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Jake Guenrich // Pastor // jake@fbcwalnutridge.org

Jake initially came to First Baptist Walnut Ridge to fulfill the responsibilities of Children’s Minister in September of 2008, two months after having married his wife, Stephanie. He was born on April 18, 1988 in North Little Rock, AR. He was baptized at North Hills Baptist Church in Sherwood after having a definite salvation experience with the Lord Jesus Christ as a young child. After moving to DeSoto County, Mississippi, God called him to surrender his life to the ministry of the gospel. Calvary Baptist Church in Horn Lake licensed Jake to preach in August of 2006, just before he began college at Williams Baptist in Walnut Ridge where he later graduated with a B.A. in Christian Ministries in May of 2010. During the summer of 2010, First Baptist Church called Jake as Associate Pastor of Family Life/Youth Minister. He continued his academic studies and received a Master of Divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in May of 2013. In March of 2014, the church called Jake to serve as Senior Pastor and ordained him to the ministry in May of that same year.

Jake and Stephanie reside in Walnut Ridge with their three children Mallie Grace, Mordecai, and Branch. They have a desire to see the family of First Baptist develop and continue a personal walk with the Lord by worshipping God, loving people, and serving both. Jake enjoys his family, preaching, reading, playing guitar, St. Louis Cardinal Baseball, board games, and hanging out with the folks at FBC Walnut Ridge.

 

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John Cook // Associate Pastor & Youth Minister // john@fbcwalnutridge.org

John was born in Newport News, VA on May 30, 1978. Raised in a Bible-believing home, he had heard the gospel and knew much of the Bible growing up, but was not saved until later. He graduated from the University of Memphis in December of 2000, and a few years later started to attend Kirby Woods Baptist Church. On February 15, 2004, during a revival service at Kirby Woods under the preaching of Bailey Smith, he finally realized his need to be saved from his sins. He publicly confessed Jesus as Lord and was baptized the following week. Shortly after his conversion, two important events occurred in his life: he met Kate (now his wife), and God called him to attend seminary. John entered Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in August of 2005 and graduated in May of 2009 with a Master of Divinity. God then called him into full-time ministry. He left the field of technology and software in June of 2009, following the Lord's leading to First Baptist Walnut Ridge. John and Kate were married June of 2006 and have four children: Drew, MacConnell, Lindsey, and Anderson.

John's desire for the people of God (especially youth) is to see them fall in love with the Lord Jesus, so that they spread the gospel to the world and make disciples. When he is not busy as a husband and dad, John loves to play games, ride motorcycles, sing, play the guitar, and watch the New York Yankees beat up on the Boston Red Sox. 

You can follow John on social media (facebook,instragram,twitter,snapchat) via @mrthebaptist.

 

Alex Van Herpen // Children's Minister // alex@fbcwalnutridge.org

Alex grew up in Mansfield, AR. He attended Fellowship Baptist Church near Huntington and served as the summer intern there in 2015. While going through the motions of Christianity and thinking that being nice and having good morals brought salvation, he became severely ill. Being crippled and having several near death experiences brought a whole new meaning to life and the reason for living. At the age of 14 he gave his life to Christ on June 20, 2011. After a miraculous recovery on August 27th of that same year, he spoke at the local Fields of Faith gathering in October and was called to ministry. In March of 2012 he had a health relapse, but God worked another miracle and he tossed his wheelchair aside on June 13 while playing guitar with the youth praise band. This long journey led him to begin running. He now runs cross country and track at Williams Baptist College where he majors in Christian Ministries and minors in Music. Alex has been attending First Baptist Church of Walnut Ridge since August of 2015. While attending church and observing the community, he saw a need for new life in the kids of Walnut Ridge and Hoxie and has a passion for seeing them come to know and understand who God is, what Jesus has done for us, and teaching children how to give their lives to Him. He was called to fulfill the role of Children’s Minister in May of 2016.

Alex looks forward to growing closer to the people of the community and teaching kids how to worship God, love people, and serve both. Alex is an Eagle Scout who loves running, fishing, and being outdoors. He also enjoys running marathons, playing instruments, and spending time with people. He is the middle child of four siblings who still live in Western Arkansas.

 

Nick Weber // Music Minister // nick@fbcwalnutridge.org

Nick is a native of Washington State who grew up in a Christian family, attended church each week, and diligently went through the motions, following the Christian checklist of “do’s and don'ts.” In 2008 he realized that God wanted a personal relationship with him, and as he drew closer to the Lord the emptiness he had felt began to diminish. While serving on a praise team at his home church he heard God’s calling and responded in faith to Jesus Christ. In the fall of 2010, Nick took a giant leap of faith and moved across the country. Leaving all he had known, he switched majors (from Engineering to Music Education) and enrolled at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. Nick began serving as the music minister for FBC Walnut Ridge in April of 2013 just before completing his degree in Music Education. In addition to serving as Music Minister, Nick works as a full-time Elementary Music Teacher in the Paragould School District. Nick married his best friend Megan (Mathre) in July of 2015 and they care for children as a foster home.

Nick enjoys reading, playing video games, fellowshipping with others, going to concerts, playing guitar, being outdoors, singing, watching movies, and spending time with family. He explains his call to serve the Lord through his gifts and talents: “Music is a huge part of who I am and I believe it’s how God intends to use me.  I have a passion to share His love through song and praise.”