Randy Huckabee | Lead Pastor
Randy grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. He began preaching at the age of 13 and was involved in many weekend evangelism events through his home church. Upon graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he and his wife Carlene, moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to pursue a Master's Degree in Divinity at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
After graduating in July of 1980, Randy served three churches in the role of Education and Discipleship Pastor. In 1987, he became a Senior Pastor of a church in North Carolina. Since then he has pastored churches in Georgia and Florida. He has spent the majority of his ministry in Florida churches. Randy and Carlene have two adult children, Aaron and Abigail, who have blessed the Huckabee's with five grandchildren. His first love are the grandkids and then he enjoys riding his road bicycle, golf and trapping alligators.
Randy loves unpacking God's Word and encouraging the church to be followers of Christ in action as well as conversation. His hope is to hear Jesus say one day, "You done good!" The church is what brings him joy in seeing their lives changed and taught what it really means to be identified with Jesus.
Jack Leon | Pastor of Worship & Connection
Jack grew up in Jacksonville, FL and attended middle and high school at magnet schools for the arts. He attended the University of Mobile and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Worship Studies from Trinity Baptist College. Currently, he is pursuing a Master's in Worship Studies from Lee University in Cleveland, TN.
Jack has served in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee; he's had the privilege of leading worship in over 15 states and in 7 countries. He traveled as a college student leading worship around the country and has also contributed writings to resources for the church and believers. He has led worship for the Florida, Alabama and Louisiana Baptist Conventions and the Mississippi State Evangelism Conference. He is an avid Florida Gators sports fan and loves the Boston Red Sox.
Jack desires to point people to worship the Almighty at First Baptist and brings an energy to worship services that creates a unique atmosphere. He loves to share the gospel through music. Besides Music, he enjoys connecting with the community and using tools to share what God is doing here at First Baptist. He is passionate about teaching others that worship is all that we are responding to all that HE is!
Mike Brooks | Pastor of Senior Adults & Pastoral Care
Mike was born in Memphis, TN in August of 1952 to a Mormon family. Soon afterwards, his parents moved the family to Little Rock, AR where Mike grew up, attended public school, and seminary preparing himself to become a Mormon missionary. It was during the final year of his missionary training that events took place which caused him to rethink his commitment to Mormonism, creating division in his family, which ultimately moved him to make the decision to leave home and travel, pursuing a job as a musician.
In October 1972 his met Diane and after a short engagement, were married in February of 1973. They lived in Lake Village, AR where Mike accepted an offer to travel as a guitarist for a Southern Gospel musical group which opened the door for the Lord to minister to him directly. Mike and Diane’s son Eric was born January 1st, 1975. That event caused Mike to experience God in a fresh, new way. It didn’t take long for him to realize his need for Christ and prayed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
Soon after salvation, Mike was approached by a retired Baptist Pastor asking permission to disciple him, which he did for the period of a year. Mike followed this up with Bible and Pastoral Ministry training, presented by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, where he sensed the call to the Gospel Ministry and was licensed to preach, which led to his ordination soon after. Since that time, Mike has served Churches in Arkansas and Florida. Some were bi-vocational and others, full-time ministry.
Along with the raising of their son Eric, was the birth of Austin, who not only brought tremendous joy into their life, but also one of the worst tragedies they ever encountered, when at the age of 3, Austin passed away due to an accidental drowning. It was through a process of time with God and God’s people loving on them, which helped them to overcome their grief and open up their hearts to a greater desire to minister and serve others.
Since then they have served Churches located in Palm Beach Gardens, Tequesta, Jupiter, and Okeechobee where he met and ministered alongside Pastor Randy Huckabee. In 2013 God moved them to Dade City where Mike currently serves full-time on the Pastoral Staff at First Baptist Church. Mikes enjoys playing musical instruments, carpentry, golf, and walking. His greater joy is the time He and Diane get to spend with their son Eric, daughter-in-law Erica, and with grandchildren, Wyatt and Emma. Mike’s life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean upon your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
David Surratt | Pastor of Students
Dave Dahmer | Pastor of Children
Tonja Gobel | Ministry Coordinator
Mary Lu Nealey | Finance Secretary
Mary Lu was born in Washington, DC and lived there until she was 13. She moved to Miami, Florida and graduated from Coral Gables High School. She worked for various banks for 45 years. She was married at 19 and a mother at 23, her first husband passed away of cancer at the age of 27. She remarried and had three children. She worked in the student ministries at First Baptist Hialeah and was their finance advisor. She moved to Dade City in 2001 and began working for First Baptist in June 2003. In late 2002, her second husband passed away of cancer. She's lost count at 16 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren that she adores. She loves to bowl and fish.
Mary Lu loves her job and the ability to be able to apply her life's work in the financial world to the ministries of the church.