First Baptist Church Halifax elects a Diaconate of up to fifteen persons from among its members. They are individually known as Deacons and they share with the Ministers in the spiritual leadership of the Congregation. There are currently elevan Deacons.

Chair                   – David Morse
Vice-Chair          – Kathy Schwartzentruber
Secretary            – Joanne Stonehouse
Treasurer           – Marsha Hurshman

2017 – Sandy Yip Ashton
2017 – Bryan Darrell
2017 – Paul LaFleche
2017 – Kathy Schwartzentruber
2018 – Joanne Stonehouse
2018 – David Clarke
2018 – Arla Johnson
2019 – Neil Ritchie
2019 – Anthony Zadeh
2019 – Marsha Hurshman
2019 – David Morse

Deacon Emerita – Pauline Allsop

Ad Hoc Committees

Each year a number of specific tasks for which the Diaconate is responsible require that a committee be established to handle that specific task. Often such ad-hoc committees comprised of members of the congregation with a Deacon as Chair are established. If a Deacon is not Chair of the committee, a Deacon will be an active member of the committee. Existing ad-hoc committees include:

FBCH Missions Committee

The primary role of the committee is to manage contributions outside of the church budget process from members and friends to support mission work internationally, nationally, regionally and locally.

This committee was established after the Annual Meeting of 2013. It was decided that contributions to missions work through the FBCH Mission Fund be based on the desire to share the love of God with all peoples, as we are called to do, and that our choices be clearly targeted, with the choice of recipients and use determined by our congregation through our normal decision processes.

Each year this committee requests suggestions from the congregation; and then the congregation votes on what missions to support. This process has been in place since 2012 and seems to be meeting the desires of the congregation.


The Diaconate is in constant contact with many members of the congregation, our Senior Minister and with our Minister of Visitation. Other ways the Diaconate keeps up-to-date is through the ad-hoc committees, regular Board of Management meetings, weekly worship, visitations, calls and cards, and special projects.

Like members of the congregation, Deacons’ work focuses on living our mission and our vision. At First Baptist, we are cognizant of the importance of establishing and maintaining partnerships. And we do this with a Christian heart and great willingness.

Current partnerships:

Alliance of Baptists is an international partnership for FBCH.

Alliance of Baptist mission…. is committed to the freedom of the individual… the freedom of the local church… the larger body of Jesus Christ… the servant role of leadership within the church… theological education in congregations… the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ… and the principle of a free church in a free state…..

Former Deacon Lee Nicholas-Pattillo is a Board member and a member of the Personnel Committee.

CABF (Canadian Association for Baptist Freedoms)

Rev. John Boyd is a Director on the Council of CABF; a member of the Accreditation Committee, and Chair of the Program Committee.

Former Deacon Lee Nicholas-Pattillo is a Director on the Council and holds the office of Secretary.

HRUBA (Halifax Region United Baptist Association)

FBCH is a member of HRUBA. HRUBA is made up of the (approximate) 31 Baptist churches in the Halifax area. HRUBA is a fellowship-based organization, providing resources, training and engaging staff and church members to share in the ministry in areas of chaplaincy, camping, home missions and other forms of outreach.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ MINISTRY CANADA (ISMC) meet at FBCH Saturdays at 6pm for a potluck dinner (contribute as you are able) followed by social time and Bible study. Led by Will & Chi Perrie, ISMC is made up of international students/families from local universities. Members of the congregation are invited to join them any evening for ‘food and fellowship’. The Diaconate and the Board of CE have extended a standing invitation to ISMC to join us for services and fellowship at any time. One of the goals of ISMC is to help students experience Canadian lifestyle – meals, holidays, social opportunities, sightseeing and worship. We see this as another important mission partnership! We look forward to seeing ISMC members at our services and events.

University Chaplain– Reverend Jenny Drewitz is the Baptist Chaplain at Dalhousie Multifaith Centre.  Reverend Jenny is on site in the Chaplain’s office on the DAL campus every Monday morning from 10am – 1pm and is available to all students; once again complementing the inclusiveness of FBCH. Reverend Jenny is always present at Sunday worship to welcome students she has met on campus and to greet new students! Feel free to contact her by email.