Our Pastor Search Committee has Called Mark Bethea to be FBC's Next pastor!

Voting will take place From Noon Today through Sunday, August 9 at 5:00 PM.

Submit the form below or
CALL CAROLYN BRYAN AT (334) 241-5120

Mark Bethea has faithfully served First Baptist Church Montgomery as the Associate Pastor for Outreach and Evangelism for the past three years. Before coming back home to First Baptist, Mark bi-vocationally pastored Argo Baptist Church in Trussville, AL, for three years, where the church experienced tremendous growth, unity, and revitalization. Prior to taking his first pastorate, Mark served as a supply preacher across the Birmingham area.

While serving Argo, he also worked full-time as an editor and team leader for the Woman’s Missionary Union’s trade publishing division, New Hope Publishers. There, he acquired and edited new Bible studies, books, and resources for the Christian market. His devotional book, 30 Days of Hope for Peaceful Living, was published by New Hope Publishers in 2014.

Nearly fifteen years ago, during college, Mark returned for two summers to be a student intern at First Baptist Church. During these summers, Mark began to feel the call to full-time vocational ministry and, during his sophomore year at Auburn University, surrendered his life to ministry. Upon graduation from Auburn with a degree in Communication, Mark served as a student and media pastor while completing his Master of Divinity degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary at the Birmingham extension center. He is currently in his second semester of doctoral studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mark and his wife, Brittany, have been married for ten years and have three children, Micah (3), Helen Ann (2), and Nora (1 month). Brittany holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is currently a Professor of Practice at Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy.

Mark and Brittany hold a deep connection to our faith family. They took their first mission trip together while in the student ministry in 2004. Mark served in his first ministry position at the church in 2007. They were engaged in Stakely Sanctuary in 2009 and married by Pastor Jay in 2010. Mark was ordained to the gospel ministry by First Baptist in 2011. They have a deep love and appreciation for the church’s spiritual investment in their life.

Jay Announced His Retirement after 29 Years at First Baptist.

The seasons change. As summer gives way to fall and fall yields to winter, in the same way God orders the life-cycle of His children. On September 11th the calendar shouted, “Jayboy, you are 65!” The years have wings and they have ushered in a new season for us.

After diligent prayer, thoughtful consideration, and consulting with wise counsel, Mary Ruth and I have determined this is the right time to start the process of handing the baton of Pastoral Leadership to a new Shepherd for our beloved First Baptist Family. My retirement will be June 30, 2020.



The Pastor Search Committee, in conjunction with the FBC Prayer Team, is asking that each FBC member join in a united time of prayer and fasting until a new pastor is secured.


The 24-hour fast is from dinner on Sunday night to dinner on Monday night. Please choose from the following options:


A. The 1st Monday of each month

B. Two (2) Mondays a month

C. Every Monday

The fast can be of one’s own choosing as led by the Lord.



Psalm 66:18  |  “If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me]...”


So as you begin your fast, please meditate on the following:

A. Praise the Lord for what He has done for you (Psalm 100)

B. Thanksgiving for Jesus and for His shed blood (Ephesians 2:13)

C. Confession of any sins that are separating you from the Lord (1 John 1:9)

D. Worship the Lord for Who He is (Psalm 2:11)

E. Spiritual Armor this is a spiritual battle, requiring spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18)



Isaiah 55:11  |  “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”


Pray for the Pastor Search Committee members to be:

1. Unified in all they do (Psalm 133:1)

2. Protected from enemy attacks (Psalm 91)

3. Anointed with the Holy Spirit as they interview each candidate (Acts 1:8)

4. Be respectful of each other (Philippians 2:3-4)

5. Be very confidential in their work (Proverbs 11:13)

6. Practice an active prayer life, with fasting, while serving in this capacity (Matthew 6:5-18)


Pray for the FBC family to:

1. Pray for each member of the Pastor Search Committee on a regular basis (Ephesians 1:16)

2. Pray for God’s man to fill this position (1 Samuel 16:4-13)

3. To respect the decision of the Committee in regards to the candidate chosen (1 Corinthians 16:16)


Pray for our future Pastor and his family:

1. That his decision to accept the call to FBC be extremely clear (Isaiah 30:21)

2. That he be a man who seeks the guidance of the Lord with his whole heart (Deuteronomy 10:12)

3. That he be a man of humility and obedience to the Word (Psalms 119:105)

4. That he exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)


The selection of our new pastor will be a process. Let us not grow weary, but remember Matthew 7:7-8:

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.”

Pastor Search Committee Report
JULY 29, 2020

Your Pastor Search Committee has diligently pursued God’s chosen servant for our church with weekly prayer and fasting. Since our first Committee meeting almost nine months ago, our full search committee and executive committee have met a total of 45 times. Your Committee has walked a path of “asking, seeking, and knocking” with faith and fortitude, staying the course in these challenging times without wavering.

Paul admonishes in 1 Thess. 5:24, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” Our Dear Father is indeed faithful, and He has brought it to pass.

We are now excited to let you know that a special announcement will be made at the end of the Sunday Live Stream Service. Please don’t miss it. Be sure and watch. Your faithfulness and constant prayers constituted a critical force in coming to God’s choice. Thank you!

See you Sunday. God bless you.

Your Pastor Search Committee


justin aday


andy birchfield


Jane Burdeshaw


Jim frankum




caden lockett

Basil Manly


bill mccrary

Douglas McElvy



James WHitehead


If you have questions, please email Douglas McElvy or Andy Birchfield.