The Rev. Karen A. Mendes has been an American Baptist her whole life. The Baptist principles of freedom of conscience, freedom of association, and embrace of diversity all under the Lordship of Jesus Christ undergird her ministry of preaching the Gospel, encouraging the faithful, advocating for the vulnerable, and working with others to bring peace and justice to our world. In our increasingly polarized society, the ability of people of faith to serve God together across theological lines is an important witness and example for our society at large.
A graduate of Middlebury College and Andover Newton Theological School, Rev. Mendes was ordained in 1996 and served as a Hospital Chaplain in Wisconsin, an Associate Pastor in Massachusetts, and a School Chaplain in Florida before returning to her home state of Vermont. She was called to First Baptist Church, Burlington as their Interim Pastor in September of 2012 and was installed as their Pastor in May of 2014.
Rev. Mendes lives in Essex Junction, Vermont with her husband and two children.