Our Staff

Nicole Babington
Minister for Faith Formation

Nicole Babington has been a Church School teacher for years, and served as the Interim Director of Christian Education for the First Congregational Church of River Edge since March 2017 before assuming the Minister for Faith Formation position in January 2018.

She has been a member of the First Congregational Church of River Edge for over 25 years.

Nicole is the mother of four daughters, ranging from high school to college to adult, all of whom are being raised in the Church School and remain active in the Church.
Nicole has also been an initiator and facilitator of many dynamic activities for young people and families in the congregation and has also served as a Girl Scout Troop Leader for all four daughters throughout the years.

She also works part time in the Office of Student Life at Bergen Community College, coordinating and planning events for the 40+ student clubs on campus.

Nicole lives in River Edge with her husband, 4 daughters, a dog and a variety of fish.

Slavina Zhelezova
Music Director

Pianist Slavina Zhelezova has appeared as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber musician at venues throughout the US, Canada, Bulgaria, Belgium, France, China, Taiwan and Mexico.

Slavina holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music.  She has previously served as the Assistant Organist and Assistant Director of Children's Music at the Reformed Church of Bronxville and as the Music Director and Organist at the Community Church of Hoboken.

In addition to performing and serving, Slavina is a passionate educator and has maintained a private piano studio in Manhattan since 2001.  She is also co-founder and Artistic Director of Xalapa International Piano Festival and Academy in Mexico. Slavina and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of two young children and reside in Washington Heights, NYC.

Jeff Bernard
Financial Secretary

Jeff assumed the role of Financial Secretary for the church in 2018. He grew up in Fort Lee and currently lives with his wife and two school-age children in Oradell.  He serves as an independent contractor in the areas of accounting and finance, which allows him to work from home and spend time with his children. 

Jeff is a dedicated volunteer firefighter for over 25 years, former fire chief, and currently volunteers with both the Oradell and Fort Lee Fire Departments. He is also an EMT with the Fort Lee Ambulance Corps and teaches CPR, First-Aid and EMT courses for various organizations.  

Jeff attended Manhattan College where he majored in Finance and marketing.  Prior to becoming an independent contractor, Jeff worked at Fiserv Investment Services.

In his spare time, Jeff works with the Oradell Kids Foundation, host of the annual Oradell 5K, an organization dedicated to raising funds for the children of Oradell.  When his work, family, and volunteer commitments allow, Jeff likes to run the occasional 5k, do yard work, watch movies and sleep.


Anne Marie Cooper
Administrative Assistant

Anne Marie is originally from Croatia, graduated from Berkeley College and comes with 20 plus years of Corporate experience. 

She enjoys spending time with her family, travelling,  bike riding, and the Jersey Shore.

Church Officers

Moderator                                           Russell Van Wetering                  moderator@fccriveredge.org


Treasurer                                              Linda Stark                                  office@fccriveredge.org


Monday - Closed
Tuesday  Open 9:00 am ~ 4:30 pm
Wednesday Open 9:00 am ~ 4:30 pm
Thursday Open 9:00 am ~ 4:30 pm
Friday Open 9:00 am ~ 4:30 pm

First Congregational Church of River Edge
109 Continental Avenue , River Edge, NJ 07661
Tel: 201.261.1712
 Email: office@fccriveredge.org