Who We Are


Leadership from within the congregation is central to the life of FBCH. As a congregational church (meaning a church where the collective community makes decisions), the various Boards and Committees lead the church as we aspire to embody the Way of Jesus.

Central to this leadership is our Diaconate which is tasked with nurturing the ministry of the congregation. Our Deacons regularly assist with worship leadership, including serving communion on the first Sunday of each month.

Meet our Deacons

Deacon David Clarke (Vice-Chair)

FBCH is central to my sense of community and helps shape my view of the world. At FBCH, we learn, laugh, reflect and question together - all essential ingredients for spiritual growth.

Deacon Arla Johnson (Member, Deacon Executive)

My service here at FBCH, with God as my Guide, Christ as my example for living, and the Holy Spirit as my constant companion, connects me to both the Sacredness of humanity and the Sacredness of Creation.

Deacon Anne Marie Krueger Naug

I began my church life at FBCH in 1995, having moved here from Ontario for grad school at Dalhousie. FBCH and the church family it houses has provided my husband and I with the freedom to ask questions and learn about our faith and beliefs. Being a Deacon here is an opportunity to deepen my spiritual life and continue the life long practice of forming my faith as a Christian.

Deacon Gisela O’Brien:

I’m a Deacon at FBCH because I like interacting with people who are interested in matters of the spirit. I’m happy to be part of this particular congregation because of the openness and welcome to all people at all stages of their life and spiritual journeys.

Deacon Neil Ritchie (Vice-Chair)

There is an openness here - we respect tradition but we are not tradition-bound. I serve because it strengthens my connection to others that are part of a caring community and we contribute to something larger than ourselves… something meaningful, something timeless.

Deacon Kathy Schwartzentruber (Chair)

As someone who is in a constant state of flux over what I believe (and some days even if I believe), I find FBCH to be a comfortable place. The people and clergy embrace the questioning mind while offering insightful and reflective guidance on how to approach life in this challenging world. I appreciate that, as a community, we preach and try to model radical inclusivity.

Deacon Dahrl Whitney

FBCH is home to me—home to me because of its openness to be inclusive, accepting and welcoming. FBCH holds dear to its traditions and history, while fostering an environment allowing me to dream about its future. God provides us all with spiritual gifts which can be exercised freely within the church. This gives me purpose, fulfillment and a sense of belonging. Following Jesus’ example of serving others in providing spiritual leadership, allows for a deepening of my faith formation.

Deacon Alexandra (Sandy) Yip

As a twenty-something newcomer to Halifax in the mid 1990s, I was attracted to FBCH by the insightful preaching, awe-inspiring music, and warm welcome. FBCH has become my extended family that witnessed my marriage, and the birth, dedication, and baptism of my three children. Joining the Diaconate in recent years has allowed me to serve the congregation in a time of transition in the ministry team, as our congregation discerns a renewed journey in a changing world.