Faces of the Faithful

Faces of the Faithful
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.