​​​Sunday Worship Service ​10:30 am

New Rochelle United Methodist Church
1200 North Ave
New Rochelle New York 10804
Tel: 914-632-2166
Lead Pastor, Rev. Michelle E. Lewis

Rev. Michelle Lewis holds joint master's degrees from Yale Divinity School, and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  She is the first woman of color to complete the joint degree program in religion and ecology. While at Yale Michelle spent time researching the best ways to connect underserved populations to the environment.  Rev. Lewis spent time working at the United Nations as an Advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia.  Rev. Lewis has done interfaith work in Connecticut and New York and traveled as a guest of Prince Turkey Al  Faisal to Saudi Arabia where she engaged in Christian/Muslim dialogues.  She also spent a year and a half as a multifaith Chaplain serving Hartford and Norwalk hospitals.  

Michelle spent 12 years working for the Department of Interior; During which time she worked as a Law Enforcement Officer, Biological Science Technician, and Interpreter.  She has created two award winning films and received special recognition from Senator Johnny Isakson for her work engaging communities.  Rev. Lewis has been honored to teach around the world and she has given talks and interviews for the BBC and local news outlets.   She has a podcast called Unpacking Faith that is available through itunes.  

The Rev. Michelle Estelle Lewis is from Manteo on Roanoke Island, a part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  She received her undergraduate degree from the HBCU, Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina where she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She also holds an M.A. in Film Directing from Regent University located in Virginia Beach, VA.  Rev. Lewis is a member of Rotary International. She is on the conference worship committee, and is a member of the board governing camps for the New York Annual Conference. She is a member of the board of directors of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. Before coming to New Rochelle, she served as the Lead Pastor at the United Methodist Churches in Catskill New York, East Berlin, Connecticut, and was the Youth Worker at the United Methodist Church in Newtown, Connecticut.

 She loves God, and is excited about finding ways to creatively engage people of all ages in worship. She seeks to find God in all things, especially in nature.

Director of Music Isaac ben Ayala

Pianist and composer Isaac ben Ayala was born and raised in NYC (Manhattan, The Bronx and Brooklyn).
He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1991 with a performance degree in early Classical Music. He has worked with jazz greats James Spaulding, David Berger & The Sultans of Swing and Winard Harper. Ayala was Principal Pianist for The Boys Choir of Harlem (for the last 3 years, Dr. Walter J. Turnbull, Director. He also served as Assistant Conductor of The Harlem Nutcracker (Donald Byrd Dance Company).

He has acted as music director for many Musical Theater productions including Generations (Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, Producers) and The Swing Mikado (a new musical composed by Ayala, commissioned by Karamu House, Cleveland, OH).

Over the years he has served as pianist Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Quincy Jones, The New York City Ballet, Frank Foster and Wynton Marsalis and as organist (Hammond B3) for Ray Charles. His pops orchestra arrangements were premiered by The National Symphony Orchestra (Marvin Hamlisch, Conductor) at The Kennedy Center.

Ayala has scored the films Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (PBS American Masters), Of Color and Shades of Gray. He is heard on piano in the films Broadway: The American Musical (PBS American Masters), Evening (2007) and Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters (2008). He also appears playing the piano in Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2006), The Mark Twain Prize Honors Billy Crystal (2007), Bill Cosby (2009) and Carol Burnett (2013).
Currently, Isaac lives with his wife Dawn and his son Nathaniel in Riverdale, NY

Worship Weeknight Prayer Leader, Rev. Marcia White-Smith
(bio coming soon)

Prayer takes place on Thursday nights at 7:00 PM.

Leader of Refugee Resettlement Efforts, Stan Thangaraj, Phd

Stan Thangaraj is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the City College of New York.  His research interests are in immigrant and refugee communities in the U.S. and the ways they manage citizenship in the U.S. in relation to other communities of color.  

Fitness Ministry Leader, Pastor Wendy Vencuss

Wendy has enjoyed offering “Exercise, Movement, and Dance” Opportunities and Classes throughout her ministry.  As a former dancer and aerobic instructor, she has led people of all ages in dance, exercise, stretching, and movement activities and she particularly enjoys Liturgical Dance and Children’s Musicals!  All, whether sitting or standing, our welcome to join us for this time of joy, prayer, praise, and movement!

“Moving With Grace” Exercise/Dance Class on Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 8:30pm at New Rochelle UMC.