Rev. Dr. Gary Cecil was raised in West Virginia in a close-knit community and a small country church. Supported by the community, he attended King College in Tenn. where he felt God’s call to ministry.  After attending Union Seminary in Richmond, Va., Gary was ordained as associate pastor at the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh).

He accepted a call to Grand Forks, North Dakota where he began an outreach with university and high school students using his martial arts training as a means of engaging students with Christ’s teachings. While there his wife, Sheila, was director of the Gospel Mission. Leaving N.D. he pastored a church in Gastonia, North Carolina. Gary was then called to a new church development in south Florida with a congregation that was racially and ethnically diverse. Later Gary was called as Senior Pastor in the historic town of Madison, Georgia, followed by a similar call to the panhandle of Florida.

Gary is married to Sheila Palmer and they have two sons and seven grandsons. Doug is Provost/VP at Walsh University in Canton, OH. and Mitch is a P.A. specializing in cardio-thoracic surgery. He lives in Vero Beach. Both sons and their families are active in their respective churches.

Gary and Sheila have together and individually led mission trips to Mexico, the Caribbean, Northern Ireland and the US, and have been on missions to Africa and South Asia. Gary enjoys hiking, golf, reading and writing (Gary has a book: God is Able – Rediscovering God’s Power in a Self-centered Culture), preaching and teaching, and continues his support and interest in the martial arts.  Gary and Sheila enjoy traveling, camping, cooking and love to entertain, believing that the ministry of hospitality is a calling and spiritual gift.

Rev. Dr. Gary Cecil

Senior Pastor

Beth Davenport worked as a nurse in the field of pediatric oncology and foster care for 23 years and now fills in as a substitute  school nurse along with coordinating the Lighthouse Ministry, Inc.  A graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, she studied at Messiah College for one year between the four years at VU.  After graduation she worked as a nurse in NYC and with the Brethren in Christ Church in the Bronx where she spent two years as director of an after-school tutoring program.  This program was the link for the Lighthouse Learning Center she started in 2007 under the Lighthouse Ministry, Inc. in Salem.  For the last nine years in NY she lived in upper Manhattan (Inwood) with her husband, Chris.  All three of their children were born in NYC before the family moved to Salem, NJ.  Beth enjoys the combination of Christian education, nursing, and working with children and youth. Beth Davenport

Director of the Lighthouse Ministry, Inc.

Allen Gage has been the Church Treasurer since 1998. He was born and raised in Salem and graduated from Widener University in 1986 with a BS in Accounting. He is married to Rhonda (Puckett) and resides in Pennsville Township. They have three married sons and seven grandchildren. He is a Ruling Elder, serves as Clerk of Session, and sings in the church choir. He is also a Trustee on the Salem Community College Board of Directors. He enjoys jogging, swimming, and tennis.

Allen B. Gage


Joe Krupa holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) and a B. A. degree from Rutgers University.  He has appeared as piano soloist with symphony orchestras on both east and west coasts.  While maintaining a growing schedule of solo piano recitals, he continues to concertize in Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley area with art song recitalists, opera singers and instrumentalists.Owing to his versatility as a musician, Joseph continues to be in demand as Music Director/Accompanist for countless community performances throughout the South Jersey area.   He enjoys regular collaboration with artists of the Philadelphia Opera Co, Marian Anderson Music Guild, the Ritz Theatre, and the Savoy Company, among many others.

An active member of the American Guild of Organists, Joseph currently serves as Organist/Pianist/choir director for the First Presbyterian Church of Salem, NJ.

His studies in Accompanying have taken him to the mid-west, to Canada, and to France where he has coached with the eminent accompanists, Dalton Baldwin and Martin Katz.  He continues his study of the piano, and performance in the grand Romantic tradition, under the guidance of Alexander Fiorillo, Professor Emeritus at Temple University, and former student of the renowned Vladimir Horowitz. 

Joseph Krupa

Minister of Music

Patti Christ has been on staff at First Presbyterian Church of Salem since September 2006 as the church secretary.  She is a native of Salem and graduated from Salem High School in 1979.

Patti and husband, Bill, have made their home in Elsinboro Township, they have two sons and are members of Broadway United Methodist Church.  She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and reading.

Patti Crist

Church Secretary

Chanda Williams is our Director of Young Adult and College Ministry.  Chanda describes the ministry in this way, “We are young adults from very diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities that come together, where each person is valued and built up in the Lord. The mutual support, prayer, and encouragement that we give one another has been an important part of what keeps us coming back!” Chanda Williams

Youth & College Director

Charlie Williams’ background is in construction and in custodial management. He and his wife Peg live in Pennsville Township and have two grown children.

Charlie Williams