Morning Star Staff


Rev. Theresa Swenson


Pastor Theresa Swenson was born and raised in north Jersey and now lives in Red Bank. She has served as a Pastor at Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank since 2009 with a focus on discipleship and pastoral care. The foundation verse of her call to ministry is John 17:3, “That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Before going into the ministry, she worked 30 years in the corporate world in computer systems management. She retired from corporate life and then completed her seminary training at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She was ordained in 2010. She got to know and love Morning Star when she worked there in 2008 – 2009. Theresa is married to Eric, has two daughters and two grandsons. 

Music Ministry

Tom McGowan
(Music Minister)

Tom has been a member of the Morning Star Music Ministry Team since July 1994. He was performing with a musical group at the Ocean County Fair when his wife came across the Morning Star booth advertising for an accompanist. Tom auditioned that following Sunday and the rest is history. He’s employed as a full time electronic engineer but his real love is music. Tom has been a musician for over twenty-five years. Together with Julie Lawrence, he has composed two original songs. The sheet music is Copyright Pending and will be available soon

Tony DiDia
(Choir Director)

Tony has been a musician and vocalist most of his life, singing and playing in wedding and party bands as a young man, and studying piano, voice and opera privately. He has performed in community theaters, both professionally and semi-professionally, for more than thirty years as a musical director, actor and singer. He also studied electronic engineering technology and received his associate’s degree from DeVry University. He worked as a technical writer, writing maintenance, repair, and installation manuals. He is originally from Belleville, New Jersey, and moved to So. Toms River in 1999. He is so glad to become a part of the Morning Star Family and is looking forward to revitalizing his relationship with God.

Office Administrator
Carol Ketchersid

Carol and her family are founding members of Morning Star Church. Carol’s background in bookkeeping prepared her for her role as church Treasurer as well as Office Administrator. Carol is married to Bob and lives in Point Pleasant. She has two daughters.