The church staff
First Baptist affirms that all members of the congregation are 'ministers', keeping with the historic Baptist conviction that God works through all of the gathered people, not just a select few. The church staff are therefore persons who implement the ministries of the church on behalf of the whole congregation. Our coordinating minister is full-time, and our support staff are employed at quarter time, all working together to help First Baptist congregants bring about their vision for ministry and mission.
THE PASTORAL STAFF
THE COORDINATING MINISTER
The Rev. Jerrod H. Hugenot serves as coordinating minister until mid-June 2013. After this date, he will begin as the Associate Regional Executive for the American Baptist Churches of New York State.
A search and call process is underway to assist with First Baptist's next steps in their pastoral transition.
TO CONTACT REV. HUGENOT email@example.com
THE SUPPORT STAFF
THE OFFICE MANAGER
Melissa Heplert joined our staff on August 30, 2010. As the office manager, her duties include financial and property management and coordinating office workflow and organizational communication.
TO CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org
John Harwood, III, is the sexton. The longest serving present staff member, John has been at First Baptist since 1996, providing care for the facilities and keeping the building humming.
TO CONTACT MR. HARWOOD no personal email (please contact via phone or Ms. Hepler's email)
THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Charles Olegar serves as the Director of Music at FIrst Baptist. He serves also at the Director of Music and Choir Director for the First Congregational ("Old First") Church of Old Bennington, Vermont.
As a career church musician, Olegar has served a variety of congregations in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, including cathedral and college positions. During the 1980s and ‘90s his work in the English choral tradition earned international recognition. More recently, his “Bach and Beyond” organ recital series in Great Barrington drew a large following as it yielded three CD recordings, one hailed by the prominent journal “The American Organist” for Olegar’s “poetry and passion.” Other accolades include some half-dozen first prizes in international choral competitions and festivals, including two consecutive wins in England’s Elgar Festival, and an honorary degree from England’s Wessex Theological College for his work promoting English church music in America.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Olegar’s initial professional church music training was at the University of Akron and Cleveland Institute of Music, largely informed by the influence of the School of Sacred Music of New York’s Union Theological Seminary, which at the time was providing the majority of America’s church music practitioners and educators. Olegar’s post-graduate studies took him to England’s Royal School of Church Music, where he received tutelage from renowned choral musician Sir David Willcocks.
First Baptist welcomes Ms. Danielle Eschelbach as the Playroom Supervisor. Ms. Eschelbach provides care for the worship hour for our children (up to age 7).