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Ministerial Staff


I’m a native Oklahoman, but spent a good portion of my childhood in Nashville, TN. I’m a proud graduate of Samford University (B.A.) and Baylor University (M.Div and Ph.D). Allyson and I got married in 1998, and we’ve got two kids Nathaniel and Caroline. My parents, Gary and Linda live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, as do my brother and his family. I love to read, bike, and go to the beach. I’m a die-hard OU Sooner and Texas Ranger fan, but I follow a lot of different sports and teams, and I’ve also been known to play some fantasy baseball and football. For me, I can hear God’s voice and feel his presence most clearly in three ways: in quiet and beautiful outdoor settings (a mountain, a beach, a forest, you name it); in community with other truth-seekers and Christ-followers; and through learning, especially through reading. I especially like writers who aren’t afraid to ask hard questions and realize that life is sometimes a mystery. Anyone who is convinced that they have all the answers, I’m likely to shy away from, but anyone who is openly and humbly seeking what is good, true, and beautiful, I’ll probably consider a friend and conversation partner. As a minister’s kid, the Church has always been a place of meaning and joy for me, and that continues to be powerfully true for me today!


I joined the church staff in July, 1990. I am a native of Fayetteville, NC. I was educated at Pembroke State University (now UNC-Pembroke), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity, 1984) and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, VA (Doctor of Ministry, 2004). I have been married to my beautiful wife Lisa for twenty-seven years and have been blessed with a son, Jonathan, and daughter, Megan. Our favorite places to relax, read and reflect are our back porch, walks along the riverfront, a nearby farm and the North Carolina High Country. Invitations from my children and thier spouses to join them for lunch or a sporting event are one of the things that I consider a high honor and compliment. I find that time with special friends, fall tailgating in Chapel Hill, and attending basketball and baseball games at UNCW empowers my spirit and that quiet walks, time on the fishing bank and hours of reading the Bible and praying provides me the peace and quiet to listen for the still voice of God that nourishes my soul.


Associated Baptist Press Blog

I was born and raised in the Bronx, the youngest of seven children. It is safe to say that I did not grow up with visions of becoming a Baptist minister, but apparently God had other plans… and a sense of humor. I graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Russian with intentions of going into the foreign service. In my senior year, I found myself haunted and challenged by the inescapable problem of homelessness in NYC and felt God’s call to change my career plans. That same year I married Wes, who had come to NYC from Winston-Salem to open a residence for the elderly homeless for the Moravian Church in lower Manhattan. In 1989, Wes and I moved to Wilmington where he began work as the Executive Director of Pender Adult Services in Burgaw. We made our home here and have four children – Kayla, Christian, Meredith, and Annie… all NC State fans. Wes and I joined First Baptist with our family in 1994 and in 2001 I came on staff as the Director of Adult Education. In 2004 I was ordained by this congregation and assumed the title of Minister of Spiritual Formation. As I say often, only God could have mapped out this road, for a girl from the Bronx to become a Baptist preacher in the South. It is quite a ride.


Rev. John W. Daniels, III

Minister of Administration

I come to Wilmington from Waynesville, NC, having served on staff at First Baptist Church for almost 21 years. I grew up in a small town in southwest Virginia and have spent most of my life living in or near the mountains. After earning a Religion degree from Carson-Newman College (86) I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (91) and obtained a Master of Arts in Religious Education. My wife, Melinda, and I were college sweethearts and have been married for almost thirty years. We have two adult children, Erin and John, IV (Jay). I love to read, play sports and am an avid fan of the University of Tennessee. I enjoy ministry in the local church and value loyalty and friendship. I view administration as an important component of the church’s mission and hospitality and am excited about joining the staff.


A few years ago, I read the following quote from John Eldredge's Wild at Heart..."If you had permission to do what you really wanted to do, what would you do? Don't ask how; that will cut your desire off at the knees. "How" is never the right question; 'how' is a faithless question. It means 'unless I can see my way clearly, I won't believe it, won't venture forth.' 'How' is God's department. He is asking you 'what.' 'What is written on your heart? What makes you come alive?' If you could do what you've always wanted to do, what would it be?"

I have been happily married to Connie Vigus for the past 31 years and we have two terrific sons, Warren and Skyler. Connie has always been and continues to be a significant strong aspect of the ministries that we have led together while serving at First Baptist Wilmington for the past 33 years. Currently I am serving as the Minister for Missions & College Ministry. This is a very exciting time in my life where I get he opportunity to provide both “give your life away” mission opportunities both in third world countries like Guatemala and Haiti and also home mission locations like Bolivar, North Carolina and throughout the USA.

I have the good fortune of doing "what makes me come alive!" If I could do anything I wanted to do, it would be doing exactly what I am doing today. God has blessed me beyond measure as I continue to seek out where God is at work and then joining Him in all the wonderful things He is about. Jesus promises us an “abundant life” and that is ultimately my goal for my own life as well as encouraging other to experience the same. Come and join us as we “experience God” together.


I met my husband, Jeff, in high school and five years after graduation we fell in love and were married in 1991. We have called Wilmington and FBC home for twenty-seven years. God blessed us with a son, who is now a senior in college and the joy of our lives. I have been on staff at FBC since 2001, currently serving as the Minister of Engagement. I am passionate about building on ramps to help others become fully devoted followers of Christ by connecting them to God’s church through community, ministry and missions. When not at church you can find me cooking a new recipe to share with family and friends and enjoying the coastal life in Wilmington with boat rides on the waterway and walks along the beach. Jer.33:3 is a verse that speaks to my heart daily- "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things which you do not know."


I enthusiastically joined the FBC staff in October 2011. I have been blessed to have worked with teenagers and their families for a decade throughout North Carolina. I studied at UNC-Charlotte, double majoring in Marketing and Management; and I earned my Master of Divinity degree at Campbell University Divinity School. My wife Tara and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters and a beautiful yellow lab named Sadie. Tara and I were born and raised in the Winston-Salem area, grew up 10 minutes apart from one another, but did not meet until Tara lived 700 miles away in South Mississippi. It is an incredible God story that we would love to share with you one day! When I am not at FBC you can find me spending time with my family, following Wake Forest athletics, or at my second office, Bojangles!


As the oldest daughter and granddaughter of Baptist ministers, who is now married to a Baptist minister, ministry life has always been my life, and I can’t imagine it any other way. A graduate of Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity, I also have a Bachelor of Sciences in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from the University of Georgia. Prior to coming to Wilmington, I served on ministerial staff with my husband, Andy, for nine and half years at First Baptist Church of Augusta, GA. After a short stop through Atlanta, we are thrilled to be in Wilmington and are excited about ministry and raising our three daughters, Nadia, Lydia and Julia, near the beach. I love helping equip parents to be the primary teachers of their children’s faith and helping children come to understand our call to love God and one another. It is my great joy when families share in life together and live in deep community with one another. Children’s Ministry provides an incredible opportunity for building a strong foundation of faith, for creating a deep and lasting love of the church, for enabling families to serve and for experiencing fun and relationships in Christian community.


Upon my graduation from Campbell University in May 2015 (BA – Church Music), I was anxious to answer God’s call. First Baptist Church has answered my prayers by adding me to their ministry staff on the worship team. I will return to Campbell in the Fall to pursue a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, where I will continue my studies in order to better serve FBC and all those that I may minister to in the future. Like many Christians, my faith journey consists of winding turns and several detours, but again and again, God reminds me that if I trust in him, then he will open doors for me.

In my spare time, I like to read, eat good food, and experiment in the kitchen (with varying degrees of success!). On most weekends, you can find me going on adventures with friends across North Carolina.

I have had the privilege to serve in many churches across multiple denominations in varying roles. I have learned that when God sees a need, he provides, and FBC Wilmington has already shown me that they have the same philosophy in everything that they do. I’m excited to see the new opportunities that grow from the warmth and generosity that make First Baptist Church a special place to be!


It is a privilege to serve on the staff of FBC. I was educated at Asbury College (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D. Min.) My wife is Holly and we have one daughter, Jessica, and one grandson, Taylor. Through the years I have served as senior pastor or on the pastoral staff of four churches before we moved to Wilmington in 2013.


I grew up right outside of Atlanta, GA, where my family actively attended Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. My dad's parents were music missionaries in Brazil, and my mom's father was a Baptist minister his whole life. When it came time to look at colleges, it only made sense that I would wind up at a Baptist university. While at school, I met the love of my life, Muriel. After receiving the B.M. in Voice Performance and the B.M. in Music Theory from Carson-Newman University near Knoxville, TN, I decided to stay in the area while my she finished her undergraduate degree. I began working for Carson-Newman as a Development Officer and Grant Writer, while simultaneously serving as Worship Leader at The Church at Sterchi Hills and earning the M.A. in Applied Theology from Carson-Newman. Toward the end of my time in Tennessee I began leading worship at Central Baptist Church in Bearden, TN, where I received my ministerial license. God graciously called me and Muriel to FBC Wilmington, and we were elated to find a community of friendly people who are actively following Christ. It is a privilege to serve alongside this body of believers.

I tend to fill my time with various activities that involve being outdoors. I enjoy riding my mountain and road bikes, hiking through the wilderness, kayaking down a river... Anything that puts in the heart of it! I like the stillness that comes with being alone in nature, and I particularly like learning about new places in the world. At the same time, I also enjoy being in community with others. I also enjoy reading books that dig deep and hit hard, making me stop to think and apply what I'm reading to my life. God uses these three areas to teach me his ways, and the process is ongoing. I'm not the kind of guy who has all the answers, but I enjoy working with others to try and find them - that's often more important to me than anything else.

I enjoy playing and listening to music of all kinds. I am thankful that God has called me to serve him through my talents and abilities as a musician. My prayer is that I would always bring glory to God when singing or playing any instrument, and that through me, others would come to know Christ. Teaching others about musicality in the context of worship is a calling of mine, and I am blessed to have a career in which I can express this passion.


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