About the Organization:
After spending a weekend with the people of First Baptist Pensacola, our team came away inspired by their faith and encouraged by their story. It is truly a special place.
In the mid-1800’s, a group of Baptists from Alabama made the trek down to the seaport town of Pensacola to spread the gospel to the “heathens” who lived there, and in 1847, First Baptist Church was founded near the Bay. In the 170 years since, the church has survived the civil war, yellow fever, national unrest and more—and continues to be a strong light in the city of Pensacola.
FBC has a legacy of long-tenured pastors who led with integrity and a heart for the city, including Dr. Barry Howard who recently retired. It is a multi-generational congregation, with a significant number of members who have attended since birth. We met several who have attended more than 70 years—and who care deeply about the church and its impact in the city. We were truly inspired by their commitment and love for their church. Young families are visible all over campus, drawn to FBC by strong Sunday morning Bible Study groups and children's programming.
When many churches relocated to the suburbs during years of urban decline and struggle, First Baptist stayed engaged in and committed to the city. Over the past few years the downtown community has experienced a strong revitalization. Condos and townhouses are being built all around the church, and thousands of young professionals are moving back into the city.
The potential for FBC Pensacola to capitalize on this growth cannot be overstated. The church has a strong financial base, as well as a strong heart to reach those who still need to hear the gospel. They have a heart both for the impoverished in their community, as well as for those who have much but need Jesus.
This truly is a significant time for FBC Pensacola. They have a unified staff. They have a motivated laity. They have enthusiastic volunteer leaders. They are in a great location. They have a solid financial base. They have a heart for missions, both local and global. They have a strong reputation and involvement in the city. There are thousands of people moving into the area.
The only thing missing is a senior pastor who will effectively and clearly teach God’s Word – a man who will honor the legacy and who will shepherd FBC Pensacola toward a greater future. This is a key time and prime opportunity.
Size: 5,616 members
Location: Pensacola, FL
About the Position:
The Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church is a man of God who can masterfully communicate the Word of God with the transforming power of Jesus Christ. From the pulpit, he teaches the Bible with clarity, casts an inspiring vision for the future, and pastors the congregation with love and compassion. He is a visionary leader, leaning on and working alongside the high capacity lay and staff leaders around him. He is innovative in discovering ways to share the love of Jesus in the local community and beyond. He is relational among all age groups and models a life that leads people to discover God, develop faith, and demonstrate Christ-like love in their attitude and actions. His wife will love serving alongside her husband in areas that align with her gifts and passion, and will be as supportive and excited about the ministry of the church as he is.
What We Are Searching For / Qualifications:
The following describes many of the characteristics of the ideal candidate for the Senior Pastor:
The candidate should be an ordained minister who, at a minimum, has a master’s degree from seminary. A doctorate is preferred.
Experience & Skills
- Proven high-capacity leader.
- Strong biblical teacher with life application.
- Collaborative, team player.
- Vision for the future with the ability to engage and motivate people.
- Has a track record of growing a church.
- Likely has served as a senior pastor, or been an associate pastor at a large church.
- Demonstrated ability to utilize his influence to lead and move the church in a positive, Christ-honoring direction.
- Uses the pulpit to encourage discipleship, spiritual growth, and volunteer involvement.
- Gifted in graciously challenging and moving people from ‘consumer’ to ‘disciple.’
- Relational leadership with the personality, passion, and energy to invest in the lives of staff, lay leaders, church members, and the community.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively share the gospel with the lost and the ability to disciple others to do the same.
- Models characteristics outlined in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and 1 Peter 5:3.
- Maintains a strong, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and models the life of a disciple.
- Has a heart for missions that has been demonstrated in previous ministry roles.
- Model a life of authenticity, transparency, humility, and servanthood.
- Demonstrates commitment to and giftedness in ministry and service.
- Desires to be a good steward of his personal and church finances.
- Models faithful devotion to his wife and leads his family well.
- Strives to become actively engaged in our community.
- Actively seeks to have healthy work/life balance.
- Values the equipping of families through resources, opportunities, and experiences.
About the Location:
Pensacola, FL, known as “the upside of Florida,” is a city teeming with something for everyone, in any season of the year. Located on the westernmost part of the Florida Panhandle, it has a population of approximately 56,000 in the city with just over 460,000 people living in the greater metropolitan area. It’s hard not to like Pensacola, with its beautiful waterfront, abundant restaurants, pristine beaches, easygoing vibe, and year-round outdoor climate.
Initially settled in 1559 by Tristan De Luna, Pensacola was the first multi-year European settlement in what is now the United States. Re-settled again by the Spanish in 1698, Pensacola is the 2nd oldest city in Florida. Over the course of its history, Pensacola has been ruled by the British, the Spanish, the French, the Confederacy, and the United States; hence, its nickname, "The City of Five Flags." Historic Pensacola Village exhibits the city's story through guided walking tours. Meanwhile, the downtown area offers art galleries, restaurants with fresh, delicious seafood, many arts and cultural venues. Pensacola's beaches are a must-see, with their white sands and gorgeous waters. Pensacola Beach is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the country and includes historic Fort Pickens. One of the top tourist attractions in the area, Ft. Pickens was built in the 1820’s to protect the entrance to Pensacola Bay.
Pensacola is home to three post-secondary education institutions, University of West Florida, Pensacola State College, and Pensacola Christian College. The University of West Florida has undergraduate enrollment of over 10,000 students on a 1,600 acre campus in the northern part of the Pensacola area. The city offers public and private schools for all grade levels.
Pensacola offers world-class healthcare facilities with 3 major hospitals in the area. Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital is recognized as one of the top neo-natal facilities in the region.
Pensacola has outstanding recreational and tourism resources. The “cradle of Naval aviation,” Pensacola is the home to the US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team. Naval Air Station Pensacola is also home to the world’s largest museum of Naval aviation, one of the most visited museums in the state of Florida. The downtown area is home to the professional baseball AA Blue Wahoos and the Ice Flyers professional hockey team. Football is in season during the fall with Pensacola’s newest sports team, the University of West Florida Argos.
Downtown Pensacola offers arts and culture with museums galore. Saenger Theater hosts musicals and Broadway shows in majestic fashion. Within walking distance of the theater you can find some of the top rated restaurants in the area. All of this literally just down the hill from First Baptist Church!
Interested in this job? Apply here.