Contact

1151 Massachusetts Avenue 

Cambridge, MA 02138

Tel:  617-864-9275

Fax: 617-864-9378

Beth Barefoot - Pianist and Organist

Beth Barefoot headshotBeth Barefoot brings energy, enthusiasm, and a love for all styles of music to the sanctuary, moving our hearts and thoughts closer to God. She has held instrumentalist and music- ministry staff positions in the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, and Episcopal Church, but her earlier evangelical roots may shine through in her unique style of playing, all to help usher in the Spirit to our worship. A vocalist and classically trained pianist, she studied with Walter Noona (Norfolk) and Julius Chajes (Detroit), as well as with voice teachers Richard Dorr (NYC) and Ellen Chickering (Portland). She moved to Boston in 2014 after a successful music career primarily in church music ministry and musical theater music direction in the Portland, Maine, area.

A proud member of Actors’ Equity, Beth has conducted/musically directed/accompanied/ performed at or with Maine State Music Theatre, Portland’s Good Theater, the University of Southern Maine, community theaters and high school drama programs all over Southern Maine. In addition, she was vocal coach/rehearsal pianist to guest artists with the Portland Symphony Orchestra Pops, and Music Director for several years of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital “Best of Broadway” benefit held annually at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium.

Also in Maine, she accompanied All-State Choruses and numerous Honors Choirs and was much in demand as accompanist for vocalists and instrumentalists alike in concert, recital and recording settings.

Beth was Chair of Fine Arts, including general music classroom teacher, choral director and voice instructor at Maine’s Hebron Academy, but also has considerable experience in the business world. She considers herself a generalist after years of management roles in accounting, marketing and customer service. Currently, she is on staff at Boston University’s School of Music within the College of Fine Arts. 

A graduate of the University of Michigan (Economics), she is pursuing a Master of Science in Arts Administration at BU, and expects to graduate in May 2018.

Naro Pongen - Assistant Minister

NaroTemjennaro Pongen is from Nagaland, India. She goes by Naro. She was born and raised in a Baptist family together with five older siblings. Growing up, Naro was very active in youth ministry and she loves music. She finished her Bachelor of Arts from Patkai Christian College in 2007, after which she went on to pursue the Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology at Clark Theological College and Union Theological College respectively. Naro recently graduated with the Master of Arts in Feminist Liberation Theologies from Episcopal Divinity School in May 2017.

The Rev. Betsy J. Sowers – Minister for Earth Justice

SowersBetsy represents OCBC outside the church through involvement in both faith-based and secular climate justice organizations and actions. These range from fossil fuel divestment, to energy policy at the State House and Federal level, to working with opponents of new fracked gas infrastructure in the Commonwealth.

Inside the church, Betsy serves as a resource person to our Pastor and Teams to help interpret the climate crisis and sustainability issues within of a context of worship, prayer, education and action, both personal and public. She also helps members and friends of the congregation connect the dots between Earth justice and the other justice concerns that are intimately intertwined with it, especially racial, economic, gender, and immigration/refugee justice, and the possibility of just peace and redemptive community in a climate-stressed world.

Betsy came to her lifelong call to peace and justice ministry via her first post-college job as a flight attendant for Pan American World Airways, which gave her the gift of global awareness and brought her to Cambridge, where she found OCBC, a congregation that confirmed and encouraged her call. After earning an MSW at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, and the M.Div. at Harvard Divinity School, she was called as a staff person, and later Director in The Department of Church and Society of The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, serving as educator and advocate on peace and justice matters to Baptist churches in the Commonwealth. She also served the Massachusetts Council of Churches as Adjunct Associate Director. A clear call out of retirement to climate justice service has both surprised and energized her for another chapter of activist ministry.

Thomas Jones — Minister of Music

Tom

Thomas Jones has a career spanning more than 30 years as a performer and appears with orchestras, opera companies, choral ensembles, pops concerts and on recital series throughout North America, Europe and the West Indies.  Critics from coast to coast have hailed his performances as elegant, passionate, expressive and sensitive.  Richard Buell of The Boston Globe calls the vocal and stage presence of Thomas Jones "irresistible".  Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times proclaims that Mr. Jones sings "with plush sounds and musical vigor".

Mr. Jones’ solo appearances include The Santa Fe Symphony, The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston's Handel & Haydn Society, The Apollo Chorus of Chicago, The San Francisco City Chorus and Orchestra, The Vancouver Chamber Choir and The Canadian Broadcast Orchestra, The Phoenix Bach Choir, The Phoenix Chamber Orchestra, The Dessoff Choirs of New York City, New York's St. Cecilia Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, The Omaha Symphony, The Pacific Chorale and The Pacific Symphony in Southern California, The Battle Creek Symphony (Michigan), The Billings Symphony (Montana),The Louisville Bach Society at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, The Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra of Washington, DC, The Simon Sinfonietta of Washington, DC., The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra, The Bucks County Choral Society and The Philadelphia Festive Arts Orchestra under conductor Robert Page. 

Thomas Jones has sung on recital series coast to coast in the USA and in the cities of Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen among others.

Festival appearances include Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Berkshire Choral Festival, The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Great Waters Music Festival, Monadnock Music and Hotchkiss Portals Series. Opera companies include Boston Lyric Opera, The Harrisburg Opera Company of Pennsylvania and Opera New England.  In metropolitan Boston, appearances include The Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Boston Civic Orchestra, The Back Bay Chorale, Coro Allegro, The Cape Cod Symphony, The Worcester Symphony, The Nashua Symphony, The Providence Singers, New England Classical Singers, The Monadnock Chorus and The Masterworks Chorale.

Mr. Jones has soloed with well over 150 choruses throughout The USA, appearing under the baton of notable maestros such as Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Roger Norrington, Thomas Dunn, John Alexander, Jon Washburn, Daniel Beckwith, Joel Revzen, Robert Page, Jung-Ho Pak, John Oliver, William Gray, Stephen Simon, Tom Hall and Gerald Mack.  And, he has premiered new works by composers such as Libby Larson, Dave Brubeck, John Goodman and others. Contemporary pops concerts have recently been an added dimension to his 25 year career.  Those series feature music from the American Songbook and a vast array of musical theater composers.  Recordings include Handel “Messiah” for National Public Radio and Handel “Samson” with the Canadian Broadcast Orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

Thomas Jones was a semifinalist in the International Bel Canto Foundation Vocal Competition and a semifinalist in the New York Oratorio Competition.  His theater experiences range from summer stock companies in multiple roles from Gershwin to Sondheim.  In addition, Mr. Jones is an accomplished voice teacher and choral clinician, having conducted vocal master classes and choral clinics throughout the United States at colleges, high schools and for community, church and professional choruses.  He has adjudicated at dozens of solo competitions and choral festivals throughout the country. Thomas Jones has been teaching voice through the Office for the Arts at Harvard University for 25 years.  He also served as vocal coach for Harvard University’s “Hasty Pudding Theatricals” for 10 years and is the voice clinician for the Harvard Freshman Arts Program.

Thomas Jones became Director of Music at Old Cambridge Baptist Church in 2002.  Under his direction, the choir has recorded a CD entitled “Total Praise”.  Members of the choir have had the unique privilege of singing in various locations in Europe in the past five years. In the summer of 2010, they sang at several historic Biblical sites in Turkey and Greece , including Ephesus, Corinth and ancient Pergamum.  In 2013, they traveled to Italy and in 2015, Portugal and Spain. In June of 2011, the choir sang the morning Pentecost Service  at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Experienced singers interested in singing with The Choir of Old Cambridge Baptist Church can contact Thomas Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The choir sings an eclectic balance of repertoire that reflects the conjunction of the arts in worship while bringing to bear peace and justice concerns.

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