We are a diverse community of people seeking to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

At First Baptist Church…


…we believe that women are called to preach, that LGBTQ+ Christians are essential leaders, that All Black Lives Must Matter, and that immigrants and refugees enlarge our understanding of God’s Spirit at work in the world. In short, we believe that everybody is somebody to God and to us.

At First Baptist, we have always found a way to discern together how best we can follow the Way of Jesus. Even when unanimity has eluded us, the Spirit never has. Time and time again, we have changed our minds when we’ve needed to, in ways that we felt best bore witness to the resurrection of Jesus and the expanding work of God through us. Sometimes we’ve gotten it wrong. Other times we’ve been too slow to respond, but nonetheless we have faithfully listened as the Spirit has persuaded us. 

Today, that means our LGBTQ+ siblings and our straight, cisgender siblings learn from one another about God, faith, and social justice. It means we seek to listen to the experiences of those who’ve been excluded, to amplify the voices of those who’ve been unheard, and to advocate alongside the lives who’ve been oppressed in our society. We proclaim a gospel of good news for every person, a trust and hope that God is for us, with us, and within us. We believe that our faith is about more than worship on a Sunday morning; it requires us to become involved in the work of justice and peace-making. 

At First Baptist Church we celebrate:

We welcome all in Christ’s love.
Freedom of Faith
Individual interpretation of God’s word and freedom of expression are cornerstones of our faith.
We seek to be a Christ-like presence in the world.
Spiritual Growth
We encourage all to seek Christian growth.

As a community we serve…


At FBCWoo, we don’t have committees; we have teams. We don’t have chairpersons; we have facilitators. We don’t have a Governing Board; we have a Coordinating Council. These are important distinctions for us, as we intentionally have been shifting our priorities of leadership away from hierarchy and towards collaboration.

No one has to be nominated to join a team; anyone can sign up. The team selects their facilitator who serves a four-year term. Our Coordinating Council (CC) then is populated by the facilitators of the teams and a couple at-large members and officers elected by the congregation.

We’re learning as we go, but the spirit of collaboration and innovation is alive and well in our church.



Coordinating Council

      • Officers
        • Moderator: Sarah Sams
        • Clerk: Lynne Carroll
        • Treasurer: Terra Noel-Machado
      • Team Facilitators
        • Deacons: Jim Pease (Head Deacon)
        • Christian Education: Courtney Stevens
        • Outreach: Joy Murrieta
        • Worship, Arts and Music: Barbara Ward
        • Building and Grounds: Tom Ward
        • Finance: Carol Stovall
        • Human Resources: Moderator, Sarah Sams
      • Members-at-Large
        • Jeanne Petrangelo
        • Tom Grisso
      • If you’re interested in joining a team or coming to a council meeting, please contact

Say hello to your staff!

Rev. Brent Newberry


Brent has served as our Pastor since 2015. He enjoys baseball (fantasy and real), bacon, ramen, binge-watching, poetry, photography, his dog Zooey Deschanel, and being an Enneagram 4–except for when he doesn’t. He received his Master of Divinity from Baylor’s Truett Seminary in 2013, and he has served in church ministry for over ten years–most recently as a Pastoral Resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.

Rev. Katherine Blaisdell

Seasonal Minister of Spiritual Formation

Wesley Hall

Minister of Music

Wesley Hall is an organist and keyboardist based in New England. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, and holds an artist diploma and a master’s degree in historical performance from the Oberlin Conservatory.
Wesley is an active recitalist, having given solo concerts throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and he has appeared as a soloist or continuo player with early music ensembles around the United States. In 2016 he received the Diapason Magazine’s 20 Under 30 Award as an innovator in the organ and church music field, and he was awarded 2nd Prize in the Sursa American Organ Competition.

Sarah Sams

Handbell Director

Ray Stemplys

Director of Operations & Communications

Andrea Letourneau

Assistant Treasurer

Mark Dorsey

Facilities Manager

Gayle Cecchi

Hospitality and Housekeeping

Zooey Deschanel Newberry




As a Baptist congregation, we practice the autonomy of the local church when it comes to governance and polity. We also believe in the strength of partnering with others of similar conviction and mission. We are an American Baptist church (American Baptist Churches-USA) in the Massachusetts region (TABCOM); we are also affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America~Bautistas por la Paz, and Worcester Interfaith. 



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