First Baptist Church Provo recognizes the Bible's teaching that pastors are to lead and shepherd the church. We recognize that only qualified men may serve as pastors and seek to maintain a plurality of men within this office.
Russ was raised in Middle Tennessee where he was saved by God’s grace at a young age. By his own profession he lived for many years as a “chief of hypocrites.” Late into his collegiate studies God used the doctrines of grace to wake him up to his true need of Christ for every part of his life, not just parts of it. During his studies and upon graduation from Union University in 2003, Russ served on the staff of two churches in Tennessee, started and stopped seminary studies in Louisville, Kentucky, and worked as a carpenter in Shelbyville, Tennessee. In 2009 he accepted the call from the First Baptist Church of Provo to serve as their pastor. Russ and his wife, Lesley, and their four children have enjoyed God at First Baptist Church since January 2010. His driving passion for First Baptist Church is to see every member captivated by the glory of God and dedicated to making Christ known in Utah County and all the earth. When he is not enjoying his family and church he can either be found reading a book, occasionally picking up where he left off with seminary studies, or enjoying all of Utah's outdoor activities.
James Thompson has been an active member of, and lay leader in, seven Southern Baptist churches in Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Utah since 1999. He joined the Southern Baptist family of churches after being baptized at the age of seventeen; previously James had identified as Agnostic. He has completed a B.A. in Christian Ministry with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and is working on a Master of Divinity, with a specialization in Church History. James has been serving at the First Baptist Church of Provo since 2011, focusing specifically on the education ministries within the church, and he was elected to the office of Pastor at FBC Provo in the Summer of 2015. He works full-time as a Software Engineer, has been married to Pamela since 2003, and has five children.
First Baptist Church Provo recognizes the Bible's teaching that deacons are to serve the needs of the church in specific areas. We recongize that qualified men and women may serve as deacons and seek to maintain as many deacons as necessary for the needs of the body.