The Rev. Dr. Kent Berghuis
I am thrilled to be part of First Baptist and its fine staff as Lead Pastor. The church stands out with its progressive, inclusive stance and its high quality liturgical style of worship. I was also drawn to the magnificent building and its significant historical presence in downtown. After serving as a pastor in a variety of states and settings, I know what I want and need—and this church is it! I realized that if I lived in Dayton this is where I would want to worship and this congregation of people are the folks I would want to share life with. What a privilege, then, to become their pastor. I gladly rearranged my life to come live and work here and to become part of this community.
As for my background, I’m basically a farm kid from Iowa with a lifelong heart for following after God. I’ve been working in churches my entire adult life, first as a Youth Pastor and Music Director and then as a Senior Pastor. Add a lot of education to that, with degrees in Bible and Pastoral Ministries and then a PhD in Theology, and two decades as a seminary professor either full or part-time (I’m still Affiliate Faculty with Palmer Seminary of Eastern University). I promise we won’t insult your intelligence here, and you will be free to think and ask questions as we all pursue our understanding of God and our faith together.
Besides preaching and teaching, some of the most memorable ministry experiences I’ve had have been mission trips or serving with denominational causes around the country or overseas. I’ve been a Commission member with the Baptist World Alliance, and look forward to participating in upcoming Baptist-Muslim Dialogues. We’ve lived in Iowa, Montana, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Ohio. We’ve visited 49 states (still need to get to Alaska…) and had ministry experiences in several foreign countries, including Turkey, Greece, Israel, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Chile and Switzerland.
Joining me in Dayton is my wife, Dr. Deb Berghuis, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and she looks forward to setting up a practice here. We have three single young adult children, one living with us and the others in Chicago and St. Petersburg, Florida. We enjoy walking our Sheltie dog, Buddy Boy, around the Grafton Hill neighborhood just across the river from the church where we have our home.
The Rev. Jason Alspaugh
Associate Pastor for Children and Youth
I was called to be the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church in September 2007, with a focus on developing Children and Youth ministries and Educational ministries. Not long after moving to Dayton I met my husband, Kerby. We live in Historic South Park and have three “children”–two dogs, Shelby and Molly, as well as an elusive cat named Patsy.
I bring a passion for the full inclusion of children and youth in the life of the church. And so it is my intention to continually seek out ways to involve our children and youth in worship, mission, service, and education with the rest of the church, as we help them grow in Christian faith.
As associate pastor, I also enjoy the shared ministry of preaching, teaching, and providing pastoral care. At the heart of all ministry, I believe, is the radical love of God revealed in Jesus Christ that invites all to believe in word and in deed in the reign of God, which is “justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
I give thanks to God for calling me to this life of ministry and witness to the good news of God’s love in Jesus the Christ. I invite any and all who would come, to join us as we “strive to be steadfast and joyful Christians continually seeking to understand and proclaim God’s unfolding Word.”
To learn more about the life and ministry of First Baptist you may contact Rev. Alspaugh via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the church office at (937) 222-4691 ext. 406
The Rev. David Coggins
Assistant Pastor for Pastoral Care
David and his wife Peggy joined the fellowship of FBC in 2006 and have been active in the music, education, and mission ministries of FBC. David joined the staff as a minister for Pastoral Care in April 2015.
Rev. Coggins is a native of North Carolina but spent his growing up years traveling from place to place as the son of a career Air Force Chaplain. David is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in full-time and part-time positions of ministry since his ordination in 1976. By training and experience the primary focus of his ministerial work has been in the areas of hospital ministry and pastoral counseling. This ministry included work as a Chaplain and Pastoral Counselor at various institutions in our city. In recent years his ministry of pastoral care has been to serve as a Volunteer Visitor for Hospice of the Miami Valley.
Rev Coggins supplements the work of the pastoral staff by assisting with visitation and worship leadership. When he is not working as a “fisher of men,” he can usually be found just fishing!
William Henry Caldwell leads our music and worship programming with energy and excellence! Bill retired after a career as a music professor at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he was chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and conductor of the CSU Chorus for 34 years. An Alabama native, Bill holds degrees from Stillman College and the University of Texas, with additional studies at Ohio State, Cincinnati, and in Italy and Switzerland. He has led touring choirs all around the country and the world, with many recordings and festival choirs to his credit. Bill performs himself as a lyric baritone and has sung or led choirs with prestigious groups too numerous to mention. He has served on boards for the Cincinnati May Festival, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, The Bach Society of Dayton, and the Mariam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts. Prior to coming to our church, Bill served as Music Director for the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio.
Bill brings the full package of his musical experience to our church. In our worship services one is likely to hear both high classical numbers as well as African-American spirituals. The choir loves his expressive directing technique, and he brings out the best in all he leads and serves. Anyone with an appreciation for worship music will instantly recognize the treasure we have in this wonderful director. Come join the choir, join in worship, and join in the music of heaven as we get a taste of it here!