Our Staff

Get to Know Us! 

Rev. Joel A. Esala, Senior Pastor

Reverend Joel Esala graduated from The Ohio State University in 2001, where afterwards he served as a college minister for 3 years. He earned a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2007 and a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2008. He served as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, Pennsylvania from 2008-2009 and as an associate pastor at Heritage Christian Church from 2009-2013. Joel became the Executive Director of Family and Children's Ministries at Central College Presbyterian Church in Westerville in 2013 and was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in May 2016. In November 2017, Joel accepted a call as the pastor of the Circleville Presbyterian Church. After three fruitful years in Circleville, Joel accepted a call as the Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Sarah, have been married for over 18 years, and they have a 11-year-old son. Joel enjoys good books, yoga, St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, The Buckeyes and a hot sauna.


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Erin Wise, Director of Children’s & Youth Ministries  
Erin has been an active member of Covenant since her family moved to Columbus when she was 1.  She volunteered with the Children's Ministry program for 10 years before 
officially joining the staff in 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Education from Miami University. She has taught Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II in high school as well as preschool Spanish, Movement and Enrichment. She currently teaches preschool in Dublin and Jazzercise at the Dublin Jazzercise Fitness Center to grown-ups as well as kiddos. In her free time she enjoys reading, eating chocolate and spending time with her husband, Michael, and their three children, Natalie, Adrienne and Owen. Erin began her work at Covenant  in August of 2014. 


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Cherie Brooks, Director of Music  
Cherie also is the Voca
l Director and Performing Arts Department Chair at Olentangy Orange High School, Lewis Center, OH. She is in her 23 year of music education, teaching as an Elementary Music Specialist (Keystone Central School District, PA), a middle school vocal director (Zanesville City Schools and Delaware Schools), and a high school vocal director (Olentangy Local Schools). Cherie grew up as the daughter of Rev. H. Raymond and Ethel Brooks, singing and playing the piano in church. She has most recently served as the Traditional Music Director/Cappella Choir Director/Pianist at the Indian Run United Methodist Church in Dublin, OH. She is a proficient vocalist, pianist and director, and loves working with the wonderful musicians at Covenant.  Cherie began her work with us in October of 2013.


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Laurie Johnson, Office Manager  
Laurie received her BS degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Indiana State University, Terra Haute, Indiana.  Through her passion for helping people, she started her career at The Ohio State University Medical Center where she worked for 15 years.  Continuing her journey to contribute her time, talents and treasure to the church, Laurie worked for the Diocese of Columbus coordinating a variety of Columbus charitable ministries.  Laurie spends her free time with family and enjoys gardening and traveling.  Laurie began her work with us in June of 2020.


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Caroline McGeoch, Director of Covenant Children's Center 
Caroline received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, obtained her early childhood teaching license through Ohio Dominican University, and completed her MA in Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. Caroline became interested in how children learn when she and her husband Peter were raising their 3 sons. She has worked as a teacher for over 18 years, and has been the Preschool Director and an after school program site supervisor since 2011. She loves the opportunity to serve children and families in the welcoming environment provided by the Covenant community.  Caroline began her work with the Children's Center in April of 2012.

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Katie Wynkoop, Organist/Pianist Katie Wynkoop
Katie Wynkoop received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Capital University in May 2013. While at Capital as a piano major, Katie was active as an accompanist, president of the Capital Collegiate Kodaly Educators and worked as a choir manager for the Isabella Choir, part of the Columbus Children's Choir. Katie began her professional career this fall as the K-5 elementary general music teacher at Westfall Elementary School in Williamsport, Ohio. At Covenant, Katie is the organist and choir accompanist. She also directs the children's choir. In her spare time, Katie likes to read, play euchre, shop, spend time with her family, and play with her kittens, Liza and Lucy.  Katie began her work at Covenant in July of 2014.

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Ingrid Smith, Financial Administrator Ingrid Smith
Ingrid joined Covenant's staff in 1997.  She received a B.A. in International Studies from The Ohio State University.  Her background includes extensive work in the financial sector providing services to nonprofit organizations.  Transitioning to Covenant was a perfect fit because helping others is something she finds very rewarding.  In her free time, she enjoys tennis, shopping, walks, and spending time with her husband, Jamie and her extended family.  Ingrid began her work at Covenant in September of 1997.



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Mark Wesley, Media Specialist Mark Wesley
Please join us in welcoming Mark Wesley to CPC as our new media specialist! He joined our staff on October 14, 2020.  Mark is a cum laude honors graduate from Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a BA in Arts, specifically in Journalism and Media  Production with a History minor. He has always had an affinity for broadcast media and content production, even from a very young age. His experience at MVNU has led him to learn an extensive amount about these topics and more. From his experience as a college radio DJ to working with Columbus's NPR affiliate, WCBE 90.5 FM, Mark's love for media and media creation knows no limit. He is also a major Star Trek fan (Picard is the best!), an avid film and music buff, and a chai tea enthusiast.  Mark is the newest addition to Covenant having started in October 2020.


Brian Ball, Weekend Custodian Brian Ball
Brian first came to Covenant Presbyterian by way of a friend's invitation.  He found the people friendly and joined our church.  Brian likes to spend his free time fishing, hiking and backpacking anywhere.  He works for a local landscaping company where he enjoys all of his work.  Brian has been our Sunday Custodian since June of 2006.

Say hello to the rest of our staff at Covenant! (Click on name to email)

Nancy Davidson, Bell Choir Director

Joanne Pratt, Wedding Coordinator