Pastor Rick Harpel

Interim Pastor

Pastor Rick was raised in Kansas, schooled in California, and worked in business in New York. He and Chandra were married in 1983 and went into ministry after seminary at Denver Seminary. They have three married children and two grandchildren: Andy & Bonnie (Jude & Lucy), Greg & Molly, Emily & Andrew. Rick has pastored in Colorado, New York, and most recently for 22 years in Washington State. He is now a partner with Interim Pastor Ministries. He has joined our staff to help guide our church family as we move forward to serve the Lord, the Corvallis community, and the world. His passions are the teaching of God’s word, the ministry of the local church, and his family.

Rick enjoys Bible study, games, hiking, reading, writing, and above all, spending time with his wife, kids, and grandkids.

Pastor Russ Richmond

Lead Pastor of Youth and Worship

Pastor Russ is married to Kristen and they have five children: Will, Grace, Josiah, Hope, and Abigail. For eight years Russ and his family have served at Salt Creek Baptist Church in Dallas Oregon before joining us in 2015 at FBC. Russ has a heart for youth, commitment to discipleship-based ministry, desire to build leaders, spiritual maturity, and a passion for God’s glory.

Russ and his family enjoy church life, music, learning, camping , boating, snowboarding and surfing. Kristen home-schools their kids, they are avid learners, readers and want to follow God with their lives.

Pastor Bill Knopp

Pastor Emeritus, Director of Congregational Care

Pastor Bill Knopp and his wife Suzanne were born and raised in Oregon. They enjoy their three children and nine grandchildren. Bill and Suzanne met at Seattle Pacific College where Bill majored in Psychology and Suzanne in Christian Education. Bill graduated from Western Seminary in Portland, OR, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Pastor Bill pastored First Baptist Church in Bend, OR, First Baptist Church in Elmhurst, IL, and First Baptist Church in Corvallis, OR. Today, he serves as a part-time chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital and Director of Congregational Care here at First Baptist Church of Corvallis

Kathy Ferrier

Children's Ministry Director

Kathy Ferrier is the Children’s Ministry Director at First Baptist. Kathy began teaching Sunday School in the Fall of 1994 and continues to serve in both Sunday School and Kids church. She became Children’s Ministry Director in November of 2009. She oversees and supports 54+ teachers, helpers and volunteers who serve children from Nursery through fifth grade.

Kathy has been a member of FBC since 1981. She and her husband Steve currently live in Corvallis, OR, and have raised their three children: Becky, Ian, and Joel who now attend college and grad schools. Kathy has always loved working with children and thinks it’s the best job in the world to share God’s Word with the children here at First Baptist!

Mary Ellen Wernow

Director of Pastoral Care for Women and International Outreach

Mary Ellen Wernow grew up as a missionary kid, moving back and forth between cultures in Africa and the Northwest. In June 1977, she came to First Baptist Church as a summer youth intern and then as director of Christian Education while also studying for her Ed.M. at Oregon State University. While in Corvallis, she met and married Jerome and in 1980 they relocated to Portland to attend Western Seminary. They later served as missionaries in Belgium with Greater Europe Mission, established the Northwest Center for Bioethics in Portland, and served in two churches in southwest Washington. They returned to Corvallis in 2017, where Jerome has relocated the bioethics center and spends time in international ministry and theological mentoring. Mary Ellen again serves on staff at First Baptist, this time in the areas of leadership and connecting with internationals.

Jeff Harris

College Ministry

Jeff Harris graduated from Oregon State University in 1980 and from Denver Seminary in 1985. He married Teresa in 1982 and they have three daughters: Laura born in 1985, Katie born in 1988, and Amy born in 1991.

Jeff has been involved with the Campus Ambassador ministry in Corvallis since his student days and now directs the OSU ministry and gives guidance and direction to other CA staff at OSU, LBCC, and the international student ministry through Campus Ambassadors. Campus Ambassadors is the ministry to college students at First Baptist Church.

Brooke Staples

Financial Clerk

Brooke Staples is the Financial Clerk. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Management from OSU and has a Bookkeeping certificate from LBCC.

Brooke is married to her husband Isaac. They got married in July of 2017 and now have two dogs, Zoey and Ajax. She and Isaac enjoy hiking, tandem bike riding, caring for family, and taking everyone on fun adventures.