Chester Baptist Church votes in new pastor

Newly elected pastor Matt Tape, wife Lauren, and their son. Photo provided

CHESTER, Vt. – After a 15-month long search, the Chester Baptist Church has voted to welcome Rev. Matthew Tape as its new pastor and teaching elder. He will be working alongside the newly elected church elders Lee Gustafson and Malcolm Hamblett to help lead the church congregation and expand outreach programs in the Chester area. He is expected to lead his first service Sunday, Nov. 17.

The vote, held after the regular Sunday morning worship service Oct. 13, was for the congregation as a whole to decide on whether to invite Matt Tape, a minister from North Carolina, to be the church’s new pastor. In addition to preaching on Sunday mornings, Matt will be serving alongside the other church elders to help grow and lead the church.

Both Lee Gustafson and Malcolm Hamblett were recently voted into the newly created church elder positions after Chester Baptist Church changed its leadership model. The new model includes multiple elders in the church who share leadership responsibilities and spiritual decision-making. Such a model provides for a more diverse, accountable, and active leadership team. Matt Tape will bring his preaching, teaching, and counseling skills to enable the church to grow and serve God and our community.

Matt, his wife Lauren, and their 1-year-old son, will be moving to Chester in mid-November. Both Matt and his wife have felt personally led by God to minister in New England and are excited for the move. Matt has worked in Christian ministry since 2014 in North Carolina and has a Master of Divinity with a specialization in pastoral counseling. He has also worked in business leadership and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing.

Our congregation is made up of a wide variety of God’s people, sharing our relationship with Christ in common. On any given Sunday you’ll find children, singles, families, grandparents, and retirees worshipping together.

As stewards of the ministry God has entrusted to us, our church is currently led by elders, deacons, trustees, and various boards and committees. Congregational involvement in the life of our church is energetic and essential for a healthy ministry among our own family and in the community at-large.

We are involved in the Chester-Andover Ministerium, a group of local clergy who lead a number of annual events, including Lenten services, concerts of prayer, and baccalaureate services. We are also a member congregation of the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire.

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