First Baptist Church Leadership
First Baptist Church is blessed to have a leadership team who are truly dedicated to Christ and accomplishing His will. Following are brief bio's of our leadership team and their qualifications for ministry.
Pastor Brian and Carla Stone and their four children have lived in northeast Missouri all of their lives. Pastor Brian accepted Christ at the age of 18 while working a summer job at a factory before heading off to college. Brian’s god before had been sports and he had dedicated his life to them, and had already accepted a scholarship to play basketball in college. God had other ideas as he took the dedication that Brian had applied to sports, he started using them for the kingdom of God. Two weeks after accepting Christ, Brian was out on the mission field with a group of teenagers on a youth mission trip. Two years later Pastor Brian took over the children and youth ministry at his local church and became the youth/children & associate pastor. Soon after that God lead Pastor Brian into full time ministry.
“I believe that my early years in children/youth ministry has made me a better senior pastor today. I understand the importance of reaching the whole family for Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Brian married his high school sweetheart (Carla) and they have four children (Alex, Aaron, Megan & Garrett).
Pastor Brian not only pastors but travels to other countries and builds churches through Brian Stone Ministries.
I was 17 years old when I realized the Lord had a purpose for my life. Through a series of divinely designed events God captured my heart and arrested my soul for His kingdom. I have often felt like David in the way that he was called and anointed but still in the molding process.
When I was 19 I married Tricia, the love of my life, my help mate, the mother of my children, my best friend, and my partner in ministry. We have three sons: Nathan, Mitchel, and Gable. I was 26 years old when I came to a realization of why and what God had called me for. I can only describe it as a deep struggle with the weightiness of God’s call. I knew He was calling me to preach and pastor. However, just like so many of us and because of past mistakes and insecurities I felt totally unworthy and unable to accomplish what He was calling me for. I soon realized just how key that was, It was so key because without Him doing it, without Him taking over… all is lost. So I surrendered to the Lord and His call in 1998, immediately I was given an opportunity to preach at Canton First Baptist, “just to see if I was right”. Talk about nervous I was sweating bullets until I stepped to the pulpit and the Lord took over and I felt at home in my skin and felt like “this was purpose”. I was soon called to pastor a little church in Colony, MO. And then later in Rutledge MO, both churches at the same time. All in all it was almost 11 years.
In 2007, the Lord was stretching me again and started showing me a spiritual darkness in Memphis, MO; one of which He was calling me to do something about. It was 2008 that we stepped out with a few families and started Lighthouse of Faith Church. He wanted a Lighthouse Church that would be dangerous to darkness. Over the Course of the next 10 years we started churches and youth ministries in Missouri and Florida. So When the Lord Called us back to Canton First Baptist in Missouri as He put it “Full Circle” It was another stretching experience.
All in all we have been blessed to be a part of international ministries, mission trips, church planting, Youth ministries, and bringing communities together for Christ.
Sherry & Jim married in 1998 & live in the Canton, MO area. They have four sons (including a son who came to live with them as an exchange student in 1998 (from the former Yugoslavia). Their family has grown now, to include their 4 sons, their spouses, and 5 beautiful grandchildren.
Sherry was raised in church and accepted Christ at the age of 21. She thanks her parents for their steadfast faith; making sure that God was a priority in their lives.
Sherry worked in secular employment until 1996 when God called her to full-time ministry. Not really knowing what that meant at the time; within 2 weeks, she was on a plane to India, which would be the first of 3 trips, with mission teams, to share the gospel.
Some of Sherry’s other roles include:
- Assisting Pastor Brian in ministry
- Assisting with Nursing Home services
- Heading up the Sister’s Ministry which includes fellowship gatherings & mission projects which have reached across our community & the world.
- Preparing daily devotions for a Sisters FB group (220+ women)
- Hosting ‘Outreach Connection;’ a weekly television program at WTJR Television
- Appearing twice a month on ‘A Woman’s Joy;’ also a WTJR television program
- Teaches the Vision Sunday School class each week
- Teaches annual women’s bible study classes
Sherry is simply happy to get up every day to see how God wants to reach out to someone in love. The desire of her heart, comes from God’s word in Matthew 22:37-40, which paraphrased says, “love God, love people.”