First Baptist Church Staff a

Ministers: All Members of the Church

Pastor: Rev. Rich Rose
Program Associate: Kristin Scott
Office Manager: Shella Chace
Organist/Pianist: Christopher Loy
Choir Director: Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum
 Custodian:  David Hopkins


Kristin Scott- Kris' background is in education with teaching credentials in early education, the primary grades and also secondary grades social studies and history. She received her B.A degrees in sociology and history at UCSB and did graduate work in education at UCD. After having her own children, she became increasingly interested in early education. She has taught and been involved predominately with early education the last twenty-five years. She has served for a number of years on the board of the local affiliate of the Association for the Education of Young Children and finished a three year term as President and Public Policy Chair in 2008. For many years, she was also a Girl Scout leader and volunteered with a Boy Scout Venture group.

At First Baptist, Kris helps facilitate the programs of the Board of Education and works on a number of other congregational projects. Some of these include First Baptist's seasonal labyrinth installations, the Interfaith Music Celebration sponsored by Area Congregations Together, creating the curriculum and teaching a week long Peace Camp for 3-8 year olds each summer, hosting monthly church school dinners. As an outside ministry, she co-ordinates bimonthly worship services for the Protestant community residing at Brookdale Senior Living.

Kris is an avid hiker and enjoys dabbling in carpentry and other crafts.

Shella Chace, Office Manager, retired from DSS in 2011 after 25 years. Those were good years in the perfect job. She has served on several boards in Tompkins County and remains committed to her identity as a social worker.

Shella is probably most proud of her wonderful daughters and grandsons. That is a job that never gets old.

A year after her retirement, FBC needed a new Office Manager, so she offered to "fill in." After three months of filling in, it seemed like the perfect post-retirement job. Being the Office Manager at FBC allows Shella to continue being a social worker when people come in or call and are in need of help navigating the human services agencies in town.

Christopher Morgan Loy, composer-pianist, has a catalog of compositions which includes works for piano, voice, chamber ensembles, chamber orchestra, full orchestra, and chorus. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, Karel Husa (1969) and Steven Stucky (2005).

Loy has been a guest composer/pianist in many venues and recital series throughout the mid-west and New York State. In 1987, he was a founding director of “EPICYCLE: an ensemble for new music” based in Cleveland. This organization helped to establish a significant voice for new music in Cleveland.

Since the 1980s Loy has received over 25 commissions from members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, the Sage Chapel Choir of Cornell University, and individuals. He has received grants from New York State's Meet the Composer fund, the Gund Foundation, and the Cornell Council on the Creative Arts. He was invited to attend the 1993 June in Buffalo Institute. In 1998 and 2001, he received the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program Grant to compose his Serenade and String Quartet #1. His works have been premiered in Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, New York, San Francisco, San Antonio, and Ithaca.

He was a guest Professor of Composition at Binghamton University in 2005, and serves on the faculties of the Community School of Music and Art (CSMA) in Ithaca, NY and the 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY. He is music coordinator and organist at the First Baptist Church of Ithaca.

Loy is a member of BMI and the American Composers Alliance (ACA). Helianthus Music Publishing Company publishes his music.

Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum, FBC Choir director is a music teacher, choral director, performer and concert coordinator with music degrees from both Ithaca College and Columbia University. She has taught general music, chorus and recorder both in the greater Ithaca area and at the Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School (NYC) for over 12 years.

She has performed with college choirs, Glass Managerie, Women Singing and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. Most recently, she has been involved in producing choral performances, operettas and benefit concerts with great success. In addition, she was responsible for hiring and scheduling of arts teachers, counselors, field trips and demonstrations for the CSMA summer arts camp.

Ms. Birnbaum has held positions on the boards of the Kodaly Organization of New York, the Cornell Savoyards and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. Prior to her starting at FBC in April of 2007, she was the director of Contemporary Ensemble at St. Catherine's of Siena Catholic Church. Her most satisfying work of late has been envisioning and executing benefit concerts for local families in need and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

David Hopkins, custodian, lives near Willseyville where he is active as a gardener, beekeeper, and wannabe farmer. He has served as custodian since moving to the Ithaca area in Summer '09. He and his artist-professor partner Carla are in the midst of remodeling a barn, circa 1865, into living quarters and studio facilities. David is a tuba player for the Cornell University Klezmer Ensemble and enjoys all genres of music. He is a fan of literature, current affairs and good conversation.


What does the Lord require of you?
To do Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
~Micah 6:8~