Clergy & Staff

Our leaders serve the church by loving, praying for, teaching, and guiding: 'To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.'

- Ephesians 4:12

Eric Taylor

Rector

Steve Palmer

Associate Rector

Jade Lundgren

Pastor of Worship Arts
and Spiritual Formation

Laura Brinkley

Director of Operations

Sarah Durham

Director of Youth Ministries

Casey Freed

Assistant Student Ministry Director

Megan Hatton

Preschool Director

Samantha Veness

Children's Ministry Co-Director

Amaris Cruz

Ministry Assistant
Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Rector

Meet Eric

Eric leads the team of very capable men and women who love Jesus and want to see their lives count for the Kingdom of God. Energized by Eric’s direction, the St. Philip’s staff works hard to equip God’s people, model a way of service, and raise up Kingdom leaders.

The Taylors’ over two decade journey at St. Philip’s began when God called Eric back to his native Pittsburgh from ministry in Connecticut. Over those many years, St. Philip’s has witnessed many changes, some easy, some not, but by God’s grace St. Philip’s has thrived. Throughout, it has remained very clear to Eric and his family that this is where they were supposed to be, this is where God wants him to lead and serve.

For Eric, real spiritual combustion comes from seeing others meet Jesus. For him, the only thing that compares is watching people step into leadership and seeing God use their lives as they invest in others and reach over the walls to outsiders. It’s a true joy when he gets to join with friends and leaders to share the good news of Jesus. He loves the people and ministry of St. Philip’s.

He also loves all things Pittsburgh – the sports, the people, the history, and the food. He enjoys time with family, and loves to hang out with his two grown sons as much as possible.

He shares a love/hate relationship with golf.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer

Associate Rector

Meet Steve

Steve provides leadership in teaching, preaching, small group formation, and other roles at St. Philip’s. Before coming to St. Philip’s, he pastored for eight years at St. Stephen’s Church in Sewickley and has also served as an adjunct professor at Trinity School for Ministry, a board member of the Pittsburgh Fellows program, and a co-founder of St. Stephen’s Classical Academy. In addition to serving at St. Philip’s, Steve is training to be a physician as well.

Steve and his wife, Kamala, have five kids and a Bernese mountain dog. The Palmers’ house is full of Nerf gun battles, piano lessons, Kamala’s excellent cooking, and family dance parties. When not doing ministry, Steve is often running on beautiful trails throughout Allegheny County.

“Kamala and I are grateful for our warm reception at St. Philip’s and excited to serve with such capable staff and lay leaders. The church has a long history and a bright future in helping people connect with God. Our prayer is that in Moon and all the surrounding communities, people would open their hearts to God and find that He brings deeper fulfillment and better hope than anything else can.”

Jade Lundgren

Jade Lundgren

Pastor of Worship Arts
and Spiritual Formation

Meet Jade

Jade is the Director of Worship and Spiritual Formation at St. Philip’s. She oversees the music ministry, and is passionate about all things worship, songwriting, spiritual formation, and tacos.

As a teenager, Jade’s parents first started attending St. Philip’s when they met at the old building. Her biggest fan, aka her Dad, loved nothing more than to hear his daughter sing, so she had no choice but to start singing on the worship team as a teen. It truly did begin a passion for Jade, as she continued to lead worship throughout the years and has pursued ministry, music and songwriting as part-career/part-expensive-passion. After working towards her B.A. in Christian Education and an M.A. in Christian Formation and Ministry from Wheaton College, Jade worked as a Youth Pastor, released two independent music albums, helped to start a songwriting camp for teens called The Emerging Sound, and has lead worship for various ministries and churches. She sensed a clear call from God to come on board at St. Philip’s, and is excited to help lead people closer to Jesus.

While Jade’s favorite worship music includes Bethel Music or Shane and Shane, you might also find her jamming to hip-hop music, dancing in the kitchen with her husband Dane and their three daughters, Lucia, Pearl, and Anna. Invite her to join you for guacamole and tacos, and as long as they’re gluten-free, she’ll probably say yes.

Laura Brinkley

Laura Brinkley

Director of Operations

Meet Laura

Laura serves as the church’s Director of Operations. She is the go-to person for all the tasks that make St. Philip’s a functioning congregation. From calendars to event coordination, she is dedicated to making sure that the church operates smoothly. She knows more than a little about almost everything happening at St. Philip’s.

Before joining the staff, she worked in the insurance and financial services industry. Coming to St. Philip’s in 1999, she quickly felt the pull of God toward full-time service in the church. Not too many years later, the opportunity to work in administration opened up, and she has been faithfully serving since.

Laura is passionate about prayer, and her caring spirit is evident in all she does for the people of St. Philip’s. Her position is a true opportunity to serve, and she understands that her work supports the ministry of the church, which she loves. Her hope and prayer is to use this position in a ministry role to further God’s kingdom.

Married to her best friend Stuart, Laura is the proud mother of three children. If you ask, she’ll be quick to mention that her family continues to grow!

Give her a call, and she will diligently approach the Father and pray on your behalf!

Sarah Durham

Director of Youth Ministries

Meet Sarah

Sarah has a passion for mentoring students whether it’s in a high school classroom, in her living room, in the community, or in the loft space of St. Philip’s. She has lived and taught in the Moon community since 2013. Sarah first began coming to St. Philip’s in 2015 and has since been involved with Hangin In, High School ministries, Kidz Church, and Women’s ministries. It is Sarah’s hope and prayer to develop even more strength in the Youth Ministry programs to continue to have them be a sought-after, safe place for any middle or high schooler – a space where they know they can grow in their faith and are supported in every way possible during their journey.

Sarah and her husband, Ian, have been married for 16 years. They have two boys, Calder (7) and Cayden (2), and a very loving boxer mix named Grace. With two young boys, their busy lives are filled with monster trucks, hot wheels, dirt, makeshift construction sites, and snacks – lots and LOTS of snacks. You can usually find them all outside riding bikes, playing basketball or soccer with friends, and racing cars and trucks down the driveway.

Casey Freed

Casey Freed

Children’s Ministry Director

Meet Casey

Casey is currently the Assistant Student Ministry Director at St. Philip’s.  She credits her faith journey to Kidz Kamp.  For the last few years, it has been important for her to serve St. Philip’s Youth Ministry programs in order to make a similar impact for the next generation.  Her hope is to be able to create an environment for children to not only hear the Word of the Lord on a weekly basis but to have fun and feel safe in the process. 

Casey has a  membership to a rock climbing facility and likes to spend her free time practicing in the gym.  One day she will climb a real mountain. 

Megan Hatton

Megan Hatton

Preschool Director

Meet Megan

Megan is the Preschool Director and a teacher for St Philip’s Preschool.

She graduated from University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor of science in Child Development. For 5 years she worked as a behavioral therapist/TSS for young children with autism all over the Pittsburgh area. Once her 2nd child was born she left her job to be a stay at home mom for the next 8 years. Before working at St Philips Preschool she was a preschool parent. Megan joined the St Philips MOPS group when she moved to Moon in 2011. From many recommendations, she and her husband knew they wanted their youngest daughter to attend the preschool. Their daughter went through the 3’s and 4’s class, and they loved everything about the school! Once all of her children were off to school all day, she decided to get back into the early childhood education field. She inquired about a job with St Philip’s Preschool and has enjoyed working as a preschool teacher since. 2021 is her 8th year at the preschool and her 4th year as Preschool Director, while still teaching the 3’s. She truly loves her job and loves to see how God moves daily in the lives of preschoolers and their families.

Her prayer for the preschool is that she and her staff can show Jesus’s love to every child and their family by simply loving them, serving them, and planting the seed of faith in their little ones that will stay with them well beyond the preschool years.

Megan was born and raised in Pittsburgh and has lived in Moon Township with her husband, Geoff, 3 children and dog. She is a “hockey, soccer and cross country” mom, as she spends a lot of time driving to and watching all sports that her children participate in. Megan says, “I’m not very athletic at all, but I enjoy watching my kids do what they love most. Besides sports, I love spending time with family, gardening and traveling to different places!”

Samantha Veness

Samantha Veness

Children’s Ministry Co-Director

Meet Samantha

Hi! I am blessed to be a Co-Director of Children’s Ministry. As a child, I always saw my mother lead our church’s children’s ministry and knew if I had a chance, I too, would like to be that role model for my children. My husband, Zack, and I were led to search for a new church family during the pandemic while everything was still shut down and large gatherings were still frowned upon. We were invited by family to attend St. Philip’s outdoor services and the rest was history!  We have two daughters, Raegan, 4, and Shelby, 2. We enjoy all things outdoors: hiking/walking, biking, boating, swimming, and Zoo trips. My hope is for the children who attend our Children’s Ministry Program is for them to learn and grow in their faith and for them to have the confidence to always know God’s love for them. I had a crisis of faith when we were told we would not be able to have children, but with the background of growing up in a loving church, I knew I could turn to God. 

Amaris Cruz

Amaris Cruz

Ministry Intern

Meet Amaris

What is your role at St. Philip’s?
I am the ministry intern. I get to have my hand in a lot of the ministries, from the youth to worship to administrative work and social media. I get to serve in so many different capacities and ministries.

How did you end up here?
I was in a 3 month discipleship program called Unaltered where I lived in Darlington, PA on a place called Prayer Mountain. Through that program, I was connected with Jade and given a summer internship on the worship team. Through that, I was able to help in numerous other ministries. StP then decided to take me on for a year as their ministry intern.

What is your goal/prayer/hope for the work you do serving St. Philip’s and the community?
Coming to St. Philip’s, one of my goals has been to further find the direction the Lord wants me to go in ministry. The Lord has already grown me as a worship leader and is consistently changing my heart towards serving others. I hope to love this community well and serve wherever there is a need. My prayer is that I’m continually given opportunities to say yes and honor the Lord and the church through serving and loving those around me.

What personal items (families, hobbies, quirks) would you like to share with the world, if any?
One of my goals in life is to own a thrift store. Thrifting, fashion and clothing have always been things that I loved and am passionate about. I believe it would be a great opportunity to minister to others and love on whatever community I land in well. It’s something I could talk about for ages. Next time you see me, ask me about it!

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Clair Martin

Clair Martin

Children’s Ministry Co-Director

Meet Clair

I serve as a Co-Director of Children’s Ministry here at St. Philip’s. My family and I have been attending since August of 2022; my husband, Philip, and I found St. Philip’s after moving from the Philadelphia area where I taught second grade at a small Christian school. We have two children–Noelle and Philip Jr.–and a mini goldendoodle named Ginger. You might find us strolling around the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden or searching for a Korean restaurant to call our favorite. I pray that God will work in and through our Children’s Ministry to show young ones and their families the wonders of His marvelous love, both within our church and throughout the community.

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