First Congregational Church Hires Senior Pastor

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KINGSTON, New Hampshire– First Congregational Church has expanded its leadership team with a key hire, with Josh Armendariz stepping in to serve as their new Senior Pastor. Josh joins First Congregational after previously serving as the Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Iowa. 

First Congregational Church, located in Kingston, north of Boston and close to the Eastern Seaboard, serves more than 300 members each week and has been a historic pillar of faith in the northeast and the New Hampshire area since the early 1700s. 

Vanderbloemen, serving clients with a greater purpose, including churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and values-based businesses, loves the whole church and is honored to have walked through a season of succession and leadership transition with FCC and then partner with them on this vital and important hire. 

“It was a joy to work with First Congregational Church in the search for their next Senior Pastor. FCC has a rich history and heritage and they were looking for a strong leader who could continue that legacy through preaching, shepherding and strong leadership,” Executive Search Consultant Tim Gocha said. “I'm always amazed by God's leadership and how He guides us in finding the right candidate for each church we work with. In this case, Josh Armendariz was serving at a church in Iowa but had a desire to go back to the Northeast. Josh is a perfect fit for First Congregational because he understands the culture of the area and the church. This unique and God-inspired partnership between pastor and people will continue their rich legacy, and ensure a bright and fruitful future.” 

Josh— a husband, father, and pastor who is passionate about communicating the Word of God to enable people of all ages and cultures to experience life in Christ— holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell and brings extensive ministry and leadership experience to his new role, including serving in various staff roles and most recently leading a church through revitalization and fresh vision. 

First Congregational Church, a vibrant community of 380 members, is steeped in rich tradition and history. The parish church of Kingston was gathered on September 17, 1725, with Ward Clark as Minister. His successor, Joseph Seccombe, reaped 177 members during the Great Awakening and fostered four daughter churches. Most notable among the members of the church was Josiah Bartlett, the first Governor of New Hampshire and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Elihu Thayer, Minister from 1776 to 1812 founded the New Hampshire Missionary Society. A society at nearby Andover aided the church in organizing the Sabbath School in 1813.

Today, First Congregational Church serves their community and each other through robust outreach ministries, worship, Christian education, missions, and a commitment to tradition and the legacy of those who went before them. They welcome all inside their doors to a spacious fellowship, education, and worship space on Sunday mornings to the tune of Carillion bells, a nod to their rich history. 


Vanderbloemen serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession, and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally. 

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