‘Buster’ Soaries named to RWJBarnabas board

The Rev. Dr. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr., the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, has been named to the RWJBarnabas Health board of trustees, the health system announced Friday.

Soaries, who was New Jersey’s secretary of state from 1999 to 2002, will serve a three-year term on the board, West Orange-based RWJBarnabas said in a news release.

“We are extremely pleased that Rev. Soaries has joined our corporate board of trustees,” Jack Morris, the board chairman, said in a prepared statement. “As a current member of the board of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Rev. Soaries devotes his energies to improving the lives of the patients we serve. His experience and passion will help to foster meaningful initiatives that will enable us to continue to improve the health and wellness of our communities.”

Soaries has been with First Baptist Church since 1990, leading a congregation of 7,000 members. He is the author of seven books and received the 2018 Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers’ Award, among his honors.