Leadership

Pastors & Staff

John Fils-Aime

Senior Pastor

Reverend John Fils-Aime is a first generation Haitian American who grew up in inner-city Miami.  John holds a deep and abiding passion for global disciple making and believes that Jesus created the church to impact the world with the message of the Gospel.  He believes that churches thrive when pastor and people work together for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Gospel. This philosophy of ministry is rooted in 2 Corinthians 1:24, “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand.”  He has served in churches from Miami to Vancouver strengthening believers with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  

John married his lovely bride, Kristy, in 2008.  They live in Harlem with their dog, Harlem.

Robert Casteline

Associate Pastor

Robert came to NYC as an actor, but God has something different planned. He became a follower of Jesus in 1998 at CBC and has enjoyed serving this community of believers ever since. His primary role is as a teacher, but he has a hand in many projects in the church. He is married to Kimberly, who he met shortly after becoming a Christian, and they have one son. Outside of his service at CBC, Robert is involved in coaching a 10U Harlem Little League team and loves to connect over coffee to see where God is leading people. Or to talk about Marvel movies. Or both.

Robert is married to an amazing woman of God, Kimberly, since 2001. They have one son in high school, Robert Joseph.

Willana Mack

Music Director

Willana Mack’s first solo performances began in the church when she was ten years of age. She has been singing in churches, concert halls, and onstage ever since.

Between the ages of 12 and 19, Willana was Vocal Captain for CityKids Foundation. A church worship leader for many years, Ms. Mack ministered throughout the five boroughs in concerts of Gospel music. She was a winner in the sony-Bertelsmann World of Expression competition as a Senior in high school, presenting her original Gospel song, He Took My Place, in the city-wide concert.

A graduate of Nyack College, she is a leader in the expanding Gospel music program on the Nyack Manhattan campus, where she has been a faculty member since 2010.  She is currently working on her D.Min.

She is married to Wayne and they have two wonderful little girls, Sasha and Sydney.

Jay Payne

Youth Pastor

James “Jay” Payne was born and raised in the Westwood neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio. He is a 2004 graduate of Trotwood-Madison High School and Miami Valley Career Technology Center. He is an honors graduate of American Baptist College of American Baptist Theological Seminary of Nashville, Tennessee, cum laude. Jay is the only African-American to receive a full-ride scholarship as a Kern Scholar at Ashland Theological Seminary of Ashland, Ohio where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 2013.

After graduate school, Jay worked for adidas where he was promoted from General Manager in Atlanta to this final role as the Eastern Regional Store Trainer based out of New York City. In 2018, Jay left adidas when he felt the need to make an impact on NYC youth full-time. He now serves as the Director for Young Life NYC on the Upper West Side.  Jay focuses on programs that target 24,000 students on the UWS including middle schoolers, high schoolers, friends with disabilities, teen parents, and college students.

A partnership with Central Baptist Church and Young Life Upper West Side enables Jay to serve as Youth Pastor for Central Baptist Church. There he oversees the CBC Basketball Outreach Ministry and summer youth, and Youth Sundays and events.

Jay is married to his beautiful wife, Kristina. He has one son, Shane Llyod, who lives in Dayton Ohio, and another young one on the way.

Sharrata Hunt

Church Administrative Assistant

Began working at CBC full time in October 2010 as the Administrative Assistant to Pastor Fils-Aime and Office Manager.  An actor by training, she has performed on and off Broadway and in regional theaters in Buffalo, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas, and Milwaukee.  In her brief association with the Upper WestSide Theater a former ministry of Central, she performed her one woman show “A House is Built” and directed a production of “Song of Songs.” She is a painter and is currently enrolled at Alliance Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters in Old Testament Literature (God willing).

She was a member of the choir for almost 15 years, participates in the Women’s Discipleship Groups, and coordinates our Abundant Life Class classes.