Our Pastor, Dr. Andy Finch has a deep commitment to preaching and teaching God's Word with clarity and conviction so people can find the hope and help they need to face the opportunities and challenges of real life. Andy is motivated by a desire to see real life-change through the power of Jesus Christ in every person who walks through the doors of First Baptist Church. He truly cares as much about growing people as he does about growing our church. Andy is an effective and visionary leader who strives to mobilize the entire church to live on mission for Christ in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, work places, and community.
Andy grew up in Houston and Orange, Texas, where he was licensed and ordained for the ministry at First Baptist Church. He is a 1994 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and 1997 graduate of Baylor's George W. Truett Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity degree. Andy earned his doctorate in 2014 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, IL. Andy came to FBC Blanchard in the fall of 2006 after pastoring a church in Sand Springs, OK for nine years. Before that, he served as the pastor of churches while in college and seminary. Andy currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the International Mission Board and as a Trustee for Oklahoma Baptist University. He has had the privilege of serving on mission trips in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Chile, Germany, and Central Asia.
Andy enjoys spending time with his family, playing and watching all kinds of sports, going on mission trips, reading biographies of world leaders and missionaries, and hanging out with friends while drinking prodigious amounts of coffee and vigorously discussing/debating sports, politics, and theology.
Andy is blessed by the support of his wife and best friend, Steva, who graduated from OBU with a degree in nursing. Currently, Steva devotes her time to their four children: Catherine, Anna, Caleb and Seth. She also enjoys serving in women's and children's ministries at church, spending time with friends, encouraging other women through mentoring, reading, and watching British period dramas. (Yes, Andy watches them with her too!)
Andy's ministry verse is Colossians 1:28-29:
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
On May 10, 2015 First Baptist Church called Jesse Peters to serve as our Student Minister. In April of 2016, the church voted to increase Jess's leadership role and title to Associate Pastor and Student Minister. As our Associate Pastor, Jesse leads our Discipleship Mininstries (Sunday School & Home Groups) and our global missions work. Jesse grew up in Marlow, OK, earned a degree in English at the University of Central Oklahoma, and a Master of Divinity degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in San Franciso, CA where he has lived and served in various mininstry roles for 3 years. Jesse has also served in various positions of ministry and missions leadership at First Baptist Church in Marlow, OK, and First Baptist Church in Edmond, OK. Jesse's wife, Rachel, also grew up in Marlow and graduated from UCO. Together, they make a great ministry team and have a deep passion for reaching and equipping students to serve the Lord now and for years to come.
As a young girl in Pittsburg Kansas, Paula was first introduced to Jesus Christ through an invitation of a close family friend, to attend Vacation Bible School at a little white church just outside of town. Her parents, not church attendees at the time, agreed to let her attend. This was not a chance encounter, it was a divine appointment. Her desire to learn more about Him burned deep within. Even after a move to Oklahoma, Paula was persistent about going to church as a family. Eventually, the persistence paid off and the family began to attend a church in OKC. God used Sunday School Teacher’s & other Christian families to teach Paula of His unfailing love for her. Finally, on a Wednesday night in May, at the age of 10, she began her personal relationship with her Heavenly Father. What began several years prior as an “introduction”, ended up leading to a life-long relationship with the Savoir.
Paula has spent a good part of her life pointing children to Jesus through local Churches and Christian Education Centers. Before coming to First Baptist Church – Blanchard, Paula was the Weekday Early Education Director/Founder of Joyful Noise Parent’s Day Out at First Baptist Church Newcastle and also served as the Children’s Ministry Director at the South Campus of First Baptist – Newcastle. She was the Children’s Activity Coordinator at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Blanchard from 1998-2005. She was also a kindergarten teacher from 1995 - 1997 at Southwest Christian Academy in Moore.
Paula and her husband Charles have lived in Blanchard since 1997 and have four children; Jacob, Kegan, Brant, and Allie. Her love for her own children and Children’s Ministry is a product of her childhood experience and her current relationship with Jesus. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these…shall you teach diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up."