Who We Are > Our People - Pastoral Staff
Who We Are

    Senior Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Louis Mitchell

    The Rev. Dr. Louis (Lou) Mitchell is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was raised as a Roman Catholic attending Holy Rosary Grade School in the inner city. In high school, Dr. Mitchell was active in Young Life, a para-church youth ministry, where his faith in Christ became both personal and genuine. Following graduation from Duquesne University School of Music, Dr. Mitchell began his over forty year ministry career, working fulltime for Young Life. After several years he left that ministry to become the Director of Christian Education of a large Presbyterian church in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

    Dr. Mitchell left Pittsburgh to live in the Boston area for some twelve years. After graduating (with honors) form Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton Mass. (where he was awarded a Byington Fellowship), Dr. Mitchell was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in the Presbytery of Boston. He served in pastoral positions in two churches in Boston presbytery before returning to Pittsburgh to become the senior pastor of an active church on the urban campus of the University of Pittsburgh.He was also a Chaplain of the University. In 1999, Dr. Mitchell again left Pittsburgh (though he continues to be a Steelers fan) to become the Senior Pastor and Head of Staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury, New Jersey.

    Dr. Mitchell holds both the Master of Theology and Doctor of Theology degrees from Harvard University, where he was also awarded a teaching fellowship. His doctoral dissertation focused on the idea of beauty in the thought of Jonathan Edwards, an eighteenth century pastor and theologian who was a contemporary and colleague of Cranbury's David Brainerd. Edwards was also the third president of what is now Princeton University. Dr. Mitchell's work on Jonathan Edwards' thought has been published in Theology Today, Theology Matters and in the monograph series Studies in Reformed Theology and History. His book was recently republished in The Jonathan Edwards Classic Studies Series for The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

    Dr. Mitchell has been an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. Additionally he has lectured in the continuing education program at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has also been a participant in the Pastor-Theologian Program at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry and Christian Education: The Rev. Hannah Lovaglio

    Hannah Lovaglio has the fondest memories of growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where she was known around her small town as the PK (Preacher's Kid). As a PK, Hannah grew in faith and love, learning to trust God and God's love at work in the world, made known in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and unfolding still today by the power of the Holy Spirit. At church, Hannah always knew that she belonged, that she was free to make mistakes, to try again, to voice her faith and her doubts, to love and be loved, and to challenge others to do the same.

    Hannah attended Davidson College in Davidson, NC. At Davidson, she busied her self with cheerleading and studying. Her proudest Davidson days were those spent cheering in the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and those spent writing her Religious Studies thesis: A Reformed Theology of Reconciliation. These two things make her an expert in both all things Stephen Curry (NBA MVP, 2015 & former Davidson Wildcat) and all things PC(USA) Confession of 1967 (found in the PC(USA) Book of Confessions). This makes for a strange but balanced life.

    After receiving her BA in Religious Studies, Hannah went on to attend Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, SA where she earned her first Masters of Divinity. Hannah would then work for Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, PA before earning her second Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

    Along the way, Hannah has worked in various capacities at a number of different churches and non-profits, including Swarthmore Presbyterian Church (Swarthmore, PA), the Center for Race, Religion and Economy Democracy (New York, NY) the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair (Upper Montclair, NJ), the Nyack Project (Nyack, NY), and the Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church (Pearl River, NY). In all of these places, and now at Cranbury, Hannah hopes to lead the church as we together live into our call to be a community of faith — a community gathered to give thanks to and worship God — where each person belongs and is free to make mistakes, to try again, to voice faith and doubt, to love and be loved, and to challenge ourselves and others to do the same. Hannah is married to Michael, who holds her hand and her heart and who is called to ministry in his own right as an high school educator. They are the proud parents of James Tiberius Lovaglio ("Tiberius" for short), an energetic black lab mix.

    Parish Associate and Meadow Lakes Minister: The Rev. Suzanne Schafer-Coates

    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.