Meet Princeton’s Newest Pastor

Pastor Scott Chesebrough and his wife, Karen, are the newest additions to the Princeton Baptist Church community. They join the congregation with their sons, Micah and Alex. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

The community of Princeton has opened its doors to a new pastor at Princeton Baptist Church. Pastor Scott Chesebrough recently relocated to the area with his wife, Karen, and their two sons, and together they are embracing their new residence as home.

Pastor Scott describes his background in his youth as having taken him “all over the state.” He grew up in a home with devout parents and knew about the Bible and Jesus from his childhood. “But knowing him and having a personal relationship with him are two different things,” Pastor Scott said. It was when he was in his early adolescence that he “trusted in Christ and asked for forgiveness of my sins,” he said. “Since then, it’s been a kind of continual growing and learning.”

Pastor Scott attended high school in Wiscasset, and it was there that he met his future wife, Karen. He was then motivated to attend Bob Jones University in South Carolina to attain his Master of Divinity degree.

Becoming a pastor required Pastor Scott to overcome personal challenges. “As a kid, I hated talking to people,” he said. “I was very shy.” Even though his family suggested that he become a pastor, he didn’t fully embrace the calling until he was in college. As a freshman, his roommate was a senior, and together they discussed Pastor Scott’s fears. “I just came to understand that if I’m going to serve the Lord, I can’t fear people.” Since then, “Come to find out, people aren’t nearly as scary as I thought they were.”

After attaining his theological credentials and marrying Karen, Pastor Scott went on to serve as pastor in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire for six years. “It was very nice. We loved it there, but it was time to move on,” he recalls.

The Chesebroughs moved from New Hampshire to Windsor Locks, Connecticut, soon finding themselves in a very different environment as a result of the nearby urban centers. “We knew we liked rural New England more than living in a city,” Pastor Scott explains, describing how their time in suburban Connecticut helped them to understand that.

The Chesebroughs sought a new location in an area closer to what they were accustomed to, discovering Princeton as the ideal rural community for their purposes. “The church seemed to be a good fit for what we were looking for… we really wanted to get connected with a smaller community.”

Since arriving in Princeton just before Christmas, the Chesebroughs have found it to be exactly what they hoped for. “You go to the grocery store, and it’s not just somebody that’s a face – you start to meet people and get to know more about them,” Pastor Scott said.

The Chesebrough children, 9-year-old Alex and 10-year-old Micah, were homeschooled in Connecticut, but here, their parents wanted them to be in the public school system. “They’re enjoying getting involved in the elementary school, meeting lots of new friends,” Pastor Scott said. “They’re loving it so far.”

Karen, meanwhile, is a teacher by trade. She’s been substituting at the elementary school and is currently working to get her state credentials in order to become a permanent teacher in the local system.

The congregation of the Princeton Baptist Church is approximately 35-40 people, according to Pastor Scott, making it similar to the sizes both he and Karen knew in their youth. He appreciates that after the 10 a.m. Sunday service, there is time to speak and to discuss the service over a shared meal.

Pastor Scott describes the church’s health as robust in its faith and community. “It’s a church that loves God’s word, and loves to study it, and talk about it, and just enjoys fellowship with each other.” When there’s a get-together of any kind, “everybody’s always here, because it’s like a family.”

Like many churches, however, the Princeton Baptist Church has a predominantly older population. “Lord willing, I’d like to see some younger families or couples come,” Pastor Scott said.

“For a lot of people, church isn’t something that they’re used to. Maybe it’s a little bit intimidating,” Pastor Scott said. “But, I think people here are very down to earth, and I don’t think anybody would feel out of place if they came here. We have lots of different people – some have been in the community forever, and some are newer, like us.”

 

Aside from the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, there is a prayer and Bible study every Wednesday at 7 p.m. All are welcomed to attend either gathering.