We believe the greatest authority in the church, besides the Lord Jesus, is the congregation itself (Matthew 16:16-19; 18:17-20). Moreover, our congregation has delegated some of its authority to a group of 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).
Larry Showalter has been leading Ruggles since 1981. 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 Campus Crusade for Christ (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 pastorate here at Ruggles Baptist Church in 1981.
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, where Josh serves as Associate Pastor.
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 23 years, and an illustrator. James has been a member of Ruggles Baptist Church since 2000. Some of his favorite things are basketball, early morning runs, road trips, trivia contests, cheeseburgers, and Boston’s annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl (this year: June 7-9 at City Hall Plaza!). James lives in Brookline with his wife and two children.