Get to know the leaders at our church!

Reverend E. Carl Howard


Reverend E. Carl Howard has served as our Senior Pastor since 2019.  Previously Rev Carl served as the Associate Pastor of Dunbar Congregational Church, Hamden Connecticut. He has served First Church of West Haven in the capacities of bridge and supply Pastor since November 2014. A graduate of Yale Divinity and the recipient of several Master degrees from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Carl was an Ordained Elder of a Nondenominational church for more than 25 years prior to joining the United Church of Christ.

Email: revcarl@fccwesthaven.org

Kirsten Vargo

Interim Director of Christian Education

Kirsten is serving as the Interim Director of Christian Education and is Chair of the Board of Christian Education. Kirsten is responsible for assisting with the planning, development and implementation of the Church's Christian Education program. Kirsten is a regular volunteer at Church events such as the annual festivals, dinners, and youth events. Kirsten also enjoys being a Sunday School teacher.


Kirsten is married to fellow Church member Chris, and their son Mikey is part of the Sunday School class.


Email: kvargo@fccwesthaven.org


Jessica Plude

Director of Music

Jessica Plude is the Music Director/Organist at the First Congregational Church of West Haven.  She graduated from Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) in 2015 and has a degree in Music/Piano and a minor in Psychology.  During her time at Ithaca, Jessica explored her love and interest in film compositions/ soundtracks.  Jessica composed original soundtracks for seven student films.

Jessica was also a member of her High School Marching Band. In 2008 she had the honor and privilege to march at Obama’s Inauguration with the Trumbull High School Golden Eagle Marching Band.  Jessica also likes to compose piano arrangements for dancers.  As a senior in high school, she composed and performed with the Trumbull High School World Guard in their show, ‘Hope’, a show about Cancer awareness.  In 2016, she composed again for Alter Ego, an Independent Color Guard group.

Besides playing at the Church, Jessica teaches private piano and guitar lessons.  She is a Steinway Certified Piano Teacher.  She also enjoys playing at weddings, funerals, special occasions, and gigging.  Throughout the week, Jessica is a substitute teacher in the city of Bridgeport.  Lastly, Jessica enjoys swimming.  She was a part of her college’s swim club and has participated in the St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound for the past two years (2016, 2017).  The event is a fundraiser for the victims of breast cancer.  Jessica plans on swimming for the event for a third time this summer.

Currently, Jessica is pursuing her Master’s in Counseling with Music Therapy at the University of Lesley stationed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Phil Liscio

Facilities Manager

Phil Liscio is married to lifetime Church Member Janet Husmer Liscio.  They have two daughters, Courtney and Lauren.  Currently, Phil is employed by Yale University and our church serving in the facilities manager.


Phil has served on Board of Trustees, Chaired the Stewardship Committee, and currently is the Moderator.


The Liscio family founded Westies Care, Inc., a non-profit grassroots community service outreach that has a mission to serves those most in need.




Amy Wrinn

Assistant Treasurer

 I am a native of West Haven, and I'm a single mom of two awesome kids. I currently serve as a deacon and the Assistant Treasurer. 




Cathy Sabatino


Email: office@fccwesthaven.org