Our Staff





Janet James, Senior Pastor

Janet McGaughey James grew up in historic Bennington, Vermont and graduated from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake high school. She participated in a United Methodist study-travel seminar to Southeast Asia the summer after high school and then did her undergraduate work in Hawaii.  She taught English as a Second Language in the Island Kingdom of Tonga, and then returned to the US where she developed a child sexual abuse prevention program in Schenectady County, served as a family therapist for a sexual abuse prevention program in Albany, and then as a school social worker in Herkimer. Janet married Robert James, moved to Rochester, NY and served as school-based researcher, a youth minister and then as a Protestant Chaplain at Nazareth College. Janet has a Masters of Social Work degree and a Masters of Divinity degree. Janet is a third generation pastor, and previously served as Pastor at Orchard Park United Methodist Church. Her personal purpose is to awaken and strengthen people to an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, so that they become his hands and feet in the world. Janet has served Calvary since July 2014.   

M. Gordon Drake, Assistant Pastor

M. Gordon Drake has been in ministry for nearly forty years: he retired in March 2012, from Northeast Parent & Child Society as their Vice President of Prevention Services.  He has held several human service positions: Program Director for persons with developmental disabilities (Ohio); Director of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (in New York); Coordinator and Director for services with homeless and runaway youth and those in need of assistance (in Albany, NY and New Hampshire); and Associate Pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church, Latham, from 1978-1985.  He has also served on several community agency committees and advisory boards.  He is a graduate of Ottawa University, Kansas, Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass. Holding an M.Div., and Russell Sage Graduate School, with a Masters in Community Psychology.
He and his wife, Lisa, live in Colonie, New York and are active with various committees, and both sing in the choir.  Lisa is a social worker who recently retired.  They have two grandchildren, Odin and Ana, who live in Michigan with their parents, Aron and Cindy Drake! 

Natalia Shevchuk, Organist/Choir Director

Natalia Shevchuk, a native or Ukraine, had graduated from the Kyiv State Conservatory, now known as the National Academy of Music. Over the past five years she performed in NH, Maine, and released her first CD, "Schubert's Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960." Natalia and her husband Chris Young moved from Conway, NH to New Lebanon, NY in July, 2016. For more info please visit: http://www.nataliashevchuk.com

Dinorah Raghubar, Administrative Assistant

Dinorah serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Church.  She is married to Dave and is Mom to her twins, Victoria and Alex.

Charity Preston, Director of Children's Ministries

Charity serves as our Children's Ministries Director for ages K - 6th grade, organizing and coordinating Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Children's Events and Activities. She is married to Nate, and is mom to Matthew, Katie and Abbie.
  cpreston7@nycap.rr.com
Evan Melanson

Evan Melanson, Senior High Youth Director

Evan joined Calvary in July 2016 as the Senior High Youth Director.  


Koesha Elam, Junior High Youth Director

Keosha Elam joined Calvary in August 2017 as the Junior High Youth Director and is excited to share her 22 years of youth development, trauma informed care, purposeful activities, gang prevention experience and understanding of "It takes a village to raise a child" philosophy with youth young and old. Keosha is a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Albany, NY. She sits on a few committees/boards such as Girls Inc, Schenectady County Taskforce Against Drugs, and various running groups. She has a passion for helping others through fitness, an open heart and listening ears which allows for beautiful transformations to take place.

Bob Savage, Sexton

Bob is a long time member of Calvary.  In addition to being actively involved with the church in many capacities, he has recently assumed the position of Sexton, maintaining the building and grounds and providing valuable services to the church.

Lindsey Minnick, Nursery Coordinator

Lindsey has served as the Nursery Coordinator since September 2015, caring for children during worship who are too young or are unable to attend church school.