Meet Our Staff

Matthew Colwell

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Matthew Colwell became pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in October of 2007, and currently lives in Altadena with his wife Jill and their daughter Lucia.  Before coming to Knox, Matthew served as the Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Family Life at the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.  He has taught classes for Fuller Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary, and has spoken around the country on topics such as spiritual practices, Sabbath economics, immigration, and church revitalization.  He is the co-author (with Ched Myers) of Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice and the author of Sabbath Economics: Household Practices He holds a B.A. from Williams College, an M.Div. from Fuller, and a D.Min. from SFTS.  In addition to serving as a pastor, Matthew has worked as an ASE Master automobile mechanic, and as a program partner for Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries.  In his free time he loves fly fishing, playing the piano, reading a good work of fiction, and playing board games or watching movies with his wife and daughter.

Ally Lee

Associate Pastor
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Ally has worked at Knox since June 2010 and was ordained as the Associate Pastor in October 2017. She lives in Altadena with her husband Brian and two sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: Augustine and Ambrose. Before moving to Pasadena in 2009, Ally attended Samford University and Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. In 2009, She transferred to Fuller Theological Seminary and graduated in 2013 with an M.Div. and a Certificate in Family Studies. Ally has worn many hats at Knox starting as the office administrator and now working with Adult and Children’s Ministries as well as collaborating to create drama and art experiences in worship. Ally and Brian are hoping to visit all of the National Parks (they’ve been to 11 out of 58). Ally also enjoys reading science and historical fiction, baking, and learning piano.

Annelyse Thomas

Director of Youth Ministries
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Born and raised Down Under in Sydney, Australia, Annelyse moved to the United States in 2011 to study at Fuller Theological Seminary. During her time at Fuller, she served as the All Seminary Council President. In 2015, she graduated from Fuller with her M.Div. Annelyse now lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband, Ryan Thomas who also graduated from Fuller with a PhD in Psychology. Before coming to Knox, she served as the Director of High School Ministry at WestGate Church in San Jose, CA. Annelyse is as extroverted as they come and in her spare time she loves to run, write, cook, drink delicious coffee, make new friends and hang out with her husband.

Elise Carver

Director of Worship Arts
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Elise feels beyond blessed to be joining the Knox community as Director of Worship Arts. She doesn’t think she has ever met a more vibrant and welcoming bunch – ever! Hailing from Tucson, AZ, Elise grew up playing the drums and the fiddle for wild west musical revues, and favorite local stages such as the Gaslight Theatre and Hidden Valley Inn. Trading her cowgirl boots for a pair of winter boots, Elise then studied at Boston University, where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. While in Boston, Elise sang as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and performed frequently with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. She then moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to pursue her musical career. When Elise is not at Knox, she is managing operations and teaching a multitude of youngsters as a longtime teacher at the Do Re Mi Music School. Throughout her life, Elise has been involved in the music programs at various churches, most recently the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church. She currently lives in Santa Monica with her wonderful husband, Alex, and their feisty pet rabbit, Lucy.

Hye Jung Shin


Born and raised in (Incheon) Korea, Hye Jung Shin began studying the piano at age seven. After completing her studies majoring in Piano Performance, Ms. Shin received a full scholarship from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and came to the United States where she earned her MM degree in Collaborative Piano. As a recipient of the Lynette Gutner Memorial Fellowship, Ms. Shin recently performed and studied at the Aspen Music Festival as a student of Prof. Rita Sloan. Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Shin now resides in Southern California studying as a Collaborative Pianist as student of Dr. Alan Smith at the Thornton School of Music at USC. Apart from her studies, Ms. Shin enjoys spending time with friends and participating in various activities including cooking, reading, and singing. Ms. Shin is an organist at Knox Presbyterian Church.

Nancy McNair

Office Manager
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Nancy has lived in the Pasadena area her entire life, graduating from Westridge School.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge.  Since then, Nancy has worked as an Office Manager for more than a decade.  Before coming to Knox in early 2017, Nancy managed the office of a scientific glass company, which manufactured items for JPL, Cal Tech, and Edwards Air Force Base.   Her favorite activities include cooking, gardening, and spending time with her wonderful husband Simon and adorable daughter Lily.

Cynthia Bradley

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Cynthia has lived in the Pasadena area since she was six years old. She received a bachelor’s degree in Latin from the University of the South. She has been an independent bookkeeper for non-profits, law firms and consultants since 2001. She is active in the Junior League of Pasadena, and her hobbies include cooking, reading and gardening. Her dog Max keeps her company.