New year, new pastor

The First Baptist Church may have felt a void leading up to Christmas, but no longer. The Rev. Jerome (Jay) Witham takes the reins as pastor with the Jan. 6 service. A professional gospel musician, he comes from the Whiteside Church in Cambridge, N.Y. He has been a pastor since 1980, and his father, the Rev. Calvin Witham, was founder of Calvary Baptist Church in Hanson and has preached at the Rockland church. First Baptist Church, an independent Baptist church, has been led by the Rev. Fred Boothman, who is leaving to take care of family matters. The church, at 200 Union St., has a Brazilian service and a contemporary service, LifeSong, as well as a traditional service.