Staff & Leadership

Say "Hello" to the staff and leadership at First Presbyterian Church of Cranford. 

We're working together to build the best church for Cranford and the surrounding area! 

  • Rev. Jin Bae

    Senior Pastor, Head of Staff

    Rev. Jin Bae grew up in Los Angeles, California and attended University of Southern California and received his BSEE (electrical engineering). Upon graduation, he responded to God’s call to become a pastor and so studied at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) where he received his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and then to Yonsei United Graduate School of Theology (Seoul, Korea) for his Master of Theology (Th.M.). He was ordained with PC (USA) in 1998. He is happily married to Eun Young, and they have three adult children, Christopher, David & Charis. 


  • Kayla Abella

    Director of Youth Ministry

    Kayla grew up in Cranford and has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church for the past 20 years. As the owner of a nutrition counseling practice that specializes in pediatrics, and a nanny of 8 years, she has extensive experience working with youth. Her passion for working with kids and teens, especially in the church, stemmed from her own experience growing up in the youth group and how much it positively impacted her life. Kayla will be a support system for the youth and help them grow in their faith. 

  • Alanna Clayton

    Director of Children's Ministry

    Alanna is the Director of Children's Ministry for K-5th grade. She has a passion for helping children strengthen and grow in their relationship with God. She has experience as an after-care provider and nanny, working with children in this age group. Alanna is currently a student at Wagner College and is a member of the fencing team there. 

  • Emily Fuentes

    Director of Preschool Ministry

    Emily Fuentes is the 3rd generation to grow up in Cranford and still lives in town with her husband, Nick, and two children, Abigail and Charlotte. She graduated from Widener University with a BA in Early Childhood and Special Education. She is a lifelong member of  FPCC, was baptized, confirmed and married here. Both of her girls have been baptized here and will continue their journey in faith. Emily worked as an early intervention specialist for Children’s Specialized Hospital and is now a local Pre-K teacher. She loves working with children.

  • Organist Robert "Bob" Grube

    Robert "Bob" Grube


    Bob is a native of Cranford. He graduated from Cranford High School with a Musical Club of Westfield Scholarship. He graduated from Rutgers University and received his Master’s degree from NYU. His organ instructors were Walter Reinhold and David Drinkwater. He has been the organist at First Presbyterian Church since 1965.

  • Music Director Elsa Hahn

    Elsa Gail Hahn

    Director of Children's Choir and Jubilee Handbell Choir

    Next to Bob Grube, the church organist, Elsa has been working at FPCC longer than anyone else on the staff. Raised in Westfield, she participated in choirs of the First Congregational Church. She joined their children’s choirs in first grade, continuing through high school. She was an elementary school music teacher in Westfield for 34 years.  Elsa began serving at First Presbyterian Church of Cranford as director of children’s choirs and high school bell choirs, and later took over as music Director.  Elsa received a Bachelors in Music Education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Masters in Music Education from Northwestern University. She also studied at the Orff Schulwerk and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. 

  • Hannah Orr

    Director of Chancel Choir

    Hannah Orr is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and is currently attending Westminster Choir College at Rider University to complete a Masters in Choral Pedagogy. She is a K-12 music educator and is very passionate about choral music education and working with choirs of all varieties and ages. Hannah has served as Soprano section leader and soloist at Peapack Reformed Church for the past five years and is very excited to join the team at First Presbyterian Church of Cranford. Additionally, she loves working as a choral singer and sings with professional choral ensembles such as The Princeton Singers. She previously served as the President of the Rutgers Kirkpatrick Choir and has toured and performed at many venues with different choral ensembles such as the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, NJPAC, the Marktoberdorf Chamber Choir Competition in Germany, and Carnegie Hall. In her free time she loves to bake, read, and spoil her cats!

  • Office Administrator Carol Thee

    Carol Thee

    Office Administrator

    Carol grew up in Hawthorne, NJ. She and her husband Don have lived in Cranford since 1969 and raised three children here. She graduated from College Misericordia and started her career as a biology teacher. Carol worked with the Religious Education program at the Church of the Assumption in Roselle Park, and was overseer of the church office, Director of Religious Education, and assistant to Bishop Charles McDonnell at Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack. Carol considers her opportunity to assist and to be part of the FPCC community a gift and a joy and is grateful for the opportunity to serve the members and the Lord.

  • Laura Gardner

    Director, Helen K. Baldwin Nursery School

    Laura grew up in Cranford.  She graduated from Cranford High School and Muhlenberg College.  She and her husband met in college and moved to Boston after they were married, but returned to Cranford to start their family.  They have three children, two attended Helen K. Baldwin Nursery School.  Laura was actively involved with the nursery school as a board member and substitute teacher.  She was hired as an assistant teacher in 1999 and became director of the nursery school in 2004.  In her free time she loves to cook, travel and spend time with her family.

    Learn More: Helen K. Baldwin Nursery School

  • Lisa Decker

    Director, PrimeTime School Age Child Care

    Lisa was born and raised in Cranford and still resides there with her husband Michael and daughter, Madison, who attended PrimeTime from kindergarten through 5th grade. She graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Marketing. Lisa was hired by Karin Burk in 1998 as a before and after school teacher, she then was promoted to Assistant Director in 2008 and Director in 2010. In Lisa’s free time, you can find her either in her garden or spending quality time with her family and new puppy, Eddie.

    Learn More: PrimeTime School Age Child Care

  • Chris Jorn

    Program Director, PrimeTime School Age Child Care

    Chris was born and raised in Cranford and has been working in the afterschool industry for over 15 years. Chris lives with his wife Zahra and their one year old daughter Harvey in Roselle Park with hopes of moving back to his hometown within the next year. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing with his family and attending New York Giants and Yankee games. Chris is passionate about bringing new and exciting STEM activities to PrimeTime and the Cranford community. 

meet The Session

The 14 member Session is responsible for the ministry, mission and finances of the church. It oversees active volunteer and staff teams responsible for Sunday worship, member care, community outreach, service and mission, and buildings and grounds.  The Session, working alongside the Pastor, leads the church in welcoming visitors, encouraging spiritual growth, and helping spread God's message to our neighbors and to the world.  Ruling Elders are elected by the congregation and generally serve a 3-year term.

meet the deacons

The FPCC Board of Deacons, known as the "Caring Arm of the Church,"  provides care, support and solace to members and friends of our congregation.  We reach out on a regular basis to those who are ill, grieving, or home-bound through phone calls, flower delivery, and visits. We assist the homebound with rides to medical appointments and by arranging meal trains. The Deacons also administer the Prayer Chain for our congregation, a group of over 150 individuals who are available for immediate prayer upon request -- we know that prayer works!