Brockport First Baptist Church will have a new pastor

By on February 5, 2018

The year 2018 is bringing changes for the First Baptist Church on Main Street in Brockport. Reverend Joanne Gilbert-Cannon retired in mid-January after serving as the first female pastor in the history of the church.

Rev. Joanne Gilbert-Cannon. Photo by K. Gabalski

Rev. Joanne Gilbert-Cannon. Photo by K. Gabalski

Rev. Gilbert-Cannon has lived in the Village of Brockport for 25 years, and served as pastor of the First Baptist Church for 10 years. Her husband is a high school teacher in the Brockport Central School district.  She says she decided to retire due to personal reasons.

Living in the village meant that Gilbert-Cannon could walk to work in good weather.  “You do need a car,” she says, “for making visits to the hospital or making home visits.”

During her decade of service, the congregation felt, “we made a lot of changes,” she says, including establishing a contemporary service which eventually became a blended service with a praise band as well as traditional organ for music.

The congregation, “loves the organ,” she explains. “It is a pipe organ which was bought from the Eastman School of Music.  It’s a gorgeous instrument.”

Other changes included television monitors in the sanctuary for PowerPoints and selected videos.

Gilbert-Cannon describes the congregation of Brockport First Baptist as very socially active in the community.  Members provide a free meal for families once each month, host a teen clothing closet, raised funds for Puerto Rican hurricane relief and support homeless children through the local schools, recently making an offering of personal hygiene products, which can be difficult for kids who are moving from place to place to obtain.

“They also hold a spring concert for charity,” Rev.Gilbert-Cannon says.

She explains that additionally, the rich heritage of the church has always been important to the congregation.

“Brockport is not a suburb,” she notes.  “It is a rural area … generations of families have stayed here … people are loyal to certain traditions.”

Rev. Gilbert-Cannon says her plans for the future include working as a substance abuse counselor.

Currently, the church has an interim pastor.  “The congregation is in the last phase of the calling process for a new pastor,” she says.

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