEO of Vinik Asset Management, a Boston investment firm, and maintain a ministry at First Church as a liturgist in worship, occasional preacher, and frequent teacher.  Earlier in his career, Mark was general counsel for equity markets at Merrill Lynch, a securities lawyer with Cravath, Swaine, & Moore in New York and London, a tax analyst for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, DC and as personal and press aide for US Senator Jacob Javits.  Mark earned his B.A. degree in Economics at Harvard University, his J.D. from Columbia University, and his M.Div. degree from New York Theological Seminary, New York City.  He serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations including New York Theological Seminary, Ghost Ranch Conference Center, The Living Pulpit Magazine, Auburn Theological Seminary, and the Presbyterian Conference Association.   He is co-founder of the Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell, Montana which he began with his partner Alex Habib.  Together they are parents of three girls, Lani, Lea, and Kai.

Parish Associate Pastors

The church has three Parish Associate Pastors who are not installed as ministers on the staff but whose work provides invaluable support to the church’s mission and ministry.  These Parish Associates are unpaid and their relationship with the church is renewed annually by the Presbytery of New York City.

The Rev. Charles Mitchell teaches in the adult education program and assists in worship and preaching.  Rev. Mitchell is a former member of the faculty  in church history at the University of Dubuque (Presbyterian) Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson is President of Auburn Theological Seminary, New York City.  She serves as a consultant and assists in worship and preaching.

The Rev. Richard Pease serves as staff liaison to the Caring Community, is staff to the Senior Forum, organizes and assists with mission trips, and assists with the crisis outreach program to needy persons in the community and church.