getting to know us
We are a safe haven for all where love and care abound.
Meet Our Staff
Reverend Randy Van Osten, Pastor
Randy has over 14 years ministry experience in the church. Randy is a lifelong learner who has a dual BA in Psychology and Urban Studies from Eastern University and a Master of Divinity from Palmer Seminary. He is an active member of his community and serves as a member (secretary) of the Pitman Council of Churches, Pitman Chamber of Commerce, Pitman Anti-Racism Collective (founding member),and PRIDE Alliance of Pitman (board member). Randy is a father of two boys (Matteo and Liam) and dog (Latke), a husband, an entrepreneur, and a hippie at heart. Yes, he drives a VW camper he named Dorothy. He has a passion for Jesus and loves talking about Jesus with others. He loves the woods and playing with his boys. He ends many days by watching a movie with his family. Born and raised in South Jersey. Randy Van Osten is a highly motivated self-starter and entrepreneur who planted The Treehouse Coffee Shop and Café in 2003 and has owned and operated it with his wife Tina until they closed it in March 2021. His family moved to Pitman in 2017 and have enjoyed being a part of this awesome community. In 2021, Rev. Ran helped the church to start and incorporate The Lighthouse Community Center where he is the Keeper/Director. Rev. Ran has a vision for the church building and property to be used for more than just Sunday services and other church functions, but to be used to help meet the needs of our community. The Lighthouse is home to Fig Leaf Thrift, which is a pay as you can thrift shop. The Lighthouse also gives out free hot meals twice a month to those in need averaging 80-100 each distribution. The Lighthouse partnered with Renaissance Village another local non-profit (Rev. Ran is a board member) to create a youth center for the kids in our town. Favorite drink is coffee (he'd love to share a cup with you. Send an email to set up a meeting). Favorite food: Sweet Potatoes and Bacon (together or separate).
“Welcome and Blessings” from Rev. Ran!
Thank you for checking out our website at The First Baptist Church of Pitman. I am so thankful that you have found yourself here. I hope that the information that you find here is helpful and gives you more insight about who we are and what we are about. We are truly a community of people who care for each other. There are always more seats at our table for you. We welcome ALL people. We want everyone to feel loved not only by God but by us as well.
The best way to get to know us is to join us on a Sunday morning for our worship service at 10:15am and stay for the social time afterwards or join us for one of the activities listed on our calendar. We are trying to do more regular events and meetings now that we are on the other side of the pandemic. Our calendar should be filling up again soon. We would love for you to join us!
You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, so you can learn more about us from those platforms. You can find our livestream, videos, photos, and more. We believe that it is important to fulfill what Jesus calls the two greatest commandments, love God and love your neighbor as yourself. We create opportunities to do both at our church. Love God by spending with God together, learning from God’s Word, and praying together. We love others by spending time with others, serving others, and meeting their needs. I am excited by what God is doing in and through this church.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, it would be my pleasure to talk with you. Please reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 856-589-2266.
Be blessed and be a blessing!
Julie-Ann Whitely Green, Music Director
Julie-Ann, soprano, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree as a double major in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Rowan University. She has earned Artists Diplomas from the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria, and has studied Italian Opera, Language, Art and Culture at the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy. Her vocal talents have attained her numerous honors including Encouragement Grant, Marian Anderson Award; Mozarteum Academy Scholarship; and National Winner, Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition.
Ms. Green made her New York solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1992, and was presented in a solo recital at Weill Hall in 1997. Other major venues include cathedrals in London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Madrid, and the Mormon Tabernacle. Popular music performances have been with Barry Manilow, Michael Crawford and with Barbra Streisand. Ms. Green has sung with the Opera Company of Philadelphia since 2001, and has performed solo roles in Porgy and Bess (Strawberry Woman), and Il Trovatore (Inez) as well as their innovative production, the Hip H’Opera Project. Her debut with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center was in Richard Danielpour’s opera, Margaret Garner. Ms. Green made her debut as Aida in the spring of 2008, and has sung with Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera in their productions of Porgy and Bess. Other appearances have been with the Reading Symphony, Allentown Symphony, Erie Symphony, Norwalk Symphony, and as soprano soloist for the Verdi Requiem with both the Lancaster Symphony and Vox Ama Deus Ensemble.
As an active teacher and clinician, Ms. Green is an annual presenter at the Burlington County TeenArts Festival, a vocal teacher at Chartertech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point, New Jersey; and Music Director at First Baptist Church of Pitman, New Jersey.
Gabrielle Bowen, Church Secretary
Gabi is a mother of two who works as the secretary for Pitman's Environmental Committee, is actively involved in community events and projects including the Pitman Grove Community Garden, and the PRIDE Alliance of Pitman. Her hobbies include singing, various needle crafts, collecting recipes, and she serves as a facilitator of the Pitman Grove Facebook group which connects nearly 3K people. Gabi has also recently begun pursuing a degree from RCSJ.
Tina Van Osten, Worship Leader
Tina, a mother of two, wife, teacher, and amazing entrepreneur has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rowan University with an Environmental focus. She has worked as an Environmental Engineer but now Tina has dedicated her time and talents to developing America's youth as a Science teacher at Urban Promise Academy. When she is not teaching Tina also works at the Treehouse Coffee Shop and Café in which she is the co-founder and co-owner with her husband Randy. Her creativity and talents are demonstrated in her worship music, teaching, at the Treehouse, and so many more places. Her students reciprocate Tina's love when they nominated her as the keynote speaker for the 2019 graduating ceremony. For more information about Tina's creativity, passion, and love for teaching watch this video HERE.
When you first meet Tina the first impression you get is her warmth. She is an amazing and gentle woman who loves God and her family. You can often find Tina playing the guitar or outdoors enjoying nature as she is an outdoors enthusiast. Tina has a major passion for volunteering outside of church activities in numerous missions and ministries that help countless in and outside the church. Tina is above all, a family oriented person who loves her husband and two children Matteo and Liam.
Our town was established on the site of one of the Methodist Camp Meetings which were popular during the nineteenth century. A tabernacle was built and twelve avenues radiated out from this center. On opening day in 1871 about 600 tents were erected along these avenues where for ten days in August, worshipers slept on straw and attended worship and revival services in the tabernacle. The tents were later replaced by summer cottages and even later became winterized. A popular evangelist, Charles Pitman, gave the town its name.
In December 1908, 33 Baptists found each other and met in a home for worship. Only four months later a church was incorporated, a small building had been purchased on site of 30 North Broadway, a Sunday school was instituted, and the first minister was called - beginning his service on April 7th 1909.
Founded in 1909, the First Baptist Church of Pitman has deep roots within the Pitman community. Since our birth, we have had our ups and downs, victories and defeats, but we remain steady in our purpose. We are community of care and service empowered by prayer, action, and our love for Jesus.
First Baptist Church of Pitman is all about love and faith for God and our fellow human. We demonstrate these characteristics through regular acts of service to our local community and beyond. We are not your typical Baptist church at all. In fact, most of our members come from various denominational backgrounds and have spent their adult lives in and out of various churches looking for that special place where they can both be loved and love others.
We are a community of nurturing followers of Jesus Christ. You can find us in many places. We are in the schools, the banks, the local businesses. You can find us on a soccer field, in the kitchen or in the hospital. And on Sunday mornings, you can find us at 30 North Broadway in Pitman, worshipping the Lord who has given us life to share. Everywhere we are, we are seeking to live out our mission of love and faith.
Notice that it is active and when we live it, people's lives are transformed. God's grace (real unconditional love) pours into us. So if you are looking for a church that is more than a building, but rather a group of people who are loving God and loving others, then First Baptist Church of Pitman might be just the church you are looking for.
What We Believe
We believe that God:
Is the Creator of all, above all, all knowing
Is not tangible, God is spirit, God is love
Is an eternal force and power
We believe that Jesus:
Is God’s son, our brother
Came to earth to show the power of God, the manifestation of God in the person
Died for us, to forgive our sins, to provide eternal life for us
Show us how to live our life by example, Jesus is our leader
Is “the way, the truth, and the light”
We believe that the Holy Spirit is:
What lives on
The continuing presence of God
“the inner light”
Makes it possible for us to experience the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
The Bible and its use:
The Bible is the word of God and includes eternal/spiritual truths
The Bible inspires, challenges, provides guidelines and examples of living
As Baptists, we believe the Bible is open to interpretation
We believe that Baptism:
Is the cleansing of the body of sin allowing new life with Christ
Is a symbolic death and resurrection to be born again
Is a following of Christ’s life and our profession of faith in him
Immersion is an important part of our denomination
We believe that the role of the laity should be:
To support all church activities including regular attendance at worship
To provide a witness in the community by living a Christ-like life by example
To care for each other, support each other,
To constantly be aware of our relationship with God and grow in it
To be aware of our relationship with each other and to grow in it
To be aware of our relationship with our church and be willing to serve in all areas as needed
The role of the Minister should be to:
Love the Lord and demonstrate this love in sermons and personal life by example
The role of the Church is to:
Spread the word of God
Help people with their needs/missions
Our commitment in support of America Baptist Churches (ABC):
We thoughtfully, prayerfully, and financially support the missions and programs of ABC
We believe that Communion:
Brings us closer to God and each other by remembering Christ’s life and death
We gather around the Lord’s table and reinforce our sense of family
We close by joining hands in a fellowship circle and singing