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Rev. DeForest "Buster" Soaries served as New Jersey Secretary of State from 1999 to 2002

Buster Soaries to retire

Former Secretary of State has led Franklin church for 29 years

By David Wildstein, July 28 2019 9:10 pm

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Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries, a former New Jersey Secretary of State and congressional candidate, announced today that he will retire from his position as Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Franklin.

Soaries, 67, has led his congregation since November 1990.

Gov. Christine Todd Whitman nominated him to serve as Secretary of State in 1998.  He served from 1999 until 2002, when Gov. Jim McGreevey took office.

Soaries challenged Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) in New Jersey’s 12th district in 2002.  Holt had won re-election by just 651 votes two years earlier, but redistricting added Democratic areas that helped him beat Soaries by 41,868 votes, a 61%-37% margin.

His retirement is expected in November 2020, after the church has completed a search process.

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3 thoughts on “Buster Soaries to retire

  1. I have been a member of the church since 2011 and have benefited from the preaching and visionary programming of Pastor Soaries, i.e. dfree movement, small group ministry and community outreach. Thank you pastor for maintaining pastoral integrity through the years and thank you for enhancing my intellectual growth and spiritual depth. Thank you for making our community and our world a better place for shared growth.

  2. I have been a member of the church since 2011 and have benefited from the preaching and visionary programming of Pastor Soaries, i.e. dfree movement, small group ministry and community outreach. Thank you pastor for maintaining pastoral integrity through the years and thank you for enhancing my intellectual growth and spiritual depth. Thank you for making our community and our world a better place for shared growth. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement in November 2020.

  3. When I first moved to New Jersey all alone, I was told that First Baptist was a great church. Reverend Soaries and wife were very very loving people. I want to congratulate him on his retirement and the best life to come. God bless you Pastor and wife.

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