First Baptist Church in Newton Names Rev. Sean Witty as New Senior Minister

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Christian Innovator to Lead Historic Newton Church

First Baptist Church (http://www.fbcnewton.org), a landmark church in Newton Centre, MA, has named Rev. Sean Witty as its new Senior Minister after a two-year search. Mr. Witty brings more than 20 years of experience leading innovation and growth in churches in Southern New England.

“First Baptist Church is a vibrant community of faith with a long history as a center for community life, education, and the arts in Newton. We are very excited to bring Sean here. His vision, creativity and leadership experience, along with his dedication to service and to supporting the spiritual lives of those in the church and greater Boston, will be great assets not only to First Baptist, but also to the wider community,” says Dr. Mark Heim, Co-chair of the Search Committee and Professor of Theology at Andover Newton Theological School.

Before coming to Newton, Witty served for more than a decade as Co-Founder and Associate Minister of the groundbreaking Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, where he worked alongside author Ian Cron and Emmy-nominated musician Rob Mathes to lead the church’s extraordinary growth. At Trinity, Witty’s work focused on programs for students, children and families; directing innovative worship and music programs; and leading and planning as a founding member of the executive ministry team. Following his years at Trinity, Witty continued his work in church renewal as Associate Minister of First Church of Round Hill, CT, and helped launch Giveback.org, a web-based charitable-giving platform, with "Oprah’s Biggest Giver" Stephen Paletta.

As First Baptist Church’s 22nd minister, Witty opens a new chapter in the church’s 231-year history in Newton. The church, which has long been considered a leading voice of openness within its denomination on such issues as civil rights and women in ministry, spent the past two years under the leadership of a professional interim minister, studying, restructuring its management, and growing its programs. With the selection of Sean Witty, the church looked outside its denomination to continue that progress with a fresh and innovative perspective on worship, music and the role of church in community.

“Newton is an extraordinary community. I am thrilled and honored to serve First Baptist, a church with such a long history of faithfulness,” stated Sean Witty.

A gifted professional musician, Witty completed his undergraduate work in Music and English Literature at Berklee College of Music and the University of New Haven. He then completed his Master of Theological Studies at Drew University and obtained a certificate in Youth and Theology at Princeton Theological School. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Ministry with Dr. Leonard Sweet through George Fox University and will continue to build on First Baptist Church’s historic relationship with Andover Newton Theological School.

Witty began his work at First Baptist Church in August and begins leading the Sunday worship experience in September. He will also facilitate a discussion at 9:30am on Sundays throughout September entitled, “What on Earth is the Church?” Sean Witty, his wife and their three boys live in Newton.

About First Baptist Church in Newton:
Please visit First Baptist Church in Newton’s website at http://www.fbcnewton.org or call 617-244-2997 for more information about the church, its community and activities. Sunday mornings begin with gatherings for all ages at 9:30am, followed by worship at 10:30am and refreshments at 11:30am. First Baptist in Newton is located at 848 Beacon Street (corner of Beacon and Centre Streets) in Newton Centre, one block from the MBTA Green Line (D-Riverside) Newton Centre station.

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Amy Feldman

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