Meet Your Staff
Michael S. Lea
The Reverend Michael S. Lea is a native of Ider, Alabama. He is a 2002 graduate of Samford University (Birmingham, AL) with a double major in Religion and Classics, a 2006 graduate of Duke University Divinity School with a Master of Divinity, and a 2017 graduate of Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology (Atlanta, GA) with a Doctor of Ministry degree. Michael has served as Pastor of First Baptist Church | West Jefferson since January 2008. Previously, he was Pastor of Bullock Baptist Church (Bullock, NC) from August 2002 to December 2007.
Michael and his wife, Natalie, have two children: John David and Ethan. They enjoy hiking, float-trips on the New River, the Atlanta Braves, and family vacations to Disney World or aboard a Disney Cruise ship.
Associate Pastor of Children & Youth
Patricia Turner is a native of Lincolnton, North Carolina. She is a 1991 graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a major in elementary education, K-6 and a 1995 graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Christian Education focuising on Children and Senior Adults.
Patricia has served as a minister of children, education and senior adults over the last 19 years. Patricia loves serving children and their families. Patricia writes, "God has given me a love for children and the opportunity to aid families in building their spiritual foundation. I look forward to the opportunity to continue God's ministry with children at First Baptist Church."
Music Ministry Director
Janie Adams attended Marshall University and graduated from UNC-W with a BS in Education. She recently retired after a career in elementary education with a specialty in gifted education. Her love for music started as a young child with singing and piano lessons. She has directed choral groups of all ages and hand bells in West Virginia and North Carolina churches. She has been Music Ministry Director (interim and now permanent) at First Baptist West Jefferson since 2018. Her ministry offers opportunities in children's choirs, hand bells, adult choir, and small group singing (instruments, solos, quartets, etc.)
A long standing member and musican of First Baptist Church, Cameron has been part of our music program since 1981, sharing his gifts as a pianist and singer. His knowledge of the people within our congregation has proven to be a great asset when planning the music for our worship services. A talented educator as well as musician, Cameron has directed the Cherub Choir for several years.
Cameron also serves First Baptist Church as a Deacon and as a member of the Music Committee.
Sylvia has been a church organist and accompanist in the Central Florida
area since 1970. A Tampa native, Sylvia married Bob and moved to Lakeland in 2004.
She is retired from Verizon.
Most recently, she was a staff accompanist at Florida Southern College
for two years.
She has an Associate in Arts Degree in Music from Florida Southern
College in Tampa.
The Reverend J. Kennith Morris had a long and distinguished service as pastor of First Baptist Church | West Jefferson from 1973-2006. During his tenure as pastor, he served his community well and is commended for his untiring efforts on behalf of the less fortunate. His compassion for the ill and the bereaved as well as his unsurpassed talent for lifting spirits in dire curcumstances have long been recognized both within this church family and the surrounding community and are integral parts of the legacy he leaves to our church. Our congregation is blessed to have been served by such a dedicated pastor, who now serves as our Pastor Emeritus.
Church & Financial Secretary
A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Becky is a graduate of
Meredith College in Raleigh and also Hardbarger Business College.
She has been the church and financial secretary here at First Baptist since December 2014. She has been a member of First Baptist since April 2011. Becky loves music and traveling and delights in spending time with her family. She is passionate about animals and enjoys the antics of the family dog and two cats. In her spare time, she also works with stained
glass, cooks, gardens, and loves to kayak on the New River.
To say that our church couldn't function without Mary Patrick would be an understatement. Mary has kept FBCWJ spotless since 2000 and is committed to keeping our church looking its best. A dedicated member of Little Laurel Methodist Church, she and her husband Johnny have been members for most of their lives.