Staff & Officers
Ruling Elder Bill Henderson
William (Bill) Henderson, is a member of Brunswick Church where he currently serves as chair of the Resource Management Team and teaches a weekly adult Bible study. In addition, Bill is a Ruling Elder and is on the approved preaching list of the Albany Presbytery.
For 25 years he worked in health care, 21 of those working for neurology practices. At the end of 2016 he retired as administrator of the Department of Neurology and Physical Medicine for Albany Medical College. He now volunteers as an Instructor on the faculty of the college to train residents in the business practice of medicine. In addition, he serves on several committees for the American Academy of Neurology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives and has served as co-chair of the board of the Medical Group Management Association. Bill regularly speaks at conferences and webinars on medical practice issues.
Bill has earned two master’s degrees (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Kings College, University of Aberdeen) and has done additional postgraduate study at the University of Pennsylvania.
To learn more, read what Bill shared with us in the blog: Introducing Part-Time Temporary Presbyter Nominee Bill Henderson.
Rev. Rebecca (Becca) Lawson Putman
Becca is passionate about our polity, and believes the polity and constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) links our theology with our praxis. Our polity is an expression of how we believe the role of the Church is, how it should function in the world, and how we should interact with each other. She is excited to serve Albany Presbytery as Stated Clerk and is grateful for the opportunity to serve God and the Church through this additional function.
Katie Gorsky (Stillwater, New York) – Katie lives on her family’s diverse farm nestled between Saratoga Lake and the Saratoga National Battlefield, where they raise hay, corn, soybeans, firewood, cows (milk & beef), chickens, pigs, dogs, cats and fifth generation farmers. Her 1840s farmhouse is a constant source of projects and the hub of farm life. After years as a self-proclaimed gypsy traveling with North America’s best circuses (not hanging by her toes, but in management and marketing) Katie’s roots began to grow when she met a dairy farmer from Stillwater on the internet, two decades ago.
Katie is delighted to serve as the hub for Presbytery Communications and brings a solid background in a complimentary skill set and command of the written word.
Rev. Beth Illingworth
Beth Illingworth has been a member of Albany Presbytery since 1989. Prior to that she received her Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. She comes from a long line of Presbyterian ministers. She is the first woman to be ordained into her family’s profession.
Beth’s first call in Albany Presbytery was as Designated Pastor of the Oakwood Avenue Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, a ministry which gave her great joy. In 2009 she worked with others in the Presbytery to help the Oakwood congregation make the difficult decision to closed the church and become a new creation, the Oakwood Community Center. Beth also served fifteen years as Campus Minister for TAUM at Russell Sage College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. In this ministry she had the privilege of working with a thoughtful, compassionate and socially conscious generation of students.
In 2018 Beth completed a certification program in Spiritual Direction through the Haden Institute. This enabled her to develop her skills in accompanying others on their spiritual journeys. Beth is also a Lyme disease warrior, having lived with the illness since 2004. She has discovered how unforeseen and painful experiences can be a pathway for deep learning and self-discovery.
Beth lives with her husband, Paul Greene, in Kinderhook, New York. They have two grown children, their daughter, Julian, and their son, Isaiah.
Part time Bookkeeper
Lisa has been in the finance field for over 30 years. For the last 21 years she has been working as a bookkeeper, treasurer and Finance manager for multiple non-profit and for profit companies. She loves the variety of different companies and the colleagues she works with. In her personal life, she loves spending time with her family and friends, loves exercise and the outdoors, reading, traveling and working from her home office. Lisa has two grown children, one on each end of the country and lives with her husband Jim, and two dogs in Delmar.
RE Judy Hartley
RE Judy Hartley has been a devout Presbyterian her entire life. She was serving her community as an elementary and nursery school teacher when she was first invited to serve as an Elder at the Sixth Presbyterian Church in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh invited me to serve as Elder. Later, she joined the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, Illinois where she attended the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois meetings as Commissioner for years, served as Presbytery Commissioner to GA in Richmond, and chaired a GA committee. All told, Judy has served on Session in a total of eight churches, most recently at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. Judy enjoys spending time with her two grown sons and her two granddaughters who also live in the Albany area. When she’s not with family, other interests include bike riding, hiking, gardening, playing Bocce ball, live music, friends, walking, sewing, exploring NY history and volunteering.
Rev. Kate Kotfila
Co-Chair of Trustees
MKate Kotfila served as Albany Presbytery’s 2019 moderator. She is pastor at the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, NY. An important spiritual discipline for Kate is traveling in places where life is very different than in Cambridge. You can learn more about the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge at www.cambridgenyupc.org.
To learn more about Kate, read this article which was written at the beginning of her 2-year term as an Albany Presbytery Officer: Introducing Kate Kotfila, Vice Moderator 2018.
Rev. Donna Elia
Co-Chair of Trustees
Donna Elia serves as executive director of Troy Area United Ministries, an interfaith organization committed to seeking the social and spiritual well being of people in Rensselaer County and the surrounding area. She is also stated supply pastor of First United Church, Hoosick Falls. She has served congregations in Albany and Tribes Hill.
Donna served Albany Presbytery as moderator, and in her work on the Guatemala Partnership Task Force, she has traveled to Guatemala 8 times. She is active on a number of boards, including the Kirkridge Retreat Center and the Rensselaer County Homeless Services Collaborative.
Ruling Elder Peggy Drew
Peggy is a member of First United Presbyterian Church in Troy where she is an ordained Elder and Deacon. She is currently the chair of the Worship Committee and Moderator of Deacons. She is also a “Monday Morning Counter,” as head financial secretary she helps count the money and deposits it in the bank.
Rev. Michael Burkley
Michael Burkley has been a pastor for over 30 years (unbelievably to him) and for over 11 of those years he has had the privilege of serving in Albany Presbytery as the pastor of the Rockwell Falls Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Susan have two adult children. Michael sees his ministry, in large measure, as one of bridge-building—of building living bridges bringing us together, all for the glory of God. That has worked out in many different ways through his service to the General Assembly (GA), the Synod of the Northeast, several different presbyteries, and four congregations.