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William J. Danaher, Jr.Rev. William Danaher, Jr.


The Reverend Canon Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr. has been called to serve as the 8th Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook.

Father Bill is a gifted and award winning preacher and published author. He comes to Christ Church Cranbrook from serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario. He also served as Theologian in Residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario.

Since being ordained in 1995, he has served parishes in New Haven, New York City, Sewanee (TN), and London, Ontario. His managerial and financial responsibilities at Huron included managing a budget of $1 million, raising over $3.5 million for chairs in pastoral theology and Islamic Studies, and supervising staff and curricula for academic programs that serve over 500 students.

Father Bill holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and Masters and a PH. D. in Religious Ethics from Yale University. He and his wife, Claire Danaher have been married for 24 years. They have two daughters, Phoebe and Thea.

Contact Bill Danaher

Joyce Matthews

Senior Associate Rector

Joyce joined Christ Church Cranbrook in 2005 and is responsible for pastoral care and worship ministries. Pastoral care ministries include Career Transition Network, Eucharistic Visitors, Healing Ministry, Lay Visitors, Prayer Card Ministry and Parish Health Ministry. The worship ministries are the Acolyte Corps. Altar Guild, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Thurifer Corps and the Usher Corps.

Joyce currently serves on the Diocesan Council and has served on several other committees for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan: Vice President of Whitaker Institute Board, Healing Racism trainer and the President of the Standing Committee.

Joyce was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from U of M where she graduated with distinction with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education, she gained a wealth of experience in healthcare. Her breadth of knowledge in the respiratory therapy field earned her the opportunity to be the director of respiratory Therapy programs at several area hospitals. Pastor Matthew has also ben an educator at the University of Detroit and Highland Park Community College and part of the adjunct faculty for the University of Michigan School of Education and Wayne State School of Anesthesiology.

She received her Master in Divinity degree from Seabury Western Theological Seminary in 2005.

Joyce is married to Lauriant and they have two daughters, Renee, a medical doctor in Chicago, Illinois and Alycia, a manufacturing operations manager for the DuPont Corporation in Valdosta, Georgia.  Joyce and Lauriant reside in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

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Manisha Dostert

Associate Rector

Pastor Manisha is responsible for participating in the worship and pastoral ministries, coordinating and developing the church’s mission and outreach activities as well as overseeing and assisting the ministry to children and youth.

Pastor Manisha Dostert grew up as a Jain (a religion from India) and was baptized in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LCMS) at the age of twenty-six. After working in a lab at Duke University researching the immunological characteristics of sickle cell anemia (she has a B.S. in Biology from Penn State), she received a Master of Divinity at Duke and was ordained in 2002 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She has served various congregations in North Carolina and Michigan. Most recently, she was part of Spirit of Grace Church in West Bloomfield, MI, a Lutheran-Episcopal community formed from three churches.

Pastor Manisha loves the Church. She believes there is no better way to live than being part of a community that is diverse, universal, subversive and transcendent. She sees it as a place where all can operate out of the joy, hope, mercy, forgiveness and love that God abundantly gives.

She is married to Troy, a history teacher at Cranbrook Schools, who has a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Duke and reviews free jazz in his free time. Their son is Miles.

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Jonathan Sams, Associate Priest for Spiritual FormationJonathan Sams

Associate Priest for Spiritual Formation

The Reverend Canon Jonathan Sams was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory School and Oberlin College, and obtained an M. Div. Degree from Nashotah House Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1966 and served was an Assistant at the Church of the Ascension in Chicago until 1967, when he began an eleven year tenure as Chaplain of Lawrence Hall Youth Services in Chicago. In 1973 he moved to a farm in Northern Indiana and served as a retreat leader and consultant for youth programs across the United States and Canada. In 1981 he became Rector of St. Timothy’s Church in Griffith, Indiana, and served there until 1991, when he became Rector of St. Stephen’s in Troy, MI, where he served until retirement in September, 2011.

Father Sams has been married to Nancy Irey-Sams since 1999. They live in Troy and are the parents of six children: Jason, 32, works at Kohl’s, lives in Rochester Hills, MI, and is the father of Jayden, 8, and Teagan, 6; Caitlin Lester Sams, 26, and her husband, Michael, live in New York City, where she is pursuing an acting career; James, 24, lives at home and is employed at Kroger’s; David, 21, lives in Detroit and attends Wayne State University; Zachary, 21, attends Kettering University in Flint; Katie, 19, attends Michigan State University.

Jonathan is an associate of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist monastic community in Cambridge, MA, and participates frequently with a Lutheran monastery, St. Augustine’s House, in Oxford, MI. He fishes, hunts, plays the guitar, and writes about his experiences on his blog,

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Jill Bednas

Director of Youth Ministries

Jill Bednas was born and raised in Michigan and holds a degree in Communications from Michigan State University. She was confirmed and then married at Christ Church Cranbrook in 2001 to Scott Bednas, a lifelong Episcopalian. They have two boys, (Pierce and Reece) and recently moved from Glen Ellyn, Illinois back to Michigan to be closer to their families. Jill was very involved in her former church , St. Mark’s Episcopal church, during the eleven years they lived there. She taught middle school Sunday School, helped build the St. Mark’s Preschool and lead the Parish Life hospitality ministry before taking a staff position as Director of Children’s Ministries in 2011. For the past three and a half years Jill successfully lead and grew the children’s programs, offering formation from nursery through fifth grade at all three services, including a new Spanish Language Service.

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Peggy Dahlberg, Director of Parish Programs, Youth & ChildrenPeggy Dahlberg

Director of Communications

Peggy has been a member of CCC since 1984 when she and Lyle were married here.  They have two sons, Mike and Jimmy who are also members at CCC.  Peggy was a member of the Vestry from 2006 to 2009 and for the last year was Junior Warden.  She worked as a volunteer training and scheduling the acolytes for many years in addition to other volunteer activities before coming on board as a member of the staff. Peggy is the president of WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit), on the Board of Directors for the Syrian American Refugee Network (SARN) and a past board member of the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force.

Contact Peggy Dahlberg

Kathy Doyle, Parish AdministratorKathy Doyle

Parish Administrator

Prior to joining Christ Church Cranbrook, Kathy held various management, accounting, and finance positions. As Parish Administrator, she oversees all business aspects of the church. Kathy lives in Rochester with her husband, Dan, and has one child, Nick, who lives and works in the Metro-Detroit area.

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Patricia Hirvonen, Admin. Asst. to the RectorPat Hirvonen

Administrative Assistant to the Rector

Pat has been at Christ Church Cranbrook since January 1995. She enjoys the variety of opportunities that her job provides, especially interacting with the clergy, staff, and parishioners. This experience has been a great blessing in her life.

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Debbie Moore, Parish AccountantDebbie Moore

Parish Accountant

Debbie brings over 25 years of accounting experience from working with her husband Geoff at his CPA firm of Moore & Moore, P.C. Early retirement due to Geoff’s sudden blindness encouraged Debbie to explore other accounting opportunities. Debbie believes that joining our staff is a gift she received during the most difficult time in her and her family’s life. Debbie is committed to sharing the heartwarming outreach she has experienced from the Clergy, Staff and Parishioners and is dedicated to her accounting responsibilities for the Parish.

Contact Debbie Moore

Jessica Neeper

Director for Children’s Ministries

Christ Church Cranbrook has been home to Jessica for many years. She served as an acolyte in her teens. Jessica received a degree in Interior Design from Michigan State University. She and her husband were married at CCC and both children, Aiden and Ellie, were baptized here. Her daughter Ellie was baby Jesus in the Festival of gifts in 2004. She has been a Sunday school teacher for 9 years in the 3rd and 4th grade. She has led Bible studies for women. It is with great joy that Jessica serves the children and their families at Christ Church Cranbrook.

Contact Jessica Neeper

390527_581637133174_617564387_nChristopher Reynolds

Associate Director of Music

Dr. Christopher Reynolds has been at Christ Church Cranbrook since December 2009. At CCC, he accompanies the Parish Choir, provides service music for all services, and other duties within the Music Department. Dr. Reynolds  is also responsible for preparing the weekly service leaflets.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Christopher was the Organist & Choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Boonsboro, MD. Christopher is currently the Dean for the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as well as their newsletter editor.

Christopher earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance and Church Music at the University of Michigan, studying with world renowned organist, Dr. Marilyn Mason. He also completed both a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, with a Performance Certificate in Organ, and a Master of Music in Organ Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Former teachers include David Kelley, Dr. Steven Cooksey, and Dr. W. Dudley Oakes. In 2012, Christopher earned the Choirmaster certification from the AGO.

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Richard Waldbott, Jr.


Richard started at Christ Church Cranbrook on February 25, 1985, after an illustrious ten year career at Montgomery Ward.

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390527_581637133174_617564387_nChristopher Wells

Director of Music

Christopher was here at CCC as Assistant Organist (1999-2002) under Charles Raines, whose long tenure at CCC (1980-2002) marked a highpoint in terms of the breadth and depth of choral music at CCC. Drawing from this experience, Christopher has built an enormously successful choir program at Christ Church Bronxville (NY), where he has served for the past thirteen years.

390527_581637133174_617564387_nJames West

Facilities Manager

James has joined Christ Church Cranbrook as the new Facilities Manager. He brings with him 27 years of experience working in construction and property management for both Commercial and Residential properties including working on the restoration of a historical building in Detroit. With his knowledge, experience and understanding of historical buildings, James feels he will be a great asset to Christ Church Cranbrook in maintaining this beautiful church for many more years to come. James and his wife Jennifer have been married for over 10 years. They have two children, Skyler and Jessica. Skyler is 20 years old and is currently attending the University of Michigan studying Computer Science and Psychology. Jessica is 8 years old and is finishing the 3rd grade.
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Henry WilletteHenry Willette


Henry has recently joined Christ Church Cranbrook as a Sexton. Prior to CCC, Henry was an engineering and business manager in the Detroit automotive community. Henry is married to a high school science teacher and has two grown children in university. Henry thinks Christ Church is a very special place and is happy to be part of the team.

Contact Henry Willette