Congregation & Elders
We believe that Jesus delegated greatest authority in the church to the congregation itself (Matthew 16:16-19; 18:17-20). Our membership, then, has delegated some of its authority to a group of faithful elders to specifically provide leadership and oversight over the church and help us to govern ourselves according to the Lord's will (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
The church staff's primary role is to "to equip [God's] people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12). This means our staff strives not to do all of the ministry, but to empower our members to use their spiritual gifts to serve our church and our city.
Josh was born just outside Boston in Stoneham, MA, but he grew up in Reading, PA. He moved to Washington, D.C., to study political science and communications at American University. Josh trusted in Jesus Christ for the first time during his junior year in college, after watching a sermon DVD that a friend gave to him. He soon felt called to pastoral ministry and worked at McLean Bible Church for three years following graduation. At American University, Josh also met his beautiful wife, Whitney. After one year of marriage, Josh and Whitney moved to the North Shore of Massachusetts to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where they each earned a Master of Divinity degree. From there, the Lord led them to Boston and Ruggles Baptist Church. Josh first joined the Ruggles staff as Associate Pastor in 2015 under the mentorship of Pastor Larry, and in June 2017, he was called by the church as its Lead Pastor.
Larry Showalter served Ruggles as Senior Pastor since 1981 and passed on his leadership to Pastor Josh in June 2017. Pastor Larry is currently on sabbatical hoping to reenergize and discern in the Lord his future steps. Originally from a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, he made a decision to follow Jesus Christ during the summer between his sophomore and junior years at Penn State University. That decision turned out to be life-changing for him! Upon completion of his college degree he joined the staff of Cru, which enabled him to concentrate his energies in evangelism and making disciples. He met his wife, Lois, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where both were on staff with Cru. Discerning that his future lay in pastoral ministry, he studied theology, earning a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1975. From seminary he accepted a call as Associate Pastor at The College Church in Northampton, MA, before accepting the senior pastorate here at Ruggles Baptist Church in 1981.
Dale has lived in the Boston area since he graduated from Brown University in 1980. He has worked with teenagers in a variety of capacities for close to thirty years. He has been on staff at Ruggles since 1997. He currently resides in Brookline with his wife, two children and extended family. In addition to his responsibilities at Ruggles, Dale is a volunteer football coach at Brookline High School. He is also involved with the Brookline Coalition Against Substance Abuse (B-CASA) and assists the faculty advisor of the Christian club at the high school.
Whitney was born and raised in a loving, Christian family in Houston, TX. After high school and junior college, she decided to make a big move to study at American University in Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in public service. However, while working on Capitol Hill after graduation, she felt called to vocational ministry. She left her staff position in Congress to help lead the college ministry at McLean Bible Church. Whitney met Josh at American University, and after they married, they followed the Lord's call to pursue theological training at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The Lord then led Whitney and Josh to Boston and Ruggles Baptist Church, where Whitney serves as Director of Discipleship.
James grew up about 25 miles northwest of Boston in the quiet, mosquito-infested town of Carlisle, MA. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1991, having majored in Studio Art. In addition to his responsibilities at Ruggles, James has been an after-school teacher for the last 24 years, and an illustrator. James has been a member of Ruggles Baptist Church since 2001. Some of his favorite things are basketball, early morning runs, road trips, trivia contests, cheeseburgers, and Boston’s annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl -- every June at City Hall Plaza! James lives in Brookline with his wife and two children.