Staff & Officers

Staff

Ruling Elder Bill Henderson

Ruling Elder Bill Henderson

Temporary Presbyter

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

Rev. Rebecca (Becca) Lawson Putman

Stated Clerk

Becca Lawson Putman grew up in Byram Township in northwestern New Jersey and attended the First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, where she was both baptized and confirmed. She went to Princeton Theological Seminary and completed her MDiv in 2015. While in seminary, she interned at the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church, joined the congregation, and came under care of Albany Presbytery. While in Mayfield, she also met Greg Putman, to whom she is now married. She was ordained in 2015 and became the pastor of the Northville United Presbyterian Church. She lives in Northville with Greg and their cat, Night. She continues to minister to NUPC, and she has served the larger Church by serving as the co-chairperson of our Committee on Ministers and Congregations from 2017 until she became the Stated Clerk, on the planning team for the Synod’s Young Ministry Leaders gathering in 2018 and 2019, as one of our presbytery’s representatives to the 2018 Mid Council Leaders Gathering, and as our presbytery’s synod commissioner in 2018.

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.

Rev. Beth Illingworth

Rev. Beth Illingworth

Chaplain

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.

Jennifer Schoenfisch

Jennifer Schoenfisch

Office Administrator

Jennifer has a strong professional background of providing comprehensive administrative support & project coordination services in a range of fast paced professional office environments. Prior to joining the staff of Albany Presbytery in early 2015, her role as a full time parent to two boys augmented her professional experience with practical applications of patience, empathy & problem-solving. Jennifer also serves as the Office Administrator for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. When she’s not working, Jennifer enjoys snuggling with her animals, working in the yard or around her home, tending (and adding to) her perennial gardens, going to the gym and otherwise maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She lives in a 100+year old home in Waterford with her two sons, their cat and their most recent family additions – two guinea pigs!

Lisa Allendorph

Lisa Allendorph

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.

Officers

Rev. Michael Burkley

Rev. Michael Burkley

Moderator

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.

RE Judy Hartley

RE Judy Hartley

Vice Moderator

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

Rev. Kate Kotfila

Immediate Past Moderator

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.

Ruling Elder Carl Hasselbarth

Ruling Elder Carl Hasselbarth

President of Trustees

Carl’s family have been members of Hamilton Union Presbyterian church since 1981. He was ordained as a Ruling Elder and served on the Session there from 2010 through 2014. He has served on the Albany Presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry, an Investigative Commission and an Administrative Commission. He has been on the Albany Presbytery’s Board of Trustees since 2015.

Outside of his Presbytery work, Carl operates his own law and tax practice in Guilderland. He has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.

Rev. Donna Elia

Rev. Donna Elia

Treasurer 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

Ruling Elder Peggy Drew

Assistant Treasurer

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.

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