Lee & Carla Shipp
Positions: Pastor / Ladies’ Ministry
Lee Shipp, as the founder and pastor of First New Testament Church, has ministered God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit for over thirty years. Led by a devotion to his Savior and a love for the scriptures, God has used him to teach and preach throughout the world, through conferences, campmeetings, and revivals. Pastor Shipp is also founder and president of “A Call to the Heart”; a ministry of evangelism and outreach. With a pastor’s heart and a love for the body of Christ and the lost, Lee has been used of God to minister to his own church and many other churches and pastors.
Lee met and married Carla in 1986 while attending LSU, where they both graduated. Carla leads the Ladies’ Ministry, oversees “ A Call to the Heart”, manages the website and leads in worship. It is her joy to serve alongside Lee in their wonderful body at FNT. Lee and Carla have four children, Susanne, who is in heaven with Jesus, and Jordan, Ethan, and Hadyn who are faithful to the Lord, and serve by their side in their church.
Kristy FurlowChurch AdministratorKristy Furlow
Kristy’s primary responsibility is to directly manage the church staff. She oversees the church finances and budget, oversees the church calendar and all events, and she assists Pastor Lee in coordinating the various ministries of the church.
Kristy was raised in church by a Godly family and has served the Lord since she was a young child. She was married to Clay Furlow for 18 years, before his passing in 2017, after a battle with brain cancer. Together they have 3 children - Sam, Grace and Ben. In 2001, Clay and Kristy were invited to First New Testament by a family member, and after the very first service they attended, they knew that God was calling them to this church.
Kristy enjoyed an almost 20 year career in business, primarily working for Capital One Bank. She retired in 2015, just before Clay was diagnosed. God birthed a ministry through Clay’s sickness, as Kristy wrote a blog and traveled with Clay to minister in various churches. After his passing, Kristy has continued to minister whenever God opens the door.
When she joined the church staff in January of 2019 as the Church Administrator, it was exciting to see how God took many years of professional experience and joined that together with her heart for ministry. She enjoys serving the body of Christ and utilizing the skills God developed in her through her career. The greatest desire of her heart is for God to be glorified through every part of her life.
Andrew WilkesProject Manager & IT SpecialistAndrew Wilkes
Andrew helps our staff manage and prioritize a wide range of projects across all areas of our ministry. He works with our leadership team to keep our staff focused on our highest priorities, and to ensure that we use our time and resources effectively. He also manages all of our IT needs. He manages our software and hardware requirements, responds to all technical needs of our staff, and manages and contracts with our IT providers. Andrew also oversees our Prison Ministry.
Andrew was raised in church his entire childhood, but it took the death of two grandparents and a move to Baton Rouge to attend college in 2005, for God to get his attention. After coming to faith in Jesus at the age of 18, his life was transformed from a lost, purposeless existence to one of excitement and direction. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2007 and began to attend First New Testament Church that same year. Andrew is married to his best friend and companion in ministry, Leah Wilkes and is the father of two young boys, Ezra and Leland.
Anna AbrahamsMinister of MusicAnna Abrahams
Anna is responsible to oversee all aspects of the Music Ministry and coordinate teams of worship leaders. Because of her background in Branding, she is also assisting us in this area by managing our logo and all printed materials.
Anna gave her life to Jesus at a young age. Growing up in a musical family, she also developed a love for worship early in her childhood. Her family sang in various churches and put out a family album so, naturally, she joined in. Spurred on by friends and family, she continued to pursue songwriting and worship in her teens and produced a small-budget album at age nineteen, called “Shelter”. After graduating from LSU and marrying her handsome, outgoing husband, Henry, she joined FNT’s staff as worship director in 2019.
When she’s not working on music related things, you will probably find her helping organize the children’s programs at FNT (Children’s Church, held during the Sunday morning service and Fireplace, held the last Sunday of every month) with her husband, Henry, and the church’s wonderful children’s team.
Beka BurchEvents & Social Relations ManagerBeka Burch
Beka manages the church calendar and coordinates all church events (weddings, showers, church-wide meetings, conferences, etc.) She is responsible for our Social Media. She and her husband, Felix, lead our Youth Ministry and oversee the Greet Team.
Beka was born & raised in Baton Rouge, LA and has been a part of First New Testament Church for 25 years. At the age of 16, Beka went on her first mission trip to the Dominican Republic where God began to speak to her concerning His call on her life. Through her college years, Beka traveled extensively with the church, spreading the gospel, working with children and gaining a deeper burden for women caught in trafficking. After studying Spanish Education at Louisiana State University, she taught high school Spanish for 2 yrs and operated an anti-trafficking business & ministry, The Priceless Collection. As Beka continued to grow in her walk with the Lord, she sensed a heavier burden and call for serving and equipping God’s people in the local church. In 2017, Beka and her husband Felix, welcomed their baby girl into the world and have since added a little boy to their growing family. In her spare time, you will find her planning adventures, snuggling with her two sweet kiddos and spending time with her close group of friends. Above all else, her desire is for her life to point people to Jesus Christ.
Felix BurchMinister of Congregational CareFelix Burch
Felix Burch was born & raised in Baton Rouge, LA and has been a faithful member of FNT for 11 years. At the age of 6, he surrendered his life to Christ. In his senior year of high school, Felix was invited to FNT by Beka, now his wife, and remembers feeling the Lord’s presence stronger than ever before.
During his college years, Felix began to lead in college/campus ministry and felt a deeper longing for ministering, teaching, and equipping people for the work of the Lord. After attending Louisiana Tech University, Felix began a career in personal training & teaching, eventually teaching Bible in a Christian school setting. It was here that he clearly saw the call on his life for teaching the Word of God & serving the church.
As our Minister of Congregational Care, Felix dedicates his life to taking care of the needs & growth of the body, on an individual and collective level. Felix desires to cultivate the health of the church through shepherding & providing Biblical education for all members. In his spare time, he loves to spend time with his two kids, work out in his home gym, and hang out with his family & friends.
Jackie WelchAdministrative AssistantJackie Welch
Jackie provides administrative support to all church staff members. She is responsible for the weekly announcements and printed information available to church members. She manages the schedules for all service teams (ushers, nursery, children’s church, etc.). She gave her life to the Lord in high school and began helping in different ministries and going on missions trips to the Dominican Republic, Colombia, New York and Germany. She attended Louisiana State University and has worked at FNT since 2016. She is also involved with Anthem Ministries as the lead tech person and is the Events Coordinator.
Jordan ShippMissions & Media ManagerJordan Shipp
Jordan works closely with our Evangelist, Jeff Lee, to help him lead our Missions Ministry. She plans all logistics for mission trips and is focused on growing the missions of FNT. She works with the members of FNT in local outreaches as well, overseeing and organizing outreach events. She is also developing media outlets that will help us share and collect information in more efficient ways.
Jordan gave her life to Jesus as a young child. She has always loved music. Singing and worshipping the Lord is rooted deep in her heart. She is a worship leader and a lead singer in ANTHEM, a worship ministry of FNT. She loves adventure and travel and has, through church missions trips and other travel, visited many exciting places and formed many enduring relationships with the Body of Christ around the world. Her studies at LSU helped to foster a heart for the world and missions. She graduated in 2014 with degrees in International Studies, Political Science/Disaster Studies, and a minor in German, with studies in Arabic.
She works closely to support her pastor and father, Lee Shipp and mom, Carla Shipp and is blessed to worship along-side her brothers, Ethan and Hadyn. She loves to spend time with her family and friends among which are her faithful Bernese Mountain Dog, Bodhi, mutt Tabby and cats Ben & Jerry.
Pam RichardFinance ManagerPam Richard
Pam handles the church finances. She issues payments, processes all collections, manages payroll, issues member giving statements, and prepares monthly reporting. She is also the Treasurer for the Board of Directors.
Pam married Todd Richard in 1986. Both Pam and Todd received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in January 1987. A few months later they moved from Church Point, LA to Baton Rouge. In September 1987, First New Testament Church became their home church and has been such an important part of their life. Pam has served as the bookkeeper for First New Testament Church for 31 years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for FNT and served as Treasurer/Secretary for many years. Pam has served the Lord and His church in various ways including children’s church teacher for 12 years and VBS crafts leader for many years as well. Currently she continues to teach children’s Sunday School as she has for the past 15 years and serves as a VBS Bible class teacher. Pam is also thankful for the opportunities to serve the Lord through Ladies Bible Study and mission trips to Honduras, Peru & Nebraska.
Pam and Todd are blessed with 3 adventurous boys, Michael, Colin, & Seth, and 1 precious daughter, Callie. By God’s grace, she has been able to homeschool all 4 children. Pam continually rejoices in her redemption through Jesus Christ.
Sam FurlowAssistant to the Facilities ManagerSam Furlow
Sam is the Assistant Facilities Manager. Sam has attended FNT with his family since he was a small child and has known the Lord his entire life. He works part-time for the church while he is seeking the Lord’s will for his career plans. Sam is active in our Tech Ministry and helps with many of the “behind the scenes” efforts that make our services run smoothly. He works closely with Vickie Powers to ensure that our facilities are prepared for services and well maintained.
Sylvia MurphyAdministrative Assistant to Pastor’s WifeSylvia Murphy
Sylvia provides administrative support to Carla Shipp. She assists Carla with logistics for Women’s Ministry. She manages all logistics for A Call to the Heart, the ministry through which Pastor Lee’s messages are shared all over the world. She edits and uploads the Pastor’s sermons via internet and podcasts.
Sylvia was born and raised in Baton Rouge and came to know the Lord’s love at an early age, surrendering her life to him 35 years ago. She and her husband Kevin have been active members of First New Testament Church since 1998. Under the leadership of Pastor Lee Shipp, she has been blessed to work with “A Call to the Heart Ministry” for over 17 years. The desire of her heart is to love others with the heart of a servant and to embrace them with the same unending grace that God has so freely given her! “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Sylvia and Kevin, married for 32 years, have 2 children, Kayla & Grant, daughter-in-law Jade and grandson Grayson. Her daughter Kayla is also active in ministry at FNT and all her children are serving the Lord.
Tammy LeeExecutive Assistant to Pastor & AdministratorTammy Lee
Tammy provides administrative support to Pastor Lee and Kristy Furlow. She handles logistics for meetings, assists with communications, helps manage the church calendar, and assists with the oversight of the facilities.
Tammy grew up in church and from a young age was a professing Christian. She married Jeff Lee in 1993 and seldom attended church. In 1999, because of a difficult marriage and troubled times, she and Jeff attended First New Testament Church. Jeff was beautifully saved that day and several months later the Lord revealed to Tammy that she had never been born again. By the wonderful grace and mercy of God, she was saved. She and Jeff have had the privilege of walking with the Lord at FNT ever since. Tammy serves the body of Christ in so many ways: from Young Adult Sunday school, to local and foreign mission work, to encouraging and counseling, and to cleaning and decoration. Her heart is supply any lack and to be a servant of God and His body.
She is also part of “The Savior’s Call Ministry” with Jeff and ministers in so many ways to the body of Christ out on the mission field. Her greatest desire is that Jesus would be seen in and through her life in all that is done to the Glory of God. Tammy and Jeff have two children, Aaron and Duston, and daughter-in-law Carly.
Vickie PowersHelps Ministry & Facilities ManagerVickie Powers
Vickie is responsible for facilities management. She oversees regular maintenance and manages projects on the property. She ensures the facilities are ready for all events and meetings. She also coordinates help and general assistance for church members in need.
Vickie gave her life to the Lord as an adult at First New Testament in March of 1994, when she was invited to FNT by a friend. She was hired as the church secretary in August of 2005 where she served faithfully with a heart for the work of the church and the body of Christ. She has served the Lord in various ways at First New Testament Church among which have been teaching the 2nd and 3rd grade Sunday School class for 17years and currently serving in the Helps Ministry, & Acts Ministry, which ministers to the elderly and the widows of the church. She has had countless opportunities to serve the Lord in the church and does so with a heart of compassion and the diligence of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew & Leah WilkesPrison Ministry, Grounded ClassAndrew & Leah Wilkes
Andrew Wilkes was raised in church his entire childhood, but it took the death of two grandparents and moving to Baton Rouge to attend college in 2005 for God to get his attention. After coming to faith in Jesus at the age of 18, his life was transformed from a lost, purposeless existence to one of excitement and direction. He was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2007 and began to attend First New Testament Church that same year.
Andrew leads the prison ministry at FNT and also teaches the Grounded Sunday school class. His desire is to build up the Body of Christ through the teaching of God's word and to encourage them to a life of faith and action in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew is married to his best friend and companion in ministry Leah Wilkes and is the father of two young boys Ezra and Leland. Leah is a native of Peterhead, Scotland. Her parents were full time ministers and she heard the gospel from an early age. As a teenager she fully surrendered her life to Christ and was baptized at 15 years old. Leah attended the School of Christ in 2008 where she was baptized in the Holy Ghost. She also met some life-long friends there, including her future husband! Leah spent the next 4 years in Northern Ireland involved in a church she loved. She then moved to the USA in 2013 to marry the love of her life, Andrew Wilkes! She and Andrew have two handsome little boys. Leah has always had a heart to be a source of health and encouragement to the body of Christ. She loves to teach or speak for the Lord and minister to the women in church. Leah is a stay at home mum and Andrew’s companion and support in ministry.
Brian CannonUshers MinistryBrian Cannon
Brian Cannon ministers as the head usher at First New Testament Church. Brian has been serving as an usher for over 20 years and it is his desire is to serve the Lord and the body of Christ.
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, he was invited to First New Testament Church in 1986 by his best friend and was saved that year at a family retreat. Brian served 5 years in the United States Air Force and returned home in March of 1995. He was married to his wife Shannon in November 1997 and now has two wonderful children Brady and Haley.
Caleb & Robin SchererYoung Married Couples MinistryCaleb & Robin Scherer
Caleb and Robin Scherer have been married for 23 years after meeting each other in college. Robin was saved when she was 4 years old and Caleb was saved his first year in college at age 18. They both served for several years in campus ministry while students at the University of Alabama before joining First New Testament Church in 1997. They led the college ministry at FNT for a few years before moving to Saudi Arabia with Caleb’s job with ExxonMobil Chemical. They, along with their three daughters Hanna, Emma, and Mia, have moved to and lived in several different places in the US and around the world since then, but they always return to Baton Rouge and FNT. They now lead the young couples ministry including teaching the Young Married Couples Sunday school class and holding regular young couples’ fellowships.
Evan & Wendy PyleGrief MinistryEvan & Wendy Pyle
Evan came out of an atheist upbringing and the loss of his parents into the “Jesus People” revival of the late 60’s. Since then, he walked through several religious phases and much doctrinal and practical error into the glorious gospel of the Grace of God. After pastoring a home church for 27 years, he came into fellowship with First New Testament in 2016 where he experienced the living, loving Body of Christ at a time of need. In recent years, Evan experienced the tragic loss of his son, Andrew, and of his wife of 37 years, Nancy. The Lord has walked him through these losses with a loving and mighty hand. Evan remarried in October of 2019 to his beautiful wife Wendy. (He loves to share the amazing testimony of how God brought them together.) Between them they have five grown children.
Felix & Beka BurchYouth MinistryFelix & Beka Burch
Felix & Beka Burch were born & raised in Baton Rouge, LA. They have both been faithful members for many years. At the age of 6, Felix surrendered his life to Christ. In his senior year of high school, Felix was invited to FNT by Beka and remembers feeling the Lord's presence more strongly than ever before. At the age of 16, Beka went on her first mission trip to the Dominican Republic where God began to speak to her concerning His call on her life. Together, Felix and Beka lead FNT's Youth Ministry. They have a great love and burden for the young people to know the love Jesus and to serve Him wholeheartedly. Through fellowships, Bible studies, and Youth Sunday School classes, the young people are encouraged, discipled, and loved to spur them on to a relationship with Jesus.
Henry & Anna AbrahamsChildren's MinistryHenry & Anna Abrahams
Henry met Anna (his now wife) in a class of 800 people at LSU. Anna led Henry to the Lord through their friendship in October of 2015. They were marred in May of 2017, two days after they graduated from LSU. Henry is now working full time with the YMCA of the Capital Area as a Program Director at the Americana Branch. He oversees tennis, childcare, sports and summer day camps. Henry has a desire to serve the body, especially to bring children into the presence of Jesus Christ. He has been changed by the grace of God and wants all who come in contact with him to know Jesus in a personal way.
Anna Abrahams gave her life to Jesus at a young age. Growing up in a musical family, she also developed a love for worship early in her childhood. After graduating from LSU and marrying her handsome, outgoing husband, Henry, she joined FNT's staff. Henry was radically saved not long after meeting Anna and began a fruitful walk with the Lord. Henry and Anna together have a gift to reach children and disciple them to know, love, follow and worship Jesus in Spirit and truth. They work to organize the children's programs at FNT and provide curriculum for the Children's Church and Sunday School classes.
Jacob WelchSecurity Team LeaderJacob Welch
Jacob Welch is head of our Security Team at First New Testament. He served as an usher until he felt the call to lead the security for the church. Jacob has been a member of First New Testament for 10 years. His heart in this ministry that the Lord has called him to is to bring security to the congregation in a way that would keep distractions outside of the Church from being a hindrance as they worship the Lord, uninhibited, with their whole focus on the One that they came to be with, Jesus. Jacob's testimony is lengthy and very involved, with many dangers, toils, and snares, but through the Lord's amazing grace, he was saved in 2006. Jacob was born and raised in Baker, Louisiana. He married his wife Jamie in 1995. Together they lead First New Testament's 40's and 50's fellowship. They have four wonderful children, Jackie, Chase, Caleb and Alli, all of whom serve in some capacity at First New Testament.
Jeff & Tammy LeeEvangelistJeff & Tammy Lee
Jeff was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit in October 1999 at the age of 29. Since then the Lord, for His glory, put the gift of Evangelist in Jeff and has been molding him to this day. In October of 2014, the Lord called him out from his landscape company of 22 years to serve in full time ministry as an Evangelist. Since then he has had the honor to serve the Lord in 26 countries, on over 60 mission trips, preaching this great Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing many lives changed by it. He continues to serve the Lord at First New Testament Church, as an Evangelist and overseer of local and foreign missions. He assists with the men's groups, teaches Young Adult Sunday school, and is involved in the local prison ministry.
He is also the founder of "The Savior's Call Ministry", a ministry focused on preaching the gospel in every place that the Lord opens the door. Jeff's greatest desire is that only Jesus would be seen and glorified in and through his life.
Tammy grew up in church and from a young age was a professing Christian. She married Jeff in 1993 and seldom attended church. In 1999, because of a difficult marriage and troubled times, she and Jeff attended First New Testament Church. Jeff was beautifully saved that day and several months later the Lord revealed to Tammy that she had never been born again. By the wonderful grace and mercy of God, she was saved. Along with Jeff, Tammy serves the body of Christ in so many ways: Young Adult Sunday School, local and foreign mission work, and encouraging and counseling. Her heart is to supply any lack and to be a servant of God and His Body.
She is also a part of "The Savior's Call Ministry" with Jeff and serves the Body of Christ in the same way on the mission field. Her greatest desire is that Jesus be seen in and through her life in all that is done to the Glory of God.
Jeff and Tammy have two wonderful children, Aaron and Duston, and precious daughter-in-law Carly.
Kayla MurphyYoung Adults MinistryKayla Murphy
Baton Rouge has been Kayla Murphy's home since birth! She was born again at a very young age and was baptized in the Holy Spirit when she was 16 years old. Kayla has been a member of FNT for over 21 years now and could not feel more blessed to be a part of the work the Lord is doing in this church. It's truly become her family!
After graduating from LSU in 2012 the Lord began to birth a specific desire in Kayla to serve and love the body of Christ in a more intentional way. Shortly after graduating the Lord blessed her with a wonderful opportunity to step in and help lead the College and Young Adults ministry. It has truly become one of the richest blessings of her life and Kayla counts it an honor and a privilege to be able to serve some of her closest friends as she has been served by the Lord.
Rachel CarterSunday School DirectorRachel Carter
Rachel has been a part of First New Testament Church since she was a small child. She surrendered her heart to Christ at 8 yrs. of age during Vacation Bible School. Growing up, her Sunday School teachers and classes instilled within her a love for reading and studying the scriptures. She also experienced the close relationships that can be developed in these classes. She now serves as Sunday School Director leading and working along-side other teachers, dedicated to building relationships in the Body of Christ and bringing a meaningful Bible study to all ages each Sunday. Rachel has also been an active member, supporting, serving and helping the Body of FNT in other areas, including mission trips where, among other things, she served as a Spanish interpreter. She loves the Lord and wants to glorify Him in all she does, whether that be singing in worship services, praying for others in the altar, traveling, tithing, encouraging or teaching the Body of Christ. She was recently married to Patrick Carter and they are blessed to serve the Lord together at FNT.
Ralph BoeACTS Ministry OversightRalph Boe
Ralph married Linda Mizell in June, 1970 and has been a follower of Jesus Christ since 1975. He has a Bachelor's degree in Math and and another in Computer Science, both from LSU. While working in Information Technology at LSU, he received a Master's in Library and Information Science in 1995. He served in the Army and retired from LSU, after working there for 32 years. He and Linda have been attending First New Testament since 2008. Ralph serves with ACTS since 2014 out of a desire to involve members of the body in helping meet the physical needs of individuals in the church, often involving help in practical life situations.
Rey & Heidys SanchezHispanic MinistryRey & Heidys Sanchez
Reynaldo was born again in August of 1996 and immediately felt the call to ministry. Rey graduated from the Church of God Bible Seminary in the Dominican Republic in 2001. The same year he graduated from The School of Christ International where he met Pastor Lee Shipp. Rey has served as translator to preachers and dedicated his life to preach the Gospel of Jesus to the lost. In 2015 he traveled to Colombia to minister with pastor Shipp where he met Heidys Pacheco and the two were married in 2017. Heidys felt a strong desire for the presence of God since she was five years old, but it was not until her fourteenth birthday that she obeyed the call of the Lord Jesus in her life. A year after being saved, she began serving the Body of Christ in the worship ministry and youth leadership. She graduated in Psychology in her native country of Columbia. Currently she supports her husband working in the Hispanic ministry of FNT where he serves as pastor of Iglesia Nuevo Testamento.
Sam & Hannah AbramsYoung Adult MinistrySam & Hannah Abrams
Sam Abrams, formerly Sam Muhammed, gave his life to Jesus Christ at the age of 18 (2012) after being raised a Muslim his entire life. A couple of years after giving his life to Jesus, Sam, felt the Lord lead him to move to Baton Rouge form New Orleans to join First New Testament Church. From the early time of his walk with Jesus, Sam felt the call to minister to the Body of Christ. Sam also teaches in various Bible studies, Sunday Schools, and preaches in FNT services. Hannah gave her life to Christ at the age of 13. She has been a member of First New Testament Church since 2008. She has been involved with various church activities and ministries since joining the church. Hannah has always had a heart to serve and minister to the needs of the Body of Christ and show the love of Jesus. Sam & Hannah were married in 2018 and the two of them, along-side Kayla Murphy, lead our Young Adults Ministry.
Shannon CannonCooking MinistryShannon Cannon
Shannon has been an active member of First New Testament since 1996. Her desire is to serve the Body of Christ in any way possible. In 2010, Shannon took over the organization of the cooking ministry and the Lord has used her to make it a great asset to the help and support of His body. Her heart is that the church can show the love of Christ to one another and be a blessing and an encouragement to those who may be going through a difficult time. Shannon married Brian in November 1997 and have two wonderful children who serve the Lord, Brady and Haley.
Worship LeadersJordan Shipp, Ethan Shipp, Anna Abrahams, Carla Shipp & Kristy FurlowWorship Leaders
Jordan Shipp, Ethan Shipp, Anna Abrahams, Carla Shipp, & Kristy Furlow
Under the direction of Anna Abrahams, this group of worshippers is blessed with the privilege to organize the music and lead the congregation for our worship services. They also assist Anna in introducing and teaching new songs. It is the heart of the leaders to encourage the congregation to join them as they express their love and praise to the our worthy Lord Jesus.
Board of Directors & Assistants
The FNT Board of Directors is charged with supporting, advising, and praying with Pastor Lee as he makes decisions regarding church business and ministries. The Board appointments are fluid and are chosen prayerfully by Pastor Lee. The members of the Board bring different skills to the group and are chosen based on their ability to counsel and provide guidance on a range of topics. They each have a sincere love for our body of Christ and prayerfully seek the will of God as they advise and support our Pastor.
The Pastor’s assistants serve to strengthen the hands of the pastor in ministering to the needs of the church and fulfilling the heart and vision of the church in serving the Body of Christ.
Lee ShippChairman of the BoardLee Shipp
As president of the Board of Directors, Pastor Lee works with this board through the ministry and leadership of the Holy Spirit. It is his privilege to serve with the members that God has placed on this board as he makes decisions regarding church business and ministries.
Billy SmithBoard of DirectorsBilly Smith
Billy was raised in Baton Rouge and received a Mechanical Engineering degree from Louisiana State University in May, 1984. While working in the industrial sector, Billy committed his life to the Lord in the spring of 1985. Given his musical background and following the Lord's leading, Billy joined an international ministry playing drums for their crusade/worship team. In 1994, Billy started an Industrial Sales business, currently in operation today, which affords him the opportunity to serve through various ministries at FNT, where he began attending in 1995.
He was instrumental in the design and installation of all audio and video equipment and currently oversees it's operation and maintenance. Billy has served in numerous ministries including the praise team, youth, young adults, college and career, missions, and is currently involved in our outreach to Hunt prison. He has been a board member since 2016.
He has been married to his wife Jane for 31 wonderful years and has three beautiful children. Billy loves both flying and all outdoor activities, but everything takes a back seat to playing with his grandkids and helping the body of Christ grow and mature
Kevin MurphyBoard of DirectorsKevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from LSU in 1982. In early 1986, he began earnestly seeking the Lord, knowing there was much more to this life than he was experiencing and that the path he was on was not the right one. God put several Christian people in his life that ministered to him and loved him. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1986. Kevin married Sylvia (who was one of those people) in 1987 and they have two beautiful children, Kayla and Grant, who are both serving the Lord. They have been blessed to be members of FNT and serve under Pastor Shipp and this great body for over 20 years.
Pam RichardBoard of DirectorsPam Richard
Pam has served as the bookkeeper for First New Testament Church for 31 years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for FNT and served as Treasurer/Secretary for many years. Pam has served the Lord and His church in various ways including children’s church teacher for 12 years and VBS crafts leader for many years as well. Currently she continues to teach children’s Sunday School as she has for the past 15 years and serves as a VBS Bible class teacher. Pam is also thankful for the opportunities to serve the Lord through Ladies Bible Study and mission trips to Honduras, Peru & Nebraska.
Pam and her husband Todd, are blessed with 3 adventurous boys, Michael, Colin, & Seth, and 1 precious daughter, Callie. By God’s grace, she has been able to homeschool all 4 children. Pam continually rejoices in her redemption through Jesus Christ.
Hadyn ShippBoard of AssistantsHadyn Shipp
Hadyn Shipp is the son to Pastor Lee And Carla Shipp. He grew up being involved in many different ministries in the church, from the worship team, the youth group, the young adults, and more. He confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at a young age and has continued to serve Jesus and His body. He currently helps in ministering on the worship team as well as being involved in leadership roles in young adults and assisting the pastor. Hadyn graduated from LSU in 2016 and currently works in the finance department at a local bank.
Jim BurtonBoard of AssistantsJim Burton
Saved in August 1984, Jim has been attending First New Testament with his wife and children since 2003. He has a heart to follow Jesus and see people come to salvation and be discipled so that they live their lives for Christ. He seeks to minister in a way that will encourage people to develop a trust and faith in Jesus that will endure until the end.
Richard LongmireBoard of AssistantsRichard Longmire
Richard leads our Facilities Ministry. He grew up in Mississippi, where he committed his life to the Lord just after high school. He began working in construction in Baton Rouge and eventually met his wife, Susan. They have been married for over 40 years, raised 2 daughters, and now have 4 grandchildren. Their entire family worships at First New Testament. Richard owns and manages his own company, Longmire Coatings, LLC, which provides industrial paint and supplies to clients all over the country. He has built several homes and has worked in general construction for many years. Richard is also on Pastor Shipp's Board of Assistants.
He has been helping to visit our sick and care for our needy. He sings in the choir, ministers greatly in the altar and is widely known to be a caring and loving example of Christ.
Todd RichardBoard of AssistantsTodd Richard
Todd and his wife Pam, were married in 1986 and together, received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in January 1987. A member of First New Testament Church for over 33 years, Todd has a heart to humbly serve the Lord and to serve His people. He has put his tremendous energy & ability to work over the years to do just that. Besides being a committed usher for the church, Todd serves on the ACTS committee as an advisor to assess and minister to the needs of the widows and orphans in the Body of Christ, and others who may be struggling. Over the years, Todd has traveled on mission trips to Mexico, Russia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Honduras, Peru, & Nebraska. He has led construction projects and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.