Hilltop Covenant Church is led by a dedicated group of church members with a few key staff members to carry out the day-to-day ministry. The Leadership Team is the group that works on behalf of the congregation to process the vision, direction, values and policies of the church. Our pastor leads the staff and is a key member of the Leadership Team.
Hailing from the Chicago area, Pastor Mike came to Hilltop in July of 2019. He holds a B.A. in Spanish and Education from Illinois State University, a Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary, and is a certified spiritual director through the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation . Pastor Mike is our primary preacher, teacher, administrator and spiritual caregiver and is an active member of the Christian Clergy Council of Cromwell. He also serves as a spiritual director and the coordinator for the Spiritual Direction Network for East Coast Conference Covenant churches.
Pastor Mike is married to Melissa, and they have two daughters, Nadia and Abigail, who attend Cromwell Public Schools. Pastor Mike enjoys playing music (guitar and double bass), exploring Connecticut's hiking trails, and all things food and beverage. You will often find him and his family gardening, baking bread, holding backyard parties, canning, making cider, or grilling/smoking meats. More than anything, the Langers desire to use this love of food to extend hospitality to others. “At the table,” Pastor Mike says, “we are exercising one of our most basic human needs. I find that many walls that divide us come down and opportunities to find common ground emerge, simply by breaking bread together."
Director of Music / Leadership Team Member-at-large
Carolyn has served as Director of Music at Hilltop since 1990. Over the years of serving the
church, Carolyn has worn many hats, leading various choirs and ensembles, playing organ,
piano, and handbells, and providing vital leadership for the church. During the pandemic, she
has also taken on the role of “studio musician”, providing recordings of organ and piano music
for our digital worship experience. Carolyn is also music librarian at Connecticut College in
New London, CT, a position she has held for nearly 36 years, but will be retiring from that at the
end of June 2021.
Jessica joined the staff at Hilltop in February of 2020, two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. She handles all the administrative matters of the church office and sometimes applies her eye for design to help make the office and sanctuary more festive. A native of New Britain, Jessica and her husband Leszek have one, very active son named Liam. She also runs an Etsy business, creating custom crafts for parties and events; CLICK HERE to go to her site. While the church operates with reduced hours during the pandemic, you can reach Jessica at the office on Mondays and Fridays.
Leadership Team Chair
Barbara is a long-time Cromwell resident and member of Hilltop, and she has served as the chair of our leadership team for the past several years. As the executive director of Prudence Crandall Center, Connecticut's oldest domestic violence prevention program, Barbara applies her tremendous leadership skills and heart for advocating for the vulnerable to leading the Hilltop mission.
Director of Preschool & Daycare / Leadership Team Treasurer
Laura has been on staff at Hilltop Preschool and Daycare since 2001, first as a teacher and, since 2009, as the director. She serves the Hilltop leadership team as the treasurer and liaison to the preschool & daycare. With a genuine love for the children of our community, Laura has fostered a truly loving and fun-filled culture for the children of Hilltop Preschool and Daycare. When she is not at work, Laura loves to spend time with her family and friends.
Leadership Team Secretary
Jim joined the Hilltop leadership in 2020, just in time to apply his expertise in infectious diseases to our church's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his wife, Jenn, have been members of Hilltop for the past several years, and Jim has been active in the church's leadership. In April of 2021, Jim and Jenn will move to Maryland, where Jim will take on a new role at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
Leadership Team Member-at-large
Melissa is the newest member of the Hilltop leadership team. For more than twenty years, she has worked as a nurse in adult critical care, IV therapy and, currently, infusion therapy at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. When she's not at work, Melissa likes to turn on music, bake bread and other goodies, tend her garden and read. Her part-time job is keeping her two daughters and husband (Pastor Mike) in line!