Meet our Ministerial and Administrative Team
Pastor: (Interim, Gene Austin)
Gene Austin serves with the Making Disciples Group of the Missouri Baptist Convention. He is responsible for overseeing collegiate ministry including the 23 Campus Missionaries on 24 different campuses in Missouri. Gene is also working with these missionaries developing strategies with the goal of having a gospel presence on another 35 campuses in the state.
Gene was raised in Cairo, Missouri and was active at Cairo Christian Church. He joined the Navy shortly after graduating and served on nuclear submarines for nine years. While he and his family were stationed in Virginia, they began attending a Baptist church and recommitted their lives to following Jesus. They were then transferred to Washington state where at a youth camp, Gene felt a call into full-time service. He attended an extension of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Portland, OR and completed his M.Div. at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to working with the MBC, Gene was a pastor in Missouri for 10 years. When first employed by the MBC, Gene served as the Emerging Generations Consultant in Northeast Missouri which included leading the BSU at Truman State University in Kirksville. Transitions at the MBC have allowed him to also serve as the BSU director and north reginal coordinator for collegiate ministry.
Gene married his high school sweetheart and they have just celebrated 40 years of marriage. They have two biological children — Brian and Kimberly. They have one grandchild – Kendrick. They have also adopted five children – Drew (13), Kenya (11), Hunter (10), Benjamin (9) and Treyton (9). Yes, their house is busy with sports and school activities.
Gene and Vickie attend Woodcrest in Columbia, MO. They are active serving in various ministries to assist the church in fulfilling their mission to reach people, teach them about following Jesus and sending them out to make disciples.
Youth and Families Pastor Scott Westfall
Scott has been the Pastor of Youth and Families at First Baptist since December 2014. He is a graduate of South West Baptist University with a BA in Pastoral Church Ministries and has completed Classes from Mid-America Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity).
He is Married to his wife Rachel and has two children, Payton and Theron.
In addition to ministering in the church he enjoys coaching for Centralia High School Football, Fishing, playing disc golf, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Church Secretary Jacki Stelzer
Jacki Stelzer is a life-long Centralia resident. She and her husband, Russell, raised three children in the Centralia school system. Playing with her grandchildren is Jacki’s favorite past time. Loving the Lord above all things, she accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized in November 1983. She began her FBC career in June 2004, and is currently the Church Secretary/Financial Secretary.
Music Director Danelle Mathews
Danelle has been a lifelong resident of Centralia. She and her husband Daniel have three children, Callie, Will, and Jack. She has been serving our church by sharing her musical gifts and talents throughout her life.
For the past seven years she has been leading our church in worship. Danelle also teaches music and
orchestra for the Centralia School District. When she is not using her gifts in the church, she loves
spending time with her family, especially when it involves either swimming or playing golf.
Senior Adult Ministry Director Chuck Burton
Hello, my name is Chuck Burton and I am the Director of Senior Adult Ministry here at First Baptist Church Centralia. I would like to take a few moments to tell you about my ministry and myself.
The Senior Adult Ministry is known as "the JOY Group" which stands for "Just Older Youth." We are a group of senior adults, age 55 and up. We meet once a month on the fourth Friday for our JOY meeting. At this meeting, we enjoy a carry-in dinner and some great fellowship. After dinner, we are inspired and entertained by talented Christian artists with singing and witnessing. We finish the fellowship out with our guest speaker who brings a message from the Word of God. We always have a great time of fun, food and fellowship while praising our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you are age 55 or above, I urge you to come and experience the fun and fellowship at our JOY meetings. Membership at First Baptist is not required and we welcome newcomers with open arms. Our motto is "bring a dish, bring a friend." We go on several outings during the year such as the Spring Jubilee in Branson, day trip to places like Heartland Dairy/Ministry located near Bethel, Missouri, and other outings as we are able.
Our main focus is to praise and worship our Lord Jesus Christ. We also strive to use our knowledge and experience, gained from years in the family of God, to encourage and guide younger believers.
As I said, my name is Chuck Burton. I am 65 years old. I have been married to my wife, Rita, for 39 years; we have four grown children, eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. We have been members at First Baptist Church since 2007. Before becoming members at FBC, we belonged to Cairo Baptist Church where I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized.
I am now in my second year as leader of the Joy Group and I feel more and more blessed each day. I am excited to welcome new brothers and sisters in Christ to our membership and look forward to serving Him with you.
In His love
Awana Leadership Ministry Tonya Beamer
Tonya Beamer is a wife and mother of three daughters, a son, and one grandson. She has actively taught in the Awana Ministry for twelve years before accepting the ministry leadership role. She feels blessed to have taught first grade Sunday School for eight years with Mrs. Rackley and her
husband Barry and continues in the ministry; they are involved in the Nursery Department as well for the past nine years. She has periodically served in Vacation Bible School and other various ministry roles over the years.
Tonya has held many civic and professional roles in the communities where she has lived including the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Mexico serving as Vice President and Secretary. Home and School Board President at St. Joseph School Martinsburg, Missouri two years and Vice President for two. Her background is in business and she is owner and principle of a corporation with her business partner of 25 years and currently celebrating 29 years in the investment business as of April 2016. She and her family live on a small grain farm in rural Centralia, Missouri. Tonya enjoys gardening, interior design, landscape, water sports, cooking, pets, fine dining and entertaining. She has a heart for teaching through scripture and sharing remarkable testimony.
A verse that has great meaning to her as of lately, it reminds her of hope in the future generations. Jeremiah 29:11-12, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and
pray to me, and I will listen to you."
Church Custodian John Luttrell
John is a lifelong Centralia resident, who grew up on a farm about 15 miles North of town. He has graciously served as our church custodian in some capacity for the past 26 years. After he graduated from high school he worked at Chance Company for a few years and then began his custodial career.
The first ten years he served here at First Baptist Church, he assisted the full-time custodian, but has been our full-time custodian for over 16 years. His hard-working spirit and pleasant demeanor are a great asset to our church.