CBC People and Community
Central Baptist Church is a diverse, vibrant, and inclusive community of faith seeking to live out God’s compassion and justice.
- As a congregation committed to living out God’s calling, we dedicate ourselves to work with and for God’s movements of justice, equity, reconciliation, peace, and restoration and sustainability of the earth.
- As a Welcoming and Affirming congregation we celebrate people of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities as beautiful creations of God.
- With people from 1 to 101, we are a multi-generational community who delight in the rich interaction between people of all ages and stages of life.
- We are a diverse community, with over 20 languages, ethnicities, and countries of origin or residency represented.
- As a worshipping community we enjoy a varied and blended style of music and spiritual expressions.
- As a covenantal community we share one another’s joys, burdens, struggles and triumphs
All members of this congregation are called into Special Ministry!
Pastor Laurie Sweigard
began her pastorate at Central Baptist in 2006. She immensely enjoys working in a pastoral partnership model and with CBCers, whose creativity, care for one another, compassion for the marginalized, and passion for justice never cease to amaze her. Previous to her pastorate at Central Baptist, Laurie worked for nearly 20 years in the Social Work field. She holds Masters degrees from Palmer Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Bryn Mawr College (M.S.S.) . In addition to her present vocation, Laurie’s loves include traveling to out-of-the-ordinary places; spending time in nature; all God’s creatures; life-long learning; an eclectic mix of music, and her extended and nuclear family. Her current household includes feline companions Mo, Kobe, and Marley, Russian tortoise, Myrt, and life companion, Jackie.
Pastor Tom Beers
has been serving as a Pastoral Partner at CBC since 2011. Prior to coming to CBC Tom served in both congregational and regional ministry roles. Before entering the ministry Tom taught Philosophy as an adjunct at Eastern and Villanova Universities.
Priyadarshani Wadanamby, Childcare Attendant
Priya emigrated from Sri Lanka when her husband’s work brought the family to the United States. Priya works full time in the Radnor School District as an assistant. Her gentle, caring and attentive manner with children have been a gift to both public school students as well as the CBC Community.
James Jennings, Facilities Manager
James is our longest serving employee, joining the CBC team in 1987. James holds that “God has wired me with a natural technical ability and I like using it along with my school training at CBC now that I have retired (from the McDonald’s Corporation as a Regional Maintenance Manager).” James credits CBC with helping him to nurture his son through his formative years, and affording him the opportunity to work in his areas of passion: Social Justice and Undoing Racism. Born and raised in Chester, PA and now living in nearby Berwyn, James’ likes include music of all kinds, reading technical and history books, football and soccer, playing volleyball, dancing, and watching movies of real-life drama and Westerns. James proudly claims his Christian faith and his roles of father, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. He writes, “I cherish the love, and benefited from, acquaintances and friendships of the Church Community.”
Elider Nyeme, Custodian
Elider provides custodial services for Central Baptist Church, in addition to her full-time work as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Originally from Tanzania, Elider has been on staff at CBC since 2003. She enjoys working outside, including gardening. Her hobbies also include cooking and reading.
Christine Moll, Office Administrator
Christine joined the CBC staff in October 2018 as Office Administrator. When not working in the CBC office, Christine teaches ESL online to children in Beijing and also enjoys singing and playing music in a duo that performs locally.
For more than a century, Central Baptist Church has been a progressive voice in our own Main Line Philadelphia suburban community and also on a regional, national, and global level. We are people of all ages, races, religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, and walks of life who come together as a welcoming and affirming congregation affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and American Baptist Churches.
Marking our Centennial Anniversary in 1996, Central Baptist Church of Wayne continues a tradition of active witness to the Gospel on The Main Line, Philadelphia, and beyond.
Throughout our history, CBC has found meaningful ways of putting biblical faith into life-changing action — working to empower racial minorities and women, responding to issues of peace and justice by declaring ourselves a Sanctuary Church for undocumented Salvadoran refugees, developing enduring relationships with religious communities in El Salvador, supporting the inner city of Philadelphia, welcoming sexual minorities, and much more.
As a congregation, we partner with many local, regional, and national organizations as well as movements that enrich our faith experience and help us live out our vision of “justice rooted in spirituality – making a difference in community.” We invite you to take a look at the “Links” section of the main menu where you will find more information about many of our partnerships and additional resources in areas of special interest to us at CBC.
- The American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)
- As a member of our local region, the Philadelphia Baptist Association
- The Alliance of Baptists
- The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB)
- The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA)
- Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light (PAIPL)
- The New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia (NSM)
- NAACP, Lifetime Members
- Main Line Martin Luther King Association