Mike Sayler, Interim Pastor
What a privilege it has been to be asked to join the FBC community as your interim pastor! After meeting with members of the church leadership team recently the reality of your invitation has come home, and so now my wife, Margie, and I have a growing excite- ment about our new ministry together.
To help you get acquainted, Margie is a middle school social studies teacher and is going to be finishing the school year soon. Our son, Stephen, will bejoining us, and we’ve been able to reserve a townhouse for the coming year. We also have a daughter, Jennifer, who with her husband, Eric, has two children – Madelynn and Lee, who live together in Scholls. Our son, David, is in Medford with his wife, Lyndi, and their three children – William, Felicity and Ellie.
My background is American Baptist. I was raised at First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Michigan, attended Northern Baptist Seminary in Illinois, and have served churches in Lynd- hurst, Ohio, Berwyn, Illinois, Medford, Oregon and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Our desire is to share with you the joy of becoming a Matthew 25 church. Pastor Kent – we’ve been acquainted for several years – was both gracious and thorough in laying the groundwork for that. My hope is that we can start to explore the Christian practices that make such a ministry and witness possible. Some of those you may be familiar with and others not, but they promise to challenge us and equip us to grow in the Lord. In addition we want to provide ministerial support as you seek a new senior pastor. That process, too, promises to be a time of growth and learning for all.
We look forward to greeting you person- ally in less than a month. Please keep our family in prayer as we make this important transition – certainly we lift up each of you in the FBC congregation to God as well. May we be richly blessed in our coming time together!
Barbara Curtis, Children and Youth Minister
Barbara joined the FBC staff the fall of 2007 as Children's Ministry Coordinator.Youth Ministry was added to her portfolio here in 2010. A lifelong American Baptist, Barbara was drawn to the FBC family due, in part, to the inclusiveness of all as children of God. The "all are welcome at the banquet table" theology resonates with her, and begins, she believes, with the youngest in our lives - our children and youth. When they are taught, by example, that "all are precious in God's sight", the world becomes a more peaceful, grace-filled place in which to live and grow.
Prior to coming to McMinnville, Barbara served as the Site Director for Oregon's American Baptist Camp, Arrah Wanna, in the foothills of Mt. Hood. She has also served as the children's minister to our AB congregation in Medford, Eastwood Baptist Church. Outside of the professional ministry world, Barbara has been a preschool teacher, corporate childcare center director, bookstore manager, and community relations coordinator. However, her most-rewarding and loved title is that of "Mom", which, after so many years of working with children and youth, she is called by many in addition to her own five (plus a son-in-law!).
JP Bierly, Music and Small Groups Minister
"It is my pleasure to serve the body of Christ through the music and small groups ministry at First Baptist Church. At FBC, I have found a community of believers that are not ashamed to live an openly Christian life. Members minister to me each day through their Christ-like examples encouraging me to live my life in response to the gifts that God has entrusted me with. Regardless of how many 'talents' the Master has given me, I know that investing them at FBC will bear much fruit."
JP was born and raised in Beaverton, Oregon. He graduated from Southwest Christian High School in 1998. It was at Southwest that JP heard the Gospel and began learning about leading worship through music. JP graduated from Linfield College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. JP also earned a Master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Portland State University in 2006.
While JP was a student at Linfield, he was invited to sing in the Chancel Choir at FBC under the direction of Marion van Dyk. JP loved the people and message at FBC and upon returning to McMinnville in 2005 to take the position of Administrator of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra he began singing in the Worship Team. The Lord had a calling in mind for JP and in 2006 he was asked to serve as Music Ministry Coordinator.
Donna Weed, Office Manager
The gift I received on Valentine’s Day, 2005 was becoming First Baptist Church’s Office Manager. It has truly been a gift of Love, feeling it each and every day through my daily interaction with members and friends, and a wonderful caring staff.
I should have realized my place would ultimately be in a church, when I was born . . . Being born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth (Pennsylvania, that is) . . . Where else should I have been. But life did have other callings for me, a 30 year career in the Travel Industry, mostly as a TWA Customer Service Agent and later as a free-lance Travel Consultant. It all came full circle, as I have found a wonderful new home and an exciting new career at FBC . . . My birth right!