Over the past year, the events of the world have clarified – yet again – the violence of our society’s racist systems. The effects of this oppression cannot be ignored when considering the systemic injustices of homelessness, and the trauma that tends to precede and follow it. Susan and Anna Donahoe, a mother-daughter team, started Catalyst Project to invite a community of mutual support for single mother families and their young children who are experiencing homelessness. This community, based on the inherent dignity of all members, seeks to meet mothers in a way that reflects and upholds the mother’s wisdom and choice. Susan explains that to invite a community means that “We alone cannot form a community. That can only be done through mutual relationship. Anna and I are not providing answers, leading or creating this space ourselves.”

Catalyst Project is founded upon the belief that creating a society that equitably serves all of its people requires the wisdom of those grossly mistreated by our society. Anna states that “Catalyst Project is about more than addressing homelessness and early brain development. We have come to find that at its core, Catalyst Project is about the process of mutual healing through relationship.”

Susan and Anna Donahoe, Catalyst Project founders

Join us for this program in which Susan and Anna share the story of Catalyst and how the journey has unfolded.

Participation via Zoom and Facebook

This program will be conducted using Zoom with a Facebook Live stream on the First Baptist Church Facebook page. Coordinates for connecting to the Zoom session will be provided after you register. Q&A will be encouraged.


Program Co-Hosts

First Baptist Church – Madison ( A progressive church with a Christian fellowship joining together in the work of God in the world, seeking social justice, and striving to live as witnesses to God’s love.

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice ( The mission of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice is to draw on the wisdom, courage, and strength of our various faith traditions to advance the common good. As progressive people of faith committed to crossing religious boundaries, we uphold the dignity of all human beings. Through advocacy, education, and partnership, we lift the voices of those who are underserved.


FBC in the news on Christmas Day

A condensed version of Pastor Tim’s message on the first Sunday of Advent is included in this article in the Christmas Day issue of the Wisconsin State Journal. Also note the piece by Jenny Arneson, daughter of Ken and Jan Arneson. The influence of First Baptist shows up in Madison in many ways.

Virtual Peace Camp

First Baptist Church Statement on Racial Justice

We’ve seen the news of the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL, Ahmaud Arbery in GA and countless others who have been victims of police brutality, white supremacy, and senseless acts of violence. We have seen the protests across the country demanding justice for these victims, their families, and Black people across the country and the globe. We have seen the effects of this pandemic disproportionately impact Black people and communities of color due to structural racism in our country and abroad.

In these times of grief, despair, and fear, we are reminded of our duties as Christians as Pastor Michael Newheart preached to us not too long ago: “what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). We here at First Baptist want to dig into what it means to do these things in this moment that is exposing to all the deep and festering wounds of racial injustice in this country.

We recognize that our church has supported the mission of social justice for quite some time and celebrate that history and draw wisdom from our experiences, but we still have work to do. Racial inequity is still pervasive in our communities here in Dane County. We have seen police violence against Black people in this city too. What can we do to be a force of change in our own communities and around the world? What does it mean for us as Christians to commit to racial justice in this time and beyond? We are re-committing ourselves to this journey and recognize that we have work to do. We’re starting with educating ourselves on systemic racism and its impacts on our communities, so we can be part of the solution in dismantling these systems. We then plan to share with the public our individual commitments and collective commitments as a church to racial justice. We feel that sharing these commitments better holds us accountable and inspires others to join us in the journey.

(Adopted unanimously by the church membership on June 14, 2020)

Online Worship

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Road to Jerusalem

Winter Sunday Schedule

ALL are Welcome!

First Baptist is a warm and welcoming community that strives to live the Christian faith with an open heart, an open mind, and an open spirit. We are not afraid to ask tough questions as we seek to be wise and intelligent Christians in the modern world. We freely embrace people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, welcoming them into our lives. We strive to faithfully engage the great issues of our day by reaching out into our world with God’s love, justice, and mercy. We  would love to have you share with us in our life together as we join in following Jesus Christ.