John has served as the pastor of our church since January of 2013 after receiving his Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University School of Divinity in December of 2012. Originally from Waynesboro, Georgia, John received his Bachelors in Christianity from Mercer University in 2005.
John has served in various ministry positions in the church, the non-profit world, and global missions. He has been an interim youth minister and a pastoral assistant for community engagement and disciple formation. He has also started a homeless ministry in college, engaged in tsunami relief work in Indonesia after the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami, and worked as an assistant building coordinator with the Macon Area Habitat for Humanity. From 2007 to 2009, John served alongside his wife, Casey, as field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Southeast Asia working with a clean water project.
John’s work and volunteer experience speak to his passion for justice, reconciliation, and holistic communities, but he is also captivated by other, more pedestrian, interests– he loves running, cooking, reading, carpentry, and cups of coffee sipped on a back porch. John and Casey were married in 2006. Casey has recently earned her Master in Social Work through a joint program with UNC Greensboro and N.C. A&T.
Benjamin T. Wright, Director of Student Ministries
Born in Winston-Salem, NC, Ben has spent most of his life growing up along the North Carolina /Virginia border, serving communities in these areas.
In 2010, Ben received his Masters of Divinity from Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, NC. He is also a graduate of Elon University where he double majored in Religious Studies and Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast and New Media.
Ben has served as the Director of Student Ministries with First Baptist Church since July, 2010. He is also heavily involved with the local ministries of House of Hope Homeless Shelter and Grace and Main Fellowship. In his spare time, Ben works as a mobile Disc Jockey, teaches courses at a college in Greensboro and enjoys riding his bike.
Debra Purvis, Financial Assistant
Tammy Vaughn, Administrative Assistant
Sherman Ransom, Sexton
Dot Walker, Housekeeper
Joshua D. Hearne, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Field Personnel
Joshua (Josh) Hearne served First Baptist Church as Associate Pastor from June of 2008 until June of 2012. After a process of ministerial discernment, Josh felt God calling him to serve among the homeless and nearly homeless of Danville,VA through the ministries of Grace and Main Fellowship and Third Chance Ministries. First Baptist Church was honored to participate in the commissioning of Josh and Jessica, his wife, as CBF Field Personnel at the 2012 CBF General Assembly. The Hearnes now serve among people living in poverty in Southside Virginia, a community with twice the poverty and unemployment of the rest of the state. They work with and among those most in need in Danville to meet needs, develop leaders, advocate for justice and share Christ’s love.
A graduate of Duke Divinity School, Josh holds a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Baptist studies. Josh has also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.
Josh is married to Jessica, a local third grade teacher, whom he met while they were students at Georgetown.