Our Ministry Team
Rev. Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker
We welcome our new senior minister, Rev. Whittaker!
Rev. Dr. Damaris D. Whittaker is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister. Although raised in the Pentecostal tradition, her personal faith journey has been diverse. She has a spirit-led style of preaching and leads worship services that are reflective of the cultural diversity of her congregations. She preaches in English and Spanish.
Rev. Whittaker is a public theologian deeply passionate about social justice advocating for racial justice, LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, women’s leadership, universal healthcare, and affordable housing. She is experienced in managing ministry finances, increasing stewardship, and providing mentorship and guidance to her staff. Rev. Whittaker believes she has been called to break down silos and sees intersectionality of faith as a place she can affect change. When not in church, she loves reading, dancing, gardening, kayaking and walking/jogging.
Rev. Whittaker is originally from Humacao, Puerto Rico and is married to Sabas Whittaker. She is excited about the ministry possibilities and potential of FWCC.
Bridget Kelso Anthony
Bridget Kelso Anthony is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (class of 2015). While at Union, Bridget served as the Student Life Assistant and as a Chaplain Intern at New York Hospital - Queens. Her focus while at Union was on Theology and the Arts, and Preaching and Worship. In addition to her ministerial call, she is an actor and playwright and has a BA in Theatre from Marymount College, and an MA from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in Playwriting and Performance.
Her art and ministry explore the ways that spirituality, the arts and social justice intersect. She feels especially called to minister to black women, and to be an ally of the LGBTQIA Community.
Bridget has a champion super-star son, Mikai, who attends the Ethical Culture Fieldston School.
Director of Music
Currently in his fifth year on staff, Chris Whittaker was recently appointed Music Director after having served in interim and assistant roles. A composer, conductor, and pianist from York, PA, Chris’s musical language of jazz, classical, and gospel melds genres and brings people together. As a composer, Chris’s music has been performed and broadcast throughout the United States.
Chris is the co-founder and Music Director of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, a non-profit organization committed to engaging the community through free concerts and educational programming. He also serves as the founding Music Director of Marble Collegiate Church’s “Jazz Revelation” worship service.
Previously, Chris studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and Stuart Malina. His composition teachers include Philip Lasser, Christopher Theofanidis, and Nicholas Maw. Chris has served a diverse range of denominations and worship styles and brings over 10 years of music ministry experience to his new post at Fort Washington Collegiate Church.
Director of Children's Ministries
Former Broadway singer/actor Eric Alderfer was the Director of Children’s and Outreach Programs at The West End Collegiate Church before he and his wife, Julie, moved to California where he served the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood as Director of Worship. He attended Wheaton College and The University of Cincinnati before moving to NYC where he performed on Broadway in the 25th anniversary revival of MY FAIR LADY as well as on a National Tour of CAMELOT. Later, he and his wife shared the stage with their two children, Stephen and Ashley, performing in THE SOUND OF MUSIC throughout the Far East.
Eric has several years of experience with Godly Play®. Additionally, he is a certified workshop presenter with The Network of Biblical Storytellers (NBS). A former writing student of the late Madeleine L’Engle-Franklin, for several years he served the Nightwatch Program of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as a storyteller/psalmist.
David Ford has two decades of experience managing financial, program, and technology operations at Columbia University and The New School. During the last several years, he has worked with organizations and clients in the non-profit and social service sector, adding writing and marketing skills to his toolbox.
Committed to social justice and environmental sustainability, David has served as a lay leader with The Riverside Church's Social Justice Commission and has volunteered with Harlem's WEACT for Environmental Justice.
David has lived in New York City since the gritty 1970's. Inspired by education, fitness activities, and travel, he is a fan of the city's parks and bridges. He and his wife, Maegen, are 16-year residents of Harlem, and they have a daughter, Cammy, and a son, Julian, who are a recent college graduate and a first-year college-student, respectively.
Ministry and Communications Coordinator
Dinean has over two decades of experience in communications, graphic design and event planning. She has worked for several years in the non-profit sector at Abyssinian Baptist Church, Riverside Church and Lehman College. She has also been an active servant in ministry at First Corinthian Baptist Church where she shares her artistic abilities and event planning talents for various fellowship and social service initiatives such as feeding the homeless and facilitating an annual clothing mall, as well as leading the dance ministry. Dinean has taught in the Department of Education and also worked with various youth mentoring programs in NYC. She also has her own business, In Her Image, where she provides various services such as graphics, book design and wedding planning. In addition, she has a clothing line and does custom designs.
Dinean was born and raised in Harlem, NY. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Purchase College and Masters in Business Management from Kaplan University. She is an all around artist and loves being involved in anything creative. She has a passion to follow the mandate by God to serve others in need. She loves to travel the world and experience other cultures. She has one son, Jaylen who is entering high school.
Mia Michelle, affectionately known as Mamma Mia or Mia Mac, is a performing artist, educator, creative liberator, and cultural interrogator of vast repertoire and ability. She is a second-year Master of Divinity candidate at Union Theological Seminary, with a focus on Pastoral Theology and Preaching. Born in New Orleans, LA, Mia tap danced her way onto the stage at the age of two, and began her love affair with music shortly after. Mia has showcased her theatrical talents across the country, most recently seen at Portland Center Stage, New York Musical Theatre Festival, North Shore Music Theatre, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Fulton Theatre, and Syracuse Stage. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University.
A published songwriter, arranger, and composer, Mia is a proud member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Mia is the executive producer of the "Song About Peace Project", a campaign that led to the creation of Voices of Peace, an extended play album promoting peace and positive change through music. Additionally, Mia holds a Masters degree in Arts Politics from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. She continues to interrogate ideas of blackness and the intersection of spirituality and performance in cultures founded in the African diaspora. Mia seeks to change lives--including her own--through music and the spoken word. She is passionate about Popeyes and banana pudding, and urges everyone to smile from the most genuine spot of their soul.
Evening Reception & Security