OUR pastor

John Knox Helveston

John grew up in Laurel and graduated from R.H. Watkins High School in 1972, Ole Miss in 1976, Denver Seminary in 1979 (Master of Divinity) and Western Seminary in Portland Oregon in 1997 (Doctor of Ministries). John married Lucy Low, also of Laurel, in 1978.  Since then, John and Lucy have served churches in Florida, Illinois, the Philippines and San Jose, California.

Since 2014 John and Lucy have been serving with the International Baptist Convention ministering to English speaking churches in Europe and Central America. This ministry has taken them to Panama City, Panama, Vienna, Austria and three cities in Germany: Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt and Münich.  John recently returned from Romania, Ukraine and Greece where he worked with refugees through All 4 Aid
John and Lucy have four grown children and ten grandchildren.  They currently serve as Missionaries in Residence at First Baptist Church, Laurel.
John is now serving as our Pastor.

. . . from Pastor John

“There’s no crying in baseball!”

As members and friends of First Baptist Church we’re beginning a new season. We have enjoyed the highly unusual blessing of the leadership of a loving, gifted and faithful pastor for three – count them – three decades.

For perspective, think of this:

When Pastor Randy and Sharon began their ministry in 1992 Aladdin was the top movie, gas was $1.13 and the most notable quote was “There’s no crying in baseball!” spoken by Tom Hanks’ character in A League of Their Own.

We grieve the Turners’ departure, we are grateful for their service and now, together, we begin to build upon their legacy: A healthy, unified, grace-giving, Christ-honoring church.

Lucy and I are far beyond grateful for the privilege of serving you during our transition.

We thank you for your many expressions of support and we know we can count on your prayers.

I will not only be preaching but am available for prayer, encouragement and counsel.

We have had an exceptional under-shepherd in Pastor Randy. We still and will always have our Great Shepherd to lead us through this and every season.

All glory, praise and honor be unto Him!

John K. Helveston
Transitional Pastor