The Reverend Dr. John A. Cerrato is our priest. He began his ministry in Saint Martin’s Parish Church in 2014. He has previously served in parishes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. His ministry among us includes pastoral oversight, facilitating communication and organizational initiatives. He is a past rector and dean, as well as a teacher. He is the principal celebrant and often the preacher in our services of worship. He sees his focus in our parish as Christian formation and education. He is an alum of Harvard and Oxford and is also a writer and retreat leader. He lives in the village of Chagrin Falls.
The Reverend Gary A. McElroy shares in the pastoral care ministry and liturgical leadership of Saint Martin’s, also worshipping with us when not serving as a supply priest in other parishes for the diocese. Gary is a professional counselor, a vocation he undertook until retirement. He is an alum of Columbia University, Berkley Divinity School at Yale and the University of Illinois. He studied in Oxford on a fellowship and has worked as a college chaplain. He is a past chairperson of the Diocesan Commission for Racial Understanding. In 2014 Gary celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Choir Director. Lyric Baritone Vocalist and conductor Timothy C. Cochran received his Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Irvin Bushman, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Tim has performed lead roles in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Hansel & Gretel, The Telephone, Riders to the Sea, The Mother of us All, Amahl & the Night Visitors, HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, Civilization and Its’ Discontents, Jacques Brel and the Ohio premiers of Ligeia and Regina. Tim was the Baritone soloist at Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, where he performed major works with the Trinity Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. As Associate Director of Music at Trinity he conducted the Children’s Choirs, the Cathedral Choir, and the Trinity Chamber Orchestra. He performed with the Robert Page/Cleveland Singers, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh as a professional core singer. Tim was soloist in concerts with the Choral Arts Society under the direction of Martin Kessler performing works by Scarlatti, J.S. Bach and Handel. Timothy has also composed new works such as his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis which premiered at Trinity Cathedral in 2004, and a Christmas Motet in 2005. He was the Director of Choirs at North Royalton United Methodist Church from 2013-2017. Tim is also the director of the Trinity High School Marching Band, and assistant director of the MusiGals women’s chorus.
Organist Kent Cicerchi joined our music ministry in September 2019. Kent began his church music ministry as organist in his home church at the age of twelve. At that time, some members of the congregation’s governing body were reluctant to hire such a young musician, but they quickly changed their minds and secured his services when they learned that two other churches were seriously considering the young musician. Except for a couple of short hiatuses during graduate and law school, Kent has served continuously at the organ console for forty-nine years. As a preteen and teenager, Kent studied organ, both sacred and popular music, with Bob Whiteman, a talented and diverse organist comfortable not only in the church, but also at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and at venues such as the Front Row Theater and Akron Civic Auditorium. As an undergraduate student at John Carroll University, Kent pursued his organ studies with private lessons from Dr. Warren Berryman, chair of the organ department at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, while simultaneously discovering his love for liturgy as organist of St. Luke Ev. Lutheran Church. At St. Luke, he also accompanied the senior choir, directed a youth choir, formed and directed a folk ensemble, was music director for its thriving Sunday school, and assisted with the handbell choir. For more than twelve years, Kent served as the assistant organist of Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, and was a baritone chorister in the cathedral choir. He has devoted his service as church organist and liturgist first and foremost to the congregation’s song—by leading, supporting, and encouraging active and enthusiastic participation in singing both hymns and liturgy. From the organ bench and as a cantor at various parishes, he has taught congregations to sing new liturgical settings, chant the psalmody, and actually to notice, hear, sing, and pray the texts of the hymnody, both familiar and new. He has trained new cantors and has worked with seasoned veterans. He has encouraged instrumentalists from the congregation to take active roles in the liturgy. He joyfully recruits the young to become new leaders in worship, and urges those who have served for many years to remain active as an inspiration to the young. In small and dwindling parishes, he has assembled remnants of choral ensembles past to lead the congregation together as a choir, and also brought the youngest and eager to sing as a choir, and when neither group had sufficient vocal resources to keep going, Kent merged them into an intergenerational choir. Kent is excited to work again alongside choir director Tim Cochran and now with the Saint Martin choir. Tim and Kent served Trinity Cathedral at the same time. Kent believes it important to study the readings appointed by the lectionary before choosing any music for the Eucharist or other Divine Offices. And when sufficient effort has been directed toward the liturgy and the congregation’s song, he chooses preludes, postludes, and other voluntaries that draw attention to and reflect upon the messages they would proclaim. Besides studies in music, Kent has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, minors in Economics and in Probability and Statistics, and a Juris Doctor degree. He has been a dog-lover from birth, and currently has two faithful companions, Maurice and Cooper. He takes his Baptismal Covenant and Matthew 25 seriously, and both can be heard echoing in his political rants and philosophical speech.
Our Executive Assistant to the Rector is Michele Baskette, who joined our staff as an assistant in the fall of 2018 and now serves as our primary church administrator and support to the ministry of the clergy. Michele brings much professional experience from the corporate world to her tasks. She and her husband Bob are active members of Saint Luke Antiochian Orthodox Church, Chagrin Falls.
Alfred KanagaRaj assists in the parish offices where he produces the weekly service leaflets and schedules servers. He is an alum of the School of Sacred Music at the Union Theological Seminary in NYC. Alfred, as a full-time Director of Music and Organist, directed multi-choir programs in churches in the states of New York and West Virginia. Twice he was invited to direct 50 voice choirs in India. He was the musician in Saint Martin’s Church from 1977-1996. He and Gladys live in Bainbridge Township.