Pastors & Staff

 Rev. Dave Roberts, Interim Pastor

University Baptist Church—Seattle is pleased to welcome our new Interim Pastor, Dave Roberts, to our congregation effective July 13, 2014.

Rev. Dave Roberts holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Washington where he was an elite distance runner. He holds a Masters of Divinity from American Baptist Seminary of the West.

Dave has served as pastor of three churches in Washington state: Palouse Federated Church, First Baptist Church of Mountlake Terrace, and First Baptist Church of Yakima. Dave retired in 2012. He and his wife Merletta moved to Federal Way on March 1st of this year. They have two grown daughters.

Pastor Roberts is familiar with leading congregations in transition. During the last eight years of his pastorate in Yakima, that church community made a major decision to change the structure of the congregation. For several years they established and nurtured a growing Hispanic congregation which also met in the church building. The immediate neighbor-hood in which First Baptist Church of Yakima is located is heavily Hispanic, so the two congregations made the decision to merge — to have one board and one operating budget. Change indeed! The merge was successful.

After retiring two years ago, Pastor Roberts pursued the required training to earn his certification as a volunteer mediator with the Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima and Kittitas Counties. His focus area was marriage dissolution and parenting plan disputes. He plans to eventually apply for accreditation with a Dispute Resolution Center in either King or Pierce Counties and continue his volunteer mediator service.

He currently serves as President of the Washington Baptist Convention and as Secretary of the American Baptist Seminary of the West Board of Trustees. He and Merletta have spent the Spring of 2014 volunteering with MMBB traveling to visit retired ministers and missionaries and their spouses throughout the state of Washington. (We use the acronym “MMBB” quite freely at University Baptist. It stands for “Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board”, a nonprofit Christian organization serving churches and faith-based organizations since 1911 with investment and retirement and investment services for ministers and missionaries.)


 Rev. Margaret Paynton, Minister of Music

I began my tenure as Organist of University Baptist Church August 1, 1976, while still a student at the University of Washington.  I graduated with double Bachelor degrees, one in Organ Performance and the other in Music Education, holding a Washington state teaching certificate in Elementary Music Education.  The UW Music School was where I met my husband Jim, and we were married in 1975.

In 1983, I began a second career teaching elementary music while continuing my work at UBC.

Over the years, I have been privileged to work with a number of gifted and exceptional Choir Directors, and several times, I stepped in to fill the gap between Directors. I have also been blessed to work alongside several Pastors, with an increasing sense of collegiality in the creation of worship experiences.

It is not customary for a church musician to join the church membership of his/her employ, but I made the decision early on that UBC was and is my church home.  I have been embraced by the congregation through celebrating my accomplishments and mourning with me at times of personal loss.  In 2005, I served as Moderator, and in 2008 assumed the duties of Choir Director as well as Organist.

The congregation that has nurtured me since 1975 has also called me to Ministry.  In 2009, I decided to pursue Local Ordination in the American Baptist Churches.  I was ordained on June 27, 2010.

I also receive much support from my family, which has grown to include two children, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law. Mary and Tracy, and Matt and Diane all enjoy the beauty of God’s creation with us through spending time on our boat, another member of family, as it were.  We have owned Maranee, an all mahogany 1940 Chris Craft, since 1989.


Carolyn Bolton JPGCarolyn R. Bolton, Office & Communications Manager

I joined the staff at University Baptist Church in October 2013, almost one year to the day of having moved to Seattle (from Salem, Oregon) to very purposefully embark upon the second half of my life. An empty-nester since my two children, Andrew and Kimberly, had ventured into the adult world to fashion lives and families of their own, I was for the first time free to imagine and create the day-to-day life experience I wanted. Seattle was clearly the “where”, and I was blessed to discover that UBC is most certainly the “what”.

Born and raised in Southern Idaho, I left for Oregon to attend Corban University & Graduate School (formerly Western Baptist College) in Salem, Oregon. I graduated magna cum laude with a BA in music and communications, plus all Corban graduates complete a minor in theology as part of mandatory curriculum requirements for this Christ-centered private liberal arts college. Salem became my home for the next several decades, as it was there that I raised my children as a single mother since they were ages 4 and 5.

I have worked in the nonprofit world for the past 20 years, focused on public relations, communication, program management, training, fundraising and grant writing. The organizations in which I worked served range from services to at-risk teens, low income elderly and Native American small business owners -- to securing job training, job coaching and job placement for adults with disabilities. I also spent in state government as a public policy mediator, helped launch the Salem Business Journal as its editor, and served as executive director of a nonprofit community mediation center where I funded and launched a culturally-appropriate mediation program for Spanish-speaking Hispanic-Latino members of the community.

I live with my cat Dusty in a small studio apartment that is perfect for me in every way – including the fact that in a 100+ year old building that is merely a 10-minute walk down 15th from UBC! This was exactly my vision when I relocated to Seattle. My non-UBC hours are spent writing book reviews for several publishing houses, cooking wonderful soups and ethnic dishes from scratch, walking in the Ravenna Ravine and other lovely urban green spaces with my camera in hand. I love Seattle’s wealth of art, museum, live theatre and music choices, and am an avid film aficionado.  

It brings me much happiness to support UBC’s ministry in the community. It feels like I have come “home”.