Our Leadership


The Bible shows us that Jesus Christ alone is the head of the church. He exercises His rule by His Word and Spirit. Jesus has appointed leaders to represent His rule in the church through a plurality of elders and deacons. Elders oversee the teaching and spiritual life of the church, while deacons serve the church by showing mercy and charity to those in need. We believe that churches should be members of churches. We are accountable to a group of churches known as the United Reformed Churches of North America.

  • Pastor Paul T. Murphy - pastor@merfnyc.org | (917) 747-1193


    A native New Yorker, Paul was raised in an Irish-Catholic neighborhood in the Bronx. At the age of 29 he was confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ. Thinking them foolishness, he sought to refute Christianity with the teaching of secular philosophy. The Lord broke down the barriers of his heart and captivated his life. Like the apostle Paul, this Paul can say “to live is Christ.” Prior to spearheading the founding of Messiah’s Reformed Fellowship in 2003, Rev. Murphy pastored Dutton United Reformed Church in Dutton, Michigan, for 13 years. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and family.

  • Pastor Sam Perez - sam@merfnyc.org


    Sam is a native of Spanish Harlem, and was raised by Catholic immigrant parents who came to the Christian faith when Sam was a young boy. Sam came to own the Christian faith for himself in his late high school years. Sam worked as a school teacher in the south Bronx and Brooklyn before graduating from Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Sam lives in Jersey City with his wife and family, and has few dreams greater than to see all of Jersey City worshiping Jesus Christ as Lord and King over all of life.

  • Elder Cesar Santana - cesarsantana475@gmail.com


    A native of New Yorker, Cesar was born and raised in the South Bronx. Cesar came to know Jesus in his early 20s. He now lives in Westchester with his wife and two kids.

  • Elder Kelvin Morales  - kelvmorales@gmail.com


    By God’s grace, Kelvin was saved in his latter high school years from a pagan and nominal Catholic background, and came to a Reformed understanding shortly thereafter. He has a real desire to see the broken and spiritually wounded be made whole by the power of the Gospel. He lives in the Bronx with his wife and two boys. 

  • Deacon Ryan Zatlin -  ryan.zatlin@gmail.com


    Ryan was born and raised in the suburbs of San Diego, CA, where he has spent the majority of his life. He and his wife, Laura, now feel fully adjusted to the city life in NYC (with the exception of the weather). By God's grace, Ryan was raised in a Christian family and attended reformed churches since he was a child. Through the preaching, teaching, and fellowship at MeRF, he continues to grow, and feels very blessed to serve his brothers and sisters in the diaconal capacity.

  • Deacon Jeremiah LoRusso -  jdlorusso@gmail.com


    Jeremiah was raised in Long Island and then California, where he became a Christian at age 15. He began embracing the doctrines of grace in 2012, and joined Messiah’s a year later. He has a degree in Economics, and spent most of his life working in real estate and construction. Jeremiah is a long-time resident of East Harlem, and is glad to be able to assist in the practical needs of Christ’s body.

  • Deacon Jonathan Hodrick -  jonathan.hodrick@gmail.com


    Jonathan was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He heeded the call of the Gospel in 2010 - at 20 years old - while working on his engineering degree in Philadelphia. Since then, he has had a thirst for truth and the glory of God, which lead him to study and confess Reformed doctrine, and to becoming a member of MeRF. He has a heart for helping the church grow in knowledge and faithfulness, especially with regard to the day-to-day practical needs of the church.