Here at St. James Episcopal Church, we value leadership. Here’s a list of all of our leaders within the parish.
The Rev.Melissa Hall
cell phone 973-222-2646
The Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook
Audrey is a life-long member of the Episcopal Church. She began serving at St. James’ Church on the Feast of the Holy Name (January 1) in 2007. The primary focus of her ministry is children and youth. Her prayer is for all people, especially children, to make a deep connection with God that nourishes, strengthens, and challenges them to grow into the people God has called them to be.
Audrey also serves on the Diocesan Prison Ministry Committee (secretary), the Liturgy Committee (chair), and as a member of the Board of the Diocese’s Nutley Senior Manor. She has served in urban and suburban parishes in the Diocese of Newark. Prior to entering the General Theological Seminary, she worked as an elementary school teacher. She loves to read, hike, garden, cook, and go to the ballet with friends. Audrey and her husband, Jim, have three daughters.
The Rev. Dr. Walter E. Lewis
Walter was graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1964, and ordained to the Priesthood in 1965. Since ordination, he has served parishes in the dioceses of Washington, D.C. and Newark, including St. James’ as Associate Rector (1972-77). He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in 1983.
Following retirement in 2001, Walter reconnected with St. James’, donating his priestly services on a part-time basis. As Assisting Priest, he shares worship duties by preaching and celebrating the Eucharist on a regular basis. He also oversees the Eucharistic Visitor and “Journey through Grief” ministries and visits the sick and shut-in. Walter lives in Montclair with his wife, Barbara, who has a successful real estate sales career. Their three grown children and ten grandchildren also live in Montclair.
Director of Music Ministries and Organist
Sean joined the staff of St. James' in March 2012. In addition to serving as organist of our Parish, he conducts the 25-voice Choir of Men and Women, the Treble Choir, and the Hand Bell Choir.
Before coming to St. James', Sean served as Director of Music and Organist at Old First Presbyterian Church in Newark. During his tenure there, he oversaw the all-professional choir and the 130-rank Austin organ. In addition, he ministered to the greater Newark community through both his gift of music and his talent as a chef, cooking for those who came to the midweek service.
In addition to his harpsichord studies at The Julliard School in New York City with Lionel Party, Sean holds both a Master's and a Bachelor's degree in Composition and Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton. His teachers include concert organists Ken Cowan, Matthew Lewis, and Diane Meredith Belcher as well as harpsichordists Kathleen Scheide and Eugene Roan. During Sean's time at Westminster, he became a master of hand bell ringing by performing in the world-renowned Westminster Concert Bell Choir, which toured annually around the country under the direction of Kathleen Ebling-Shaw.
At St. James’, Sean enjoys teaching students the art of choral singing as well as coaching at the piano. He plans to continue the long history of excellent music-making and further develop the already visible concert series. At home in Middlesex County, Sean values his hobbies of house painting, oil painting, and cooking. Aside from his ministry at St. James', Sean remains an active concert harpsichordist, organist, and continuo specialist.
Director, St. James’ Preschool
Sarah graduated from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, with a BA in Economics and worked in marketing and administration on Wall Street for eight years prior to starting her family. She has been the Director of the St. James’ Preschool since 1996. Prior to that, she served on its board for many years as a parent representative, first when her two children attended the Preschool, then as a Church representative after they “graduated.”
During her time as Director of the Preschool, Sarah has expanded the program to include both half- and full-day Pre-Kindergarten classes. In 1996, an enrichment Pre-K program was started for twelve children.
In response to parental requests and community demand, the afterschool enrichment program was expanded to include the three additional classes that are currently being offered to four-year olds. St. James’ Preschool now serves more than eighty children from Montclair and surrounding communities.
Sarah lives in Cedar Grove with her husband, John. Their children live and work in Manhattan. Sarah’s other interests include golfing, gardening, and volunteering at St. James’ Church.
Hilary joined St. James’ as Parish Administrator in July 2009. For three years prior to that she was Parish Administrator at St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church, Bernardsville, in the Diocese of New Jersey. She is a cradle Anglican having been raised in England. She is now a member of The Episcopal Church of St. John on the Mountain, Bernardsville where she is Junior Warden, sings in the choir, and serves on the Outreach Commission.
Hilary’s family hails from Wales, where she lived as a small child and returned to attend the University of Wales. She was graduated with a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies. Although now a United States Citizen, Hilary considers herself a ‘citizen of the world’ having lived in the United Kingdom and Canada, and having spent extended periods of time in Latin America, Australia, and Asia before coming to New Jersey in 1985. She was employed for many years as a management consultant in telecommunications and the early development of the internet.
She met her husband, Ward Dorer, singing in the choir at St. John on the Mountain. They have been married for twelve years. Singing is their shared joy. They sing together in the church choir and the North American Welsh Choir. Ward has been a member of the University Glee Club of New York City for more than thirty years and also sings in a male a cappella group, “The Ten.” Ward and his late wife, Laura, had three children and he and Hilary now have three delightful grandchildren. They live on a small lake in Denville with Bronwen, a recently rescued 5-year-old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie and Amber the tortoiseshell cat.
Charlie grew up in North Carolina’s Northampton County and came to this area in 1984. Before joining our church staff in 2007, he worked for twenty-three years at Mountainside Hospital. There, Charlie’s pride in his work earned him the description “best floor man.” That same spirit of dedication carries over to his duties here at St. James’, where he enjoys what he does and the environment in which he works.
Charlie is a member of the New Hope Baptist Church. He has three children and three grandchildren. When not working, Charlie renews his energy by taking time out for peace and solitude.