Our Rector, Staff & Vestry


Rev. Ophelia Laughlin


After a thorough and thoughtful search process, we are excited to announce the Reverend Ophelia Laughlin as our new Priest-in-Charge.  Rev. Laughlin grew up in the area and has deep personal and family ties to Pennington and St. Matthew’s!  Most recently, Ophelia was the rector at St. George’s by the River in Rumson, NJ.  She and her husband Eric live in Ringoes, NJ.  She celebrated her first Eucharist with us on February 3rd.

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Director of Music Ministry


Mark Dolan - Mark began his ministry at St. Matthew’s on January 20th. Stay tuned for more info about Mark.

Cheryl Watterson, Director of Children's and Family Ministries

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Cheryl Watterson is very excited to be the newly appointed Director of Children’s and Family Ministries at St. Matthew’s!  She has been an active member of the church since moving to the Pennington, NJ area with her family in 1999, serving on the Mission Committee, attending mission trips to Camden, NJ and Honduras, and assisting with many annual church fundraisers. She is the mother of four children, two girls and two boys, and all have grown up in this church.  The youngest is still attending classes here on Sundays in the Kairos Sunday school program.  Cheryl has taught in the program and is looking forward to the opportunity to help this wonderful ministry continue and grow.   

Cheryl is a former social worker with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  She also holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish from the University of Richmond where she met her husband, Scott. Cheryl worked as a social worker in Atlanta, GA before moving to Chapel Hill, NC and then Pennington, where she stayed home with the children for sixteen years.  She has been happily teaching in the Two’s class at St. Matthew’s Preschool for six years and has been the school’s Kids’ MusicRound-trained teacher for the past four years, working with all of the children in the school.  Cheryl recently earned her CDA (Child Development Associate) certification for working with young preschoolers. She plans to continue teaching in the preschool every morning throughout the school year. 

Cheryl has always wanted to work with children and feels fortunate to be able to oversee the Kairos program for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.  She is also looking forward to interacting with our wonderful teachers, clergy, and parents throughout the year! You can contact Cheryl by email by clicking here: Kairos@stmatthewspennington.org.

Pam Worthington, Parish Administrator, began in July 2017 at St. Matthew's.

The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk may be chosen. These officers may or may not be vestry members.

The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church's mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances.

Click here for Vestry Meeting Minutes

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Rev. Ophelia Laughlin, rector@stamtthewspennington.org

William Compton, Senior Warden, wwcmail@gmail.com

Debbie Linthorst, Junior Warden, dlinthorst@comcast.net

Linda Bucher

Diana Drake, Youth & Local Outreach, drakeink@aol.com

Virginia France

Mitchell Friedman, Communications, mrf0901@gmail.com 

Ian Hammett

Matthew Hill, Hospitality/Ushers, hillmatthew.6416@yahoo.com 

Al Krokowski, Property, alexkrokowski54@gmail.com

Amanda Morrison, Fellowship/Outreach, amandamorrison2008@gmail.com

Brogann Sanderson Bowden, Pastoral Care, brogannsanderson@gmail.com

Bob Thick, Music and Worship, rjdmask@earthlink.net

Scott Watterson

Bruce Weise, Finance, bruce.weise@verizon.net