Our Clergy and Staff

Senior Minister

Rev. Dr. Paul “Rusty” Edwards became our Senior Minister on August 14, 2017. Rusty is married to Jenny Bilderback Edwards and they have one daughter who keeps their lives full of wonder and mystery.

Rusty is proud to be a preacher’s kid twice over. He grew-up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where his father was a Baptist minister and his mother just recently retired as a United Methodist minister in Nashville, Tennessee. He has served churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Mississippi where he most recently served as the Senior Minister of University Baptist Church of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Rusty is more prone to talk about orthopraxis (right practice) than orthodoxy (right belief). To that end, he values involvement in the community as he strives to put his faith into action and live out the love of God for all people. That might find him serving on the board of a local nonprofit, getting hands dirty in a community garden, or attending a political rally for the rights of those too often marginalized.

Rusty earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Baptist history from Carson-Newman University, a Master of Divinity from Baylor University, a Master of Theology with a concentration in liturgy and Christian formation from Duke University, and a Doctor of Ministry in preaching, also from Baylor University.

When not busy with life at FBCH, Rusty enjoys time outside on his bike, hanging out in Halifax with his family, and sharing good food and drink with friends.

Minister of Faith Development

Jenny CsinosRev. Jenny Drewitz became the Minister of Faith Development on September 1, 2014. Jenny has a Bachelor of Religious Education from Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener with a focus on Christian education and children’s ministry. She studied Christian Education at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia, before returning to Canada to earn her Master of Divinity degree (with a focus on Christian education and pastoral care) from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Jenny served for two years as the interim pastor of Christian Education and Formation Ministry at Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo. She completed a yearlong residency certificate program in Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario. Jenny was ordained at First Baptist Church in October 2015.

Director of Music

LynetteLynette Wahlstrom joined our staff as Director of Music in July 2009. Lynette has led the FBC Senior Choir in major choral works by Dvorak, Brahms, Faure as well as anthems ranging from Rennaissance to modern choral literature. The Congregation at First Baptist commissioned an original composition by Halifax-born composer Cy Giacomin entitled “Ye Shall Live”. This commissioned work was presented on Easter Sunday, 2010, for the 60th Anniversary of the opening of the current Church building. Lynette also directs the Men’s Choir “Men Without Jackets”, the Children’s Choirs – “Songsters” and “Marshmallow”.

Ms. Wahlstrom’s credentials include a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University, a Licentiate in Piano Performance from McGill University, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Montreal, as well as a Master of Music in Piano Accompaniment from McGill University. She previously has been the Music Director/Organist at Beaconsfield United Church, Westmount Park United Church and St. Clement’s Anglican Church, Verdun and as a member of Dalhousie University’s Department of Music as Collaborative Pianist. She currently accompanies the Halifax Camerata Choir in addition to her duties here at First Baptist.

Office Administrator

Mary Banks is our Office Administrator, the friendly voice you hear when you phone the Church Office or come to the door.  Mary offers administrative support to the Ministerial Team, the staff, boards and committees of the Church and maintains our financial records.  She also is the one you contact if you need to book space for activities.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., closed each day 7:30 – 8:30am and 12:30 – 1:00 pm.


Chip Murray is our custodian. Chip is part-time, Monday – Friday, from 7:30am-11:30am.

Assistant Sextons

Jennifer Ferguson, Sandrico Provo and Caitlin Smithers are our Assistant Sextons. They do Sunday duty and help out with weddings and other events.