Senior Minister Search Committee Bios

Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson has been a member of the Riverside Church since 1984. With a particular interest in finding a nurturing Christian environment for her two young children, she became involved with the Parents Committee and was a teacher in the Church School. She has served on several commissions and committees, including Education, Nominating, Scholarship, and Career Day, and has been a member of the Church Council.

Professionally, Emily has worked in social services, child welfare, early childhood education, psychiatric social work, and higher education teaching and administration. She is an alumnus of South Carolina State University, an HBCU, and earned three graduate degrees from New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Emily has conducted research work in education for the City University of New York and served on several not-for-profit boards, including Young Adult Institute, Coalition of 100 Black Women, Riverside Hawks, Hope, Health and Hoops, and BMCC Early Childhood Center.

Emily retired as professor emeritus, City University of New York, in 2015. She continues to work part-time as an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work. She enjoys reading, mentoring young people, and singing in the Inspirational Choir.


Hylda Clarke

Hylda joined The Riverside Church in 1964. She has been a member of the Church Council, Greeters Group, Riverside Community Chorale, and Amazing Grace Choir as well as commissions and committees on Education, Mission and Social Justice, Building, Institutional Relations, and Nominating. She was chairperson of the Black Christian Caucus, co-facilitator of the Poetry Group, a teacher in the Riverside Church School, and a member of several search committees.

Hylda established a “Surviving Parenthood” support group, has been a volunteer at Safe Haven, and was a tutor in the Riverside Hawks program. Currently, Hylda is a member of the Education Commission and Stewardship Committee. She attends Open Bible Study, Space for Grace, Undoing Racism, Tower League, and the Book Club. She is a soprano in the Inspirational Choir.

Hylda has participated in many of Riverside’s demonstrations for change. One such demonstration resulted in her being arrested with the Rev. Dr. William Sloan Coffin and other Riversiders in a march around the South African Embassy in Washington DC in protest of apartheid.

A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, with an MA in Psychology and Teaching, Hylda is a firm believer in continuing education and has done postgraduate work in Psychology Reading and Developmental Psychology. She was an early employee of the Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Workshop) and associate editor at Consumers Union Children’s Magazine. Hylda was also an adjunct instructor at Hunter College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was later employed as an educator in several social services agencies in New York City. Now retired, Hylda enjoys reading, writing poetry, oil painting, gardening, and learning to play guitar. Early during the pandemic, she set up her sewing machine, made face masks, and gave them out in her neighborhood.

Hylda was married to the late Selwart Clarke Sr., violist. She is mother of Selwart Jr., Brynne, and Jill; grandmother of Britney, Mark, and Cory.


Alexa Donaphin

Alexa joined the Riverside Church in the late 1990s. Her service at Riverside began with election to the Mission & Social Justice Commission. She has served on the Church Council both as vice chair and chair, the Building Committee as a longstanding member as well as chair, the Conflict Resolution Design Team, the Institutional Relations Committee, the Senior Minister Committee, the Executive Committee, the Transition Team, and the Sustainability Task Force.

Through the years, Alexa has also participated in congregational forums, staff interviews, Career Day panels, member phone-banking, lay leadership retreats, and many other church activities. She has volunteered with the Sojourners Ministry, Freedom School, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Lift Every Voice and Vote. In addition, she has been a dedicated Riverside Church School teacher for over 20 years. Alexa is currently serving on the Riverside Development Committee and its site assessment subcommittee. In 2021, she was elected to the Worship Commission and is now the commission representative to the Budget & Planning Committee.

A longtime Harlem resident and community activist, Alexa was the first president of the West 144th Street Landmark Block Association and a board member of the Hamilton Heights Homeowners Association. She is a founding member of the Hamilton Heights-West Harlem Community Preservation Organization and its current vice president. Alexa also serves on the board of directors of Millennium Arts Salon, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC that advances cultural literacy through arts programming. For more than a decade, she served on the board of Louise Wise Services, a foster care and adoption agency.

Alexa earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University. She is a licensed architect and for most of her career has specialized in the planning and design of healthcare facilities.


Karissa Garner

Karissa became a member of the Riverside Church in 2016 while attending classes at New York Theological Seminary. During her time at Riverside, she became involved in Conversation Partners as an English-speaking partner and later interned at the Shower Project and the pantry.

Karissa is a former employee of the New York City Human Resources Administration. Karissa has also conducted research for the Association of Theological Schools and completed an internship at the New Jewish Home in the field of chaplaincy.

Karissa holds an MDiv from New York Theological Seminary and a BS in business from the University of Phoenix. She recently completed an IT certification in Python coding.

Born in Brooklyn, Karissa now lives in Harlem with her 15-year-old son Isaac. She is a member of the PTA at her son’s school. Karissa enjoys engaging in student advocacy. She is also active in speaking out for underserved families. While Karissa spends most of her time with her family and pets, she also loves cooking, baking, and learning new things.


Lisa Hinds

Lisa Hinds (she/her/hers) joined the Riverside Church in 1999. Since 2012, she has served as deacon and trustee as a two-term member of the Church Council and has held leadership positions on various commissions, committees, and task forces. In response to a collective call for mission-related investing, she authored and executed “Justice Based Investing,” which provides a framework for the integration of justice in a balanced portfolio. Her signature stewardship address “What if Jesus had a really good banker?,” found here.

Professionally, Lisa leads the endowment and foundation channel for EnTrust Global, an alternative asset manager. She previously led corporate development and client portfolio management for a distressed securities hedge fund and a private equity firm focused on sustainable investing. A native New Yorker, Lisa has served in senior relationship management, institutional trading, and investment management capacities at Morgan Stanley, Standard and Poor’s, Bear Stearns, and GE Capital.

Lisa currently serves as board vice chair and investment committee chair of the United Church Funds, the institutional investment ministry of the national churches of the United Church of Christ. She is a co-author of the book Faithful Investing: The Power of Decisive Action and Incremental Change (Church Publishing Incorporated, 2019). In 2020, Lisa was elected to the board of trustees of the Altman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation serving New York City. Lisa holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, an MA in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a BS from Northeastern University. She is a proud ‘Goalie Mom,’ road tripping nationally for girls’ lacrosse.


Annie Meredith

Annie Meredith joined the Riverside Church in 2010 and currently serves as secretary of the Sharing Fund Committee. She is a member of the Anti-Racism Taskforce, volunteers with the Youth Ministry, and previously served on the Education Commission. Her seven-year-old daughter enjoys attending Church School and singing in the Cherub Choir.

Annie is the General Counsel of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS), the agency that oversees the purchasing of goods and services for New York City. Annie has worked in city government for the past decade and believes that making local government more efficient and transparent increases access to justice for all.

As General Counsel of MOCS, Annie manages the agency’s legal affairs, including advice and analysis on a broad range of procurement-related matters, vendor integrity concerns, risk management, nonprofit vendor oversight, and the MWBE program. Annie is also supporting MOCS’s development and roll-out of the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort) – the city’s user-friendly, online procurement portal.

She is passionate about voting rights, volunteering as an election monitor with the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, and advocating for more progressive voting laws. She loves knitting, cross-stitch, and reading fantasy and science fiction novels.

Annie holds a JD from CUNY School of Law and a BA in religion from the College of William and Mary.


Lee Sartain

Lee Sartain serves on the Stewardship Committee and the Real Estate Assessment Subcommittee of the Riverside Development Committee, in addition to working with young adults at the Riverside Church.

Lee spent 15 years in senior leadership at North Carolina State University and Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University. During that time, he also served as a commissioned pastor of a new worshipping community, East Raleigh Fellowship, as well as in interim ministry at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, both in Raleigh, NC. Lee has served on the board of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. As a seminary student, he served as a consultant on a Lilly Endowment funded initiative focused on congregational vitality and financial wellness with the Episcopal Church Foundation. Currently, he runs his own real estate and vacation rental business and continues his ministry passions through personal financial wellness consulting. Lee brings his years of seminary education and experience as well as a unique perspective on what it means to be a minister.

Lee holds degrees in religious studies from North Carolina State University and social ethics from Union Theological Seminary and is currently completing a degree in finance at Harvard University.


David Vaughn

David Vaughn has been a member of the Riverside Church since 1996. Upon becoming a member, he immediately joined the Inspirational Choir, where, in addition to singing, he now serves as librarian. He has served on the church’s committees for Nominating, Institutional Relations (chair), and Music (chair) and is currently on the committees for Worship and Ordination. David has also been Riverside’s representative to the board of directors of the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York, where he now serves as treasurer.

David graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in history. During his studies, much of his energies were spent in the performing arts department, which led to a career in theater. Mr. Vaughn has worked on Broadway as theatre manager of the Minskoff Theatre, the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. He served as director of operations for New York’s Public Theatre and for the Nederlander Producing Company of America, overseeing its New York operations.

David has a deep and abiding love of music, the theater, and the arts. This led to the opportunity to perform with Rutgers’s Presbyterian Church’s Opera Group, raising funds for that church’s homeless shelter program. He also enjoys astronomy, gemology, and model railroading.


Andrea White

The Rev. Dr. Andrea C. White became a member of the Riverside Church immediately upon joining the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2015 where she is associate professor of Theology and Culture. She participates in the teaching and preaching ministries at Riverside and leads small group classes on race and religion. She is faculty chair of the Columbia University Senate Commission on Diversity and has served as executive director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. She delivers lectures internationally and across the United States, serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, and is a recipient of several grants and fellowships.

Andrea holds a PhD in theology from the University of Chicago, an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, and a BA in philosophy from Oberlin College. She has been an ordained American Baptist minister since 1998, having served as parish minister, hospice chaplain, and chaplain at a residential school for persons with developmental disabilities. She is a native New Yorker from Manhattan’s Lower East Side and married to the Rev. Richard Landers. Their two girls, Mara and Chloe, are enthusiastic participants in Riverside’s Youth Group and the Riverside Youth String Ensemble.


Beth Wynne-St. Louis

Beth Wynne-St. Louis (she/her/hers) joined the Riverside Church in 1999 after having attended her master’s degree graduation ceremony there in 1995. Beth has been a member of the Young Adult Ministry and the Education Commission and currently is a member of the Nominating Committee. She has also volunteered extensively with both the Children and Family Ministry and the Youth Ministry.

Beth’s professional career encompasses over 25 years in human resources with experience in employee relations, training and development, recruiting, sourcing and selection, managing performance, and organizational development. She has worked for the federal government and in the nonprofit sector and is currently with Con Edison, where she has worked for the last 20 years. A focus throughout has been emotional intelligence and conflict management, skillsets critical for building and maintaining successful relationships.

Beth holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame with a dual major in psychology and business and an MA in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research.

Originally from Gary, IN, Beth has familial connections in both Raleigh and Rocky Mount, NC. She moved to New York City in 1993 and was married at Riverside in 2003. With her husband Harold, mother Alma, and two teenage sons, Jabari and Jelani, Beth currently resides in New Jersey, where she is active in her local community of Union Township, volunteering in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and PTAs with each of her sons’ schools. She is a proud basketball mom.


Mark Yim

Mark Yim has been a member of the Riverside Church since 2004. He has taught adult bible classes and participated in the Monday evening prayer group, and his daughter has been brought up in the nursery and the Church School.

Mark is a portfolio manager for GAMCO Investors in Rye, NY, focusing on Japan and working on country and industry allocation for international equity portfolios. Previously, he worked in similar capacities at UBS, Swiss Bank Corporation, Brinson Partners, and Barings in Chicago and Tokyo. Mark started his career as an editor of annual reports in Tokyo.

He speaks Japanese and French and has a lifelong interest in literature and the classics. Mark is a classical pianist, interested in all music, and a master composter trained at the New York Botanical Garden. Mark has also been a member of the Visiting Committee of the Chicago Theological Seminary. He was born in Boston, grew up in New Jersey, and now lives with his husband Peter and their 13-year-old daughter Emi in Upper Manhattan, where he is currently president of his residential co-op. He has an AB in comparative literature from Princeton University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. When he’s not helping his teenager with homework and piano, Mark enjoys reading, swimming, gardening, and traveling internationally.