Blake Boylston, Senior Pastor
Blake grew up most of his life in Savannah, GA where he was blessed to have been raised in a family that attended a gospel-preaching church regularly. It was at 13 years of age that he believed the gospel at an evangelistic meeting and began to follow Jesus Christ. When he was 21 years old, he began working with his father in the commercial cleaning industry doing everything from customer service, management, finances, and cleaning. In the providence of God, it was in 2007 when he met his wife Julie while on vacation in the Bahamas and 11 months later got married. While still working in the cleaning business, in 2012 he also began his pastoral ministry at Quacco Baptist Church in Savannah. After attending a Weekender and meeting Mark Dever, it was 3 years later that he participated in the Fall 2015 Pastoral Internship program at CHBC before going on staff as a Senior Pastoral Assistant. After spending 4 1/2 years on staff at Capital Hill, Blake was called as the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Fort Smith. The calling was confirmed by the FBC church family on October 13. 2019. Blake will be installed as the senior pastor on January 5, 2020. Blake and Julie have three beautiful children, Noah, Avery, and Titus.
Eric Ramsey, Associate Pastor
Eric was born into a pastor’s home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prior to coming to First Baptist, he served as a pastor, an 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 and was honored with a Doctorate in Theological Education from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Trujillo. 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, Next Generation 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.
Wes Holland, Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Leadership Development
Wes joined the staff at First Baptist Church in March of 2018. He grew up in Owasso, Oklahoma and spent most of his childhood serving with his family in starting new Southern Baptist Churches throughout the Tulsa community. Wes surrendered to vocational ministry at the age of twenty-five. He served on staff at multiple churches in Broken Arrow and Tulsa before moving with his family to Chicago, Illinois to work with the North American Mission Board planting churches in the western suburbs of Chicago. Wes has a passion to help all people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through Gospel-centered discipleship. He holds a bachelors in Organizational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University and a Masters from Wheaton College. Wes and his wife, Katie, have two children, Madi and Elliot.
Will Boyd, Director of Children’s Ministry
Will grew up in Fort Smith and began attending First Baptist Church in junior high. After high school, he served in many roles at FBC, including helping in his mother’s preschool class, helping in the Children’s ministry, and being a Sunday school teacher and intern in the Youth ministry. He also worked several summers at Camp War Eagle, a Christian adventure camp in northwest Arkansas. During this time, God revealed that His plan for Will was in ministry. Will left FBC in 2017 right after marrying his wife Cara, to begin bi-vocational ministry as the Children’s Pastor at First Southern Baptist in Central City, Arkansas. Will joined the staff at FBC as Director of Children’s Ministry in January 2019. He and Cara are excited to be back to FBC with their daughter Bella.
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.