Dale Thompson, Pastor
Dale grew up in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Saved at the age of ten, he was called to preach the gospel of Christ at fifteen years of age. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1971. He began to pastor in 1973 after Graduating from Oklahoma Baptist University. Bro. Dale has been a pastor of Baptist Churches in Arkansas and Oklahoma for 41 years. He has served as a member of the executive board of the Arkansas State Convention and is the past president of the Pastor’s Conference of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. He is past chairman of the Board of Trustees at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, at Wake Forest, North Carolina. Since 1992, Brother Dale has been the Pastor of First Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He and his wife Toni have been married since 1974 and have two Sons, Tad and Tyler, and four grandchildren.
Eric Ramsey, Associate Pastor
Eric was born into a pastor’s home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over the past years has served as a student minister, singles minister, pastor, executive at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and president of TCWM (a global missions organization). In May, 2015 he accepted a call as Associate Pastor at First Baptist. Eric is passionate about leading believers to live their lives in worship of the One True God; and lovingly making Christ known to our neighbors and to the nations. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eric and his wife, Gaye, have a son and a daughter, Andrew and Alisha.
Jacob Ray, Music & Worship Pastor
Jacob grew up in Fort Smith, AR and attended First Baptist Church from elementary school through high school. He began serving in ministry as an intern in the music ministry here at FBC. Following his internship, he served in three churches before being called to be the Worship and Music Pastor here at First Baptist. Jacob has sung in choirs and played in the band since he was a young boy and received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas in 2009. He then completed his Master of Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2013. Jacob has been married to his wife Haley for six years, and they are excited to have the opportunity to serve at their home church. Jacob is passionate about developing true worshippers, promoting multi-generational worship, leading the congregation in worship of Jesus Christ, and their son, Judah.
Mark Weaver, Associate Pastor of Family Ministries
Mark has been in the ministry since 1976. He has served as pastor of two churches and recognized from those experiences that God was calling him in a different direction. In 1990 he went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he obtained a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling and has been counseling since 1991. He joined the staff of First Baptist Church in August 2005 as Associate Pastor of Family Ministries. Mark has been married to his wife Cathy over thirty years and they have two adult children. “God made it clear several years ago that His plan for my ministry was in counseling. I’ve enjoyed the journey since then and have seen His hand in the work.”
Matt Passmore, Children’s Pastor
Matt Passmore is from Lawton, Oklahoma. He grew up playing sports and later earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with emphasis in math from Cameron University. Matt married Lisa in 1997, and they have 3 girls, Nicole, Michelle, and Pacie. After teaching and coaching for 7 years, the Lord gave new direction and called him into full time ministry. He has served as a children’s pastor since 2004. Matt joined first Baptist Church in 2009.
Johna Gaddis, Director of Preschool Ministries
Johna surrendered her life to full-time Christian service at age 16 at Barling, First Baptist Church. She graduated (with honors) at the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education the spring of 1980, which is the same year she married her high school sweet heart, Steve. It was one year later that Johna would begin serving, on staff, at First Baptist Church. God has blessed them with two children: Julaina Thornton (husband Aaron) and Sam Gaddis. Johna has served the church over 34 years and loves her Preschoolers. She has made children her life’s work. One of her greatest joys has been to see the children she loved and ministered to have children of their own.