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updated on 1/6/2010 1:11:16 PM
Former First Baptist Associate Pastor now leads church in Asbury Park
After spending four years as an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, the Rev. Dr. Byron P. Wess is now serving as Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Asbury Park.


updated on 1/5/2010 8:22:10 PM
C. Vivian Stringer and Rutgers Women Basketball Team Celebrate the Holidays with Foster and Adoptive Children

On Saturday, December 12, 2009, C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers Women Basketball Team joined Rev. Dr. DeForest ‘Buster’ Soaries, Jr., CEO and the Staff of Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc., for their 10th Annual Holiday Celebration for children and families. The event took place at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens located at 771 Somerset Street in Somerset.

"This is a time to celebrate for children who have experienced the misfortunate of separation from their families and have entered the foster care system; but, however, they are experiencing nurturing and care in loving foster homes," said Maureen Archibald, Harvest of Hope's Executive Director.

“The goal of Harvest of Hope is to create lasting memories for children who often have experienced such great trauma and to have a long term impact and to deliberately and positively influences their lives,” Archibald added. “Our annual holiday celebration creates an opportunity to celebrate with the families who have committed to making a difference in the lives of children.”

Harvest of Hope, founded through the vision of Rev. Dr. DeForest Buster Soaries, Jr., has embraced a 12-year partnership with the Department of Children and Families, playing a vital role in the recruitment and retention of foster families. The program is a statewide program with offices located in Somerset, Cumberland and Essex Counties and foster homes located throughout the state of NJ.

Harvest of Hope has licensed 345 foster homes and has placed almost 700 children into these homes. The program has successfully finalized adoptions, forever families for 220 children who were not able to return to their biological families.

Children who are in the foster care system and others who have been adopted, along with their families, came together to celebrate the holiday season and have the opportunity to meet and be inspired by Basketball Hall of Fame coach, C. Vivian Stringer, of the Rutgers Women Basketball team. The children and families enjoyed lunch and received a gift for the holiday. They also were entertained by music on a steel pan along with musical guest, JacBRANDii and the dance group, Know Your Culture, giving them a taste of Christmas in the Caribbean.

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updated on 12/5/2009 7:56:58 PM
$25 MILLION PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN CJCDC AND APDS ANNOUNCED
Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens and CEO of Central Jersey Community Development Corporation (formerly First Baptist CDC), today issued the following statement concerning a new $25 million foreclosure prevention and affordable housing partnership ...


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Registration deadline is Friday for those interested in becoming foster parents to Haitian orphans
Harvest of Hope Family Services Network is sponsoring free training sessions for people interested in providing temporary assistance to Haitian orphans. The sessions are Feb. 15 and Feb. 20. The deadline to register is Feb. 12.
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Nonprofits brace for continued pain in 2010
That was a key message this morning at the Sobel & Co. annual nonprofits symposium, which heard from Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Franklin Township; Linda Czipo, executive director of New Jersey’s Center for Nonprofits; and Ken Berger, chief executive of Charity Navigator, of Mahwah, which rates 5,500 charities across the country to help donors decide which charities to fund. The symposium was held at the Woodbridge Hilton, in the Iselin section of Woodbridge.

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Mayor: Meeting in Franklin about October cop-student brawl 'productive'
Mayor Brian Levine called a Saturday meeting concerning October's melee at the high school “very productive.”
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