Shawn Potter, Director of Music
Shawn Potter holds a master’s degree in organ performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where he studied organ with Hans-Ola Ericsson and John Grew, and harpsichord and continuo with Hank Knox. Originally from Nova Scotia, Shawn graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in music from Mount Allison University, where he held a Canadian Merit National Scholarship as well as a Mount Allison Bell Scholarship. He has held numerous grants and fellowships including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, allowing him to pursue a wide variety of interests, ranging from 17th century North German repertoire and improvisation to the organ works of Olivier Messiaen. Shawn has held organ scholar positions in Montreal at both Christ Church Cathedral and the church of St John the Evangelist.
In addition to his musical interests, Shawn is an avid traveller and enjoys escaping into the wild for long hikes and canoeing trips. He also has a passion for baking and cookbook collecting, and maintains a small, but well-loved, collection of plants at home. Shawn lives in Ottawa with his partner, Jennifer.
Patti Linn, Church Secretary
Patti Linn (née Ronald) was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick in March 1969. Her father was a Canadian Armed Forces officer and her family relocated many times, both in Canada and overseas, before finally settling in west Ottawa (the former city of Nepean) in 1979.
Patti graduated from Confederation High School in 1988 then completed her BA (Honours English) in 1992 at the University of Ottawa. She worked full-time as the Administrative Coordinator for the Ottawa-area Harry Rosen men’s clothing stores until late 1994 when she completed a second Bachelor degree in Education at the University of Ottawa. She then taught long-term supply assignments with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board until 2000, when she came to First Baptist Church as Secretary.
Since that time, she has devoted herself to her work as Church Secretary, and has taken on extra challenges at the church such as singing in the Choir, chairing the Fellowship Commission and coordinating the Greeting and Coffee Hour schedules. She also worked as Tutor and Administrative Coordinators for Discovery University (an outreach program started by FBC offering non-credit university-level education at no cost to the homeless and those living on low-income) until the program was taken over by The Ottawa Mission in 2010.
Patti is married to John Linn. They have three children, Sarah (born in 2007), Hannah (born in 2009) and little Rose, who was born and immediately taken into God’s loving care in April 2011. Patti’s interests include creative writing, gardening and maintaining her freshwater aquarium. She hopes to get back to her childhood passion of horseback riding one of these days!
Patti loves her work at FBC and is grateful for the church’s constant support throughout her career here, particularly in permitting her to bring her young children to work with her each day.
Thino and Phuong Nguyen
Thino Nguyen, Caretaker
Thino and Phuong Nguyen arrived in Canada in February 1984, sponsored by the federal government after escaping from their home country of Vietnam. In 1985, Thino became the custodian of our Church building. Since that time, assisted by her family, she has maintained it in exemplary condition and has provided devoted and faithful service well above and beyond the requirements of the position.
We have watched the Nguyen family in Canada grow through the years with the birth of Andrew in 1986 and Betty in 1994 and through the sponsorship of five family members in 1993. They are truly a classic refugee success story. Although Andrew graciously acknowledges the support they have received from this congregation over the years, all who are familiar with their story recognize that their success in Canada has been due primarily to their own hard work and dedication to their extended family.
Besides the obvious daily caretaking required by an historic church such as First Baptist, The Nguyens have been participants in the life of the Church in many other ways. Thino and Phuong are an indispensable part of the setup and cleanup teams for our annual Spring Book and Plant Sale and our Christmas Bazaar. They keep the steps clear of snow and ice in winter and maintain our green lawn and plants in summer. And Thino’s famous Vietnamese style spring rolls have become a much appreciated tradition at our annual Congregational Christmas Lunch!