Reverend Mark F. Phillips, Minister

Mark Francis Phillips  was born and raised in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh.  He  spent his early years as a member of the Hungarian Reformed Church, where he was baptized and confirmed.  From a very early age, Rev. Mark sensed a call to ministry and was active in church school and youth-group activities.

Rev. Mark began studying organ in junior high school and continued those studies through college.  While in high school and college, Rev. Mark served several churches in Pittsburgh, northern Virginia and Washington DC as organist and choir director.

After attending Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Rev. Mark spent a year and a half in Carlow College as a major in liturgical music ministry.  When the program was discontinued, he transferred to George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from which he graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Rev. Mark earned his Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in May 1994.  While at Pittsburgh Seminary, he served as Student Assistant Minister at the Riverview Presbyterian Church.  He was ordained by Pittsburgh Presbytery on July 31.  On August 1, 1994, Rev. Mark began his ministry at the First Presbyterian Church in Mineral Ridge, Ohio (a suburb of Youngstown) where he served for 16 years. In April 2010, Rev. Mark was called to be the pastor of the historic First Presbyterian Church, “The Old Whalers’ Church”, in Sag Harbor, New York. In 2015, Cherry Hill’s congregation called him to Dearborn.

In his free time, Rev. Mark enjoys spending time with family and friends, and his cats, Hoover and Russell. He continues to be involved in community events and other activities such as music, theater, and reading.  He likes to try his hand at cooking and gardening as time (and talent) permits.

Clayton Farmer, Director of Music and Organist 

Clayton Farmer is a member of the freshman class this fall at the University of Michigan School of Music under a full-tuition scholarship for Organ Performance and Sacred Music. This semester, his organ professor is Dr. Olukola Owolabi. In addition, he plays bassoon in the University Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Courtney Snyder. He has previously served as organist at Lord of Light Lutheran Campus Ministry in Ann Arbor, and most recently, he served as Minister of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Chelsea. Most recently, he attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy Summer Chamber Festival in Idyllwild, CA, where he studied piano with Edith Orloff and conducting with Larry Livingston. Clayton’s previous organ teachers have included Dr. Michele Johns and Dr. Aaron Tan, and he has studied conducting with E. Daniel Long.

He and his family are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor where Clayton has sung in the choir, accompanied and directed the choir on a substitute basis, and served as guest organist. He has been a chorister, accompanist, section leader, and substitute rehearsal conductor with the acclaimed Boychoir of Ann Arbor. He has served a substitute organist in demand throughout the region and has participated in numerous workshops, laboratory program, summer programs, and classes in organ and choral conducting.

About his new position at Cherry Hill, Clayton writes,

            Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church has a venerable and inspiring history of great music in its worship, and I hope that I can contribute to this legacy. I want to preserve this ministry, as well as create new possibilities for its future.

            Cherry Hill has an established and special identity in Dearborn. It’s a unique church in a unique community, and the way its music program has been able to maintain its direction is one of the greatest treasures of the church. This quality makes Cherry Hill stand out as an inspiring prospect for a church musician. There are so many possibilities for the future, and making these possibilities happen is what inspires me. I strongly believe that Cherry Hill has the potential and the resources to be a beacon of artistry in the area. I consider it a wonderful opportunity to be invited to lead the music ministry at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church.

Lisa Levangie, Administrative Director

Kimberly McDonald, Financial Secretary

Marcy Osborne, Sexton and Security

Michelle Adams, Daytime Custodian

Elaine Filiak, Joyce Knoop, Judie Frasier, Sherry Brown, Janet Reickel, and Carolyn Carr, Helen Turchan  Office Volunteers