Reverend Dr. John R. Buskey – Pastor
Rev. Dr. John Buskey was raised in Manlius and has returned home as our pastor. He is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College with a BA in Psychology. He earned a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Marriage and Family from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He is an active member of the Manlius Fire Department, having held offices from Lieutenant to the Chief of the department. He coaches Volleyball for Bishop Ludden and he is the C.E.O. of Vick and Pathfinder Camp and Conference Ministries.
Most importantly, he accepted Christ at a young age. He is married to Jean Lynn and they have two adult children.
He has been the pastor of the Elmfork Christian Church in KY, also the Oneida Baptist Church in NY, and the Edmeston Second Baptist Church in NY. He has also served our denomination as an Associate Executive Minister (area minister) in NY and the Executive Director of Outdoor Ministries. He most recently, (and still is) the CEO of VP Ministries. He comes to the church with a passion to equip the saints for works of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
Mary Schwarz – Director of Music Ministry
Mary began her “formal” music ministry at the age of 13, playing the piano in her home church. Since coming to First Baptist of Manlius, she has taken advantage of pretty much any musical opportunity that has come her way, including singing in the choir, solo and ensemble work, directing musicals, accompanying others, and eventually being called as music staff in 2013. Mary’s blessings include her large extended family and her job as Administrative Assistant with American Baptist Churches of New York State.
John Spradling – Pianist/Organist
John Spradling is a collaborative and solo pianist who makes his home in Syracuse, NY, and has been associated with First Baptist Church since 1997. He has performed in many college/faculty concert series, the Everson Museum, On-Center, and live on WXXI-FM, Rochester, NY, WPEL-FM, Montrose, PA, and WCNY-FM, Syracuse, NY. Originally, from St. Louis, Missouri, Spradling studied at Indiana University, the Vienna Hochschule, and The Juilliard School, from which he holds a master’s degree. His teachers included Jorge Bolet, Hans Graf (pianist), Sascha Gorodnitzki, and Abbey Simon. He has also performed in master classes for Arthur Loesser, Raymond Lewenthal, and Dalton Baldwin. While living in Austria, Spradling served as a private instructor in the home of the noted mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig.
John Spradling has ministered in churches in the USA, Europe, and Asia–either as a staff member or guest–for his entire adult life. He is an experienced choral director, keyboard player, and administrator, and regards his greatest inspiration as having come from the late Paul Liljestrand, who was Minister of Music at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, NY. He has also given many lectures on the influence of religious cults on young people, gaining knowledge through personal experience before becoming a Christian.
John Spradling has one of the most successful private piano studios in CNY, teaching beginners, amateurs, adults, and aspiring young artists. His students have been recipients of scholarships to many conservatories and universities, and have won first prizes in every competition in Central New York and the surrounding regions.
John Spradling is past president of Civic Morning Musicals and Central New York Association of Music Teachers, Syracuse, NY, and recipient of CMM’s Tiffany and Ruth Edson Awards for service to the musical community. He is former director of Dutchess Community Music School in Poughkeepsie, NY, and the proud father of two children. He can be found at www.johnspradling.com or on Facebook at John Spradling Piano Studio. Email address: email@example.com
Wendy Stearns – Playschool & King’s Kids Director
Wendy Stearns was raised in Meredith, NH and has been working with children since she was 15 as camp counselor. She attended Nazareth College in Rochester for Art and Elementary education and holds a Master’s Degree in Literacy from SUNY Cortland. She began the Playschool Program in 1996 with 8 enrolled children as a way to be with her own two children through their preschool experience. Today there are 60+ children enrolled in Playschool. Wendy says she is, “… always very much amazed at how different each of their minds work and how much they have to offer and contribute. To witness this and be a part of their achievements is a great gift.”
Elaine LaFollette- Administrative Secretary
Elaine joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Manlius in 1999. She is in the office Monday-Friday, 8–noon.
Sharon Argus – Bookkeeper
Sharon joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Manlius in 2014. She is in the office M – W – F (9-2).