On September 28th, First Baptist Church in Essex officially installed their new pastor, Rev. Joy Perkett. Participants in the service included Rev. Joe Delahunt, a representative of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut, Rev. Amy Hollis, a local Baptist pastor and former member of First Baptist Church in Essex and Philip Miller, the state representative for the 36th Assembly District.
Joy Perkett was called by the congregation in early May and her first Sunday was July 13th. She is an ordained minister in the American Baptist tradition and holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work from Boston University. Rev. Perkett is also a Licensed Master Social Worker. Prior to her appointment at First Baptist Church in Essex, she worked as a campaign coordinator around issues of economic justice and as a case manager with people recovering from addiction and mental illness. Rev. Perkett’s vision for ministry is one in which we experience God’s love and peace in our own lives and then go forth and share it with the world. She is passionate about spiritual growth and development as well as meaningful work in the community. She was drawn to First Baptist Church in Essex by the deep, abiding love they share with one another and with the world.
First Baptist Church in Essex was founded in 1811 and built in its current location in 1846. The church’s slogan is “Planting the Seeds of God’s Love since 1811”. One of the notable ways the church planted seeds of God’s love is by envisioning and starting the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries in 1989. Since then, the non-profit has grown to include eight soup kitchens and four food pantries in an eleven town area. First Baptist Church remains active in the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and continues to envision new ways to serve including donating meat for the local food programs and collecting food donations at local grocery stores. The church also fosters relationships and spiritual growth through its book and Bible studies.