Our Staff

We have a dedicated staff working to serve you and our church community. Get to know them here, and be sure to introduce yourself when you see them!

Taylor Holbrook: Lead Pastor

Taylor W. Holbrook, the pastor of the Hopewell Reformed Church since 1998, is a 1986 graduate of Western Theological Seminary and a 1980 graduate of Hope College, both in Holland, Michigan. He was born in Cicero, Illinois, and has lived in Brooklyn; Denver; Holland, Michigan; Sierra Leone, West Africa; Troy, New York and Silverton, Colorado. He served for 12 years as the pastor of the Middlebush Reformed Church in Somerset, New Jersey from 1986-1998 before coming to HRC. Pastor Holbrook has been married for 25 years and has three children.

Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 23; E-Mail: Taylor Holbrook 

 


Warren Jee: Youth Pastor

Warren and Lynette Jee

Warren and Lynette were both born and raised in South Africa. They came to America in January 2012. They have been actively involved in youth ministry since 1994. They have served on outreach ministry teams,  the youth pastoral couple at a local church,  founded the Africa Sports, Arts and Praise youth ministry which then merged with J-Life Africa in 2005. They then served with J-Life Africa until they came to the Hopewell Reformed Church. HRC Youth Ministry, EPIC (Every Person in Christ) is using a strategy where we program in such a way as to meet the needs of the youth at their various levels of their spiritual growth.

  • WIN (win the lost)
  • BUILD (building into the life of a believer)
  • EQUIP (Equip those that want to serve)
  • MULTIPLY (Release people into ministry)

Our Youth Ministry’s mission statement – which is also in line with the Church’s overall Mission statement is:  “Making followers of Jesus Christ, who love God and people, through discipleship, worship and mission”.

 Telephone: 221-9542 ext.41;  Email Warren Jee

Birgit Chisholm: Church Administrator

Birgit came to be the Church Administrator in the Fall of 1996. She had been working doing medical transcription from her home and caring for her two daughters, Sarah and Meghan. After prayerful consideration, and talking it over with her husband, Duncan, she decided it was time to once again work outside the home. The fact that her new commute was less than 5 minutes door-to-door also helped her make the decision! As Church Administrator, Birgit is responsible for the church office. This includes building a team of volunteers to help in the office,  maintaining church records, coordinating the assignment of rooms by church ministries and outside groups, and maintaining the church calendar. She also oversees all church communications, including the website, social media and all printed publications. Besides her work in the office, Birgit is also a trained ChristCare leader and a trained ChristCare Equipper. She is very passionate about our ChristCare ministry and thinks everyone at HRC should be in a ChristCare group! Birgit earned her B.S. in Business Administration  and Accounting from Marist College. Birgit’s children are now married and she has a beautiful grandson, Daniel.  She and Duncan also have a dog, Merlin, to spoil. Birgit is in the office Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

 Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 21;  E-Mail: Birgit Chisholm

Sheryle Silvern: Children’s Ministry Coordinator

Sheryle was born and brought up in Pawling, New York, the oldest of 4 children. The family was a church-going family; they went to Pawling Central Baptist Church and Sheryle attended Sunday School ever since she was 2 years old. At 10 she went to Vacation Bible School and was presented with her own Bible; she started reading it and this sparked her own faith. After high school she attended college at Albany State and majored in math and computer science. There she joined the Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship and became one of its student leaders in her senior year. After graduation she worked as a programmer for IBM for 10 years. During this time, in 1986, she met and married Stu, another IBMer, and they moved to Poughkeepsie. Her children, Kenny and Emily, were born there. In 1997 the family moved to the East Fishkill area and immediately became involved with HRC. They became members in 2000. Sheryle says she has been involved in children’s ministry for 23 years. She believes that it is the mission of both church and family to nurture children in the faith, and to this end she would like to provide more opportunities for family to become involved in their Christian education.

Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 27; or via E-Mail: Sheryle Silvern

Lisa Ruvo: Finance Coordinator/Bookkeeper

Lisa Ruvo, Hopewell Reformed Church’s energetic bookkeeper for the past four years, loves what she does. “I’m so grateful to have a job in this economy. I like to learn; I like a challenge,” she says. Ruvo first met youth pastor Randy Prentiss and volunteered to help him with some administrative tasks. That led to a job offer at HRC. She’s been at work here ever since. Ruvo lived her early life in Shrub Oak, New York with her mom, dad, and two brothers. Today, she and husband Ron reside on Lake Walton Road in Hopewell with 14 year old son Tyler and 19 year old daughter Sarah. Sarah currently goes to Dutchess Community College and gets involved at HRC leading a Bible study and joining mission trips. The whole family enjoys downtime together at home, sometimes playing games together, as well as traveling in their camper. Despite having two kids and two dogs along on their trips, Ruvo claims, “I really relax then.” After high school, Ruvo worked at Caldors then worked her way up from bank teller in the Bank of New York to branch manager. She worked there for 15 years then took ” a leap of faith” and quit. This self-taught lady next moved on to bookkeeping for a former client and currently has several bookkeeping clients, including HRC, that keep her busy. Ruvo pursued her “passion” of being a mom by getting involved at her children’s schools while they were growing up and “loving every minute of it.” She was a PTA president and led the committee which built the playground at the Fishkill Plains School. “I’m the most over-committed person in the world,” she laughs. If there were more hours in the day, she would love to play her piano again or walk the rail trail near her home or read more devotions. For now–and the future–her primary goal is to stay healthy and financially stable. And someday, someday, she and Ron hope to follow through on their dream to open a Bed and Breakfast.

Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 28; or via E-Mail: Lisa Ruvo

Kate Valdivia: Coordinator of the Music Ministry

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Kate M. Valdivia was born and raised in Wappingers Falls, NY.  From helping her mom lead church musicals from her infant seat, to singing in church choirs, to ringing handbells, to playing piano, she has been involved in church music her whole life.  She attended SUNY Fredonia pursuing a music performance degree on oboe, while leading and planning worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  From there, she felt God tugging her to go deeper into ministry.  Moving to Grand Rapids, MI she attended Calvin Theological Seminary, studying music in worship and working for Blythefield Christian Reformed Church as the Director of Music and Worship.  She returned to her hometown in 2013 and married her best friend, Manny, in 2014.  It was that year that God brought Hopewell and Kate together.  Her responsibilities of leading the choir and overseeing music have spread into planning the worship services and working with other worship leaders in the church.  Besides worship and music, Kate enjoys reading, knitting and crocheting, and spending time with her family.  In December 2015, she and Manny are expecting a baby and greatly looking forward to this new chapter in their lives.  They cannot wait to see what God has planned next.

Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 26E-Mail: Kate Valdivia


 

Wesley Joseph: Organist/Seminary Intern

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Wesley Joseph

Wesley grew up in East Fishkill and came to Hopewell Reformed as a musician. He began playing the organ here in 2009 and added the choir to his responsibilities in 2010. He stepped back from his Responsibilities here in 2013, only to get involved in running an Alpha course in spring 2014 and realize that God was, in fact, calling him to get more involved in ministry.

Wesley’s current responsibilities consist of working with our ChristCare group ministry and Alpha. He is also a constant presence at Foundations as he helps to lead worship from the organ.
He is currently working on his M.Div. in Western Theological Seminary’s distance learning program and is grateful for the opportunity to engage in ministry at Hopewell and further discern God’s call for him.
 
Telephone: 221-9542 ext. 21E-Mail: Wesley Joseph
 

John Barach: Sexton

John Barach, sexton at Hopewell Reformed Church, has been on staff since April of 1993. He has been an area resident for most of his life, and started Sunday School at HRC in 1948. After an enlistment in the Navy, John went to work for IBM. There he worked in many areas, including customer engineer, mechanical and electrical engineering, and programmer. John retired from IBM in 1994. As sexton, John is responsible for cleaning and setup of the church and education wing, no small task in our busy church. As the church calendar shows, the church is the center of many weekly activities: not only the worship services in the sanctuary, but also fellowship and community events: Alanon, AA, the Bright Beginnings Nursery School, Potluck Suppers, Consistory and committee meetings, music rehearsals—the list goes on and on. John makes sure that things are tidy, operating and secure for the next day’s events. John and his wife Lisa, were married in HRC1970. They have two children and currently four grandchildren.

Telephone: 221-9542 ext 21 or E-Mail: John Barach