Meet the Team

Phone: 973-300-1717 | Office Email: [email protected] | Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00AM - 1:00PM
If you or someone you know are in need of assistance, Sparta Church is here to help.
Our Deacons Assistance Hotline number is 973-300-1717 ext 17.

Reverend Doug Thuen

Extension 13

Stu Salvigsen

Extension 16

Erwin Morales

Extension 15

Finn Clifford

Extension 11

Joe Lipari

Extension 21

Katie Bennett


Kelly Hayes


Laura Pinkham


Pastors & Staff Bio's

Pastor Doug was born and raised in beautiful northern New Jersey. Graduating from Nyack College in 1990 and Alliance Theological Seminary in 1995, he has served in full-time ministry since 1989. Doug was the first pastor called to Sparta Church and has been ministering here since 1995 with his wife Jen. Doug and Jen cherish their sons, daughters, and son-in-law and are enjoying seeing God's fruit bear out in each of their lives as they grow in Christ as adults. They love to "do life together" with Josh, Emily (married to Josh Warncke), Grace and Nate.  Doug is also known as ‘Poppy’ to the two greatest granddaughters in the world, Reagan and Mackenzie. Sometimes you may find him riding his motorcycle around the county, or swinging a golf club when he gets the chance. Pastor Doug's passion is leading people to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ while helping them identify their God-given purpose and equipping them to lead others to do the same.
Bio coming soon...
Born in Queens, NY Erwin has been the Children’s Director since May of 2016.  After working in Healthcare management for over 18 years, and Lay Children’s and Youth Ministry for over 26 years.  Erwin was called to ministry 4 years ago here at Sparta Church, Erwin is passionate in seeing children’s lives changed through experiencing Jesus at their level.  Erwin is married to Katherine and has 4 children named Isaiah, Daniel, Naomi and Joshua.
Finn was born and raised in South London with his two sisters. After living in Australia for several years, he eventually landed in Sparta, NJ in 2013, and it was then that the Lord started not only calling Him to Himself in salvation, but also to dive headfirst into ministry. Completing his formal training at Lancaster Bible College, Finn is eagerly passionate about evangelism and apologetics, and equipping the Church to live on mission. In 2022, Finn married his lovely bride, Gabby, and together they have collectively served in Sparta Church for nearly 20 years. Finn is also an avid soccer fan, often found cheering for Crystal Palace on a Saturday morning, or out on the field having a "kick about" with his students. Finn's greatest hope is to faithfully serve in building God's kingdom here, seeing as many as God gives come to know the radical, life-changing truth of the gospel, as he did at 20 years old.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Joe has been the Director of Worship at Sparta Church since July of 2018. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Counseling. In August 2021, Joe married his lovely wife Anna who serves alongside him in the ministry at Sparta Church. He has been actively involved in ministry at Sparta Church for over a decade now. He has a passion for worshipping the Lord, leading a congregation in genuine worship, and growing other musicians to do the same. He believes that worship is the overflow of life in Christ and loves expressing that with the body of Christ.
A Sussex County native, Katie has been a member of Sparta Church for the past 10 years. She graduated from Messiah University with a degree in Human Development Family Science and Family Consumer Science Education. She began pursuing a Masters of Divinity through Evangelical Theological Seminary. After serving in public education for a decade, she's thrilled to join the team at Sparta Church. God's given her a love for the church and its people; she delights in equipping and encouraging others to follow Jesus. She also loves her husband Nate and three kids: Judson, Jack and Magnolia. In her spare time you can find her leading fitness classes, gardening, hiking or reading a good story!  
Kelly was born and raised in New Jersey. She attended Sussex County Community College and transferred to Liberty University during her sophomore year. She graduated from Liberty with a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design. She has been attending Sparta Church since the Summer of 2018 and began her job as Web and Communications Manager in August 2020. Kelly volunteers with the senior high youth ministry. She loves growing together with the students. She desires to apply her creative skills to help further the kingdom and ultimately point others to Christ.
Laura was born in Houston, Texas, but has lived most of her life in Sussex County, New Jersey.  She graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in accounting and finance in 2008 and worked in corporate accounting for more than 8 years.  After the birth of her son, Joshua, she was blessed to start working at Sparta Church in 2015.   She has enjoyed being able to serve the body of Christ with the skills that God has given her.  Laura and her husband Dan have two kids, Joshua and Chloe.