The lead pastor and other pastoral and support staff are responsible to carry out the mission and values of the church under the authority of the elder board. See also our Pastoral Rule of Life.

Lead Pastor



Rich Villodas is the Lead Pastor at New Life Fellowship Church. On October 6th, 2013, Rich succeeded Pete Scazzero as Lead Pastor. Rich was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, just 20 minutes from New Life. He graduated from Nyack College and then went on to complete a Masters of Divinity degree at Alliance Theological Seminary. When Rich is not reading, he is cheering on his beloved Mets, Knicks and Jets teams. Rich is married to Rosie and they have a little girl and boy, named Karis and Nathan.

Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large



Pete Scazzero is the Founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as Senior Pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large. He is the author of two best-selling books -The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. He is also the author of The EHS Course and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day. Pete and Geri are founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that equips churches in deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm that integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality. They have for lovely daughters. For More information, visit

Marriage Ministry/Pastor-At-Large



Geri Scazzero is a popular conference speaker for church leaders, married couples, and women’s groups, both in North America and internationally. She also serves as a chief innovator and visionary at New Life Fellowship Church in New York City on the intersection of marriage, sexuality, and spiritual formation. Geri is the author of The Emotionally Healthy Woman and The EH Woman Workbook/DVD. She is also the co-author of the best-selling Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Course and The Emotionally Healthy Skills 2.0 curriculum.  She has served on staff at New Life for the last twenty-seven years.

Administrative Assistant of New Life’s Kid & Family Ministries


BrendaLiz Ayende gave her heart and life to Christ 7 years ago and has been involved in Children’s ministry ever since.  She served as a Coach, overseer and small group leader in Christ Tabernacle church, where herself, her husband and eldest daughter were baptized.  BrendaLiz has a passion for the youth and children of today.  She is married to her Best friend Peter, of 13 years, and has two Beautiful and creative daughters, Elisa and Emma.  She is in her element when she is listening to music, reading, crafting, decorating, refurbishing and snuggling up on the couch watching movies, while the candles are lit, with her family, which very much includes her furry princess, Minny.

NLF Kids Pastor

David Cales has been married to his wonderful wife Daphne for 27 years.  She has been an incredible helper to Dave, serving alongside him in children’s ministry.   Together they have 2 handsome boys, DJ & Daniel who are serving the Lord. He is also the father of a lovely Labradoodle, Summer.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, Dave currently lives in Bushwick with his family.  He loves NYC; especially the NY Mets!!!!

Fun. Creative. Mischievous. Determined. Inquisitive. Teachable. are just a few of the characteristics of a child that inspire Dave’s passion to be a part of seeing their lives impacted by Jesus.  This statement by Pastor Andy Stanley best describes his calling to ministry work: “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”

Pastor of Worship Ministries



Cate Song has been attending New Life Fellowship since June 2005 and started off in the counting ministry (offering). After about a year, Peter Rohdin (then the Pastor of Worship) recruited her to the Worship Team and she started playing piano and singing on Sundays. Her day job was in accounting and she was also pursuing music as a singer/songwriter, playing live shows in various venues around NYC. She continued to lead worship at New Life and released a couple of albums reflecting an introspective songwriting style. After working in the accounting field for 12 years, she accepted the position of Pastor of Worship Ministries here at New Life in March 2015. Cate loves to read, write, sing, listen to live music, and also loves her wonderful husband, Steve, and cute dogs. You can find out more about Cate’s music on her website.

Director of Administration



Dan Ports was raised out in the quiet farmlands of eastern Connecticut, came to New York for college, and graduated from Stony Brook University with a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics. He was deeply impacted by his experiences as a student and leader in his InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter, which awakened in him a passion to see people experience life transformation and deepening relationships with Jesus. He worked as a software developer, architect, and manager for 10 years before joining New Life’s staff team full-time. He enjoys a good video game, card game, or tennis game, and occasionally likes to hike, bike, and bake. After finding himself gradually sucked into the New York City vortex, he now lives with his wonderful wife Grace, daughter Hope, and sons Emery and Devin in eastern Queens, where there are still a few trees left to remind him of his native land.

Building Mechanic

Ed Gruber


Ed Gruber accepted Jesus on Super Bowl Sunday in 1990. Maybe if the Broncos had prayed along with Ed before the game they wouldn’t have gotten crushed so badly by the 49’ers. Except for a six month stint in Los Angeles during his Beach Boys phase way back in 1980, Ed is a lifelong New Yorker and Queens resident. He worked with teens and youth for 20+ years. Ed is a true mechanical Renaissance man. He is never happier than when he is up to his elbows in grease reattaching the thing-a-majig to the whatchamacallit so that the doohickey will start doohickeying again. Ed’s Top Ten List of favorite things looks something like this: 1. Jesus Christ 2. His stunningly beautiful and intelligent wife Louann 3. His brilliant and dashing son Grant 4. Tools 5. Food 6. Motorcycles 7. Motorcycles 8. Motorcycles 9. Motorcycles 10. More motorcycles.

Community Life Leader in Residence


Edward Dhanpat Jr. is a 2nd generation Guyanese American.  He is a native New Yorker with a passion to see the worship of “every tribe, tongue and nation” realized in this great city.  He attended NYC public schools most of his life.  He completed his undergraduate work (B.A. in Psychology) at City University of Queens College, and his graduate work (M. Div.) at Bethel Seminary of the East. He is an ordained minister.  He has served as the full-time Youth and Young Adults Pastor at his home church for 5 years.  He has served as a Church Planter for the last 3 years.  His wife, Mahwish, is a Pakistani Christian and immigrated to New York City when she was 5.  He and his wife have a son, Justus, who is 4 years old.  He loves to learn, enjoys adventure sports like snowboarding and scuba driving, attempts at basketball, and defends that pizza is one of the major food groups.

Building Manager


George Cuffe has been attending New Life since 1998. He stepped into a staff role in 2010 as building mechanic and became building manager in 2012.

NLF Kids Preschool Ministry Director


Jenna Notarfrancesco is from Syracuse, NY. She was raised in the church and made the decision to follow Jesus at age 13. With a heart for children’s ministry, she began volunteering for New Life Kids in 2014, and is excited to now serve the preschool team in a new way. Previously, Jenna worked at Manhattan Theatre Club facilitating special events. When Jenna is not working on New Life Kids Preschool Ministry, she spends her time reading, singing, and going to the theatre.

Community Life Administrative Assistant

Natasha A. Pettigrew has been attending New Life Fellowship since 2011 and came on staff as the Community Life Administrative Assistant in 2016.  She has a desire to help people live full  lives and over the years she has had many outlets to do so. She earned a Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and a Masters in Divinity with a focus in Bible & Theology from Alliance Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry with a focus in Discipleship at Liberty University. Wanting to further expand her skill set in helping people experience fuller lives, she obtained her Life Coaching certification in 2013. She then went on to establish Missing Link Services, which provides life coaching to individuals looking to transform their lives. It is Natasha’s hope to use her skills and gifts to bless others and empower them to do the same.

Sunday Connections Coordinator

Jessica Rechner


Jessica Rechner has been a member for about 6 years and attending for about 9. Jessica is excited about this new phase in her life and hopes to bring her organizational and leading skills to her job here at New Life. As the Sunday Connections Coordinator Jessica hopes to help equip her ‘Serving Teams’ with the necessary skills and support to carry out the many ‘connecting and growing’ moments that happen on a Sunday here at New Life.

Assistant Pastor


Joseph Terry was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of Rochester where he studied Philosophy and Astrophysics, and worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the field of stellar evolution. It was at university where he became a follower of Jesus. He went on to earn a Masters of Divinity in Alliance Theological Seminary and currently teaches history of classical and modern philosophy, moral philosophy, biomedical ethics, logic, and philosophy of religion in Kingsborough Community College at City University of New York. He is currently working on a book and a number of theological and philosophical essays. He is excited to get married to Virginia and begin their life together.

Manager of Front Desk


Joanne Principe was born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican decent and grew up in a Spanish Pentecostal church, where she developed a personal relationship with God. Joanne has been married for over two decades and has an adult daughter as well as a teen son living in Maspeth, Queens. The Lord has been her guiding light throughout life and as a transformative leader she hopes to do His will with her spiritual gifts and talents. She has been attending New Life since 2008, where she has served the children’s ministries, ESL Program, and worship team as choir member. Joanne enjoys museums, music, running, traveling, photography, gardening, camping, and hiking. As a lifelong learner, Joanne is pursuing her doctorate degree in management for organizational leadership. Her profession has been in the legal industry for over two decades and presently works for government transportation agency.  Her passions are change management, executive leadership development, communications and professional development coaching. Her role at New Life has recently shifted from Office Coordinator to a supervisory and development focus for the front desk team.

Youth Pastor



Matthew Manno was born and raised in Flushing, New York and has lived in Queens his entire life. Matthew came to know Jesus at the age of 14 on a youth retreat and has served in youth ministry ever since. He has a heart and passion to see youth experience the love and grace of Jesus in a way that impacts every fiber of their being. Matthew loves photography, food of every kind, sports, The New York Mets, Knicks and Giants. Matthew is excited about going to the places where God is leading and trusting in His faithfulness to get him there.

Community Life Coordinator



Myrna Rohdin was born and raised in Colombia (she’s not related to Juan Valdez). Myrna was formerly a missionary in Buenos Aires, Argentina and loves living in New York City for its ethnicity, restaurants and diversity of culture. She enjoys traveling and going to Maine for vacations with her husband, Peter, and son, Jose. Myrna also loves to cook and entertain people at her house.  She loves this job because she gets to work with many different people in our church.

Executive Pastor of Communities



Peter Rohdin grew up in church and surrendered his life to Jesus as a preteen. Peter’s two passions growing up were pursuing his relationship with God and music. After High School, he moved from Maine to New York to study music at Nyack College. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Peter taught music in the public school system and played in several local Christian bands. During this time, he longed to experience the same “body life” in the church as he found in the twelve-step groups he had been attending.  God answered that prayer when a friend introduced him to New Life Fellowship in 1989. After serving as Pastor of Worship Ministries for over 20 years Peter transitioned to leading the team that oversees Communities and Small Groups. He enjoys watching sports with his son Jose and taking long leisurely walks with his wife Myrna.

Executive Director of  New Life CDC

Redd Sevilla


A. Redd Sevilla was born in the Philippines and grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens. He is married with two daughters. He left the construction management industry to build great community instead of great buildings. He loves the richness of Queens NYC, hoping that all the yummy and diverse foods in the area will result in some weight gain. He is also praying that the Knicks win a championship in his lifetime.

Executive Director of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Ruth Zsolnai


Ruth Zsolnai is the Executive Director of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a global deep beneath the surface spiritual formation ministry founded by Pete and Geri Scazzero. A native New Yorker raised in Rockaway Beach, Ruth loves spending time at the beach, one of her favorite places to relax but also be energized by delighting in God’s creation. Ruth has a BA in Journalism and Public Relations from New York University and had a long-standing career leading marketing and business development initiatives in large, multi-national corporations. Ruth remains amazed at how God has continually walked and worked in her life journey in preparation for her move from profit to purpose.

Calendar & Communications Coordinator

Silvett García-Tsuang


Silvett García-Tsuang grew up in the church and gave her life to the Lord at a very young age. Since coming to New Life in 2004, she has served in the young adults and worship ministries. Silvett also served on the Board of Directors at New Life Community Development Corporation where she pursued her passion for community-building in culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods. She has previous work experience in urban planning, community development, public health, and immigration policy and advocacy. She also loves to coordinate events and entertain friends and family. She is happiest when she can bring together her experiences and all the things she loves. She is thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to serve her church with her talents and passions in the community of Elmhurst, Queens.


Executive Admin




Susan Vivas is the youngest girl of seven and the proud wife and mother of two wonderful children. She has an associate’s degree in Fashion Design and BA in Apparel Production Management. Susan is passionate about worship, God’s Word, and prayer.  She also loves children’s ministry because of how her life was impacted at a very young age by people serving in the church.  She gave her life to Jesus at 11 and has been a servant and volunteer for his kingdom ever since. Susan is a creative thinker and loves to paint, cook, sew, explore the great outdoors and volunteer as PTA treasurer at her child’s school.


Victoria Kolsch


Victoria Kolsch was born in Bogota, Colombia. She moved to the United States in 1993. She lived in Queens for 14 years before recently moving to Long Island, NY. She received an associate degree in Dental Technology, but God changed her career, and she started working as New Life Fellowship’s Bookkeeper since 2003. She is married to Jeff Kolsch, Director of the New Life Food & Clothing Pantry. They have two children, Kimberly and David. Victoria is passionate about Christ, and it gives her great joy to be able to contribute even in an unseen position, like Treasurer, to bring help to the needy and to give hope to the lost. She would like to know that she made a difference in someone’s life by bringing the hope that Christ gives.