Our Church HistoryWhere we've come from...
Edward F. Stutz was born on October 24, 1957, in Buffalo NY. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family. During his teenage years he strayed from the church and any sort of religious practice. He married his wife Heather in Buffalo, NY June 22nd 1979. At the age 22, while attending a Baptist church, Heather and Ed came to understand that salvation comes by repentance and faith through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On their first wedding anniversary, during the evening worship service, Heather and Ed committed their lives to Christ, made a public profession of faith in the First Baptist Church, Heath, Ohio, and promised God that they would do their best to live for him. In October of 1986, upon experiencing God in many wonderful ways through the study course MasterLife, Ed sensed a very real and convincing call from God into the gospel ministry. The call was sealed in January 1987, on Baptist Men’s Day, when Ed was given the opportunity to preach. Ed’s vision of the ministry is that the priority of the church is worship, which involves an unwavering obedience to the Lord’s commands thus fulfilling the greatest command of loving God. Second to loving the Lord, his disciples are commanded to love one another. Obeying these commands will be accomplished primarily by making and training disciples as instructed in the Great Commission. To carry out these tasks it will take commitment and the cooperative team effort of every believer and leader in the church.
Ed received his Doctor of Ministry, in May 2008 from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California. He previously received his Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri along with his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, in May 1992 from Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, Missouri. Ed has several years of Ministry Experience, he has been an Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, in Phoenix, Arizona; 2009-2015, He planted and then pastured the Family of Faith Fellowship, in Queen Creek, Arizona; from 2004-until May 2015, when he came to Rhode Island as our Senior Pastor. Ed served as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Show Low, Arizona; 1998-2004, Beaucoup Baptist Church, Pinckneyville, Illinois; 1992-1998; Pastor Concordia Baptist Church, Concordia, Missouri; 1987-1992; and as a Deacon at First Baptist Church, Heath, Ohio; 1985-1986 and Concordia Baptist Church, Concordia Missouri; 1986-1987 where he was licensed to preach in February 1987 and then ordained to the Gospel Ministry in October 1988. Ed and Heather have three children and seven grandchildren.
David attended Bluefield College where he met his wife, Betty Hayes Smith. They were married on August 6, 1977. David and Betty moved to Orlando, Florida to work with Youth for Christ and David received a BA in History from the University of Central Florida. David also served as Youth Minister at a church in Orlando. It was at this time that David sensed God’s leadership and call to become a pastor and they moved to Ft. Worth, Texas to attend Seminary. David earned his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in May 1983. While in Texas, David pastored two churches and then was called back to his home state of Virginia where he served two churches, the last of which he planted through the North American Mission Board of the SBC. Nearly seven years ago, David and Betty moved from Virginia to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they planted River Oaks Community Church. David earned his Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2001. David and Betty have two grown children. David was called to Tusculum Baptist Church in Greeneville, Tennessee. His last sermon was on July 6, 2014, after which David and Betty moved to Tennessee.
The church was able to call Rev. Kevin Knox as our Associate Pastor, during this growing period, first on a part-time basis, then full time. He and his wife Debbie came here on faith, with no job prospects, from Michigan to serve the Lord. Rev. Knox was bivocational for some time as a carpenter and the Lord used him strategically in guiding our building addition to completion. However, in August of 1994, Pastor Knox, resigned and became the pastor of Hornersville Baptist Church in Hornerville, Mo.
In July 1995, Rev. Tim Buehner was called as Minister of Education & Youth. Tim and his wife Marcia were originally from Cleveland, Ohio and were originally members here from 1986 to 1991. The Lord called Tim to full time ministry in and through this church and he and his family left for seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, never expecting to return. The Lord and the church thought otherwise and he accepted a call to Faith in 1995.
In August of 1999, Dr. Neil Olcott was called to become our senior pastor after Pastor Richard Wright accepted a call to First Baptist Church of West Plains, Missouri. Dr. Olcott was born and raised in the Syracuse, New York area.
Dr. Olcott had pastored in Massachusetts and Kansas City, Missouri. His calling to ministry came when he was 24 and was working with some teenagers in Youth Ministry. Since that day he has continued to see that calling strengthened. Dr. Olcott lead us through a major remodeling of our facilities, a revitalization of our worship methods and a reform of our leadership principles. Dr. Olcott has since moved on to another calling as of November, 2004 in Pennsylvania.
Faith Baptist Church has been blessed over the years since constituting on February 7, 1967. From its earliest
As the church grew, they later purchased a house next door to the church for Sunday School space. After ministering to the community there for 7 years, they prayed about a site for a new building. In 1979 they purchased 2 acres in Warwick on Commonwealth Ave. It was at this Warwick location that Providence Baptist Church became Faith Baptist Church. Within a year a building had been erected.
Pastor Marion Hayes resigned as pastor in
As we have experienced from our many years of history, the church has seen all sorts of growth since its beginning. During the later part of the 1980’s until the church moved into the present worship center in 1990 there was tremendous growth as God blessed. The church peaked in the early 90’s and floundered a bit in the past few years as it fluctuated in size and met new demands on its ministries.
We are certainly in a growth mode once again and have renewed with the adoption of six core values outside of God’s great mission for us. We believe God has prepared this church to turn to a new chapter of life to bring Christ more glory by being a body that values:
- Missional attitude in all we do (using an Acts 1:8 strategy)
- Faith that is God sized, Unity
- Spiritual growth that is measurable and transformational
- Intimate relationships in community
- Submission to Christ centered leadership
- Gift based servanthood