Faces of the Faithful

Faces of the Faithful
August 2022

Alison Shaw


Age: 47  Spouse/Children: Les/Alexandria, Leyton & Ayden

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: Discipleship Associate & Women’s Ministry Lead, Calvary Baptist Church, Bastrop

Years at Current Church: 4 years
What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
I’ve seen some really awesome connections being formed between some of our younger women and women who are more mature in both their faith and years. We can all learn from one another, grow with one another, and encourage one another—even when we are in different places in our faith journeys.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
I think since COVID has happened, women are looking to build relationships. I’d love to see God open doors for new, deep, lasting relationships in the women’s ministry. We have some new opportunities for women’s fellowship-based small-groups that I pray He will bless in whatever way He sees fit.

David Wilson


Age: 66   Spouse: Laura

Total Ministry Years: 48

Church: Senior Pastor, Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock

Years at Current Church: 30 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Continued numerical growth and baptisms, 300 new members this year, supporting six church plants, and helping many local churches with various construction needs as well as ministry needs.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Always give the credit and glory to the Lord for what He is doing. God has His hand on Southcrest and we are trying not to mess it up!

John Brandt


Age: 39   Spouse/Children: Amanda/Isaac, Anna & Sarah

Total Ministry Years: 14

Church: Pastor, First Baptist Church of Hempstead

Years at Current Church: 7 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Our primary growth demographic has been in young families during a time when young families value less and less the need for church. We have been thankful to have the opportunity to meet and minister to new young families each week as they become more connected to our church body.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?
Transitioning from a programmatic, event-based ministry to an intentional discipleship ministry. Our focus has shifted from how many people we can reach on Sunday morning to how many people we can reach Sunday through Saturday. We don’t want people to “come and see” the church. We want people to “go and be” the church.

Marc Farnell


Age: 55    Spouse/Children: Kim/Jessica, Macey & Hannah

Total Ministry Years: 27

Church: Senior Pastor, CrossRidge Church, Little Elm

Years at Current Church: 19 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We are celebrating the growth of our Spanish-speaking ministry. God has made our unity stronger, our love deeper, and His gospel clearer by His grace and work in us.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for God to continue opening doors for us to share His truth and show His love to the community around us. Pray for God to be glorified in our lives, marriages, families, and ministries.

Matthew Harding


Age: 48   Spouse/Children: Jennifer/Sarai Smith (24) & Jon (23)

Total Ministry Years: 29

Church: Lead Pastor for Teaching and Vision Casting, The Well Church, Argyle

Years at Current Church: 7 years
What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
Our prayer and strategic goals for The Well this year are that we would learn to be a praying church, doing all of life and ministry through prayer. As we become a praying church, we believe we will be better at evangelism, discipleship, and soul care.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry you know you’ll never forget?
We have baptized 150 new believers in the last six years and we are prayerful to see many more people accept Christ as Savior and Lord. Please pray God would continue to glorify Himself through changing lives for eternity at The Well and that we would be faithful to disciple these beautiful souls into disciple-making and missional disciples ready to be usable in the Lord’s hands to reach others.

Shelly Taylor


Age: 51   Spouse/Children: Tye/Bayley, Bryne & Thaddeus

Total Ministry Years: 25

Church: Director of Preschool & Children, First Baptist Church of Dallas

Years at Current Church: 18 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have been so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to expand our reach to preschoolers and children across the nation and even the world with the launch of our First Dallas i-Campus Kids and our virtual AWANA program.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
The greatest lesson in ministry that I pray I never forget is the fact that regardless of how extensive my formal education and great my years of experience, I am never qualified to sit in my seat of leadership over preschoolers and children. It is only the Lord Jesus Christ working in and through me for His purposes—for His glory and honor alone.

Tony Richmond


Age: 39   Spouse/Children: Kristen/Caleb (12), Levi (10) & Nora (8)

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Associate Pastor—Family Ministry, First Baptist Church of Keller

Years at Current Church: 16 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have recently begun a series of in-depth studies called Pillar of Truth Training Courses. It has been a joy to see members who are 90 years of age studying alongside members who are 20 years of age.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point in your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Success in ministry should be defined in terms of faithfulness. It can be a challenge to avoid basing success in ministry upon worldly standards, but we must base success in ministry in terms of our faithfulness. I have come to understand that this kind of faithfulness is evidenced by obedience to God’s Word and possessing a strong work ethic in ministry.
July 2022

Angie Catron


Age: 47  Spouse/Children: Tom/Courtney & Austin

Total Ministry Years: 23

Church: Administrative Assistant, Graceview Baptist Church, Burleson

Years at Current Church: 11 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
No matter what is happening around me in ministry, God requires me to obedient and faithful in serving Him and others. That includes sharing the gospel.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
I want to see members be obedient and faithful to the Lord and His church by being faithful in attendance, serving, giving, and sharing the gospel.

Keith Pate


Age: 61   Spouse/Children: Julie/Emily, Jonathan & Allison

Total Ministry Years: 38

Church: New Hope First Baptist Church, Cedar Park

Years at Current Church: 11 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
About three years ago, New Hope celebrated 150 years of ministry in our community and around the world. We used it to not only celebrate God’s grace for the last 150+ years, but to cast vision going forward. New Hope is not a dying historic church, but a very vibrant community of faith with a good balance of young, median, and senior adults with families. We have seen recently some real progress in terms of being a missional or sent people.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that our ongoing intensive Missional Living Training will bear eternal fruit.

Jacob Fitzgerald


Age: 42   Spouse/Children: Micaela/Samuel & Grant

Total Ministry Years: 22

Church: Lead Pastor, Denman Avenue Baptist Church, Lufkin

Years at Current Church: 5 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
God blessed us with unprecedented enrollment in our 2022 Vacation Bible School. God has opened doors to ministry in neighboring apartment complexes, which has allowed us to share the gospel and build relationships with unreached families. God saved over 150 souls during a recent mission trip to Nepal. Our faith family is stepping up their commitment to serve for the advancement of God’s kingdom.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
I am specifically asking God to humble our church that we might experience the liberty of complete dependence upon Him, which will position us to be used more effectively for His honor and glory.

Kason Branch


Age: 44    Spouse/Children: Shanea/Owen & Kayden Grace

Total Ministry Years: 12

Church: Senior Pastor, Creekstone Church, North Richland Hills

Years at Current Church: 6 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We recently finished a strong season of mentorship at our local high school, which actually completes year three! We have nearly 50 young men in the program and celebrate as nine are graduating high school this year! We’ve also purchased our first facility in the North Richland Hills area through a partnership with the Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation. It’s a real game changer for us! As such, we’ve been able to canvas our local neighborhood several times this past spring going door-to-door doing evangelism and praying for our neighbors. God is moving!

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for God’s protective hand to be with us as we seek to reach the harvest!

Frank Pacheco


Age: 52   Spouse: Petra

Total Ministry Years: 25

Church: Pastor, Primera Iglesia Hispana, Fort Worth

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
We want to see everyone get involved in sharing the good news of salvation.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry you know you’ll never forget?
I have been called to ministry by God, therefore I trust in Him in everything.

Lakan Mariano


Age: 67   Spouse/Children: Kim (deceased)/Micah, Joshua & Rachel

Total Ministry Years: 34

Church: College Hills Baptist Church, San Angelo

Years at Current Church: 34 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Being in the same church for over 30 years has allowed me to see the ripple effects of discipleship over several spiritual generations. It has also been a joy to see the leadership of College Hills, especially the elders and the Bible teachers, to be biblically sound in their teaching and conduct of life and leadership in the church.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
I covet the prayers of my brothers and sisters as College Hills prepares to transition to new leadership.

Susan Gobert


Age: 59   Spouse: Ricky

Total Ministry Years: 36

Church: Cedar Creek Baptist Church, Whitney

Years at Current Church: 4 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have seen an influx of new people to our community and have had many visitors every week in church.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point in your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
That I cannot fill every hole that comes open. Trying to fill a role that I’m not called to just robs my joy and someone else’s opportunity to serve.
June 2022

Ed fenton


Age: 36  Spouse/Children: Sara/Brooklyn, Bailee, & Brenna

Total Ministry Years: 18

Church: Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Malakoff

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Results and church growth are not dependent upon my skills and abilities. I must be diligent to preach the Word of God faithfully, be devoted to prayer, and whole-heartedly dependent upon the Holy Spirit to bring about growth to His people in His time.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?
Having been a senior pastor for only seven months, my greatest challenge has been creating a healthy rhythm for sermon preparation. I underestimated the amount of time that would be devoted to understanding processes and workings of the church and overseeing staff and daily operations of the church.

Francis Calimbahin


Age: 52   Spouse/Children: Aireen/Samantha & Andrea

Total Ministry Years: 19

Church: Senior Pastor, Caprock Church, Arlington

Years at Current Church: 19 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We celebrated our 17th church anniversary on March 27.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for the spiritual maturity of our church members.

Gail Hendrix


Age: 69   

Total Ministry Years: 1

Church: Church Secretary, Community Baptist Church, Crosby

Years at Current Church: 2 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
I would say personally the regeneration of our women’s ministry to include the re-development of our women’s leadership team. We were recently on a retreat to grow closer together and learn tips on leading this ministry. The SBTC was critical in this amazing retreat led by Laura Taylor.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
How important it is to be both authentic and transparent with your women. Ladies need to know they are valued enough for us to share “our real” and that there is always hope in Jesus. I’ve also learned how important it is to bathe your ministry in prayer, to include praying for women by name.

John Lowrie


Age: 52    Spouse/Children: Kristi/John David

Total Ministry Years: 29

Church: Pastor, First Baptist Church of Terrell

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
We want to see God transform our city through the gospel proclaimed through His people at FBC Terrell.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
The power of connection and relationship for ministry.

Joe Rivera


Age: 58   Spouse: Nancy

Total Ministry Years: 24

Church: Pastor, Primera Iglesia Bautista, Grand Prairie

Years at Current Church: 14 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We are celebrating being able to worship together in our church building and people are feeling more confident about coming back. People are also more confident in sharing the gospel..

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry you know you’ll never forget?
We as ministers are not indispensable and that the Lord is sovereign. Everything we do is for His glory. I’ve also learned to trust Him more.

Melissa Meredith


Age: 36   

Total Ministry Years: 9

Church: Director of Women’s Ministry, Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have an increasing number of women wanting to discover and use their spiritual gifts in the church. Women who have never served before are stepping into areas of service and flourishing.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
I’m praying for a continued culture of discipleship across the generations. I pray God would continue to stir and embolden the hearts of older women to engage younger women in mentorship and discipleship relationships, as there is a need for both. May we be women who lean in to community, say yes to sharing our spiritual legacy, and trust God to equip us for every good work He sets before us!

Tim Jones


Age: 55   Spouse/Children: Latonya

Total Ministry Years: 11

Church: Pastor, Church LYFE, Allen

Years at Current Church: 11 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
In March of this year, we celebrated two years of never closing our doors, no church members’ lives lost to COVID-19, and a resurgence in attendance and giving due to the recognition that our church “stood through it all.”

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Please pray that Abundant Faith Baptist Church acquires the relationships, resources, and knowledge to fulfill the vision that God has given us.
May 2022

Amanda Gladden


Age: 27   

Total Ministry Years: 5

Church: Family Associate to Children, Tate Springs Baptist Church, Arlington

Years at Current Church: 3 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
I have learned to ask God for help and believe that He will provide exactly what is needed! Whether I am writing a lesson, planning an event, or scheduling volunteers, I know that I am incapable of doing it on my own and that it is only through God’s grace, power, wisdom, and provision that these things can be done.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?
The biggest challenge in my ministry right now is having enough volunteers for nursery/pre-K. We are blessed with many families with little ones and are honored to come alongside parents to care for, love, and teach their children. I have a wonderful group of volunteers but I am struggling to add new volunteers to our team.

Blake White


Age: 39   Spouse/Children: Alicia/Josiah, Asher, Karis, Knox, & Bo

Total Ministry Years: 12

Church: Lead Pastor, South Side Baptist Church, Abilene

Years at Current Church: 5 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
As we are seeking to practice regenerate church membership, we recently shifted from elder-rule polity to elder-led congregationalism. This has increased member ownership and fueled the culture of discipleship we are seeking to cultivate.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
I would love prayers for increased love of Christ and increased hatred of sin. My people most need my holiness. If I am being sanctified, everything else will work out.

Charles Lee


Age: 51   Spouse/Children: Carol/Caleb, Grant, & Truett

Total Ministry Years: 28

Church: Lead Pastor, Acts Fellowship Church, Austin

Years at Current Church: 23 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Our annual churchwide family retreat that we had put on hold the past two years due to the pandemic resumed this year, and we are currently in the process of building our own church building. We are excited about the young people we are reaching in the greater Austin area with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The age of most of our congregation is between the early 20s to 30s.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Cultivating and nurturing your own personal walk with God becomes even more vital as you age and as the church grows. Unless I am abiding in Christ Jesus, I have nothing to give.

Charlie Robinson


Age: 42    Spouse/Children: Lyndsey/Aiden (14), Gracie (10), & Addilynn (1)

Total Ministry Years: 20

Church: Pastor, Fellowship Baptist Church, Athens

Years at Current Church: 2 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Two new members shared ministry news: one told a story of getting to know their neighbors because of the use of Bless Every Home and the other shared how they are getting involved in the Abundant Life Pregnancy Center.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Dr. Ted Elmore once said, “You are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to go into a storm.” This helps me relate to the widow who will, for the rest of her life, suffer from losing the love of her life and to the senior whose grandchild has no connection to the church, along with everyone in between.

Edward Beltran


Age: 52   Spouse: Lorena

Total Ministry Years: 26

Church: Pastor, Genesis Baptist Church, San Antonio

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We will celebrate 15 years as a church since beginning as a church plant.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry you know you’ll never forget?
I’ve learned to trust and obey the Lord in all things because we do not see the big picture in God’s plan.

Petra Pacheco


Age: 52   Spouse/Children: Frank/Frank, Jonathan, Isaac, & Giovanna

Total Ministry Years: 20

Church: Pastor’s Wife, Primera Iglesia Hispana, Fort Worth

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
A past student of mine and her mother recently contacted me and now they are members of our congregation.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
We want to see everyone involved in sharing the good news of salvation.

Michael Sheets


Age: 59   Spouse/Children:Theresa/Marcus, Jarrod, Miai, Alexa, & Micah

Total Ministry Years: 32

Church: Pastor, Abundant Faith Baptist Church, Humble

Years at Current Church: 4 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
In March of this year, we celebrated two years of never closing our doors, no church members’ lives lost to COVID-19, and a resurgence in attendance and giving due to the recognition that our church “stood through it all.”

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Please pray that Abundant Faith Baptist Church acquires the relationships, resources, and knowledge to fulfill the vision that God has given us.
April 2022

Pam Copeland


Age: 60   Family: Mark/Trevor, Ashley, Julia, & Pam

Total Ministry Years: 30

Church: Director of Children’s Ministry, Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock

Years at Current Church: 6 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
We should never want to stop learning and growing in our relationship with our Lord! Keep seeking kingdom work and making Jesus our greatest pleasure and purpose daily!

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
For protection against complacency or pride. My prayer is to always stay humble and to encourage and show Christ through my actions and words, especially to the kids and their families I’ve been called to lead and serve with.

John Mark Robinson


Age: 61   Spouse/Children: Chellie/Taylor Robinson, Erynn Moore, & Hannah Sharff

Total Ministry Years: 40

Church: Pastor, Crossroads Church, Canton

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
The Lord brought 85 men to a men’s dinner we recently held on a Friday night. Restored is a ministry impacting anyone with a hurt, habit, or hang-up. This ministry is reaching over 50 men and women each week.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray Crossroads would join with other believers and other churches in our community to focus on the Great Commission. Pray for our unity and total dependence on our Lord for every need we encounter. Pray for our focus, that it would continue to be on God as we seek to impact our community with the good news Christ has to offer all people. Pray for God’s anointing on our staff and elders as they lead. Pray for Christ to be lifted high in our hearts as we look to the future.

Rafael Berlanga


Age: 55   

Total Ministry Years: 35

Church: Pastor, Primera Baptist Church, Fort Worth

Years at Current Church: 10 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Our English as a Second Language program is averaging 80-90 students and 20-25 children and youth.

WWhat’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Being wise in knowing how and when to make changes. Finding a balance to not change things too quickly.

James Martinez


Age: 42   

Total Ministry Years: 21

Church: Lead Pastor, Ecclesia Community Church, Brownsville

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We are experiencing tremendous growth as a church plant and we have 15 new church members.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in your ministry lately?
One of the biggest challenges is that people in our low-income community are very dependent on social welfare programs and they do not see the importance of being dependent on Christ.

D’Ann Laywell


Age: 66   Spouse: Mark

Total Ministry Years: 30

Church: Minister to Children, North Richland Hills Baptist Church

Years at Current Church: 6 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We are celebrating that we now have four different churches meeting in our church every week. We are happy to share our large buildings with so many others. God has blessed us so much and it is good to give to others.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry you know you’ll never forget?
That God always provides the workers and I shouldn’t worry, but just rely on Him. There is never a problem that is not too big that He can’t solve. I have learned to “chill” and let God do His thing.

John Meador


Age: 65   Spouse: Kim

Total Ministry Years: 38

Church: Senior Pastor, Cross City Church, Euless

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We’ve just finished our Generations Project with new NextGen ministry space and focus.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
We’re looking for the perfect site for our North Campus in the North Tarrant County area, praying for the exact spot for maximum gospel penetration.

Donald Bean


Age: 59   Wife:Kristi

Total Ministry Years: 32

Church: Pastor, Morton Baptist Church, Diana

Years at Current Church: 2 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
In the months that followed COVID, we have had to overcome many hurdles we never experienced before. We celebrate that our doors were never closed as we continued with online services until we could have in-person services. Our church has not faltered in giving and serving.

What is something you want to see God specifically do in your church this year?
For God to continue to grow and unify our church as we follow Him ministering in our community. That we would not give up but keep reaching further to help see the next generation become the leaders that will bring the lost to Christ.
March 2022

Caleb Fleming


Age: 36   Family: Gwendolyn/Colton, Noah, & Lily

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: Fairview Baptist Church, Sherman

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
I can’t save a church and toxic leaders won’t kill a church. This is Christ’s church to do what he sovereignly wills.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Wisdom and discernment. I am driven, and while that is a blessing in many areas, it also can create unneeded blind spots that can hurt relationships. Please pray that I can be methodical in leadership so as to not damage relationships with people I have been called to shepherd.

Tim Thompson


Age: 66   Wife: Melissa

Total Ministry Years: 14

Church: Mountain View Baptist Church, El Paso

Years at Current Church: 14 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
Not to try to push my agenda. Things go so much better when we realize that “it’s not about me.” Worship is an audience of one and it’s not me! It’s not you, either!

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that we keep moving in God’s direction, seeking his will and ministering accordingly.

Jose Arzate


Age: 27   Wife: Natalie

Total Ministry Years: 9

Church: Travis Avenue Baptist Church Español, Fort Worth

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have seen our Spanish service double in size since the pandemic. We want to give all the glory to God for what he is doing at Travis within our Spanish service. We are a church with three different services and two different languages with the same mission. 

What is something you want to see God do specifically in your church this year?
Our prayer is to see the Hispanics within the Fort Worth area that are far from God come to know Jesus. We want to see an awakening on the streets of Berry and Hemphill—an awakening that reaches future Hispanic generations.

Michael Pender


Age: 55   Family: Janice/Bailee, Michael Jr., Arnelle, & Colin

Total Ministry Years: 36

Church: Fallbrook Church, Houston

Years at Current Church: 28 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have been blessed to celebrate the sustaining power of God throughout this pandemic. We are absolutely grateful to God for how he allowed us to continue ministry within the church and the community during such an unexpected and unpredictable time.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
We are asking God to continue to open doors that allow us to pour into our community. We realize the church does not exist simply to edify those within its walls, but the gospel must go out to all.

Philip Levant


Age: 45   Wife: Patricia

Total Ministry Years: 23

Church: Iglesia Bautista La Vid, Hurst

Years at Current Church: 13 years
What’s something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We restarted our Sunday morning discipleship school January and started an institute at our church to invite men to an intensive discipleship experience. Attendance is returning to pre-COVID levels and giving has increased nearly 13 percent from 2020 to 2021.

What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Casting new vision for our Sunday morning discipleship school and raising the bar of commitment; motivating members to teach children; and transitioning the worship service from Spanish to bilingual.

Rod Jones


Age: 53   Family: Veronica/Seth, Nash, Joel, & Zyon

Total Ministry Years: 25

Church: Nacogdoches Bible Fellowship

Years at Current Church: 8 years
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
One of my biggest challenges is to get people to trust God and to darken the doors of the church again. God is still faithful and people are slowly coming back to the house of the Lord.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Continue to pray that God will bring the resources to do what he’s called us to do. We believe in God for a gym and we don’t have a lot of resources here in the East Texas area. I know God will provide.

Jonathan Coleman


Age: 37   Family: Natalie/Mackenzie, Titus, & Timothy

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Mission Dorado Baptist Church, Odessa

Years at Current Church: 8 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Throughout COVID and through the season of pastoral transition, God gifted us a unique unity of the body as well as baptisms, salvations, and additions to our membership.

What is something you want to see God specifically do in your church this year?
Due to the employment of the oil fields in our area, the nations are literally moving in within a mile from our church. Every time we go door to door, we meet people who have never heard the gospel. I am pleading with God that we would see many in our community come to faith this year.
February 2022
Adam Mathews

Adam Mathews


Age: 32   Family: Jordan/Jeremiah & Georgia

Total Ministry Years: 15

Church: Nolan River Road Baptist, Cleburne

Years at Current Church: (10, 6 as pastor)
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
New additions and a growing opportunity to disciple new people in our community.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
We are praying for God to use our church to lead people to Christ and then disciple them to Christian maturity. Our city is growing, which means that our immediate mission field is also growing.

Caleb Ann


Age: 55   

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Living Fountain Korean Church, Carrollton

Years at Current Church: 8 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
I have learned that I cannot do anything on my own.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for us to “Take courage, for as you have solemnly witnessed my cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also” as is written in Acts 23:11.
Joshua Crutchfield

Joshua Crutchfield


Age: 37   Family: Jamie/Josalyn, Jayden, Joelle & Jaycee

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Emmanuel Baptist Church, New Caney

Years at Current Church: 1 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
I’m powerless without the Holy Spirit. It is too easy to rely on my education, training, and trends to do ministry and not rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit. … Divorced from the power of the Spirit, I’m just a human trusting in what I can see instead of relying on the one I cannot see. The way to overcome this is by devoting time to prayer. Prayer is the eyesight of our faith.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that the Lord would continue to add to our congregation; that we would continue to see people saved, baptized, and discipled; and that the Lord would provide us the means to find a permanent place to worship and serve.
Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper


Age: 33   Family: Kailie/Sophia & Lydia

Total Ministry Years: 15

Church: Grace Community Church

Years at Current Church: 8 years
What’s one thing you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We paid off building debt during a pandemic. We’ve also been able to celebrate salvations and baptisms and continued growth.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Wisdom for the present and future, renewed affections for Christ, and a deeper desire for prayer.
Nathan Vanderbough

Nathan VanderBoegh


Age: 34   Family: Leah/Elizabeth, Theodore, Bennet & Edmund

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: FBC Kopperl

Years at Current Church: 3 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point in your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
One lesson that I have learned is love. I would have never thought that is a lesson that is a continual lesson to learn but love is that important.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
I would like to see God bless our men’s ministry. When I came to this church, the church had many spiritually young Christians. I would love to see these young Christians grow in their faith and become leaders in the community.
Wes Hinote

Wes Hinote


Age: 39   Family: Rhonda/Cadence, Kylie & Cambridge

Total Ministry Years: 19

Church: Old River Baptist Church, Old River-Winfree

Years at Current Church: 5 years
What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Last year we were able to see almost 40 people trust Christ and follow in baptism. All this in a town of under 600. Our people have embraced the “Who’s Your One?” initiative and God has been blessing us greatly!

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for encouragement. While we have seen God’s work through so many different outlets, we have also been battling Satan and darkness every step of the way. Our little town has experienced more loss this year than ever before. Pray that the church would continue to be a beacon of hope for our community.
Wes Terry

Wes Terry


Age: 36   Family: Audra/Blaise, Attie-Jo, Briggs

Total Ministry Years: 17

Church: Broadview Baptist Church, Abilene

Years at Current Church: 15 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care. You won’t succeed in pastoral ministry unless you’re humble, personable, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for revival at Broadview BC and in the city of Abilene, for our pastors and staff to labor with joy, for our congregation to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and for an increased zeal in personal evangelism.
January 2022
Anthony Svjada

Anthony Svajda


Age: 38   Family: Kristen and 2 kids

Total Ministry Years: 15

Church: Harvey Baptist Church, Stephenville

Years at Current Church: 6 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have seen a bunch of people go through our discipleship program and get saved and serious about their walk with Christ. God has used our church to make disciples who make disciples.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that we can reach more people in the community for Christ, specifically that we would see an impact in our schools and at Tarleton State University.

Cesar Gabriel


Age: 54   Family: Irma and 4 kids

Total Ministry Years: 36

Church: Iglesia Bautista Trinidad, Laredo

Years at Current Church: 21 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
As a church in revitalization, we are thankful for the new and young families that have been joining our church. The sound of babies in the congregation on Sunday mornings is a welcomed sound.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
We are transitioning away from some things and toward new things. In a Baptist church that is 115 years old, that takes time. So prayers for patience on my behalf and the people's behalf with me.

Darrell Vang


Age: 38   Family: Kaitlyn and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 13

Church: Unity Point Church, Plano

Years at Current Church: 2 years
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Planting a church and having a newborn are very similar. Much nurturing has to be done for the newborn and the church plant. Trusting God becomes hard in moments and not being able to see results can be discouraging, but the Lord is faithful and I’m thankful for constant reminders that he is in control.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Please pray that my desire would always be God’s desire and that doors would be opened for Unity Point to reach and engage our community in ways we could never have imagined and that all of it would be for the glory of Christ.

Joseph Ogletree


Age: 38   Family: Sherrell and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 12

Church: Image Church, Cypress

Years at Current Church: 4 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
The Lord recently blessed us with a 5,000-square-foot building on five acres of land in the heart of our community. We have been praying for this very moment. It has been such a blessing to serve our neighbors and have our very own place that we can call home.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that as we continue to grow that God continues to provide for our staffing needs and resources. Pray that the Lord continues to equip us to empower others in our church to share the gospel and bring others to Christ. Pray that God gives us the courage to reach and meet the needs of this generation.
Michael Visy

Michael Visy


Age: 29   Family: Michelle and 2 kids

Total Ministry Years: 7

Church: Grace Church, Hewitt/Waco

Years at Current Church: 3 years
As a young pastor, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
Strategically selecting and developing other leaders, especially those older and more experienced than me.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
For continued faithfulness in evangelism and discipleship. We don’t have massive Sundays with numerous professions of faith; we see slow, steady growth both qualitatively and quantitatively. It’s hard to remain patient and not get discouraged, but God is faithful.
Murray Kimball

Murry Kimball


Age: 35   Family: Tara and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: FBC Colmesneil

Years at Current Church: 3 years
What is something you’ve been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Last year we were able to see almost 40 people trust Christ and follow in baptism. All this in a town of under 600. Our people have embraced the “Who’s Your One?” initiative and God has been blessing us greatly!

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for encouragement. While we have seen God’s work through so many different outlets, we have also been battling Satan and darkness every step of the way. Our little town has experienced more loss this year than ever before. Pray that the church would continue to be a beacon of hope for our community.
Ryan Gilbert

Ryan Gilbert


Age: 33   Family: Lauryn and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: Lamar Baptist Church, Arlington

Years at Current Church: 2 years
What’s one lesson you’ve learned to this point of your ministry that you know you’ll never forget?
I’ve learned not to let problems fester. It took far too long for me to learn this, but I’ve learned to face problems or difficulties head-on and allow God to solve out in the open.

What’s one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
I want to see God continue to grow our brand new college & career, young adults and young families small groups. I also want to see God continue to allow us to reach into our immediate neighborhoods. Arlington is the 8th most diverse city in the country and we want to reflect that even more than we do already.
November 2021
Matt Bowles

Matt Bowles


Age: 39   Family: Lindy and 4 kids

Total Ministry Years: 20

Church: Ovilla Road Baptist Church, Ovilla

Years at Current Church: 1 year
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have baptized 11 people in the past year -- either over the age of 21, three over the age of 50. Our church has become more unified during the past year and focused on evangelism.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Honestly, I want to be content in doing the ministry of the Lord, content in feast and famine. We have so much good happening. It makes me afraid for my heart.
Warren Camp

Warren Camp


Age: 36   Family: Rachel and 4 kids

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: FBC Fort Stockton

Years at Current Church: 3 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
As a church in revitalization, we are thankful for the new and young families that have been joining our church. The sound of babies in the congregation on Sunday mornings is a welcomed sound.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
We are transitioning away from some things and toward new things. In a Baptist church that is 115 years old, that takes time. So prayers for patience on my behalf and the people's behalf with me.
Ricky Fuchs

Ricky Fuchs


Age: 40   Family: Candace and 2 kids

Total Ministry Years: 20

Church: Lane Prairie Baptist Church, Joshua

Years at Current Church: 9 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We celebrated the 150th anniversary of the church in May. A year-and-a-half ago, under our previous pastor (who I served under for a number of years) we began a Ministry Intern Program with five people. This semester we expanded to 11, many from around the world.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
I am praying that God will use more of the body at LPBC to be intentionally involved in evangelism, not just through the church, but in their daily lives.
Marcus Hayes pic

Marcus Hayes


Age: 44   Wife: Mandy

Total Ministry Years: 20

Church: Crossroads Baptist Church, The Woodlands

Years at Current Church: 1.5 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
17 baptisms in one day!

What's one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church?
Help us to be a praying, soulwinning, and discipling church and to teach our members to reach and disciple others and to live on mission.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for our new staff to settle in and grow in Jesus while serving in our local body.
Andrew Hebert

Andrew Hébert


Age: 34   Family: Amy and 4 kids

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Paramount Baptist Church, Amarillo

Years at Current Church: 5 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
Our student ministry has been a highlight. We've seen nearly 30 students come to faith in Christ and have baptized many of them. Our student pastor urged the students to read through the entire Bible over the summer and it was exciting to see many of them accept the challenge and begin the spiritual discipline of daily Scripture reading.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray for endurance in ministry during the challenging dynamics of a post-COVID world.
Jerry Horine

Jerry Horine


Age: 27   Family: Jaclyn and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 9

Church: Friendship Baptist Church, Montalba

Years at Current Church: 4 years
What's one lesson you've learned that you know you'll never forget?
Pastoral fellowship is of extreme value and importance. I have a group of pastors that I love dearly that get together regularly. It is a time of rest to be able to gather and not have to carry the pressure and weight of entering the room as "the pastor."

As a young pastor, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
It has been a true miracle that a church established in 1860 called and followed a then-23-year-old pastor to wherever God was leading! The challenge comes with making sure that I am a good steward of this.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Our prayer request is that God would give us a desperation for him!
David Mai

David Mai


Age: 52   Family: Phoebe and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 19

Church: Kirkwood Church, Houston

Years at Current Church: 16 years
What is something that you have been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have had many new members join our church this past year.

What's one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church?
We want to see God revive his people this coming year.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Please pray that we would be strong and fruitful for the Lord.
Ed Johnson III

Ed Johnson III


Age: 44

Total Ministry Years: 27

Church: Harvest Fellowship Baptist Church, DeSoto

Years at Current Church: 4 years
As a young pastor, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
Pastoring members during this COVID crisis and seeking to help them fight off spiritual apathy.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that God would continue to help us stay on mission to lead people to trust and obey Jesus even in the midst of this COVID crisis. Also, that God would continue to grow our church in every way and that we would be able to secure a larger space to accommodate that growth.
Rickey Primrose

Rickey Primrose


Age: 36   Family: Megan and 4 kids

Total Ministry Years: 13

Church: MacArthur Boulevard Baptist Church, Irving

Years at Current Church: 10 years, 2.5 as lead pastor
As a young pastor, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
Navigating the divisive issues/topics of our culture within the church (i.e. politics, race, COVID) in a manner that keeps us focused on our gospel unity and mission. Learning how to receive criticism that's offered in nonconstructive ways and managing the variety of responsibilities of the pastorate.

What's one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
We want to see God generate a movement of prayer within the body.
Caleb Turner

Caleb Turner


Age: 37   Family: Tamera and 3 kids

Total Ministry Years: 14

Church: Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church, Mesquite

Years at Current Church: 6 years
As a young pastor, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
Honoring the past while embracing the future. Determining what "problems" within our local church are worth the time, energy and equity investment to see real change.

What's one lesson you've learned that you know you'll never forget?
Being with a member as they take their last breath surrounded by their family in a hospital room. The reading of Scripture or the singing of a hymn is often better than anything else I could come up with to say in those moments.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that God would remove the sense of spiritual apathy that has taken root in many of our churches.
Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith


Age: 34   Family: Laura Ashley and
2 kids

Total Ministry Years: 16

Church: Immanuel Baptist Church, Marshall

Years at Current Church: 3 years
What is something you've been able to celebrate at your church recently?
We have had a great year despite COVID — a continual increase in attendance, baptisms and giving.

What's one lesson you've learned that you know you'll never forget?
Everyone is looking to the pastor for leadership at all times. Stay prayed up and ready for any situation.

What's one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
We want to see major evangelism and soul-winning happen by our congregation in our community.
Wes Wilkinson

Wes Wilkinson


Age: 32   Family: Bethany and 1 child

Total Ministry Years: 10

Church: FBC Pflugerville

Years at Current Church: less than 1 year
What's one lesson you've learned that you know you'll never forget?
God is faithful to sustain and empower those he calls. Doubt never means yes.

What's one thing you want to see God do specifically in your church this coming year?
To see a passion for Jesus that leads to a desire to reach the community and the up-and-coming generations.

How can other SBTC churches be praying for you?
Pray that I start well and am filled with the Lord's wisdom.