was born and raised in Rhode Island. Convicted by the Holy Spirit that he was lost and in need of a Savior, he came to faith in Jesus Christ in the early 1990’s. Shortly afterwards, he became involved in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Rhode Island, serving as a Small-Group Bible Study Leader and a Worship Leader. He was also active at the First Baptist Church of Narragansett, serving as a Sunday School teacher, Worship Leader, and Director of the “Levi’s Place” Coffeehouse.
He has been the Pastor at Carolina since December, 2007. He believes that God loves the Church and desires them to be set apart from the world but active within the world for God’s honor and glory.
John holds a degree in Music from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s of Divinity in Theology from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He loves working on his family’s small farm (three goats, twenty-something chickens, and 2000+ sq.ft. garden), listening to and studying music, playing guitar (he is proficient in several styles), and solving Sudoku puzzles.
He lives in Wood River Junction with his wife, Heather, who also serves as the Music Director at Carolina, and their two children, Nathaniel and Rebecca.
Heather (Niemi) Savage
was born in Red Sox nation and lived in Massachusetts until the
age of ten when her family moved to Rhode Island. Born into a committed Christian family, she
has attended church since infancy. At the age of 6, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal
Lord and Savior with the help of her 2nd grade Sunday School teacher. Heather has served
on the worship team, as a small-group leader, and as a Sunday School teacher in InterVarsity
Christian Fellowship (in college) and at First Baptist Church in Narragansett, RI. While her
husband, John, was in seminary, Heather also prepared for ministry by receiving an Advanced
Certificate from the Seminary Wives Institute at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Heather has studied music since the age of 3, when she started learning piano from her
dad. Later on, she also studied clarinet and saxophone, graduating from URI with a double-
major in music and elementary education. Heather is the music director at Carolina Free
Baptist Church where she leads worship on Sunday and directs the choir. She also teaches
music privately and works as an accompanist locally. She has published a book of
contemporary worship songs, and has written a variety of original “classical” compositions and
At home, Heather homeschools her two children, makes various types of goat cheese,
reads, and gardens.