Rev. Dr. Cliff Hockensmith has been an American Baptist minister for 35 years.  He was born in Greensburg, raised in the First Baptist Church in Jeannette, graduated from Hempfield Area Senior High School in 1970, and received his Bachelors degree in Psychology from Indiana University of PA in 1974.  He earned a Masters in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1978, including a year of advanced Clinical Pastoral Education at the Boston University Medical Center and Zion’s United Church of Christ in Greenville, PA.  He was ordained in 1978 by our own Laurel Association of American Baptist Churches of PA and DE.  Serving churches in PA and DE, Cliff went on to earn his Doctorate in Ministry in 1994 at The Eastern Baptist Seminary in Philadelphia, concentrating in Marriage and Family Therapy.  In 1997, Cliff became the 34th minister of The First Baptist Church in America, founded in 1636 in Providence RI by Roger Williams.

Cliff began trumpet lessons at age 10, piano at age 13, and self taught guitar by age 17.  A product of the Jeannette Little League Baseball system, he remains an avid baseball fan.  Cliff has been married to his wife Carol since 1975.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, based in Greensburg.  They have two grown sons: Andrew is a graphic designer in Rhode Island, and Adam is a marketing manager in Philadelphia.