Meet the employees and officers of our church. These are ordinary people called to glorify God as they offer their gifts and talents in service to the kingdom.
Susan Antonioli, Financial Secretary
Rev. Ruth Ann Christopher, Pastor
Ruth Ann was born in Summit Hill, PA and graduated from Panther Valley High School in 1976. She attended Kutztown University and received a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1980. She then pursued training in Computer Programming at Pierce Junior College in Philadelphia. Upon completion of her coursework, Ruth Ann worked in Information Technology for 10 years. Sensing a call to ministry, she attended Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated in May of 1993. In October of 1993, she began serving as pastor of this congregation.
In addition to her duties as pastor, Ruth Ann enjoys hiking, biking, computer design, art, reading, and NFL football. She has served Lehigh Presbytery as chair of Trustees, Moderator of the presbytery, chair of Presbytery Council, and currently chairs the administrative commission for The Barn (a new church development).
Mary Detrick, Treasurer
Mary has been a lifelong member of Faith Church and lives in Pen Argyl. Currently she is serving as treasurer, ruling elder and choir member. In the past she has also been a Sunday School teacher and served on numerous committees. Mary graduated from Albright College in Reading, Pa. with a B.S. in Nursing. She has been employed by Slate Belt Family Practice in Wind Gap for the past 15 years. Her husband, Jim, and daughters, Emily and Rebecca, have always been a main focus in her life. She also enjoys choral singing, knitting, counted cross-stitch, sewing, exercising and walking her dog.
Greg Oaten, Minister of Music
Greg is a native of the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, is a versatile musician, dividing his time between performing, coaching individuals and groups of singers, choral conducting and composing/arranging. He has performed, and in some cases recorded, with all of the area’s prominent choral ensembles, including the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Camerata Singers, Concord Chamber Singers, Lehigh University and Moravian College Choral Arts, and the Princeton Singers. He has also been a featured recitalist in numerous venues throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania.
Greg received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he studied Voice and Voice Pedagogy. He has has participated in numerous professional recordings. Two of these have received Grammy Award nominations and one, a recording of Samuel Barber’s opera Antony and Cleopatra, was awarded a Grammy in 1985.
Greg has served on the Music Faculty of Moravian College since 1991, and was awarded the T. Edgar Shields Prize for Studio Teaching in 2003. He also serves as Assistant Conductor & Vocal Coach of the Concord Chamber Singers, and has held the position of Assistant to the Conductor of the Camerata Singers. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley NATS Chapter, of which he is a co-founder.
Marian Lewis, Organist
Marian was born and raised in Pen Argyl, and is the successor to a long line of family members who have played the 1929 Möller organ here at Faith Church. Her Great Aunt, Queen Jackson, was the original Organist, with Aunt Queen’s younger sister, Bertha Brong, then taking up the position. Marian’s mother, Myrtie Doney, was Organist/Choir Director here at Faith Church for many years, retiring from the position in 1962 after more some 30 years of service. Marian’s sister, Winifred Oaten, played the organ at Faith Church from 1964 until her passing in 2011, and Marian has been kind enough to have taken up the position since. Marian graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey in 1945. During her tenure at Westminster, she performed, toured and recorded with the world-renowned Westminster Choir under its founder, the late Dr. John Finley Williamson. She studied Choral Conducting with Dr. Williamson and organ with the late David Hugh Jones and Mary Krimmel.
Following graduation from Westminster, Marian served as Organist/Choir Director at the First Baptist Church of Selma, Alabama for two years. She then returned to her native Pen Argyl, where she married her High School sweetheart, Bob Lewis. She taught piano for many years, and enjoyed a reputation as one of the most sought-after piano pedagogues in the area. Many of her students continued on to enjoy very successful careers as performers and teachers in their own right. During this time she also served as Organist/Choir Director at Trinity United Church of Christ/Trinity Lutheran Church in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania when it was still a “Joint Church,” prior to the construction of Hope United Church of Christ in 1968.
In late 1967, Marian moved to York, Pennsylvania where she continued to maintain a large piano teaching studio, and also served as Organist and Choir Director at Locust Grove United Church of Christ until her return to the Slate Belt in 1997. She has been a vibrant presence in the life of Faith Church since, singing in the Chancel Choir, helping with numerous groups and projects and, finally, assuming the duties of Organist since 2011. We are continuously indebted to her for so generously sharing her energy, time and talents with us.
Patricia Zavacky, Clerk of Session
Pat is originally from New Jersey where she graduated from West Morris Regional High School and has been a member of Faith Church since 1977. She as a B.A. in Elementary Education from Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio and is retired from the Pen Argyl Area School District where she taught various primary grades, including Pre-First and First. She currently lives in Bethlehem with her husband, Jack. She is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of 3 grandsons. She enjoys baby sitting, going to the beach, reading, knitting and counted cross-stitch in her free time.
In the past Pat has taught Church School, served on Session and the Christian Education Committee and was Chairperson of the Church Family Committee at Faith Church. She has been Clerk of Session since January, 2008 and has enjoyed learning more about that position and the workings of the church.