Meet our Interim Pastor:
The Rev. Brian Merritt!
The Rev. Brian Merritt joined First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown as our Interim Pastor in May 2021.
Pastor Brian has been a Presbyterian minister for over 20 years. He has served churches in Louisiana, Washington D.C., and Albuquerque, NM. He also founded Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center, a worshipping community and community center for activists, artists, and non-profit start-ups.
As an community organizer, he has served as a chaplain for Occupy DC, a member of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s Peace Communities initiative, a board member of Christian Peacemaker’s Teams, and set up the Social Justice circle for the Washington Interfaith Network.
Brian helped set up a mutual-aid food pantry in Hackettstown, NJ, and continues his Interfaith work by serving in the Executive Committee on the PCUSA’s General Assembly Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations. He has served as a Transitional minister for years, most recently in Hackettstown. A sermon by Brian is published in The Inclusive Pulpit, and he contributed the chapter "Gospel Visions" for The Church in a Time of Empire in Faithful Resistance (Rick Ufford Chase, editor).
Pastor Brian is married to Rev. Carol Howard Merritt who is the Sr. Pastor of Bedford Presbyterian Church. Their daughter, Calla Merritt, attends College of the Holy Cross. Brian writes poetry, loves photography, and has recently been doing collage making.
To contact Pastor Brian, call the church office at (845) 265-3220, or email him right here.
Rev. Brian Merritt leads his first service at our church in May 2021, which was also our first in-person gathering in the sanctuary since the COVID-19 pandemic closed churches in New York State. Below, Pastor Brian chats with members of our church family, Pat and Gareth Guest. Below left, Pastor Brian serves communion with bread that he baked himself, in our church kitchen. When you meet him, ask Pastor Brian about why he loves to bake and share bread, and why bread is the whole reason he became a Presbyterian! :-)