Rev. Rachel Rhodes
Senior Pastor & Head of Staff
Rachel Achtemeier Rhodes is the Pastor and Head of Staff at Morrisville Presbyterian Church and has been serving in this capacity since March of 2017. Prior to her time at MPC, Rachel served for six years as the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield in Haddonfield, NJ.
Rachel earned her Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ, and did her undergraduate work at Hope College in Holland, MI. She is a native of North Carolina, though spent most of her formative years in Dubuque, Iowa, and is married to Matt, a Presbyterian minister, who currently serves as the Director of Religious Ministries at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. Rachel and Matt reside in Hopewell, NJ, with their two children, Madeline Jane and Benjamin, and their faithful dog, Henry.
In her free time, Rachel enjoys photography, yoga, running, playing with her kids, music, dinners out with friends, creative projects, and discovering hidden gems in NJ and PA (i.e. the best bagels, great hiking/walking spots, playgrounds, museums, vineyards, and restaurants).
Rev. Alexander Lester-Abdalla
Associate Pastor for Lifelong Faith Formation & Mission
Alex Lester-Abdalla is the Associate Pastor for Lifelong Faith Formation and Mission at Morrisville Presbyterian Church where he has been serving since July, 2019.
Originally from Pottstown, PA Alex studied Global Interdisciplinary Studies and Arab and Islamic Studies at Villanova University. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Alex and his wife, Elizabeth Lester-Abdalla, are happy to be back home in the Philadelphia area.
Alex is a civics nerd and avid sports fan (which is a passion he shares with his wife). Together they like reading books, watching PBS and British television, watching sporting events, and enjoying the treasures of their community.
Rev. Jack McAnlis
Minister of Visitation
The Reverend John McAnlis, Minister of Visitation, lives in Pennington, NJ. For nearly 40 years, he has worked in churches and faith-based organizations both as a pastor and administrator. His service to the church includes being a minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne and First Presbyterian Church of Chester. Jack last served in the Princeton Theological Seminary Office of Advancement as Director of Planned Giving.
Jack has earned degrees from Penn State (B.A. in Religious Studies), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Widener University (MBA). Jack has also completed the professional education program of the College of Financial Planning located in Denver, CO and is a trained Tax-Aide with AARP.
Jack is married to The Rev. Karin Nelson McAnlis. Together, with members of the Pennington Presbyterian Church, they have assisted with the installation of 2 water purification systems in Mexico (Living Waters for the World projects). They have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren.
Rev. Matt Rhodes
Parish Associate for Adult Faith Formation
Matt is delighted to serve as Parish Associate for Adult Faith Formation at Morrisville Presbyterian Church. He is married to Rachel, our Pastor, and is father to Madeline Jane and Benjamin. He is particularly passionate about helping people to connect an awareness of God's healing and saving love with the parts of their lives and themselves that need it most but that we are most likely to hide from God. Outside of work, he enjoys watching college football, playing pick-up basketball, and reading books with his kids.
Additionally, he serves on the PC(USA) General Assembly's Special Committee to Study the Reformed Perspective of Christian Education in the 21st Century, which advises the national denomination on Christian education and faith formation. Locally, he has served on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry in New Brunswick Presbytery for 5 years, while serving for 3 years as co-chair. As Vice President for the Board of Directors for Womanspace, Matt does community work to support people who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. In his primary calling, Matt is the Director of Religious Ministries for Penn Medicine Princeton Health where he supervises the Clinical Pastoral Education program and Co-Chairs the Bio-Medical Ethics Committee.
Director of Music
Tim Carpenter, Director of Music, earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Allegheny College in western Pennsylvania, While at Allegheny he met his future wife, Carol, when both were involved in a student production of Henry Purcell’s opera, “Dido and Aeneas”.
After graduation, Tim took a part-time job as choir director at the local Presbyterian Church. While there, the pastor encouraged Tim to get his degree in church music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Tim graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music and he and his wife, Carol, joined the staff of Yardley United Methodist Church as Choir and Youth Leaders.
Tim’s job at YUMC gradually became full time with responsibilities for adult and youth choirs, adult and youth bell choirs, a concert series, confirmation retreats, small group ministries and a weekday after school program. This youth focused role led to a desire to work with urban youth; take a sabbatical and earn his teaching certificate. He earned a Masters in Education from Temple University, became certified in teaching mathematics and music and now teaches both in a public school in old city Philadelphia. Tim has kept his music skills in practice conducting Mostly Motets, an a cappella singing ensemble based in Yardley and as cantor at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Levittown.