our ministry team

Victorious Life is lead by a faithful team of bi-vocational elders, deacons, and ministry leaders who serve the church and community in various capacities while working full-time in the marketplace.

Just about everything we do as a church is pioneered, lead and managed by teams of loyal volunteers, who offer their time and talents to God in service to our congregation and to our city. 

our Elders

  • Dominick J. Brignola, Esq.

    Dominick is a graduate of Vermont Law School and has been engaged in the private, general practice of law since 1983. He is a partner in the law firm of Kriss, Kriss & Brignola, LLP located in Albany, New York. Dominick and his wife, Ellen, live in Clifton Park and are parents to five adult children and grandparents to seven grandchildren. Dominick has served as an elder at Victorious Life Christian Church since 1988, and in that time embraced the concept of being trained in a local church by hands-on service, overseeing Bible studies, teaching, church finances and various aspects of church administration. In January of 1998, he assumed duties as presiding elder of Victorious Life. In 1999, Dominick created a not-for-profit corporation - Arise & Build Community Ministries - to act as an arm of the Church to direct services to needy households and acquire financing to fulfill the Gospel mission envisioned by the Church.

  • Brian L. Barker, AIA

    Brian is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s School of Architecture and, upon his graduation, settled in the city of Troy to answer the call to ministry in the church. Brian and his wife, Dena, have seven adult children and one grandchild and reside in the Lansingburgh. Brian has served as an elder of Victorious Life Christian Church since 1988 and also has been practicing architecture as a Principal with Architecture+, a Troy architectural firm. He oversees the worship arts and the community group ministries of Victorious Life as well as serving in various administrative roles. Brian serves on the board of directors for Arise & Build Community Ministries,  the Troy Community Land Bank and formerly served on the board for Habitat for Humanity Capital District . Brian has a desire to see our inner cities renewed and restored through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the faithful service of prevailing local churches.

  • LT. col. Philip A. Smith, (Ret'd.), PA

    Phil has had a long career in the healthcare field as a paramedic, nurse and physician's assistant. Phil is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and has served four tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars providing medical care to our troops. A husband to his wife Deborah, father of two adult children, and grandparent to two grandchildren, Phil & Deb reside in East Nassau and are raising their two nephews. Phil has a shepherd's heart and has been serving as an elder since August 2002. He oversees our children and youth ministry as well as various helps ministries and is currently leading our Averill Park home fellowship group. 

  • Dr. R. Lindsay Todd, PhD

    Lindsay is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the field of Computer Science. After working at the college for over 30 years, he took a position with IBM to put his technical expertise to work in the marketplace. Lindsay and Karen, his wife of 35 years, live in Sand Lake with two of their six children. Lindsay and Karen are grandparents to three grandchildren. An accomplished teacher and college professor, Lindsay has served at Victorious Life in many capacities since 1983, including teaching Christian education classes, theology, church history, Christian foundations study groups, home fellowship groups, and currently serves with his family at Provisions Food Pantry. Lindsay was ordained as an Elder in 2010. 

  • William

    Gilday, PE

    William “Bill” Gilday is a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, and Union College, Schenectady. Bill, a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) with the State of New York, is a drinking water engineer for the NYS Department of Health and has worked in the field of Environmental Health for about 35 years. Bill became a Christian in 1977 and since that time has served in campus fellowships, urban ministry, para-church organizations, Christian writing, has been a worship leader.  Bill enjoys sharing the Gospel, worship, studying the Bible, apologetics, comparative religions, new testament Greek, and “arm-chair” theology. A husband to his wife Suzanne and a father of two adult children, Bill resides in Brunswick. Bill was set in as an elder in 2014.

our deacons

  • Colleen Rhodes

    Colleen is a graduate of SUNY College at Brockport and has served in Victorious Life's Office since 2000. A graduate of Shaker High School, Colleen is a life-long area resident, who lives in Wynantskill with her husband Mark. A member of VLCC since 1988, Colleen has served in Children's Church, College Ministry, Provisions, the Worship team, Hospitality team, Alight Care Center and His Table. Colleen's vision for her role in the church mimics her role in High School Theater - doing whatever is needed behind the scenes so people can appreciate the real STAR of the show. She was set in as a deacon in 2012.

  • Jesse Kliza

    Jesse is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor in Science and, upon his graduation, settled in the city of Troy. Jesse and his wife, Jennifer, have three children and presently reside in Valley Falls, NY.

    He has been working for IBM Red Hat Synergy in Emerging Technologies since 2020.

    Jesse serves on the school board of Augustine Classical Academy in Mechanicville, NY.

    Jesse has served as a deacon of Victorious Life Christian Church since 2012.  He has also served in the youth group and hosted a small group for young adults called “The Gathering”.  He presently serves on the announcement rotation and after church prayer team rotation.

  • Jim Ault

    Jim is a graduate of RPI and has worked for KAPL in Niskayuna for over 5 years. Jim and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 30 years and share a home in Colonie with some of their 8 children. They have been members of VLCC since 1985. Jim was set in as a Deacon in 2012, and has served with the Sunday Shuttle Service, Provisions, Young Women of Valor Shuttle Service and Audio ministries. Jim has enjoyed sharing the gospel with clients at the Provisions food pantry for the past 10 years. 

  • Mark Preissler

    Mark graduated from Russell Sage College and completed his doctoral work at Albany Medical College. It was during his graduate studies that God softened Mark’s heart and opened his eyes to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Mark has been an active member of Victorious Life Christian Church since joining in 2002. Mark is the ministry leader of Provisions Community Food & Storehouse. He also serves as a van driver for Sunday services, and YWOV.  He currently works in laboratory medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. While born in Pennsylvania and meeting his wife, Marilyn, in Ohio, he and Marilyn call New York home. Mark and Marilyn have two children, and eight grandchildren. 

  • Lillian Morin

    Lillian is a graduate of Troy High, Troy EOC, Mildred Elley Business School & the LPN program at Rensselaer-Greene BOCES, and has worked in the insurance field for 18 years. A life-long resident of the area, she lives in Troy not far from church. Lillian was set in as a deacon in 2012. Lillian founded Women of Valor & Young Women of Valor, currently leads the Ladies' Bible Study Group and has served in Children’s Church, Provisions, His Table, New Life Missions, Street Evangelism, Hospitality & pretty much wherever needed. She has also appeared in a number of dramatic skits which give her a great platform for revealing her humorous side. 

  • Dena J. Barker PT

    Dena Barker graduated from Russell Sage College in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and has worked part time as a therapist for the Center for Disability Services in Albany, NY, the Grand Rehab and Nursing Facility in Guilderland, and the Eddy Visiting Nurse and Rehab Assoc. in Troy. She has been married to Brian Barker since 1986. Brian and Dena have seven adult children and one grandchild and reside in Lansingburgh. She has homeschooled all of her children thru 8th grade. Dena has been a member of VLCC since 1985. She serves as a ministry leader directing the nursery, and Mighty Acts dance and drama teams. She cohosts the Lansingburgh Home Fellowship group with Brian and is a member of the music ministry team. She was ordained as a deacon in 2012.

our Ministry leaders

  • Jennifer  Wilks

    Jennifer lives in Lansingburgh with her 3 children. Through her leadership and faithful example Celebrate Recovery at Victorious Life was founded in 2011 and has grown to support other churches in launching Celebrate Recovery ministries in the Capital Region. Jennifer serves as the NY State Representative for Celebrate Recovery in the Capital Region. Jennifer is an active member in the local recovery community in Rensselaer County and is serving as a recovery coach and peer advocate. 

  • Chris Fanning

    Chris lives in Brunswick with his wife Paula and their 5 children. He enjoys playing music with family and friends and has been active in music ministry at Victorious Life for nine years.  Chris plays guitar and leads one of the teams that serve on Sunday mornings. Chris has also co-lead a home fellowship group and is actively involved in homeschooling his family.  Chris works as an engineering manager in the region and holds degrees in mechanical engineering from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.   

  • Kyle Kreigbaum

    Kyle graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2007 with a degree in Business, but God had other plans for his career and he graduated a second time in 2013 with a degree in Paralegal Studies. Following an unconventional path he currently works as an Internal Auditor for Health Research, Inc. Kyle lives in Troy with his wife Donna and their son. Kyle has been a member of Victorious Life for 5 years and redesigned the men’s breakfast format to include great cooking & interactive devotionals, which has grown to be a favorite gathering among the men at Victorious Life. Kyle also serves as a board member for Habitat for Humanity Capital District and was the catalyst for their Hops for Homes project.

  • Tim Stockwell

    Tim grew up in Troy and is a graduate of Troy High School, received his B.A. in American Studies Education from Siena College in 2006, and received his M.A. in Theological Studies from Northeastern Seminary in 2012. Since 2015, Tim and his wife, Carly, have been members of Victorious Life Christian Church - a church that his grandfather helped plant as Troy Christian Community in 1981.  Also in 2015, Tim and Carly began volunteering with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) to minister to college students at Tim’s alma mater of Siena.  From 2016 to 2019, Tim worked on staff with Cru where he continued to minister at Siena, as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the University at Albany. In 2019 Tim started the ministry Edify under its covering organization, Arise & Build Community Ministries. Tim and Carly welcomed their first child, William, in 2018.

  • Ellen

    Brignola FNP

    Ellen is a graduate of Sage Graduate School, Sage College of Albany and Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. Ellen works as a Family Nurse Practitioner for St. Peter’s Health Partners and serves as the Executive Director of the Alight Care Center. Ellen and her husband, Dominick, have been married for 35 years, are the parents of 5 adult children and have 7 grandchildren. Ellen has been actively involved in Victorious Life since she was a teenager and has been a source of encouragement to many in her role as an elder’s wife. Some of the many ministry roles she has held are: women’s ministry leader, nursery teacher, children’s church teacher, developer of programs and curricula for Alight, teacher of Alight childbirth classes, and team member at Provisions food pantry.   

  • Mark & Christine Strube

    Mark & Christine Strube have been married since 1992 and members of VLCC since 2010. They have two children: Meghan Strube Barker (married to Aaron) and Jordan Strube. 

    Mark graduated with a Bachelors degree in Communications from Ithaca and SUNY Albany. He retired from Shaker High School as a hall security monitor. Christine graduated from SUNY Albany with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Mathematics Education and taught at Lansingburgh High School for 33 years. Together they serve at Provisions Food Pantry and perform with the Mighty Acts Drama Team, and Chris teaches in the nursery at VLCC. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the Strubes stepped in to help keep the His Table ministry going by making sandwiches & packing brown bag lunches to give as take-out meals. His Table Community Meal is now back inviting guests in to sit & enjoy a warm meal as we share the Gospel and fellowship each Wednesday. Pastor Joe & Donna Flynn, His Table’s ministry founders, start the meal with a blessing and devotional. Mark & Chris lead the ministry by doing all the shopping, coordinating the menu with Chef Pedro and organizing the many prep and serving volunteers.