Our Leadership

The leadership of Christ the Redeemer Church have been called by God to shepherd the flock (1 Peter 5:2) and to provide spiritual guidance and protection over the church. Each member of our leadership team subscribes and adheres to the qualifications in Scripture for elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). If you have questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them or call our church office to arrange a time to speak with them.

  • Bryan Sims

    senior Pastor


    Bryan and Angela were married in 2000.  The Lord has since blessed them with three daughters.  Bryan grew up in Rockville, MD just outside of Washington, DC.     



    Bryan saw a wonderful change in his brother's life who had recently become a Christian. At age 21, Bryan accepted God's gift of salvation by repenting of his sins and trusting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. A year later, he felt a strong calling to go into full-time Christian ministry. He wants to tell others that nothing can satisfy your deepest need to have a relationship with God, forgiveness of sins, and peace in this life and for eternity.



    -- Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

    -- Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY


    Something silly:

    I failed my driving test 3 times and the written test a couple times.  I felt better when I recently heard of a woman in Belgium who passed after her 38th try!


  • Sam Ruiz

    music director

    Sam currently directs the music ministry at CRC. His service includes leading worship, conducting the choir, coordinating musical events and services, providing musicianship development/training for music ministry participants, and collaborating with the other ministry leaders at CRC. His calling and deepest desire is to use music and the dramatic arts to help people connect to God and to each other.


    Sam has been in full-time music ministry since 2009, though he started as a church musician at the age of 12 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side when his congregation needed a pianist. It was there, by God’s grace, he learned to read music and play the Spanish himnos y coros by ear on the fly. He later went on to formally study piano, voice, theater and music for worship (sacred, traditional and contemporary). He holds a Bachelor of Music from Nyack College; a Master of Music Education from the University of New England; and a Certificate in Worship Studies from Columbia Southern University.


    Sam moved to Connecticut in 2019 with his wife and daughter, Kristen and Alyssa - along with their bunny and pup, Gracie and Biscuit. They love to kayak, joke around together and quote musicals (randomly bursting into song is nothing unusual for them). Sam loves performing with his wife, looking at historic pictures of NYC and is a raving Superman fan (Christopher Reeve Franchise, of course). 


  • Jon espeland


    Jon joined Christ the Redeemer Church along with his wife Vicki in 1986 after moving to Connecticut. He has served as an elder for the last 4 and a half years. He has three adult children and five grandchildren.

    Jon has served in many roles at the church including Deacon Chairman, Church Moderator, Sunday School teacher, Disaster Relief and Elder.
    Jon worked for a large company in several locations as a Human Resource professional and has recently retired. He has been encouraged over the years to see how God has worked in the life of Christ the Redeemer Church.


  • chris buckley


    Chris and his wife Barbara have been attending Christ the Redeemer Church since 2000 after moving to Connecticut from Queens, NY. They have one son, Joshua, who is currently enrolled at UCONN. 

    In 1986, Chris surrendered his life and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Chris has served in many roles at CRC including Sunday school teacher, Deacon, and currently as an Elder. 

    Chris has worked in physical therapy since 1995. He is a die hard Yankees fan, enjoys Christian music and recently discovered podcasting. One of Chris' favorite verses is 2 Peter 3:18 which says, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."