The Rev. Suzanne Schafer-Coates : Parish Associate
Suzanne Schafer-Coates grew up on a dairy farm in Carroll County, Maryland. She was baptized, confirmed, married and ordained in Springfield Presbyterian Church in Sykesville, MD, where her father and mother were both Elders, and her mother was also the church organist for fifty years. Suzanne attended an Episcopal boarding school in Baltimore (Samuel Ready School for Girls), a Presbyterian College (Florida Presbyterian College, now Eckerd College), and spent six years as a chorister in St. Michael's [Anglican] Church, Chester Square, in London, in the 1970s. Her faith in Jesus Christ was formed, challenged, and reformed throughout her life, and is still, always, being reformed.
After graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1981, Suzanne married David Coates, an attorney in Hightstown, and has made her home there ever since. Her first Call to Ministry was as Assistant Minister to Trinity Presbyterian Church, East Brunswick, in 1982, becoming Associate Pastor in 1984. In 1990, Suzanne became the Minister of the Meadow Lakes Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Hightstown, a position she held until October 31, 2013. On November 1, 2013, Suzanne and the Meadow Lakes Ministry were welcomed into the ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. She serves our church as Parish Associate.
Throughout her ministerial career, Suzanne has been an active member of Monmouth Presbytery, serving on numerous committees. She was Moderator of the Presbytery in 1995-1996, and has twice been a Commissioner to General Assembly. She is a member and past President of the Hightstown-East Windsor Area Ministerium (WHAM), and a member and past President of the Academy of Parish Clergy. From 1997 to 2013, Suzanne was Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Religious Ministries, Princeton Health Care System, Inc. Since 2009, she has been the Chaplain of Hightstown Engine Company #1.
Suzanne and David are the parents of three sons, Henry, Malcolm and Charlie.