Brian Kozak

Congratulations, Brian Kozak!

Culminating a lengthy search process we are pleased to announce that Brian Kozak has been named Music Director of the Contemporary Worship Service Praise Team, effective immediately. Brian is assuming the musical leadership responsibilities of the First Baptist Church’s first service previously held by our dear, late Bob Schneider.

Brian has been a member of the FBC Praise Band as guitarist for about 17 years. With a Bachelor of Music Degree from Baldwin-Wallace College (Magna Cum Laude) and a Masters of Music Degree from Cleveland Institute of Music, both degrees in guitar performance, Brian brings knowledge of all genres of music to the Praise Team. Combining his education with his many years of teaching experience at B-W, Kent State, Lorain County Community College and Cuyahoga Community College makes Brian extremely well qualified to provide leadership as First Baptist works to enhance the quality of the contemporary Sunday worship experience, and thereby help grow the church’s membership in the coming years.

For several years Brian has taught guitar right here at First Baptist to students that include members of our own congregation. Many of those students have performed occasionally during regular church services. In addition, Brian has been a personal contributor to many of our special worship services such as the Candlelight Service Christmas Eve, our New Year’s Eve Service, and many others. He is a perennial band leader of our annual Rock of Faith Concert. Brian responded to this important appointment with the following comments.

“I’m honored to have been selected for this job. I’m excited to begin working with the Praise Team in this greater role, and I look forward to helping to enhance the contemporary worship service. I always keep Bob (Schneider) in my thoughts and will do my best to honor his memory.”

Brian lives in Lakewood with his daughter Valeria. When you see Brian please be sure to congratulate him on his new position at First Baptist Church.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical

Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a success! The cast, crew, musicians and everyone else that helped put on this production want’s to thank you for attending and your continued support of H.E.L.P.

Mason Stewart & Kelly_Pernicone-Happy_Ending_Lyric_Players-Hunchback_of_Notre_Dame

Mason Stewart & Kelly PerniconeHappy Ending Lyric Players (H.E.L.P.) appeared on Channel 3 (WKYC) We the People talking about H.E.L.P. and their new musical, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a musical based on the 1831 novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo with songs from the 1996 Walt Disney Animation Studios film adaptation.

The musical premiered in 1999 in Berlin, Germany as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (“The Bellringer of Notre Dame”). It was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical, the company’s first musical to premiere outside the U.S. It ran for three years, becoming one of Berlin’s longest-running musicals.

The musical relies on a series of musical leitmotifs, which are reprised either instrumentally or vocally. Each of the central characters has a theme (“Out There” for Quasimodo, “God Help the Outcasts” for Esmeralda, “Hellfire” for Frollo, and “Rest and Recreation” for Phoebus). “The Bells of Notre Dame” acts as a narrative device to tell parts of the story.Come One! Come All! Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Mason Stewart directs this production in our beautiful sanctuary that brings to mind a cathedral in Notre Dame. A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.

Park in the back of the First Baptist Church at 3630 Fairmount Boulevard (at Eaton Road) in Shaker Heights and come in through the Portico Entrance.  We look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions or need more information please complete the form below.

[contact-form to=’mason.stewart07@gmail.com’ subject=’I am interested in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

bells

Bell Choir

BELL RINGERS NEEDED!

This spring we are bringing back the Bell Choir, one of Bob Schneider’s favorite music-making ensembles here at First Baptist!

But we can’t do bell ringing justice without bell ringers. For a variety of reasons the ranks of the Bell Choir have been reduced, so we are looking for dedicated individuals, preferably who can read music (although there are wonderful bell ringers who don’t read music) and who could dedicate time for a one hour rehearsal from 6 to 7 PM each Thursday evening, and perform in a Traditional Worship Service about once a month.

The rehearsals are lead by our Music Director Stephanie Price in the balcony in the back of the Sanctuary. Rehearsals, with a very congenial group of ringers, are enjoyable to be with, to say the least.

bell and musicSo give joining the Bell Choir some thought. In fact, don’t even think about it. Just come on out on a Thursday evening at 6 PM and give it a try. The 100th Psalm says in part, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands!” That would be YOU playing bells! Give it a try. You won’t regret it!

Christmas Nativity Pageant

One of First Baptist Church’s most beloved annual traditions, our living nativity brings to life the Christmas story into our sanctuary with a large host of live animals, choirs, soloists, musicians and the newborn baby Jesus. The church fills up as we celebrate with traditional hymns and new selections of music, as we participate together in the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Dr. Otis Moss Jr.

Social Responsibility in the 21st Century – a Call to a New Generation

Several times a year the Cleveland Life Institute sponsors leaders to come and speak to the community about their experiences and training.

This free presentation by Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. was sponsored by the Cleveland Life Institute in the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, Spahr Center

His talk about “Social Responsibility in the 21st Century-a Call to a New Generation” was very informative and the large crowd appreciated his wisdom.

Theologian, pastor, and civic leader the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. is one of America’s most influential religious leaders and highly sought-after public speakers. A native of Georgia, Dr. Moss was born on February 26, 1935, and was raised in the community of LaGrange. The son of Magnolia Moss and Otis Moss, Sr., and the fourth of their five children, he earned his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 1956 and his masters of divinity degree from the Morehouse School of Religion/Interdenominational Theological Center in 1959. He also completed special studies at the Inter-Denominational Theological Center from 1960 to 1961 and earned his D.Min. degree from the United Theological Seminary in 1990.

From 1954 to 1959, Dr. Moss served as pastor of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia. From 1956 to 1961, he also served as pastor of Atlanta’s Providence Baptist Church and therefore, simultaneously led two congregations from 1956 to 1959. From 1961 to 1975, he pastored the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lockland, Ohio, and in 1971, he served as co-pastor, with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1975, he was called to pastor Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, He led the church for 33 years before retiring in 2008. In 1997 Moss partnered with University Hospitals to create the Otis Moss Jr. Medical Center.

Dr. Moss has been involved in advocating civil and human rights and social justice issues for most of his adult life. Having been a staff member of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he currently serves as a national board member and trustee for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. His work in the international community has taken him to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan as a member of a clergy mission in 1970, and to Israel in 1978. In 1994, he was the special guest of President Bill Clinton at the peace treaty signing between Israel and Jordan, and, in that same year, he led a special mission to South Africa.

Dr. Moss is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Human Relations Award from Bethune Cookman College in 1976, The Role Model of the Year Award from the National Institute for Responsible Fatherhood and Family Development in 1992, Leadership Award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee in 1996, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from LaGrange College in 2004. In 2004, he participated in the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England, and was a guest presenter for the Lyman Beecher Lecture series at Yale University.

Reverend Otis Moss is the Chairman of Morehouse College. He is the Director of The Cleveland Foundation. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America’s greatest black preachers, he has been involved in the civil rights movement for more than 35 years. A founding board member of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable.

abandoned building in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Housing in Cleveland

Several times a year the Cleveland Life Institute sponsors leaders to come and speak to the community about their experiences and training.

This free presentation by was sponsored by the Cleveland Life Institute. Guest speaker, Jim Rokakis – former Cuyahoga County Treasurer and current Vice President & Director of Thriving Communities of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy spoke about “Abandoned Housing in Cleveland” .

The slides showed the true story of the monster that ate Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs. It clearly showed Cleveland’s vacancy crisis as it expanded to swallow up neighborhood after neighborhood.

With the loss of population, the weakened economy, the housing bust, and foreclosures there are hundreds if not thousands of houses that are in bad shape or sitting empty in the city of Cleveland. Perhaps half of these houses are in bad enough shape that they are beyond saving from demolition. This is a very location driven problem. Some neighborhoods are affected more than others. It is easy to say this is an inner city problem since homes in outer-ring suburbs get purchased, rehabilitated and placed back on the market quickly.

No matter where you live, abandoned homes do affect you. An inner city that looks like a war zone takes a toll on even outer suburbs making them a less desirable place to live. “You might think you’re safe because you live in a suburb like Strongsville, or Chagrin or Brecksville or Bay Village, but the reality is, it’s the loss of value in the city and the inner ring suburbs that has driven property taxes up for people all over the county,” said Jim Rokakis, vice president of the Western Land Reserve Conservancy. “It’s destabilizing these neighborhoods and that destabilization tends to migrate outwards.”

Choir

Chancel Choir

If you would like to sing in the Chancel Choir led by Stephanie Price, they rehearse Thursdays from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the Sanctuary and in the Choir room.

Check the calendar to verify dates and times.

If you would like to join or need more information about the Chancel Choir contact Stephanie Price through the form below.

Get More Info

Praise Team

Praise Team

If you would like to sing with the Praise Team they rehearse at the church from Saturdays from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary.
Check the calendar to verify dates and times.
If you would like to join or get more information about the Praise Team contact Dr. Bob Schneider through the form below.
[contact-form to=’schneider.cleveland@gmail.com’ subject=’I am interested in the Praise Team’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]