Children Helping Children

Posted 6/2/21… Updated 6/24/21…

Thank you to everyone who supported the Children Helping Children program and making it possible to put together 150 care bags of treats and activities.

Sunday, June 20th, is the final week for collections…

The Kids of FBC Rochester thank everyone who has already given – and hope you will consider giving more. For the next few weeks (June 6th, June 13th and June 20th) they will still collect, in connection with the Missions Committee, items for their “Healthy Snacks and Activities Drive.” (Healthy Snacks-pre-packaged/shelf stable items) (Activities include:  Handheld activities, small individual games, small sketch pads with pencils, crayons, or washable markers, stickers, etc.)

Be creative with your ideas.

Monetary donations will also be accepted. The FBCR kids will be available to gather donations brought in. The target age is 4-10 years of age involved with the Monroe County Foster Care system or teenagers involved in the Cameron Teen Center. The Kids of FBCR will be organizing their donations on Sunday, June 20th for delivering to the two programs.  If there are any questions, reach out to Tasha Wilson or Sarah Oaks. 

Alliance of Baptists Thanks FBCR

Posted 6/9/21…
Dear First Baptist Church of Rochester,  

Because of you, the Alliance of Baptists continues to be a theological home for progressive Baptists pursuing God’s loving justice in partnership, and nurturing God’s beloved community here and around the world! We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for your gift the Alliance of Baptists Ministry Budget.

Here are some ways you can keep up with the Alliance of Baptists and become more involved:

Find and support an Alliance partner
Attend an event near you
Download a resource for you or your faith community
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Explore our website regularly for news and information
Email me and ask how to become more involved with the Alliance!  

Your support is crucial in growing our movement. As we follow the Spirit’s call, we hope you will continue to join us on our journey, as together we build beloved communities where all are embraced, welcomed and affirmed.  

In gratitude,  

Jason Smith
congregational engagement specialist
Alliance of Baptists      

Special Offering: One Great Hour of Sharing

For the month of June…

To contribute to the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering send a check made out to First Baptist Church at 175 Allens Creek, Rochester, NY 14618 and write “One Great Hour” in the memo line.

June Special Offering
One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing is an offering that makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, or severe economic hardship, and for those who serve them through gifts of money and time. Today, projects are underway in more than 100 countries, including the United States and Canada. Receipts average $20 million annually. 

You may drop or mail a check at the church or contribute online. Checks should have OGHS in memo line.

Contributions give support in many forms both internationally and here at home including help following flood, hurricane/cyclone, tornado, earthquake, for refugees, or asylum seekers, in civil conflicts, for clean water, and for new business assistance.

Our OAFA dollars at work

Posted May 26,,, The Board of Trustees are pleased to inform the congregation on how effective the Once and For All campaign has already become. It is benefitting the church today and will into the future.

In the last few months we have received donations in the amount of $42,000. These contributions alone will translate into $2,100 in offset to the campus budget this year and for years to come. That offset does not include the gains that these investments may see which would be in addition to this amount. By considering a tax deductible donation to this campaign, you can save, the church can benefit, and you will help offset our campus overhead now and into future – year after year! This means that our annual giving dollars can directly benefit FBCR’s Mission and Ministry. To learn more, speak with Dale Pensgen or Richard Wien.

Pentecost Worship online

Updated May 25, 2021…

… The full service may be viewed online if you missed it.

Pentecost Worship with Sibling Churches, 11am May 23

FBCR will join with our sibling congregations in the Rochester Genesee Region ABC USA to celebrate Pentecost Sunday on May 23 at 11am.

Pentecost is a natural moment in the church year for the wider church to celebrate our unity and diversity as it marks the moments traditionally thought of as the beginning of the universal church. Among other images, the occasion remembers the miracle of many languages being understood as one. To that end, we the pastors of the participating congregations, would like to invite you to add your voice to the service for that day. Please see the specifics of a couple of different ways (one musical, one spoken) to do that below and feel free to participate in either or both of those opportunities by the deadlines listed.

The service will be held via Zoom. You can log in here or using the usual method on the home or worship-online pages.

2 Ways to Add Your Voice to the Service

Call to Worship

Record yourself on video telling us about your hopes.

First and for context, read Romans 8:22-27. It speaks of hope, or that which we hope for, being unseen. Nobody hopes for what is right in front of us. Now record yourself answering the question, “What is unseen in your world/community/neighborhood that you sincerely hope for?”

How to Record

  • Set your recording device for the highest possible resolution. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it. Just send us the best video you can and we’ll make it work.
  • If you’re using a mobile device consider finding an interesting/fitting background in front of which to record.
  • Minimize background noise as much as possible.
  • If you’re recording from a phone, please use landscape mode (sideways). 

How to Submit

Go to and click the upload link. A new screen will appear to allow you to select the file from your computer or device. Follow the prompts to select and upload.
DeadlineI won’t have time to include submission that come in after 8am on Monday, May 17.
Contact for problems

Digital Choir

What to Record

This year, for our joint Pentecost service, we are again venturing into a group virtual musical project: a virtual choir video recording of the hymn “On Pentecost They Gathered.” 
You can find the instructions both in the attached pdf, and as a document in the the project folder accessible via the following link, where your singers will also be able to access all subsequent materials:

I’m looking for a total of 16 singers, 4 of whom are already covered by members of UBC Columbus, Ohio. That leaves 
3 more sopranos 3 more altos 3 more tenors 3 more basses 

How to Record

  • Set your recording device for the highest possible resolution. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it. Just send us the best video you can and we’ll make it work.
  • If you’re using a mobile device consider finding an interesting/fitting background in front of which to record.
  • Minimize background noise as much as possible.
  • If you’re recording from a phone, please use landscape mode (sideways). 

How to Submit

Email files to David at address below.

DeadlineWednesday, May 19

Contact for problems

Call to Prayer and Action for Myanmar

Posted early May 2021… On February 1, 2021, the military seized control and declared a year-long state of emergency. The country’s elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of her party are now under house arrest. As a result, all ethnic and religious minorities as well as actors of conscience and conviction are in grave danger.

One leader in Myanmar wrote to us, “With guns in hand the military has ruled with an iron grip, arresting and destroying many lives. The whole country is mourning in grief but this time the people did not come out to protest in the streets knowing many would be shot and killed…”

Read more on the events and Myanmar and find out how you can be of support here.

Download a draft letter to urge American officials to use their power to help here.

2021 ABC USA Biennial Mission Summit

June 24 – 26, 2021…

What to Expect at the 2021 Biennial Mission Summit

Plan to experience the vitality of our American Baptist family together with other American Baptists from all corners of the United States and the world through the June 2021 online Biennial Mission Summit event! Join one of the most diverse Baptist denominations as we imagine new possibilities and celebrate together the love of Christ and the joy of being a part of American Baptist Churches USA.  The online Biennial Mission Summit will feature scheduled programming on each of the three event days, June 24-26, 2021. Participants will draw from a library of pre-recorded sessions, along with resources and offerings for prayer, worship, live workshops, inspiration, fellowship, and online fun, all while connecting with both regular attendees as well as American Baptists who have not attended an in-person event before!

Venue Information

For our 2021 Biennial Mission Summit event, we will be offering a one-of-a-kind online experience using the Cvent platform. Our partnership with Cvent will give attendees access to a Virtual Exhibit Hall, providing attendees opportunities for meeting with exhibitors during scheduled times one-on-one or in groups throughout the event. Live events will kick off on June 24 and run through June 26, and a wide-ranging library of prerecorded workshops and offerings will be available to registrants for a 90 day period. We are excited to imagine a new way of coming together to celebrate, learn, and grow collectively as a representative body of American Baptist Churches USA!

Keynote Speakers

Rev. Dr. Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison Jones
Friday Evening Keynote Speaker

Rev. Dr. Winterbourne LaPucelle Harrison-Jones is a scholar, author, ecclesial leader, and distinguished Churchman out of the linage of Dr. William Augustus Jones, Dr. James Forbes, Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Rev. Marvin Chandler, and Dr. Howard Thurman.

A fifth-generation minister, Dr. Harrison-Jones is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker, and workshop facilitator.  Rev. Harrison-Jones is a 2006 graduate of Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School in Washington, D.C. and a 2010 graduate of the historic Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Religious and Philosophical Studies.  While at Fisk University, Reverend Harrison-Jones had the distinct opportunity of being mentored by Fisk University President and former United States Secretary of Energy, The Honorable Hazel R. O’Leary, and Dean of the historic Fisk Memorial Chapel, Rev. Dr. Jason Richard Curry, PhD. 

In addition to Fisk University and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rev. Harrison-Jones holds degrees and professional certifications from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin Germany, and the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. Rev. Harrison-Jones simultaneously matriculated in two national doctoral programs, earning the Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and is currently pursuing the PhD in Urban Education from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).

As a scholar, Rev. Harrison-Jones investigates how theological and homiletic resources within Christian traditions are valuable for interpreting and responding to such pressing public issues as economic deprivation, religious bigotry, racism, class inequity, and structural inequality. Rev. Harrison-Jones is married to Mrs. Jillian Ardelia Harrison-Jones, who is a doctoral candidate in Choral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and serves as the Richard Wesp Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir and the Music Director of MUSE, the Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir.

Reverend Harrison-Jones is the esteemed Pastor of the historic Witherspoon Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, Ind.

Rev. Dr. Brianna Parker
Saturday Evening Keynote Speaker

Founding Curator of The Black Millennial Café which is a resource for persons and institutions interested in authentic millennials engagement. Rev. Dr. Brianna K. Parker created BMC to educate others on millennials & faith through her doctoral research.

She holds a Master of Divinity in pastoral care and counseling from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in church-state studies from Baylor University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Virginia Union University’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology. 

Before founding the Black Millennial Café, Reverend Bri served Friendship-West Baptist Church for nearly a decade with Reverend Frederick D. Haynes, III who ordained her. She served Paul Quinn College for seven years as an adjunct professor and Coordinator of College Assembly and three years as an Associate Professor of Religion at Jarvis Christian College.

She has been awarded the Norman Vincent Peale Preaching Scholarship and the Mary McLeod Bethune Religion Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and she is a Silver Lifetime Member of the NAACP.

For more information on other speakers, workshops, and events at the 2021 ABC USA Biennial Mission Summit or to register visit here.

NOTE: The Church office will not be notified of your registration, but we would like to know who will participate, so let us know if you’re planning to attend.

ABCUSA has announced a preview of Biennial Mission Summit to occur on April 20, 2021. Reserve your spot for this sneak peek here.

Christian Faith and the LGBT experience

For many years, Lake Ave.has helped support a lecture series called “Christian Faith and the LGBT experience.”  In the past, these presentations took place at Lake Ave. or another area church, but in recent years the presentations have moved to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.  This spring, the lecture is being presented “virtually” though CRCDS as a part of their spring lecture series.  

     Date:  April 6, 2021   1:30 – 3 pm

     Speaker:  Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II,  Senior Pastor at Asbury UMC in Rochester

     To register:

This presentation is open to the community and there is no registration fee.  It is an opportunity for learning, but also a time for renewal of one’s commitment for inclusion and justice in God’s diverse community.  Even as we are separated by social distancing and prevented from large   “in person” gatherings, we continue to need education and spiritual renewal.   

Need help from or willing to help your FBCR family with a vaccine appointment?

Have you received your vaccine yet or scheduled your appointment to do so? Navigating the system requires sometimes complicated web sites or difficult phone trees. We don’t want anyone to go without their vaccine, so please let us know if you need any kind of help.

Are you willing and able to help those who might need assistance? There is need for logistical, light technical, and sometimes transportation help. If you are willing to partner with another member of FBCR to help encourage them and see them through the process, please let us know.

If you need help or are willing to offer it please contact Gene Tiesler.

Cameron Update

Dear First Baptist,

            Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March of 2020, Cameron has remained open throughout these difficult times, serving over 18,000 meals to those in need.  When the Rochester School District decided to go 100% remote, Cameron decided to host small cohorts full-time each day in our Learning and Enrichment Center. Onsite, 25 students utilize adequate WI-FI and technology to sign on to virtual classrooms.  They are guided by our youth staff and volunteers, including a Certified Elementary Education teacher, Community Youth Development staff, and retired educators.  Students are also provided with two meals and a snack, as 97% of RSCD children rely on in-school meals.

            Thank you for all the support and your continued giving to our organization.

Jennifer Muniga
Executive Director

America For Christ Offering

FBCR will participate in the America for Christ Special Offering in the month of March which is sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) of ABC-USA. ABHMS connects various American Baptist partners into networks that address a wide range of missional needs and opportunities because, we believe that we can accomplish more—and build stronger, more viable ministries—together, across the United States and Puerto Rico.

To learn more about some of the specific people and programs that have benefitted from this offering’s grants, follow the link below to view any of the various videos on our special offering page. To contribute, send a check to the church office or contribute online at

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of 5 Disfellowshipped Congregations

January 27, 2021, 5:30 PM – PT/6:30PM – MT/7:30 PM – CT/8:30 PM – ET over Zoom!

Dear AWAB Friends:

On Wednesday evening, January 27, 2021, The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists has rescheduled a worship service via Zoom in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the disfellowshipping of five faithful American Baptist congregations by their regions for their membership in AWAB.   The service of song, prayer, and testimony will lift up the pain of these actions, their ongoing significance, and the hope their memory calls forth.   The service will begin at 5:30 PM Pacific/6:30 PM Mountain/7:30 PM Central/8:30 PM Eastern.  

Topic: Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists – “Ours The Journey”

Service of Worship Time: Jan 27, 2021 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Zoom details for this gathering are below:  

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 909 5914 Passcode: 192833

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Meeting ID: 859 909 5914 Passcode: 192833

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We hope you can join us as we gather virtually as an AWAB family to honor our past struggle so that we can look ahead always with strength and hope.


Could you help answer phones?

Did you know that our Administrative Assistant, Katelyn, would soon be going on maternity leave? She is. We are wondering if you could help us out by answering the phone. You can do this from home, on a landline or a cell phone. You can do this one day a week, one day a month, or even just one day. We are especially seeking help on Fridays when other staff members have days off but would accept help on other days as well. All calls will be forwarded to your telephone between 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM on the day you volunteer. You do need to know “all the answers.” We would just like to have a kind, warm, and smiling person greeting the caller. Once the call is answered, listen to the request, answer the question if you are able or take a messages and either email or text each message to the appropriate individual depending on the urgency of the call. It is an easy way to help out from the comfort of your own home. Contact Janet if you are able to help at .