Staff | Elders | Diaconate



Peter Wang

Rev. Peter Wang

Senior Pastor, Teaching Elder

A native of New Jersey, Peter came to GRC in 2004 after ministering in Delaware and—prior to seminary—working in the financial sector. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Peter and his wife, Cedar, have three children. Peter serves as Moderator of Session.

Steve Sage

Rev. Steve Sage

Pastor of Discipleship, Teaching Elder

A native of Kansas, Steve worked in business for a decade before entering pastoral ministry in 2002, serving churches in Colorado and Michigan. He holds a B.S. in History from Kansas State University, M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and D.Miss. from Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies, where he now also serves as part-time Adjunct Faculty in the Doctor of Missiology department. Steve and his wife, Carissa, have three children.


Karen Jacobsen

Karen Jacobsen

Director of Children’s Ministries

Karen came to GRC after working with children in Rwanda on behalf of Food for the Hungry. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University.

Rachel Sang

Rachel Sang

Assistant Director of Children’s Ministries – Elementary

Rachel has attended GRC since 2001 when she moved to NJ from Virginia.  She enjoys spreadsheets, all things spicy, and sharing life and the love of Christ with others.  She and her husband have two children.


Karl Stephens

Karl Stephens

Director of Worship Ministries

Karl grew up in a pastor’s home in Colorado. He attended college in S. Carolina, where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Church Music, and where he met his wife, Ginny. They are blessed with three daughters. Karl came to NJ in 2017, after serving for 25 years at churches in Colorado, Virginia, and Arizona.


Laura Tretner

Laura Tretner

Director of Ministry Operations

Laura’s 30-year career at NYU included managing HR, finances, and facilities. She has been a member of GRC since 2006 and currently also serves as a Celebrate Recovery leader with her husband, Werner. Laura holds a B.A. in International Relations and French from Tufts University and an M.A. in Food and Hotel Management from New York University. 

Whitney Cordes

Director of Communications

Whitney has been a member of GRC since 2014. Born and raised in Tennessee, she spent the past decade working as a corporate graphic designer before becoming the Communications Director. She and her husband, Cliff, have one son.

Teresa Vargas

Teresa Vargas

Office Manager

Teresa has been the Office Manager of GRC since 2006. Previously, she worked in positions related to sales, management, and administration. She and her husband, Victor, are parents to four children.

Lanvi OMalley

Lanvi O’Malley

Administrative Assistant

Lanvi O’Malley has been a member of GRC since 2010. She is an avid runner, a music buff, and a fan of all things BBC.

Jessica Kern

Jessica Kern

Pastoral Assistant

Jessica began working at GRC in 2015 as a child care teacher for the women’s Bible study group. She continues that work in addition to her role as a pastoral assistant. She and her husband have two children.


Anna Ruberti

Anna Ruberti

Business Manager

Anna has been a member of GRC since 2000, and has served in her current capacity since 2004. Educated at Rutgers University – Newark, she and her husband, Ted, have four children.


Werner Tretner

Werner Tretner

Celebrate Recovery Director

Werner has been a member of GRC since 2006. A recent graduate with a Masters in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary, he has been active as a deacon since 2008; has led GRC’s Celebrate Recovery ministry for the past five years; and is currently serving as Celebrate Recovery State Representative for New Jersey. He and his wife, Laura, have two adult children.


Al Stangl

Al Stangl

Facility Manager

Al started working at GRC in 2017. Previously, he worked for Financial Services, Inc. – the prior owner of the building – for 38 years. He and his wife have four children and two grandchildren.


Grace Redeemer Church is a Presbyterian church whose spiritual leadership rests with the Session—a body comprised of Teaching Elders (i.e. pastors and associate pastors) and Ruling Elders. The Elders are called to shepherd the flock; to teach the Scriptures to the congregation; to guard the church from false teaching; and to demonstrate Christ-like character.

Lee Augsburger

John Chung

John Chung

John Gregory

Steve Hoogerhyde

Steve Hoogerhyde

Headshot of Peter Hwang

Peter Hwang

Don Thampy

Donald Thampy

Meet the Diaconate

The Diaconate is a ministry of mercy reaching out to people who are needing help amid life’s struggles, both within Grace Redeemer Church and in the surrounding community. The goal is to show others how God’s provision always imparts opportunities for change. 

Deacons and deaconesses serve sacrificially and humbly, embracing the faith and modeling Christ as servant-leader. Here are a few ways they function:

  • Organize financial assistance for basic living expenses (rent, food, medical bills, etc.).*
  • Provide subsidies for counseling services.
  • Offer prayer, spiritual guidance, and accountability.
  • Schedule meal deliveries for congregants with special circumstances.
  • Assist with Biblical stewardship and budgeting guidance.
  • Connect people with county and statewide support services.
  • Assist GRC staff in caring for the church building, and running Sunday service operations.
  • Interact with select outside ministries and coordinate support for them. 

* Because funding is limited, we direct financial support to the neediest. The Diaconate serves those in crisis and is funded entirely by GRC congregant donations. Therefore, they are accountable to the congregation to be wise stewards of the resources God has given through His people. 

Current members of the Diaconate include: John Cordova, Shelley Hahn, Gloria Huang, Audrey Lum, Gabe Naranjo, Werner Tretner, and Jeffrey Wan.

To reach the Diaconate, please contact us.>>

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