May 31, 2022
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has formed a new partnership with the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast (BFN) to expand its presence in the region. BFN has named Grace Martino-Suprice as its first full-time paid Coordinator. She succeeds Phyllis Boozer, who has led the CBF regional organization for the past 10 years.
In this dual role with CBF and BFN, Martino-Suprice will continue to serve on the CBF Outreach and Growth team, where she cultivates engagement and partnerships with individuals, organizations and churches new to CBF, and also works with FAMILIA, CBF’s Latino Network, to ensure the growth and belonging of Latinx persons within the Fellowship.
Martino-Suprice is a graduate of Gordon College, where she earned her bachelor’s in Christian Ministries and Sociology. She received her master’s in Community Development Policy and Practice from the University of New Hampshire. She and her husband, Benji, live in New London, Conn.
CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley expressed his gratefulness to Boozer for her leadership in the Northeast over the past 10 years.
“Phyllis Boozer has offered outstanding leadership to the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast and to the larger Fellowship family,” Baxley said. “Several years ago, she led our community of state and regional coordinators. She has invested time, vision, energy and gifts toward a growing presence for our Fellowship in the Northeast, and in her retirement has laid a foundation for even more growth. I am grateful for her friendship and partnership.”
Baxley also celebrated the expanded partnership with BFN and selection of Martino-Suprice.
“I am so pleased that the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship have entered in this new partnership, which, for the very first time, will allow for the presence of a full-time coordinator in the Northeast who will also be a member of our CBF Outreach and Growth team,” Baxley said. “This is a transformative step as we respond to God’s call for our Fellowship to grow beyond our historic presence in the southeastern United States. Grace Martino-Suprice is an incredibly gifted leader in our Fellowship who brings a deep love for congregations and natural gifts to help our Fellowship grow in every way. I look forward to working with her, the leadership of BFN and our Outreach and Growth team in the days and years ahead.”
Kasey Jones, CBF’s Associate Coordinator for Outreach and Growth, praised the leadership of Boozer and said is hopeful for the possibilities that lie ahead as BFN expands its reach.
“The new relationship between the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast and CBF’s Outreach and Growth team is exciting to see develop,” Jones said. “BFN’s confirmation of Grace as Coordinator will allow deeper collaboration and allow the uniqueness of BFN to expand in its reach in the region and within our larger Fellowship.”
“Phyllis has served the region well and it is her leadership that has helped make it possible to have a paid BFN Coordinator possible—her volunteer work, relationship with Wilton Baptist Church who donated funds for the position and her tireless commitment to build and sustain community in the Northeast.”
Jones highlighted Martino-Suprice’s Northeast roots, energy and love for CBF and BFN.
“BFN has affirmed one of their own as Coordinator,” she said. “Grace’s love for CBF and BFN will be an incredible asset to this new season. She understands the unique way regions live out community in the Fellowship. She is gifted, full of energy, personable and has a keen analytical mind. She has a high capacity to work with diverse groups and considers how to keep them engaged. I look forward to what God will do with the new partnership and Grace’s leadership.”
Boozer, a native of Alabama, “retired” in 2006 after many years of service teaching high school math in Atlanta and Wilton, Conn. Since 1976, she has been an active member of Wilton Baptist Church in Wilton, Conn., as a longtime deacon, missions committee member and Sunday school teacher. In November 2013, she assumed the role as coordinator of Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast—a CBF regional organization encompassing nine states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
“As I reflect on the last 10 years of serving as Coordinator for Baptist Fellowship Northeast, so many images come to mind,” shared Boozer. “I am grateful to those pioneers in 1993 who made it possible for BFN to come to be. The pastors, chaplains, and lay leaders in our region who are creative and dedicated to serving their congregations and communities have been an inspiration to me. The friendships that I have made with those in our region, the coordinators of our CBF states and regions, as well as the CBF staff will shape me for years to come.”
“I am confident in the future of BFN under the leadership of Grace Martino-Suprice. Grace grew up as a young Baptist in one of our BFN churches. ‘One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.’ BFN has been faithful,” Boozer said.”
Martino-Suprice shared her excitement to take on this new role and honored to follow in the footsteps of Boozer.
“Words cannot express how excited I am to serve as the new coordinator for the Baptist Fellowship of the Northeast, specially in this kairos moment where CBF is intentionally and faithfully seeking to strengthen and expand the family,” she said. “Growing up and being formed in the Northeast has exposed me to deep and diverse expressions of faith, and it is an honor to be able to walk alongside individuals and congregations in BFN. I am also so blessed to have Phyllis, a woman of immense commitment and deep love, as my predecessor and guide.”
Martino-Suprice begins this new role on August 1.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.