The Bible tells us that while Christ established the Church through the Apostles, He entrusted the leadership of the local church to specially appointed men, called elders. In the Bible, elders are sometimes called “pastors” or “bishops.” We normally only use the title “pastor” or “elder,” but they are all used interchangeably throughout the Bible. Elders are responsible to administer the Word and the sacrament, to lead the church spiritually so that it grows in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ and is more and more conformed to His image. In addition to pastors, other men, called deacons, which means "servants," were appointed to help the pastors by freeing them to devote themselves completely to the ministry of the Word and of prayer. Deacons serve the church by taking care of the material needs of the people and the ministry. You can read about First Baptist’s current elders and deacons below.
Tom serves as the Senior Pastor at First Baptist of Clinton, Louisiana. He is married to Joy, his greatest earthly blessing. Tom and Joy have four children: Sophie, Karlie, Rebekah and David. He received his MDiv and PhD degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky with a major in Church History, emphasis on Baptists, and with a minor in Systematic Theology. He is the author of The Doctrine of Justification in the Theologies of Richard Baxter and Benjamin Keach (PhD diss, SBTS). He also serves on the board of directors for Founders Ministries and Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, and is an adjunct professor of historical theology at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.
Fred serves as a pastor at First Baptist of Clinton, Louisiana. He holds an MDiv degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, and a PhD degree in New Testament from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He is the blessed husband of Deborah, and the happy father of three grown children and six grandchildren. He served as a trustee for IRBS, on Administrative Council of ARBCA, the Theology Committee of ARBCA, and is now the Senior Fellow for IRBS. He also serves as a founding Board Member of Founder’s Ministries and has served as a Trustee for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the Professor of Pastoral Theology at IRBS.
Mitch was raised attending church each Sunday, but through the teaching of evolution and a heart not sanctified by the Lord he strayed into atheism at the age of 17. Having cast aside the Lord's Word, he fell into all manner of sin and was far from the Lord. At the age of 20 in 1973, the Lord began to work clearly in his life and through reading the book of Matthew, he was converted by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mitch and Sheri were married in 1976 and have three children and 10 grandchildren with two on the way. Mitch was asked to serve as a deacon at First Baptist Church in 1993 and then as a bivocational elder/pastor in 2005. He received a masters in religion from Reformed Baptist Seminary in 2015.