Rev. Robert (Bob) Bachelder, Minister and President

During his tenure with WAMS, Bob has served as the founding president of several housing organizations, including Habitat for Humanity Worcester, the Worcester Community Loan Fund, and Worcester Community Housing Resources. He was as an early president of the Worcester Committee on Homelessness and Housing, a forerunner of the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance.

He has led such community-wide collaborations as the Neighborhood Leaders Forum, Pathways to Progress, the United Way’s mission and vision task force, and the original Worcester housing summit that created the foundational working relationships among the political, banking, and non-profit sectors necessary to develop and preserve inner city housing stock. With WAMS’ sponsorship, he organized the first regional working conferences to address such emerging concerns as homeless children, community reinvestment, and the foreclosure crisis. At the behest of Worcester Mayor Joe O’Brien, he led the successful regional effort to preserve Chapter 40B, the Commonwealth’s affordable housing statute.

Bob has been a director of the Worcester County Ecumenical Council, Worcester Interfaith, and the Massachusetts Council of Churches and its legislative strategy arm. He has been active in varied settings of the United Church of Christ, serving as a director of the Massachusetts Congregational Fund, chair of the denomination’s committee on socially responsible investing, a member of its original planned giving committee, and a committee chair at General Synod. He authored the resolution on Responsible Stewardship of the Outer Space Environment approved by General Synod in 2015, the first such statement to be adopted by a religious institution. He is an ex-officio director of the Central Association and a member of the Saint Wulstan Society.

He also has been a director/officer for a variety of other institutions, including the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Higgins Armory Museum, South Middlesex Opportunity Council and its financial services arm, Martin Luther King Jr. Business Empowerment Center, Pakachoag Music School, Colony Retirement Homes, Dartmouth College Club of Central Massachusetts, the American Antiquarian Society, and the American Congregational Association/Congregational Library. Along with program development and strategic planning, he has extensive experience with finance, investment, advancement, and audit committees.

Bob has written widely in the field of social ethics, including a dozen essays for The Christian Century on economic and social policy subjects. His publications have been utilized in theological and business school curricula and are referenced in academic books and international publications. He also has contributed articles to a variety of professional journals on subjects including religion and psychiatry, English novelists, and Protestant hymns and social conscience. He authored a book of sermons for a popular lectionary preaching series.

A graduate of Dartmouth and Yale Divinity School, he was with the Rhode Island Hospital Trust and served congregations in England and Massachusetts before joining WAMS.

Bob’s email address:

Mary Robbins, Vice President for Program

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Mary began her career at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) as a project engineer tasked with designing community outreach programs related to used oil collection, household hazardous waste collection, and septage management. She went on to become the Policy and Planning Manager for the Executive Office where she worked closely with staff overseeing the transformation of MWRA’s sewage treatment system and water supply, distribution and treatment systems, including developing an agency-wide set of consistent mitigation policies to ensure fair and equitable practices related to community impacts. While at MWRA, Mary also co-authored several publications, including the award-winning “Down the Drain” curriculum and the “First Five Year Report to the Governor and Legislature.”

In addition to her work with the State, Mary has worked closely with several non-profits including the Worcester County Ecumenical Council, The Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA, Friends of Families in Transition and Trinity Church, Northborough.

Mary’s email address: