Rev. Dr. Martin Rolfs Massaglia
Senior Pastor, 2006-2014
First Baptist Church is mourning the loss of Rev. Dr. Martin Rolfs Massaglia on February 6, 2014 to complications resulting from cancer treatments. Martin was a beautiful man and an excellent pastor for this church, with his great love of people, his embracing of diversity, his background in theater, his concern for Cleveland, and in so many more ways. Martin leaves behind his wife Kay, his children Natalie, Emily and Lucas, his grandkids Julian and Adrian, his twin brother Mark, and a large extended family. Martin will be greatly missed.
Rev. Jeff Gordon
Associate Pastor for Church Administration, Childrens Ministries, Media & Technology
Jeff Gordon came to First Baptist Church in June 2006, having served previously as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Murphysboro, Illinois. As Church Administrator, Jeff has staff responsibility for oversight of the financial and business management of the church’s ministry, and overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the facility.
As Children's Minister, Jeff is responsible for overseeing the teaching and spiritual care of children from birth through the 4th grade.
Jeff graduated from the University of California at Davis with a major in Plant Science, then received the Master of Divinity Degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988. In addition, he received specialized training in church business administration through the National Association of Church Business Administration in 1997.
To email Jeff,
Director of Youth Ministries
Jae Williams began his ministry at First Baptist in October 2007. He is the Director of the Prevention/Intervention Lecture Series Day Camp; Facilitator of Northeast Ohio's "Dope is for Dopes" prevention and intervention program; Facilitator of the Northeast Ohio Mentoring Program; member of East Cleveland School District's Task Force; and a member of the NAACP, SCLC and the Urban League.
Jae is a graduate of John Adams High School, Ashland University, and the Standard Oil School of Management. He is also a 2007 Broadcaster's National Hall of Fame Inductee with 29 years of broadcasting experience in Northeast Ohio. Jae is the executive producer and host of the number one urban inspirational talk show on WHKW 1220 AM titled "What's Up with the Church?"
To email Jae,
Executive Asst. / Communications Manager
Jessica is our newest member of staff, joining us as of January 2014. Forming part of the office team, she will be responsible for updating and maintaining our website, designing and distrib-uting E-blasts, an E-newsletter each month and ads in other media. She will help us maintain a presence on social media and design promotional videos for the website, stewardship campaigns and general promotion among other things.
To email Jessica,
Receptionist / Administrative Assistant
Star Knuckles came to First Baptist Church in February, 2005 as part-time Office Administrative two days a week while working three days a week at the Cleveland Baptist Association as Office Manager/Executive Secretary. First Baptist Church and the Cleveland Baptist Association are both under the wing of the American Baptist Churches/USA. Star brings more than 35 years of experience in all phases of clerical, administrative, financial, collection, customer service, and graphic design work, fulfilling the needs of both membership and staff.
To email Star,
Director of First Baptist Church Children's Center
Jane Pernicone has been involved in the ministry of The Children's Center of First Baptist Church since 1997 and has been serving as Director since January of 2006. She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1986 and has been a teacher, Center Director, Program Administrator and Professional Development Specialist. Jane has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. She is an adjunct faculty member at Cuyahoga Community College in the Early Childhood Department.
To email Jane,
Dr. Robert Schneider
Director of Music and Organist
Dr. Schneider has served as the Director of Music and Organist for The First Baptist Church since 1993.
To email Bob,
Associate Director of Music
Betty Meyers has served as the Associate
Director of Music since 2006.
Director of Arts Outreach
To email Sharon,
G. Michael Skerritt
Director of Planned Giving
Mike Skerritt joined FBC in 1972 and since then has been involved in virtually every aspect of church life. He was one of the founders of the Happy Ending Lyric Players in 1976 and has directed a total of 19 Broadway shows. A member of the Chancel Choir since 1976 and the Contemporary Worship Praise Team since 1999 Mike has been active in the Music and Fine Arts program, collaborating with Bob Schneider in many memorable concerts and recitals featuring internationally known musicians and conductors. Mike Skerritt's engineering and manufacturing background has served him well as he held the position of Moderator for three years (1999-2001) and served on Council and various subcommittees. His position as Interim Business Administrator gave him great insight into the financial status of FBC and put him into a good position to become the newly created position of Director of Planned Giving where he could use his training and skill to enhance the financial strength of the church. He is a strong proponent of the Alpha Program, a stress-free basic Christian education program he has led twice in the past five years. Mike is married to Kathy Mead Skerritt, an accomplished contemporary art painter, and who has works on display at the church as part of the Arts Outreach program. He has six wonderful children and 13 beautiful grandchildren.
To email Mike,
Our Lay Leadership
Moderator – Paul Eickmann
Children’s Center – Sheri Stevens
Communication and Outreach – Lynne Liu
Discipleship – Carolyn Neal
Fellowship and Nurture – Jim Ankenbrandt
Missions and Social Concern – Tamara Turner
Stewardship – Tony Peebles
Worship and Fine Arts – Rebecca Chapman