Our Staff

Pastor: Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan (“Pastor George”) has been the Pastor at Central Baptist Church since 1991. He has also served the church as Executive Director of the Romanian Missionary Society and as Minister of Christian Education at First Baptist of Hightstown. In addition to preaching every Sunday, Pastor George enjoys overseeing the Sunday School, leading Bible studies, and working with other churches to reach the community. Currently, he leads the Area Association of Community Churches in Atlantic Highlands and the North Shore Group in Monmouth County. Dr. Hancock-Stefan earned a B.A. in American History and Bible from Wheaton College, a M.Div. in Parish Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. His dissertation examines the impact of the Reformation on the Romanian people from 1517 - 1645. He currently teaches at Palmer Theological Seminary, New Brunswick Seminary, and the ABCNJ Academy. Teaching areas include church history, historical theology, Eastern Orthodoxy, missions and intercultural studies. He and his wife Ginny, a piano teacher and the church music director, live in Atlantic Highlands with their daughter Ashley. Their daughter SaraGrace attends Eastern University in St. David's, PA, and their daughter Christina lives and works in Philadelphia. Their eldest daughter, Lindsey, lives in Hightstown, NJ with her husband, Rev. Bruce Wood, pastor of First Baptist Church of Hightstown, and their children David and Rebecca.


Music Director, Church Pianist, Choir Accompanist, and Hand Bell Choir DirectorGinny Hancock-Stefan.  Ginny graduated from West Chester University with a major in music education/piano concentration and taught for several years in the public school system.  In addition to her work at the church, Ginny teaches private piano lessons to many children in the Atlantic Highlands area.  Ginny is the wife of Pastor George, the mother of SaraGrace, Christina, Ashley and Lindsey, and grandmother to David and Rebecca Grace.


Choir Director/Soloist: Samantha Talmage (Sam) grew up in Wisconsin & Iowa, moving to New Jersey in 1995.  She is a graduate from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI and majored in vocal performance and music education.  She organizes the choir and the praise band. The choir rehearses each Thursday night during the school year from 7:30-8:30.  The Praise Band performs the 5th Sunday of the month (when they occur) and usually the members practice one time the week before as well as before the service.  Sam is married with 3 children, one of whom sings in choir so far.  She also teaches band at the local elementary school and has produced original musicals and plays with her husband Bob. One of them "Who is this Man" had a 10 year run. A member and soloist with the Concordia Chorale, she has had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall.  Sam also cantors the 4:00 Sunday mass at St. Michael's RCC in Long Branch, performing Contemporary Christian music.  She is active in the Atlantic Highlands arts community.


Church Administrator: Ashley Stefan is the secretary to Pastor George and the church administrator. She also volunteers as the Sunday School director. She graduated in 2013 from American University with a BA in International Studies concentrated in African Development and a minor in International Business. She is interested in volunteer management, specifically in development organizations and hopes to eventually work in this field.  

Youth Director: Daniel Vitello is currently serving as the Youth Pastor. Daniel is attending Palmer Theological Seminary which is part of Eastern University. He is pursuing his Master's of Divinity. Daniel was a Law Enforcement Officer for 10 years prior to answering his call to the ministry. Daniel is greatly enjoying this call God has laid on his life, especially but not limited to working with the youth of the church. He is a loyal New York Knicks fan and enjoys reading. 

Nursery Attendant: Sheila Roche-Walz was borned and raised in Brooklyn NY. She moved to Middletown NJ 8 years ago. She is a graduate of New York University and holds a dual degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. She worked as a nanny for over 25 years. In 2006, Sheila returned to finish her schooling and after 1 year at a community college, received a full scholarship to NYU where she graduated in 2010. After graduating, Sheila worked in a local daycare where she ran the Pre-K/Pre-K plus program. Sheila believes in teaching to the whole child through a "Child Centered Learning". She believes that all children have a right to an education that helps them grow and develop to their fullest. Daily interactions with children should be based on the fundamental question, 'Am I teaching and supporting all children in their growth and development across all domains—social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and intellectual?' Sheila's most important job is being a mother to her two beautiful daughters. She is a Girl Scout Leader and soccer coach at St. Mary's, where her children attend school. She is also CPR and First Aid Certified. Sheila is very active in her church and the Middletown community.