About Us

The members of First Baptist Church of Bladenboro strive to be loving, caring, and committed followers of Christ.

We believe deeply in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, the truths revealed in God’s Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit at work among us.  We find meaning and purpose in life by seeking the will of God for our lives individually and collectively.  The call of Christ leads us to serve one another, our community, and the world with compassion, humility, and love.

We want you to discover the joy that we share when we come together to worship God in spirit and in truth.  You will find that we worship a God who loves us just as we are–and also loves us so much that the Lord cannot allow our lives to go unchanged.  And this new and changed life we find in God is amazing, exciting, overflowing, and eternal.

As a congregation, we embrace the Four Freedoms espoused by Baptists:  Soul Freedom, Bible Freedom, Church Freedom, and Religious Freedom.

 Anyone and everyone is welcome in our church.  Men and women serve in leadership roles in our church–including the office of deacon.  We support the Baptist World Alliance, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC, Baptist State Convention of NC, WMU of NC with our offerings of money, talent, and energy.

Rev. Samuel Vanslyke

Rev. Samuel Vanslyke

Pastor

Rev. Samuel VanSlyke has served as the Lead Pastor of First Baptist Church of Bladenboro since December 2019. He was born and raised in a Christian family. At the age of five he thought believing that God was real meant he became a Christian. Samuel was convicted of his salvation at the age of thirteen while on a mission trip to Jacksonville, Florida. He talked with his Youth Pastor who walked him through the gospel in the Word of God. It was at that moment that Samuel put his trust in Jesus Christ as His Savior. God began to burden his heart to grow in his faith. A couple years later, Samuel participated in a Bible Study with his Youth Group called “Experiencing God”. It was through that Bible Study that he began to read the Word of God and learned how to have a strong prayer life. Through the Word of God and prayer, God called Rev. Samuel VanSlyke into lifetime ministry for His glory. Samuel graduated in 2011 from Piedmont International University with his Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry with Minors in Pastor Studies and Missions. Samuel has been in ministry since 2010 and fulltime ministry since 2013. Rev. Samuel VanSlyke married the love of his life, Morgan, in December of 2014 and have been happily married since. They adopted their first daughter, Annalie, who was born March 7, 2019. Samuel and Morgan are hopeful to adopt their second daughter who is due February 26, 2020. Samuel and Morgan have a love for family and ministry. As Pastor, Rev. Samuel VanSlyke enjoys leading people to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, preaching the Word of God, discipling people to grow more like Christ, being involved in global missions, and spending time in fellowship with other believer’s and sister’s in Christ. He is pursing his Master of Divinity at Piedmont International University in Pastoral Ministries.

Tonya Long

Ministry Assistant

Tonya was born in Lumberton, but has lived in Bladen County since marrying Chris Long over 25 years ago.  She joined our staff in August of 2007 with experience as a bookkeeper and an employee of BB&T.  She does an excellent job keeping our financial books, publishing the Highlighter and a host of other jobs that keep the office running smoothly.  Tonya has an Associate degree in accounting earned from Robeson Community College.

She and Chris have two children, Cody and Amber.  When not at church, Tonya enjoys spending time at the beach.

 

Eddie Walters

Eddie Walters

Music Director

Eddie Walters has been a member of First Baptist Church for over 60 years.  He has been the Music Minister for almost 30 years.

Eddie’s parents were Lola Mae and Roy Gilliam Walters (deceased).  He has two brothers, Robert Oakie Walters and Ricky Walters, and one sister, Nancy Walters Byrd.  He graduated from Bladenboro High School, received his Bachelor of Art from Wake Forest University, received his Masters of Art in Education degree, and Educational Specialist degree from East Carolina University.  Eddie is a retired educator and past principal of Bladenboro Primary School.

His hobbies and interests include choral music, horticulture specializing in daylillies.  He is also very involved in the community.  He is a member of the Bladenboro Rotary Club, Master Gardener Volunteers, Sandhills Daylilly Club, Keep Bladen Beautiful Committee, and the Board of Directors for Bladenboro Historical Society

Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly

Organist

Susan McMillan Kelly has been a member of First Baptist Church for over 45 years. She has also been the Organist during those 45 years. Susan is originally from Winston-Salem, N.C. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music with a Concentration in Organ/Keyboard, a Bachelor of Science in English, and a Masters of Arts in English all from Pembroke State University.

Susan retired from West Bladen High School where she taught English and is a private piano instructor. Her hobbies include music (classical), reading, and working with young people. Susan says “use it or lose it! You can never ‘retire’ from doing the Lord’s work…”

Susan’s mother is Isabelle H. McMillan and her father was William L. McMillan (deceased). Her brother is Rev. Rick L. McMillan.