First Baptist Church of Rochester is striving to be a faith community centered in the fully inclusive, ever-filling love of God which spills out for our neighbors and into the world.


Sunday Services


Every Sunday at 10:00am

Worship at FBC has often been described as warm and inviting. During our services you may encounter ancient symbols, rites, and liturgy renewed for the contemporary world. You will hear and participate in timeless hymns and current worship music. Our pastor (or a guest on occasion) will offer challenge and inspiration in the form of a sermon bridging the gap between the “then” of the biblical world and the “now” of current, daily life.

How to Get Involved

Visit us on a Sunday.

Music Program


FBCR Choir Rehearsal

7:15pm – 8:30pm

Every Wednesday from September 11 to May 13

Community Concerts Schedule

Bell Choir and Children’s Choir Schedule

Our Section Leaders perform

Music is at the heart of the FBCR family. Those who love to make music and those who simply like to enjoy music will find a place among the congregation.

FBCR also supports our community musicians by hosting periodic, eclectic, free community concerts.
Past performers include The Mambo Kings, The Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus, The University of Rochester Yellow Jackets, and many others.

How to get involved

To inquire about:

Singing in the FBCR Choir, Children’s Choir, or playing handbells contact us.

Or sign up to receive information about upcoming community concerts.

Special Services

Throughout the year FBCR highlights particular occasions and partners with special worship services. These services are characterized by the same warmth of community as our Sunday services, but may include unique elements to open our eyes and hearts to particular themes and emphases. Some of these services include: 
(Click on the tabs to learn more.)

In gratitude for the beautiful Summer weather in Rochester we take our regular Sunday worship outside once or twice every year. We gather in the courtyard outside of Hubbell Hall and join our voices to those of the birds as we sing.

Between End of June to mid-August

We are gifted to have as our Director of Music, David Labman, a gifted jazz musician. Two or three times each year David’s jazz and that of some of Rochester’s finest musicians sets the tone for worship during our regular Sunday Service. Worshipers are encouraged to join in the relaxed atmosphere of this service by coming to church in jeans.

3x per year
Generally February, May, and October

Each year during the season of Advent we let that most evocative of languages – music – guide us in the telling of the story of God’s arrival in the person of Jesus to the earth. The FBCR choir leads the service in performing a series of music and readings that draw our hearts and minds to the meaning of Christmas.

Third or Fourth Sunday of Advent

At FBCR we just can’t wait for Christmas! We celebrate the birth of Jesus a little early during the evening hours of Christmas Eve. We mark the occasion with a service full of carols and candlelight.

December 24
5:30 PM Parking Lot Event

The brothers of the Taize community in Taize, France worship in a meditative style focusing on repeated refrains, periods of silence, and deep reflection. At FBCR we borrow from the brothers’ form of worship to try to create a worship atmosphere that relies less on the cognitive approach to God that our culture is so accustomed to and emphasizes a spiritual connection. We often offer these services during the season of Lent, but other offerings may become available as well.

Liturgical Seasons
Days and Times Vary through Lent and Advent

During the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, known as Holy Week, we recall and place ourselves within the events of the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. We begin with a last-supper style light meal together while reading from the gospel accounts of the last supper. When the story turns dark and the disciples begin to fall away we process to the sanctuary for a Tenebrae service (Service of Darkness), which symbolizes the abandonment and eventual death of Jesus through a series of deeply impactful readings, music, and the gradual extinguishing of candles. The service ends in complete darkness and has no concluding benediction. This particular experience of worship cannot be concluded until we gather on Easter Sunday morning.

From Palm/Passion Sunday to Easter

FBCR is a proud member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. Together with AWAB we proclaim in general that God’s love is for EVERYONE, but we also proclaim specifically that God’s love is for people of all sexes, genders, and sexual orientations. This means not only full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in every aspect of church life, but also a commitment to advocate for a more inclusive society outside the church too. While this work and partnership impact everything we do year round, we celebrate them particularly on a Sunday during October each year.

Near the Anniversary of the Association

Jubilee Sunday is the official beginning of the FBCR Program year.  A festive service and fun activities bring us all “home” at the end of Summer to settle in for a wonderful year full of exciting opportunities to grow and serve.

Kick-off of the new program year

The seasons of Advent and Christmas are for many joyful occasions full of warmth and good tidings, but not for everybody. For those who are suffering loss of one kind or another the festivities of the seasons can become further cause for grief. We will hold space for those who have lost loved ones, who are going through relationship hardships, employment difficulties, life-limiting illness or who simply find themselves feeling “blue” this year with a longest night service. Positioned literally on the longest night of the year we will acknowledge through prayers, carols, and communion that though the light is dawning we still live in darkness.

December 21
On the Longest Night at 6:00 PM

Building Community

Coffee Hour

Whether you’ve been part of FBCR for decades or its your first Sunday worshiping with us, don’t rush off after the service! Join us for coffee and light refreshments in the garden room. Meet new people, catch up with friends, or chat with our pastor and staff then head off to Sunday Forum.

Every Sunday following Worship

Congregational Care Team

The foundation of FBCR is built upon caring for one another. Among the congregation you’ll find  myriad people with whom to share life’s joy and struggles as well as a host of people willing to chip in during life’s hardest moments. Taking care of each other comes naturally to FBCR. Our Congregational Care Team helps us stay aware of what is happening across the congregation and organized in our responses.

Kindred Hearts

Kindred Hearts is an informal group centered around early adulthood, but with no former boundaries as to age or stage of life. No matter your age, stage of life, or marital or family status; if spending time with a group of generally young-ish adults and families, you’re welcome to join in. Our schedule and activities are fluid and busy-life-friendly, but we try to serve together, learn together, and generally just enjoy one another’s company.

Every Third Sunday following Coffee Hour

Special Events as Scheduled

Remington Hubbell Circle

We are a women’s service and social group at The First Baptist Church of Rochester. We meet on the first Tuesday of April, May, June, October, November and December. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Parlor we gather for a meeting, a light lunch in the Garden Room with a program or service project afterwards. We encourage all women to attend.

First Tuesday of April, May, October, and November  @11:30am

Book Club

The First Baptist Church Book Club is an informal gathering of people interested in expanding their horizons by reading and enjoying good fellowship.

Over lunch, the group discusses a current book previously selected by the club members.The range of literature includes fiction, non-fiction, and biography. New participants are always welcome.

Fourth Tuesday @ 11:30am

Questions and Book List

Children's Pageant and Christmas Dinner

Festive Christmas fun for the whole family! Our annual Children’s Pageant and Christmas Dinner are a highlight of the year. Our children tell us the story of Christmas through music and theater then we all enjoy a delicious home-cooked banquet style meal. We occasionally receive a very special visitor from the North Pole too!


Eldergarten is a socially active group of seniors {anyone 50 years and older}. We gather monthly from September through May on the third Thursday at 12:00 p.m. in the Garden Room. After a light meal, a program is offered with topics of interest. Occasionally special activities or outings are planned.

Third Thursdays @ Noon


Partners in Mission

At least 15% of the FBC Annual Operating Budget goes directly to our mission partners as unrestricted funding and groups within the congregation volunteer their time and talent with these and other organizations. Individual FBCR members also contribute additional financial, time, and talent gifts.


Contributed over the last decade.

Denominational Partners

Our Denominational Partners are collaborative organizations governed and funded by churches around the US and beyond. They exist to help churches collaborate, support one another, and collectively have a greater impact on the world around. They include:

  • American Baptist Churches USA
  • The Alliance of Baptists
  • Baptist World Alliance

National and International Mission Partners

Our National and International Mission Partners exist to serve, advocate, and/or educate within a specific area of justice and ministry throughout the United States and around the globe. They include:

  • Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
  • The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
  • The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
  • Bacone College
  • Building Minds in Sudan
  • Hope House

International Missionaries Direct Support

In addition to the funding provided through our contributions to ABC USA to global Missionaries working in a wide range of global, cultural, and social settings we also directly support:

Local Mission Partners

Our Local Mission Partners serve the greater Rochester Community in specific areas of justice and ministry. They Include:

  • Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
  • *Brighton Food Depot
  • Cameron Community Ministries
  • The Coffee Connection
  • Faith in Action Rochester
  • Habitat for Humanity with Brighton Coalition of Churches
  • Heritage Christian Services
  • *FBCR Welcoming and Affirming Committee
  • Child Care Council
  • National Alliance on Mental Health, Rochester
  • Open Door Mission
  • Pittsford Food Cupboard
  • *Diaper Ministry (supporting CCM)
  • *Foster Care Fresh Start Program
  • E.D.E.N Garden
  • St. Mark’s and St. John’s Food Pantry

*These organizations are led and administered by members of FBCR.


Living in the way of Christ by sharing the love of God with one another and all the world is a noble hope for a church and for individual followers of Jesus, but it doesn’t just happen. Doing so requires an understanding of the things that alienate, divide, marginalize and otherwise harm God’s creation; the ability to reflect on the underlying causes; and cultivating the skills necessary to be part of “repairing the breach.”

At FBCR we believe that helping people through this process of awareness, reflection, and action is part of the purpose of the church. We exist in part to equip followers of Jesus to be a part of God’s work of redemption. In addition to special events and offerings we have several programmatic ways to accomplish this:

Sunday Forum

On Sundays during the program year after Worship and a brief coffee break, we gather for conversation or a presentation on a wide variety of topics including social issues, community programs, work being done within the congregation, current events, and much more.

Wednesday Evenings

On Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:15pm after our low key Brown Bag Fellowship and before Choir Rehearsal we gather for in-depth consideration of important components of faith and justice. We study scripture, reflect upon theology, consider current events and social issues, spend time in prayer and other spiritual practices all with the hope of being formed by God and one another into co-laborers with God in God’s redemptive work.

Church Library

Our church library is not the dusty room full of outdated material you may have in mind when you hear the phrase “church library.” Our Library Team works hard to curate and promote up-to-date materials relevant to modern followers of Jesus who believe that faith engages the mind as well as the heart. You will find a helpful selection of non-fiction, fiction, reference materials, and periodicals of both social and spiritual relevance as well as a fun collection of children’s books. Borrowing privileges are open to anyone, inquire here.

Community Involvement and Partnerships

We are very fortunate to live in a city full of opportunities to learn and grow. FBCR does not attempt to reinvent the wheel when it comes to equipping ourselves. We frequently attend educational and formational opportunities hosted by our mission partners, fellow houses of faith, non-profits, institutions of higher learning, and other community organizations. Sometimes we attend these offerings together and sometimes we simply advertise them and attend individually as time allows.

Special Events and Programs

We also do our part to support the collective educational and awareness needs of Rochester by hosting special events and programs. In 2018 the Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Amanda Tyler, joined us for a weekend full of events focused on the important issue of religious liberty for all people of all faiths or none. We also hosted an innovative experiential education piece called, “What If?…” wherein participants were given $100 to make positive change in the community around them as we spent an entire month learning and talking about what it means to center our lives around redemption.

You can learn more about First Baptist’s Christian Formation and Education on our page.