Parish Leadership

The Church is described as the Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head and of which all baptized persons are members. It is called the People of God, the new Israel, a holy nation, a royal priesthood, and the pillar and ground of truth.
– The Book of Common Prayer, p. 854.

The Very Reverend Father Brian K. Burgess, Rector

Father Brian K. Burgess became the 13th rector of Christ Church in February 2005. His prior service includes Rector of Saint John’s in Brooksville, Florida, and associate priest and chaplain to the Parish Day School at Saint Luke’s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Music from Ball State University and his Master’s of Divinity from Sewanee – The University of the South. In addition to past leadership positions, Father Burgess serves the Diocese of New Jersey as dean of the three-county Woodbury convocation. He is married to his college sweetheart, Denise Lee, and they have two children, Robert and Catherine.

Mrs. Diana (Dee) Ballistreri, Parish Administrator

Mrs. Ballistreri joined the staff of Christ Church in the spring of 2019. She is a retired banker, formerly holding executive positions with Royal Bank of Scotland, and GE Capital.  As the office administrator, she designs and edits our Sunday service sheets, produces our parish newsletter, handles church finances, and maintains the church website. In addition, Dee writes articles for outreach publications and coordinates community relations on behalf the parish.  She and her husband Rick reside in West Deptford, and are the parents of three children, and grandparents of six.

Mrs. Mariana Torres, Parish Sexton

Ms. Torres officially joined our staff as part-time parish Sexton in February 2009. She oversees the maintenance and orderly presentation of our parish buildings, facilities, and grounds. She is also a highly respected member of a local school maintenance staff. She is the mother of two children and the grandmother of one.

Mr. John Marsden, Facilities Manager

Mr. Marsden brings to the position of Facilities Manager decades of professional experience in the building trades and facility management.  Most recently, John served eleven years as the maintenance and facilities supervisor for one of United Methodist Communities’ nationally recognized adult congregant living facilities.  John has extensive experience in managing contracts, maintaining oversight of purchasing priorities in interest of facility maintenance, securing bids specific to the needs of a not-for-profit organization, accomplishing minor improvements and repairs, empowering volunteer resources, organizing maintenance priorities, and placing the mission of where he works at the center of his daily priority.


Mr. Richard W. Kurtz, Assistant Organist

Mr. Kurtz attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He came to Christ Church as its Organist and Choirmaster, serving faithfully for 40 years. In addition to serving Christ Church, he is a partner in the R. W. Kurtz Organ Company, providing services of tuning and maintaining pipe organs throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Mr. George T. Mitchell, Jr., Assistant Organist

Mr. Mitchell studied piano and organ in Philadelphia at the Clark Conservatory. He served as organist/choirmaster for several churches from 1953 to 1962 until he accepted the position at Christ Church in Woodbury, New Jersey. After leaving that post in 1969, he has served Christ Church as an assistant organist. He also serves as a substitute organist for area churches under the auspices of the Southwest Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, of which he is a member.

Mr. John Burrows, Assistant Organist

At age 14, John Burrows was appointed Assistant Organist at S. George’s Church in Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. Two years later he passed the Associate of the Royal College of Organists examination. He became on organ scholar at S. Edmund Hall in Oxford, and graduated with a degree in organ performance from the Royal Manchester College of Music. He spent 12 seasons on the music staff of the English National Opera, serving as the musical director for a wide range of musicals in London’s West End. In 1983, he founded the Lyric Opera of Dallas and acted as the company’s principal conductor and artistic director for 10 seasons. He also served as the chorus master of the Des Moines Metro Opera and the Pennsylvania Opera Theater.

Mrs. Michele Schiffer, Sunday School Superintendent

Mrs. Schiffer has been a member of Christ Church for over 15 years. She actively served in the nursery ministry, as a note writer, a coffee hour host, and Sunday school teacher. Mrs. Schiffer has worked in an educational setting with children from Pre-K through high school, and is currently employed by Black Horse Pike Regional School District as a special education teacher. She is a graduate of Ottawa University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Mathematics.

Ms. Jennifer Allbright, Nursery Sitter

Ms. Allbright joined the staff as part-time Nursery Sitter in April 2008. She is a life-long member of Christ Church, where she was baptized and confirmed. Ms. Allbright recently obtained her Home Health Aid Certification, and her training enhances the gifts that she brings to the important ministries of hospitality and education.

Ms. Susann Kaback, Pre-School Teacher

Susann Kaback began the Preschool Program at Christ Church in 2012 as a necessary response to the parish’s tremendous growth in the nursery. Ms. Kaback graduated from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) with her Master of Arts degree in Library Science and is the children’s librarian at Deptford Public Library. She has served as a long-time Sunday School teacher at Christ Church and brings her enthusiasm for early education, growth and learning to this very important aspect of parish life.

Ms. Sandra Sutton, Volunteer Coordinator

Sandy Sutton is a cradle Episcopalian whose love of Christ Church and parishioners can be felt through her commitment to service. She currently organizes the volunteer needs of the church office, and has been working on the church archives, helping to preserve them for future generations. She has served as a member of St. Martha’s Guild and currently is an active sacristan within the Altar Guild.

Associate Clergy

  • The Reverend Canon William V. Rauscher
  • The Reverend Dr. John E. Bird, Jr.
  • The Reverend Fr. Robert E. Sullivan