Our Minister & Staff
The Reverend Dr. Cathy S. Gilliard
The Reverend Dr. Cathy S. Gilliard has served faithfully as the Senior Pastor of the Park Avenue United Methodist Church (PAUMC) in New York City since 2011. Her twenty–six year career in ministry has been focused on promoting the command of Jesus to love God and our neighbors as ourselves. The overwhelming desire of her preaching and teaching is to share the good news of God’s love for all humanity with hopes that others see one another as brothers and sisters. Through her leadership, PAUMC continues to expand its ministries to serve its members, and to be a viable presence in the community and beyond.
Academically, she holds an earned Doctorate of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary and received her Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School (Duke University), where she currently serves on the advisory board at Duke Chapel and has previously served on the Divinity School’s National Alumni Council. Rev. Gilliard also holds a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.
Committed to the mission of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Gilliard chairs the District Committee on Ministry for the Metropolitan District and serves on the Council on Finance & Administration for the New York Annual Conference. She has previously served on the Board of Directors at the Methodist Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation.
Before joining the PAUMC community, Rev. Gilliard served eight years on the pastoral staff of Christ Church United Methodist (NYC), and White Rock Baptist Church (Durham, NC). She was also the Director of Alumni Global Outreach at the Fuqua Business School at Duke University.
Rev. Gilliard is supported in ministry by her two loving sons, nine grandchildren and her daughter in-laws.
Isaiah Fish has served at Park Avenue United Methodist Church since September 2015. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Justice from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2014. Isaiah moved to New York after graduation to attend Union Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity in 2017.
Director of Programs for Children & Families
Liz Sweeney began her service as the Director of Children and Family Programming for Park Avenue Methodist Church in the Fall of 2012. She is a proud native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx. Liz received her BFA in Theater Performance from Marymount Manhattan College and a Masters in Applied Theater from CUNY School of Professional Studies.
Director of Music
Tania Jones has over a decade of experience as a NYC singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger/producer and has traveled all over the world as a performing musician. Originally from Warren County, North Carolina, Tania received her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Music with a concentration in Jazz Composition from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from North Carolina State University.
Paul Soobryan has over 15 years of experience managing the finances, accounting, audit, human resources, and administrative functions of not-for-profit organizations in New York City. The work of these organizations focused on workforce development, housing, education, harm reduction, HIV/AIDS, advocacy, and the LGBTQ community with operating budgets ranging from $3M to $10M from various governmental and non-governmental sources. Paul graduated from CUNY (Lehman College) with a BS in Accounting and is a NYS licensed CPA. He is excited to be part of the team at PAUMC.