David Brown

David M. Brown

Interim Pastor

Dave Brown is serving as FBC's Interim Pastor following the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Rolfs Massaglia in February.

Dave, a native of Michigan, has been a pastor, intentional interim pastor, missionary, theological educator, and denominational executive, and is in his second "interim season" here at First Baptist of Greater Cleveland (the first was in 2005-6). He enjoys reading (mostly fiction), writing, and camping. Dave has taught preaching both domestically and internationally, and has served as Bible study teacher at several conferences. His published writings include Dramatic Narrative in Preaching (1981), Transformational Preaching: Theory and Practice (2003, revised 2008), Transformational Preaching: the Basics (2010), and All the Parables of Jesus: a Guide to Discovery (2012). His wife Ellen, also an ordained American Baptist pastor, periodically visits Shaker Heights from their home in Pickerington, just outside of Columbus. The Browns have two married sons and three grandchildren.

Rev. Jeff Gordon

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.

Jeff brings considerable experience as a church administrator, having served in a similar capacity at the First Baptist Church of Martinez, California from 1986-97 and then an earlier two-year term right here at First Baptist Church from 1998-2000. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, during his first term of service at First Baptist, Jeff was instrumental in the development of our contemporary worship service, and also played an important role in revitalizing our Children’s Center.

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.

Jeff and his wife Tammy have two teenage children.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys renovating his Cleveland Heights home, riding his motorcycle and playing bass guitar.

To email Jeff,

Jae Williams

Jae Williams

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,

Jessica Chapman-Martinez

Jessica Chapman-Martinez

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. 

Jessica and her husband Luis Martinez recently relocated to Cleveland from Nicaragua, where she has served with AMOS Health & Hope since 2007. She coordinated and led mission teams, community projects, created digital graphics and formed part of the communications team that worked to share AMOS’ most current news with the international community. Both she and Luis were members of our sister church, the First Baptist Church of Managua, and sang in its choir under the direction of Joan Parajon. They served on the coordination team for the youth group and later became Sunday school teachers for the younger youth.

To email Jessica,

Star Knuckles

Star Knuckles

Office Administrative

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,

Jane Pernicone

Jane Pernicone

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.

Other professional interests include working with the Cleveland Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C. Jane has also been involved in several early childhood committees at the state level and was on the writing team that developed Ohio's Infant and Toddler Guidelines (2006).

To email Jane,

Dr. Robert Schneider

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.

He is a graduate of the Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. He earned his Master of Music from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Music from The Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Schneider is the Chairman of the Secondary Music department for the Shaker Heights City Schools and is Director of Choirs at Shaker Heights High School.

He is actively involved in the musical life of Cleveland, he serves as President of Arts Renaissance Tremont, a trustee of the Musart Society of the Cleveland Museum of Art and chairs the Professional Concerns Division of the American Guild of Organist. In addition he has held the position of Dean of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

To email Bob,

Betty Meyers, Associate Director of Music

Betty Meyers

Associate Director of Music

Betty Meyers has served as the Associate Director of Music since 2006.

A graduate of Ashland and Indiana Universities, Betty is a retired teacher/librarian, and  has served for many years as an accompanist for The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. She has appeared as one of the soloists in Bach's Triple Piano Concerto with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and has performed as organist with the orchestra in Severance Hall and on tour, including the Musikverein in Vienna. Betty is a member of the Executive Board of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  In addition, she is very active as a chamber music performer.  For two summers, Betty participated in the Festival Internancional de Musica Clasica and the Musica Coral in Managua, Nicaragua.

Sharon Anderson

Sharon Anderson

Director of Arts Outreach

Sharon Anderson is Director of Arts Outreach at the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland.  She brings to this position many years of work in the arts. 

A classically trained singer, she has performed in opera, oratorio, Music Theater and as a soloist throughout the United States and Europe.  After many years as a classical musician, she found her true calling in theater, forming her own youth theater company, The Oberlin MAD* (Music, Arts and Drama) Factory, an organization that she directed for 13 years.  Sharon uses the arts as a tool to reach out to her community.  The MAD* Factory provides high quality training for youth regardless of their ability to pay and specializes in providing race and gender role models. Ms. Anderson received a Congressional Award from Senator Sherrod Brown for her work with the youth of Lorain County.  

A specialist in Integrated Arts Curriculum, she has written curriculum for Affiliate Artists that has been used in schools throughout the U.S. In addition to her work in the arts, Sharon was the Director of The United Youth Group; an ecumenical youth organization based in Oberlin, Ohio. 

Sharon is a graduate in music form Baldwin Wallace College and has studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin College and with coach Wayne Sanders in New York City.  She also holds a Certificate in Non-Profit Fundraising from the Mandel Center of Case Western Reserve University.

To email Sharon,

G. Michael Skerritt

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
Vice Moderator – Stephanie Fallcreek
Treasurer – Ralph Hise
Clerk – Lindsay Evans

Children’s Center – Sheri Stevens

Communication and Outreach – Lynne Liu
Marketing, Outreach, Greeters/Welcome Center, Communications, Visitor Integration Team

Discipleship – Carolyn Neal
Discipleship Classes, Prime Time, Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Covenant Groups,

Fellowship and Nurture – Jim Ankenbrandt
Stephen Ministry, Deacons, New Member orientation

Missions and Social Concern – Tamara Turner

Stewardship – Tony Peebles
Property and Finance, Stewardship Campaign, Endowment and Audit

Worship and Fine Arts – Rebecca Chapman