MEET OUR MINISTRY AND STAFF TEAM
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord
and not for men. Colossians 3:23
DR. LARRY HARPER
Dr. Harper was called to the pastoral ministry in 1975 and started his ministry at First Baptist in July of 2013. Following his service with the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, he served churches in Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, Durham, Virginia Beach, and Raleigh. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Clemson University, a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Campbell University. Dr. Harper has served NC Baptists as President of the General Board for three terms, as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Baptist State Convention of NC for three terms, as Second Vice-President of the Convention for three terms, and as a member of the Coordinating Council for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC. His interests are design, painting, flying, and travel. He and his wife, Angelia, have two grown children and seven grandchildren.
MINISTER TO CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Uriel joined our staff in January 2019 as our first full time Minister to Children and Families. He and his wife, Sylvia, are originally from Amarillo, Texas. They have three children, Damien, Lillian and Levi. Uriel is a graduate of Liberty University, and is currently working on his Masters from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
MINISTER OF YOUTH & EDUCATION
Rachel has been our MInister ot Youth & Education since October 2001. She is originally from Hartsville, SC. Rachel is a graduate of Columbia College with a degree in Music Education and also earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rachel and her husband, Gene have one daughter, Laynie. Rachel loves to spend time hanging out with students, but her favorite time is to see students worship, serve and grow in their faith
Lisa has been serving as our minister of music since July 2001. She and her husband Brian are originally from Asheville, NC. They have two boys, Manny and Renn Walker. Lisa is a graduate of Mars Hill College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. She also teaches music at White Oak Elementary. She enjoys reading, camping and spending time with her family.
Janet is a “born and bred” Virginian. She attended the Methodist Church during her formative and young adult years and was active in the choir, youth group and as a Sunday School teacher. After moving to North Carolina in 1997, she again became active in her church serving as a Sunday School teacher and co-director, Alpha leader and director, Church Treasurer, Bible Study leader, choir member, and Altar Guild volunteer and co-director. She also is a member of the Daughters of the King prayer order. In 2012, Janet joined our staff bringing with her a lifetime love of the Lord and the desire to serve Him through her work with our family of faith. She loves to relax at the beach, read, quilt and spend time with her husband, six children, eight grandchildren and especially her dog, Cooper.
With extensive office experience, including website and social media management, Becky also has experience working with ACS, our church’s accounting software. She is a native North Carolinian, residing most of her life in the Raleigh/Triangle area. Becky loves the Lord and has been singing His praises with her church choir since her early teens, volunteering for Vacation Bible School, serving as
church financial secretary, and most recently photographing Upward sports and various church events. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking, landscape and nature photography, specialty coffees, flying (yes, she is a licensed pilot) and coastal living in her tiny house.
Michelle was born and raised in a Catholic family in O’Fallon, Missouri. She moved with her family to the Swansboro area in December 1987. After attending several area churches, she visited First Baptist and knew that she had “come home.” She became a member in 1999. Michelle was hired as our Caretaker in 2000. Her love for the Lord and this church is evident in her care of our facility and its members. She served her country in the Army Reserves for 6 years, and has been a volunteer firefighter for 23 years. Michelle loves helping people in any way she can. For enjoyment, she enjoys refinishing furniture, painting and spoiling her five grandchildren. Michelle and her husband, Bob, have been married for more than 30 years.
LEIGH ANN HAIGH
Leigh Ann has been serving in our nursery since 2015. She was not born in Swansboro but grew up here in "the friendly city by the sea." She has been with First Baptist since she was in second grade. She spent many years volunteering with vacation bible school and in the nursery. Leigh Ann is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She enjoys playing softball, traveling, taking walks, and being outside whenever she can. Outside of church Leigh Ann is a pre-school teacher. Her love for children grows everyday.
Marlene has been serving as our organist since 2010. She and her husband, Sam, are originally from Old Fort, NC. Marlene is a graduate of Catawba College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. She enjoys boating, fishing, reading and spending time with her twelve grandchildren. We are blessed to have Marlene on our music team.
Jay is originally from Greenville, NC. Music ministry has always been close to his heart. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Ashbury University. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, building things, games and movies, piano accompanying, and teaching piano lessons. Jay has been a part of the music team for a year, and is grateful to share his gifts in the act of worship.