Newton Presbyterian Church
75 Vernon Street
Newton, MA 02458
Rev. Dr. Jean Risley
Head of staff, Interim Pastor
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 1
Read Jean’s Bio
My first career was in computers, working with artificial intelligence, and my second career was as a technical manager, leading teams to build strategic systems. When I first became a Christian in mid-life, I wanted to know Jesus as the person he was during his lifetime on earth. I was fascinated by the way language and cultural conventions affect thinking, and I studied the gospels with a focus on how Jesus and his followers thought, felt, and interacted with others.
I am interested in spiritual formation, the influence of first century Judaism on Jesus and the early church, moral guidance and growing toward righteousness, dealing with clergy misconduct, working with churches in conflict and transition, and life and ministry in small churches. My perspective on Jesus and the church is the result of three formative experiences.
- When I first came back to faith, I experienced the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola under the direction of Father Lawrence Corcoran, S. J. The Exercises provided a direct and intimate engagement with the person of Jesus.
- I traveled on a pilgrimage “In the Footsteps of Saint Paul,” and standing on the stones of the agora in Corinth I finally had to come to terms with the reality of the person of Paul.
- In seminary I studied with Christian and Jewish students and faculty from Andover Newton and Hebrew College, and I got to see scriptures which were long familiar to me in a completely different perspective.
I am ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and served as pastor of Scotchtown Presbyterian Church in Middletown, New York. My first book, A Place Where Everybody Matters: Life and Ministry in a Small Church, shows how a small church can be a great place to grow disciples. I have served as interim pastor in several churches in the New England area and as a guest preacher and teacher in a variety of churches.
My education includes the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity degrees from Andover Newton Theological School, an MBA from Simmons College, a Master of Science in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Michigan State University.
Favorite Book(s):(other than the Bible)
Precious Bane by Mary Webb, Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my foot. [Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898)]
Favorite Food: chocolate
Favorite TV Show(s): Person of Interest
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s): Tommy Makem
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Sailing
Favorite Drink(s): Diet Coke with Lime
Favorite Animal: Maine Coon Cat
Favorite Website(s): worldcat.org
Rev. Kevin Campbell
Associate Pastor for Family and Community Life
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 2
Read Kevin’s Bio
In 1997 he left our staff and went to seminary at Gordon-Conwell. Several years, one degree and three children later, he returned to NPC, excited about serving God in a new way.
Kevin lives in Hudson with his wonderfully supportive wife, Debbie and their three amazing daughters — Mary, Elizabeth, and Erin. He has a desire to see families become the places of primary spiritual influence . Kevin is an avid golfer who also loves to cook and play in his garden.
Favorite Place: Tuscany
Favorite Quote: “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen”—Mark Twain
Favorite Food: Anything Italian
Favorite TV Show(s): Iron Chef America, Medium
Favorite Movie(s): Black Hawk Down, Elf. The King’s Speech
Favorite Ice Cream: raspberry chocolate chip from Kimball’s Farm
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s) Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, The Zac Brown Band and Rascal Flats
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Golf, gardening
Favorite Cereal(s): Frosted mini-wheats
Favorite Sports Team(s): Bruins
Favorite Drink(s): Diet coke and coffee
Favorite Game(s): Anything Wii
Interim Director of Children’s Ministries
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 706
Co-Director of Youth Ministries
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 5
Read Peter’s Bio
Favorite Book (other than the Bible): The Shack
Favorite Food: Sunday Dinner at Grandma’s House
Favorite Movies: Tomb Raider, Mulan
Favorite Ice Cream: Breyers Waffle Cone Overload!
Favorite Singer: Carrie Underwood…there’s no comparison
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Mini-Golf
Favorite Cereal: Frosted Mini Spooners (the off brand of mini-wheats)
Favorite Drinks: Turtle Latte or a Medium MacDonald’s Ice Coffee
Favorite Games: Catchphrase, Would You Rather, Jenga
Favorite Animals: A Panda or a White Bengal Tiger
Favorite Websites: NPC Youth, Sporcle.com
Director of Contemporary Worship, Arts and Media
Read Bethany’s Bio
Favorite Food: Ice cream and coffee (is that a food?)
Favorite Ice Cream: Breyers Black Raspberry with Chocolate Chunks
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s): U2, Chris Tomlin, The Ineloquent, Alison Krauss, Rascal Flatts, Bare Naked Ladies, Ben Folds
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Being on the water
Favorite Sports Team(s): Do you have to ask a New England girl?
Favorite Drink(s): Any form of COFFEE!
Read John’s Bio
Rev. Dr. Garrett Smith
Teaching Pastor, Director of Outreach and Spiritual Formation
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 3
Read Garrett’s Bio
Read how I became a believer in Jesus – “Jewish Buddhist finds Jesus”
Favorite Authors: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis
Favorite Quote: “ We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us.” – C.S. Lewis
Favorite Food: Love ethnic food – Ethiopian, Thai, Mexican, you name it, I will eat it.
Favorite Ice Cream: Dastardly Mash – Ben and Jerry’s stopped making it about 10-15 years ago, and I still have not recovered.
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s): James Taylor, Gypsy Kings
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Basketball and Playing with my kids
Favorite Sports Team(s): Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox
Favorite Drink(s): Milk Shake, Coconut Water, Lassi
Director of Women’s Ministries and Community Growth
Phone: 617-332-9255 ext. 4
Read Nici’s Bio
Nici was born in the country of Namibia. Her Jewish Grandparents came to Southern Africa having fled the Holocaust, and Nici became a believer in Jesus when she was sixteen. Nici, her mother, and her grandparents actually all became believers in Jesus in the same year. Nici is married to Garrett (who is also on staff) and is the mother of three children, Zach, Daliya, and Ilana. Garrett and Nici served together as missionaries with Jews for Jesus for twelve years. Here at Newton Pres, Nici is in charge of the Mom Connection and the Thursday morning Bible study as well as overseeing all the Women’s ministries, small groups, fellowship and hospitality.
Favorite Book(s):(other than the Bible) Life Together – Dietrich Boenhoffer
Favorite Quote: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite TV Show(s) TV only came to my country when I was 13 so honestly I don’t watch any TV. I just never get into it.
Favorite Movie(s): Nowhere in Africa, Sarafina
Favorite Ice Cream: Mint.
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s): Chris Tomlin
Favorite Outdoor Activities: Walking along the Charles River, chasing my kids around
Favorite Cereal(s): You can’t get it here, it’s an African cereal called matabella pap
Favorite Sports Team(s): The Red Sox
Favorite Drink(s): Chai Latte
Co-Director of Youth Ministries
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 5
Read Fiona’s Bio
Favorite books: The Hunger Games, The Picture of Dorian Gray, the DSM-IV-TR
Favorite food: Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza from Antonio’s
Favorite movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite ice cream: Oreo Overload from Coldstone
Favorite singer: Josh Groban
Favorite outdoor activities: picnics, leisurely walks, water sports
Favorite cereal: Cap’n Crunch
Favorite drink: chocolate milk
Favorite game: Spoons
Favorite animal: Liger
Favorite website: http://www.facebook.com/newtonpresyouth
Director of Traditional Music Ministries
Director of Administration
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 0
Read Jes’s Bio
Favorite Book(s):(other than the Bible) Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance by Donald Miller, Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Chronicles of Narnia (all of them) by C.S. Lewis
Favorite Food: Indian, Italian, Mexican
Favorite Movie(s): Adventures in Babysitting, Beaches, Finding Nemo
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate with spoonful of peanut butter mixed in
Favorite Singer(s)/Band(s): U2, Switchfoot (older stuff), Lionel Richie, Keith Green, Renee Fleming, Dietrich Fischer Diskau, Heart, Christy Nockels
Favorite Outdoor Activities: hiking, biking, swinging, exploring
Favorite Cereal(s): frosted shredded wheat
Favorite Sports Team(s): Red Sox, Patriots, Cubs
Favorite Game(s): Scrabble, hopscotch
Director of Presbyterian Church Nursery School (PCNS)
Phone: 617.332.9255 ext. 6