The Rev. Larry R. Baird
Birthdate: August 7, 1949
Educational background: BA, Lycoming College, 1971; MDiv, Colgate Rochester, 1974
Ordained UMC elder: 1976
Clergy appointments: Wyoming/Covington, 1972-75; East Bloomfield/Ionia, 1975-80; Westfield, 1980-86; Clarence, 1986-2003; Superintendent, Cornerstone District, 2003-11.
Married to Brenda Baird, retired teacher’s aide
Two married sons and two granchildren
Denominational service: Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Church Growth and Evangelism, Camps and Retreats Ministry, Racial Ethnic Local Church; New Church Starts; jurisdictional and general conferences delegate. President, the board of directors of The Confessing Movement within The United Methodist Church
Specializations: Preaching, stewardship, evangelism, models for leadership
Hobby: Fly fishing, fly tying
Person most influential in his faith and practice: “My mother – a humble servant who loved God with all her heart, soul, and mind; and expressed it in love of neighbor.”
On diversity in the church: “I understand diversity to be complementary variety in God’s creation, and an enrichment of gifts and graces God has put in place to achieve God’s purposes. I encourage everyone to involve themselves in building up the church in whatever way God has gifted them, and is consistent with God’s plan as revealed in Scripture. I believe such diversity is a blessing.”
Would like to accomplish: “I would like in some way to help renew a local church and our denomination so that it is increasingly effective in making disciples for Jesus Christ.”
Rev. Baird enjoys preaching, and regards it as a means for both inspiration and instruction. He is well-known in the conference for his abilities in training lay leadership.
Pastor Nate grew up in Trinity Church where his grandfather, Rev. Jim Lange, had served as a pastor and his extended family has been actively involved for decades.
Over the past 15 years, he has been involved in numerous ministries, both at Trinity and elsewhere, including worship/music, working with high school and college students, leading Bible studies and small groups, serving the urban poor, evangelism, discipleship, preaching, overseas missions, and church leadership. He has an A.A. from Erie Community College in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and a B.A. in Arts and Letters from Buffalo State College, where his concentration was Philosophy and Religious Studies. He is currently pursuing his M.Div. in a cross-enrollment program through Northeastern Seminary and United Theological Seminary.Pastor Nate has a love for traditional elements of Methodism (such as small groups, accountability, passionate worship, Biblical preaching, empowered and engaged laity, and personal and social holiness) and hopes, as Trinity's Associate Pastor, to help reconnect our modern church with these roots.
Currently, Pastor Nate provides leadership for, and usually preaches at, our 9am Contemporary Worship service and oversees our Youth Ministry (6th-12th grade). His wife, Angie, serves as part of the Praise Band at the contemporary service and as a volunteer leader in the Youth Ministry; their two young sons, Asa and Eli, can be found every Sunday participating in our Children's Ministry.
As the Senior Adult Ministry Coordinator here at Trinity for the past 14 years, my job (part-time) focuses primarily on coordinating and offering training to a group of volunteers, each of whom is paired with an older person from the congregation. The goal of each visitor is to be an accepting friend to the person he or she visits. Those being visited are older and are confronting loneliness, illness, being widowed, isolation, adapting to institutional living, etc. Like the miracle of the loaves and fishes, we have been able to meet these needs of our congregation. No one need fall between the cracks at this caring church. Increasingly, I am coordinating programs of particular interest to seniors, such as an upcoming speaker who will demystify the tangle of some of the facets of medicare coverage during the enrollment period. I am available to help with grief counseling, to assist with nursing home placements and to find resources to help families and individuals if I am not able.
I was born on Long Island, married while in college and graduated in 1968 from Syracuse University. Our two children, Adriane and Mark, joined my husband and me on the corporate trail for his job, and we lived in Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, before coming to Grand Island in 1992. I have a social work background which is invaluable in my work, as well as great affection and admiration for the people of Trinity.
High School: Baker High School, Baldwinsville, NY 1963
College: Lycoming College, Williamsport 1967 BA (Major: German)
Seminary: Wesley Seminary, Washington, DC 1971 Master of Divinity
Churches served as pastor:
Grand Island, Trinity United Methodist July 1, 1990- June 30, 2005 Retired
Olean, Christ UMC July 1, 1980-June 30, 1990
Bemus Point UMC July 1, 1972-June 30, 1980
Riehenring and Wesley Haus UMC July 1971-June 1972
(Both German speaking)
Rev. Sue Kaiser moved to Grand Island upon retirement in 2002, after 17 years preaching in 4 parishes in WNY. Serving Trinity primarily as their Prayer Ministry Coordinator, Adult Education Teacher, and Worship Dance Coordinator, she has a deep interest in ecumenical relationships and work toward Christian unity/
Bob is happily retired and lives in Tonawanda. He attends 10:30 worship regularly. He is a renowned consumer of books of all types and loves to discuss any and all topics.