Peter AhnLead Pastor
Pastor Peter—or “PP” as his fellow Metro staff members call him—still finds it difficult to believe that the Metro Community Church of today all began with just a humble vision God planted in his heart back when he was a seminary student at Fuller Theological Seminary. Since completing his M. Div., Pastor Peter has relocated to Leonia, NJ where he now resides with his amazing wife, Jenny, and their three beautiful children, Christina, Kayla and Christian. He is a major proponent of the belief that spiritual health and physical health are closely linked and, thus, lives out this conviction by incorporating nutritious diet and consistent exercise into his daily schedule. Pastor Peter finds it difficult to name just one thing he loves about Metro, but his absolute favorite part of Metro would have to be the church community that is not afraid to “keep things real.”
Kevin SwansonExecutive Pastor & Operations Director
Kevin’s first exposure to Metro was spending a week with Pastor Peter in 2010. They figured out pretty quickly that they shared a common vision, enjoyed serving together, had radically different backgrounds and gift mixes and that PP could eat twice as much as Kevin in half the time. Metro refused to hire Kevin until they met his lovely wife Linda at which time they decided that her assets made up for his liabilities. After serving 2 years at Metro, family needs called them to Seattle Washington for 2 years where they helped Linda’s family walk through a very difficult season. God, in his providence allowed them to return to Metro in early 2015. Kevin was born in central Minnesota but his parents escaped the ice and snow shortly after he was born and landed in northern California. Kevin graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a BS in Missionary Aviation Technology (yes, he is a pilot). Kevin and Linda raised their two children in South America where they were serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship. After 28 years with that ministry, following God’s leadership, Kevin made a career change to pastoral ministry. Kevin has served 2 churches in California and one church in Washington State. Linda is a certified spiritual director and is heavily involved in ministry to women serving God overseas. Their daughter is a school teacher and lives with her husband in Singapore. Their son is a pastor and lives in Chicago with his wife and their two children. As Executive Pastor Kevin spends his time executing things. His real passions are Jesus and people.
David Ho SangPastor of Spiritual Formation
Though a relative newbie, David is the most seasoned (or weathered) staff team member. Born and bred in Jamaica, he has predominant Asian genes, with generous helpings of European and African ones, and even a teaspoon of Jewish blood. Married 36+ years to his best friend and life partner, Betty, they have sojourned in places like Kingston, Oxford, Vancouver, Chicago and most recently Los Angeles for the past 25 years. David's Metro claim to fame is that PP (Pastor Peter) was his gifted, reliable seminary intern at a church where they embraced God's friendship gift, and kept in touch when PP responded to God's call and vision to return to NJ to plant Metro. In addition to being the standard bearer of spiritual formation here, one of David's roles is to complement the passion of the young with the wisdom of the old. He has overheard people calling him "Yoda"; or perhaps they're describing his communication as "yada, yada"? One life principle is to take self less seriously, and God far more seriously. Both he and Betty are passionate not merely about the idea of being and making fully transforming disciples in healthy, sustainable community, but pursuing fully these kingdom purposes of Jesus which he began to do and to teach in the Gospels, and continues to do and to teach through His church in the New Testament, and His church today.
Mike YiAssociate Pastor of Spiritual Formation
The early years of Mike’s career was spent in Nuclear Medicine running PET/CT scans. In 2015, he left the medical industry to pursue his passion for pastoral ministry. He believes that in order to be spiritually healthy, one must practice not only the disciplines of prayer and scripture, but also the disciplines of rest and delight.
The Yi Clan lives in Englewood and consists of a king (Mike), a queen (Olivia), and a royal jester (Markus). Up until early 2016, Mike believed himself to be the unquestioned master of the house. However, in May of that same year, the family was enslaved by a cruel new master, a 7-pound baby girl named Evelyn, who has her entire family (especially her daddy) wrapped around her little finger. When not bending to the tyranny of the new housemaster, the Yi family enjoys movies, traveling, and wandering around NYC in their never-ending search for the world’s greatest cupcake.
In his spare, Mike founded/operates Eyepatch Entertainment (EyepatchEntertainment.com), an organization that provides high quality DJ services for weddings while supporting One Day's Wages (OneDaysWages.org), a humanitarian organization that fights global issues such as hunger, water, and women's rights.
Sanetta PontonPastor of Justice, Advocacy & Compassion
Sanetta holds the unofficial title of "native daughter" of Englewood, NJ. Having grown up in Englewood, she is a proud graduate of the Englewood Public School District and has been blessed to receive degrees from Columbia University (BA), Harvard Law School (JD), and Duke Divinity School (M.Div.). It was in law school that God called her to ministry and she has been on a roller coaster ride with God in formal ministry ever since. She has served in Houston, TX; Durham, NC; and even as far away as Kenya. In addition, she faithfully served in her home church, First Baptist Church of Englewood, for 6 years as an Associate and later Assistant Pastor before moving to Metro. At the same time, she spent several years working with a law-related (gotta use that law degree) college prep program in New York City. Her heart beats for justice, equity in education, and to see the realization of the prayer, "thy kingdom come". Sanetta has the most fun when she's with good people, eating good food, and (preferably) while traveling somewhere that requires the use of her passport.
Doug ChoPastor of Singles & Arts
Doug was born in the local Bergen County area and is a Jersey-boy at heart. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a degree in Finance. 6-years after finishing school, working in Chicago (and a few other misadventures), Doug finally moved back home to NJ. He worked in Manhattan for 4-years while doing stand-up comedy for a short time along the way, until he finally quit his job in 2014 to take up God's calling in his life for pastoral work. He would never have chosen this direction for himself, but he is so glad to be where he is now. Doug is often characterized by his loud laugh - so if you're looking for him at church, just listen out for it (no, seriously). He also enjoys dancing, running obstacle courses and hanging out with his roommates.
Ancy PostPastor of Family Ministries
Pastor Ancy was born in India, but grew up locally in Teaneck, NJ. She is a woman of many gifts, having received both a B.A. in Physical Therapy and an Advanced M.A. in Developmental Disabilities at New York University, in addition to her M. Div. at Alliance Theological Seminary. Pastor Ancy has an unrivaled passion for the youth, which is so clearly visible in her work with Metro’s Student Ministries. She particularly loves being able to witness, first-hand, the youth growing in the love of Christ. She currently resides in Mahwah, NJ with her loving husband, Scott, and their beautiful daughters, Parker and Paisley. When she’s not working as a Physical Therapist or serving at Metro, Pastor Ancy loves to spend quality time with her family, whether it’s by taking her daughters for a walk around town or watching a movie at home with her husband. She has also been converted into an avid NASCAR fan by her husband and enjoys cheering on her favorite drivers on TV. There are many things Pastor Ancy loves about being a part of Metro, but her absolute favorite is the welcoming community that always makes her feel right at home.
Anna HongDirector of Nursery (0-24 months)
Anna first visited Metro during its first retreat in 2004, where she found both a church home and her wonderful future husband, Won. She was and is still deeply moved by Metro’s vision of transformation, diversity, authentic relationships, and helping the hurting. Anna has worked in the legal field, academic administration, and is most recently a stay-at-home mom. Anna and Won are parents to three incredible kids - Maya, Charlotte, and Harris. Her passion is for people to live out their potential in Christ, knowing that each person is wonderfully created in God’s image with different gifts and callings. Her desire is to see MetroNursery be a place where our youngest children and their parents can be encouraged to grow in knowing God and community.
Janet KwonDirector of MetroTots (2-4 year olds)
Before finally returning home to New Jersey, Janet spent over twelve years packing and unpacking her own moving boxes. She started her journey at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, continued her studies at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and soon thereafter, moved out to California. Janet met her dear husband Dennis in Boston and is thankful to be growing and learning together as they navigate through life. They welcome each new adventure-- the most lovely and challenging one being raising their three energetic children, Leah, Isaiah and Benny. Janet and her family began attending Metro in 2010 and love Metro's commitment to diversity and JAC. Peace and equality for those living locally as well as people around the world are at Janet's core and she is constantly challenged by how to live a life that is beautiful in God's eyes. Her heart is full while worshiping with the Tots every Sunday and she hopes to use her background in early childhood development and family involvement to help parents build a solid foundation as they nurture their little one's relationship with God.
Na KongDirector Of MetroKids (Pre-K to 3rd Grade)
Na and her family first visited Metro Community Church back in January of 2011 and was instantly drawn by the honesty and transparency of Pastor Peter’s sermons. They were equally impressed by the awesome children’s ministries available and today, Na heads up MetroKids after serving 4 years as the Director of MetroTots. Born in South Korea, Na first moved to New Jersey when she was just six and has since called the NJ/NY area home. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2000 with a degree in accounting, but after three years of working in the industry, she decided to get her Masters Degree in Math Education and went on to teach high school math. When her second son was born, Na decided to take a break from teaching to become a stay at home mom. Today, she and her husband, Simon, have three energetic boys – Ryan, Matthew & Christian – and enjoy watching movies and playing board games together as a family.
Michelle NamAdministrative Assistant - MetroKids
Michelle is driven to organize and systematize, which is super-useful as she serves alongside Director Na and the unsung MetroKids teachers/volunteers. Michelle graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and is an experienced jewelry maker who also holds an active real estate license. If you need any IKEA furniture assembled, “Better call Michelle!” Wanna learn how to make kimchi? Wanna learn how to “antique” reclaimed furniture? “Better call Michelle!” She is a proud Paramus resident with hubby Wesley and precocious, precious twins Jordan and Kaitlyn.
Steve Bang4th & 5th Grade Director & Lead Pastor's Assistant
Steve Bang grew up in New Jersey and first visited Metro Community Church in the summer of 2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Rutgers University and then pursued a career in information technology. After serving as a volunteer teacher in Metro's 4th and 5th grade ministry, God revealed a different calling for him: to pursue a career working with youth. With a servant’s heart, Steve now works as Director of the Metro Edge Ministry. In his spare time, Steve loves to watch and read all things sports and pop culture.
IJ HurMiddle School Director (Grades 6 to 8)
IJ's first experience of Metro Community Church was as a Metro youth intern while studying for his Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has always had a huge passion for youth ministry and after graduating seminary, worked at High Rock Church in Boston as a Youth Director Intern. His dream is to be a teaching pastor (like Pastor David) for the youth, and one day a Director of Student Ministries (watch out, Pastor Ancy!)
IJ loves to work out, but sucks at sports. Unless you're willing to walk him through sports and not be angered by his noob skills, please do not ask him to play. Also at odds with IJ's sportsmanship is his weird fascination with skin care products... But his skin does look amazing!
IJ loves foods of any kind, as long as it's seasoned. Ask him out to a meal and 99.99% of the time he will immediately say, "YES!" He also loves to read novels of which his favorite is 'Brothers Karamazov' by Fyodor Dostoevsky. If you're looking for a book-nerd (or just someone to try skincare products with), go be friends with IJ!
Clayton ChanHigh School Pastor (Grades 9 to 12) & Director of JAC Youth
Having spent his childhood in the suburbs of Massachusetts, Clayton is now a lonely Patriots fan among a sea of Giants and Jets fans. Clayton graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a double major in Economics and Religion. He then continued his education by completing his M. Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2011. Clayton’s love of children and youth led him to accept a position as Metro’s dedicated youth pastor. An avid sports fan, Clayton spends most of his free time cheering on his favorite sports teams or playing basketball, but he equally enjoys curling up on the couch and watching his favorite chick flicks. Clayton feels at home in the third culture atmosphere at Metro as he himself is bi-cultural, being both of Chinese and Korean descent. He feels so blessed to be a part of the staff and community at Metro Community Church where he can witness, firsthand, how God is using His people to serve and love his children all around the world.
Shirley YouPastor Of Special Needs
Shirley has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers’s University Douglass College. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Metro Community Church, she served as the Director of Children’s Ministry for Pilgrim Church in Paramus, NJ. She is also a NJ certified Special Education teacher and taught children with special needs at Bergen County Special Services. Shirley and her husband Evan are proud parents of their son Ethan and daughter Evelyn.
Timm ChartierMedia & Communications Director
When Timm first visited the United States back in 2004, little did he know that he would meet his future wife, Christine, along the way and be moving from Australia to NJ less than four years later. Timm originally discovered Metro Community Church via Google Maps (yes, Google Maps) in 2008 and today he serves on staff as Metro’s Director of Media & Communications. Educated and experienced in many areas of media production, he also worked as an associate producer for video game developer, Rockstar Games (of Grand Theft Auto fame) – making him the perfect person to oversee all of Metro’s digital media production. Timm loves the process and impact of communicating with people through audio and visual presentation. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with Christine and their daughter, Luella, and loves to relax with a video game controller in hand, playing the latest in interactive entertainment.
Isaac NhoMedia Assistant + Content Manager
After leaving his parents church in Upstate New York, Isaac found his home at Metro Community Church in the fall of 2011. Since then, he has spent his time serving with the Setup Crew and the Frontline Ministry. Isaac's role within the church expanded, accepting a voluntary role assisting Metro's media director, Timm Chartier, with week-to-week media responsibilities. After several months of familiarizing himself with his roles, he was offered a place on the Metro staff as a Media Content Manager and general media assistant.
Isaac has two years of media experience (blogging and social media) in the fashion industry; covering men's high-end fashion. In his off hours, he is freelancing as a photographer and contributing to film projects as a videographer.
Katrice WalkerWorship Director
Katrice Walker is a New York City transplant from Cleveland, Ohio. Since moving to Queens in 2005, she's had multiple opportunities to live out her two passions: music and ministering to/discipling adolescents through a non-profit outreach organization called Young Life. Musically, she’s had the privilege of singing alongside countless recording artists within a wide range of genres such as; Beyoncé, Wynton Marsalis, Kim Burrell, Drew and Ellie Holcomb and Spiritualized (an English space rock band). Formally, she’d served as a worship leader and youth choir director for twelve years at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of NY. However, her passion for multicultural ministry led her to Metro where she is grateful for the opportunity to be who she truly is: a bridge builder, bringing different people together in worship.
Christy VinsonWelcome Team Director
Christy was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and moved to Indiana when she was 13. After attending Indiana State University, she married the love of her life (Jake) and moved to the suburbs of Indianapolis. In 2008, they ventured to the east coast and have been attending Metro ever since. Christy and Jake have three wonderful children whom keep them very busy. Christy has a passion for connecting with people while hoping to make them comfortable. She thrives in a team setting and loves encouraging and leading her teammates from Frontline. Christy enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family and connecting with people.
Carol Diaz-LeungFinance & HR Manager
Carol was born in Bogotá, Colombia then moved to Englewood at age 3. She is one of four children having two brothers and one sister. In the eighth grade she moved to Dumont, New Jersey to live with her Aunt Ana. After graduating from Dumont High School she moved with her family to Florida and worked for many years in the restaurant industry, banking and even as a certified nursing assistant. During that time she experienced a distance from God’s calling to serve for his glory. No matter how much you try to run away from the Lord, he is patience and loving and his timing is impeccable. After many years away from the Lord’s presence, she submitted to his plan for her life.
She returned to college at age 25 to complete a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a minor in Information Technology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. While in college God revealed who she should marry. She married her sweetheart Airforce Captain Paul Leung. In 2010, after Paul completed his service time with the AirForce, they relocated back to Carol’s home state of New Jersey.
In 2012, Carol and Paul visited Metro while expecting their first son Ethan. After just a few weeks at Metro they were hooked by the transparency, love and greater purpose at the church. Carol, with Paul’s support, served as the Director of the Metro Nursery for 2 years. She stepped down to give birth to their second son, Benjamin, and to work as the bookkeeper for Zimele USA, Metro Community Center and to assist Metro Community Church with their various accounting needs. In December of 2017, Carol accepted the position of Finance and Operations Manager with Metro Community Church.
Dawn was born and raised in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and moved to New York in her early twenties. She was baptized in 1996, where her journey discovering who God really is in her life began. In 2015, Dawn and her amazing husband, Alex, discovered Metro Community Church and, inspired by Pastor Peter's honest-style of preaching, soon made Metro their home church, where she currently works as Metro's receptionist. In addition to working in the Metro office, she also serves as a core team member of MetroKids, the Arts Ministry, and is active in Metro's Woman's Ministry. She has five wonderful children (and one awesome grandson!) and in her downtime enjoys reading a good book, studying the Bible, playing word games, arts and crafts, and little chemistry to boot!
Raised in Washington DC, Scott came to NYC to attend college and has lived in the area for 35 years. He holds a BA from Columbia College (way back when it was still all-male), and an MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers. Scott has been a professional actor for 25 years and an acting coach for 15 years. His clients work regularly on Broadway, Regional Theatre, and Television (including “The Haves and The Have Nots” on OWN). A proud unionist, Scott is a member of AEA for stage, SAG-AFTRA for film & TV, and ACT-UAW for adjunct faculty. He has taught at Essex County College, Ramapo College, and is currently a lecturer at The New School for Drama. In 2000, he and Angela Robinson (his immensely talented wife of 18 years) co-founded The WhiteRobin Group, a consulting and training company. WRG’s dual mission is: (1) to train and support young aspiring artists, and (2) to encourage and re-inspire professional artists, guiding both to discover their spiritual purpose in the Arts. At Metro, Scott works with the Arts in Ministry Drama and Prayer Team ministries. An Englewood resident, he is convinced that Metro, with its vision statement of Transformation and its multicultural outlook, is uniquely placed to have a profound and lasting spiritual impact upon Englewood, upon New Jersey, and upon the Nation.
Lisa RaVice Chair
Lisa was born in Seoul, Korea and came to the U.S. when she was 8 years old. She grew up in New Jersey and attended Vassar College, graduating with a B.A. in English. After college, she was a paralegal at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft for before working as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker Magazine for several years. Lisa has been married to her husband, Paul for the past 16 years and together, they have three children: Samantha, Caleb and Nathan. Lisa and Paul have been part of the church family since Metro was 1 year old. Over the years, she has been involved with various ministries. Currently, she is part of the core team of the Women’s Ministry and the Metro's small groups. Following her calling to help others, Lisa is currently pursuing an MA in Professional Counseling. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys reading, painting furniture and going on day trips with her family.
Raksha was born in India and moved to the US in her twenties. She attended University of Miami for a Master’s degree and PhD in Biomedical Engineering. She is a Scientist and currently works at Columbia University Medical Center, doing research in the field of ultrasound technology for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye. Raksha has been attending Metro for the past three years and been a Partner at Metro since 2016. She serves with Frontline and Biblical Financial Stewardship ministries. She believes that leading a Christian life is an intentional choice that one has to make every day and she attributes her enduring journey of faith to her husband Aaron, Metro and her small group. Raksha has been married to Aaron for the past 14 years and they have one daughter, Aanya. They currently live in Teaneck, NJ
Rachel is a California Girl at heart. She grew up in San Francisco and went to college at UCLA, where she met her husband, Jesse. They moved to the east coast so Rachel could attend nursing school at Columbia and they’ve been here ever since. Rachel now works as a nurse practitioner at Columbia Medical Center taking care of people with epilepsy. She loves that as a nurse practitioner she gets to spend time getting to know her patients and their families and help them manage their heath. Rachel has grown up in the church and from an early age loved serving the littlest members of God’s Kingdom. As a teen she volunteered with children’s ministries and especially loved working as a camp counselor during the summers. At Metro she has continued to work with the kids’ ministries in MetroKids and the nursery ministry. She and Jesse have attended Metro since they moved from NYC to New Jersey in 2010 and she has been a partner for several years. She spends her free time playing with playdough and doing crafts with her daughters, Mara and Micaela, and is excited to see them grow up learning to love Jesus and be part of the Metro community.
A native of New York, Neil grew up in Dutchess County. After discovering his first love - baking - in high school, Neil spent 12 years working as a professional baker in restaurants, small bakeries, large wholesale operations, and even opening his own bagel store.
In 1995, Neil was recruited by Costco Wholesale as a Bakery Supervisor in Nanuet, New York, and in 2007 was promoted to the position of General Manager - a position, which he now serves at the Teterboro location in New Jersey.
If his career at Costco wasn't impressive enough, Neil also happened to meet his wife, Roberta, at Costco, and they currently reside in Hasbrouck Heights with their two daughters, Loren and Mia.
In addition to serving on the Leadership Team at Metro, Neil also serves on the boards of Zimele USA/Wethu and CUMAC in Paterson, NJ.
Neil is truly an introvert, however, in those rare moments when he opens up and shares, you will quickly experience his humility and see the beautiful gifts that God has given him.