New rector leads Saint David’s Episcopal Church in Cranbury

The Rev. Amy Cornell

The Rev. Amy Cornell is the new full-time rector at Saint David’s Episcopal Church in Cranbury.

Cornell is just the third priest to hold the position in the fifty-plus years of Saint David’s history. She celebrated her first mass at Saint David’s on June 4. The church’s discernment committee had been working since 2019 to find a new full-time rector after the Rev. Karin Mitchell retired.

“We are especially pleased to welcome Mother Cornell and are looking forward to her ministry and leadership as we embark on this next phase of our parish’s journey,” said Deanna Emerson, senior warden of St. David’s. “It’s an exciting time for Saint David’s and we feel blessed to have such a devout, warm, and dynamic leader heading our church.”

Cornell comes to Saint David’s from Grace-Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mercerville, where she served as priest in charge and rector since 2012. 

A graduate of General Theological Seminary in New York, Cornell served as a seminarian at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Plainfield and later at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Douglass College at Rutger’s University in New Brunswick. Prior to her ministerial pursuits, Cornell held managerial positions at Barnes and Noble Bookstores and Holiday Inn.

Cornell has been active in a variety of initiatives in the Diocese of New Jersey, serving as a discipleship coach for more than five years and currently serving on the diocesan council, liturgy and music commission, and the “discerning our common call” committee.  Prior to assuming her position at Grace-Saint Paul’s, Cornell was a deacon of Saint Francis Church in Dunellen in 2012. Her experience in digital communications enabled her to effectively engage parishioners at the Mercerville congregation during the pandemic. She has a lifelong love of music, and said she is looking forward to further amplifying that ministry in her new role in Cranbury. 

“Saint David’s has accomplished many great things in its 53-year history, and I am both grateful and humbled for the opportunity to lead this congregation,” Cornell said. “I look forward to getting to know our congregants and all to come thereafter as we grow together on this journey.”