To serve and lead all people into a growing relationship with Jesus.


    Our purpose individually as a Christ-follower, and collectively as a church, is simply to Glorify God In all we do as instructed in 1 Corinthians 10:31.

  • Passion

    our passion for living, loving and serving comes in response to God's love for us (1 John 4:7-12) and it is an obedient response to the "Great Commandment" given by Jesus in Mark 12:28-31 when he told us to love him with all that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. 


    follows the example of Jesus who said he came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life...So as we serve others and flesh out a faith that is authentic we act in accord with these verses: Mark 10:45; 1 John 3:18; James 2:17; 1 Peter 4:10; Luke 10:25-37.


    is the essence of the Christian's life as Matthew 4:19 and Philippians 3:12-14 explain




1.  About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.  He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.


Genesis 1:1, 26, 27  Genesis 3:22  Psalm 90:2  Matthew 28:19  

1 Peter 1:2   2 Corinthians 13:14


2.  About Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal, in essence, with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.


      Matthew 1:22, 23    Isaiah 9:6     John 14:10-30     Hebrews 4:14, 15     

1 Corinthians 15:3, 4  Romans 1:3, 4           Acts 1:9-11     1 Timothy 6:14, 15     John 1:1-5               Titus 2:13


3.  About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal, in essence, with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation.  He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.


     2 Corinthians 3:17    John 16:7-13     John 14:16, 17     Ephesians 5:18     

1 Corinthians 2:12     1 Corinthians 3:16     Ephesians 1:13     Galatians 5:25     Acts 1:8


4.  About the Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.


   2 Timothy 3:16                 2 Peter 1:20, 21                 2 Timothy 1:13    

   Psalm 119:105, 160          Psalm 12:6                        Proverbs 30:5


5.  About Human Beings

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.


    Genesis 1:27         Psalm 8:3-6         Isaiah 53:6a         Romans 3:23                  Isaiah 59:1, 2


6.  About Salvation

Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.


Romans 6:23         Ephesians 2:8, 9         John 14:6         John 1:12         Titus 3:5


7.  About Eternal Security

Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort

of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.


John 10:29       2 Timothy 1:12       Hebrews 7:25        Hebrews 10:10, 14        

1 Peter 1:3-5


8.  About Eternity

People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.


John 3:16   John 14:17  Romans 6:23  Romans 8:17-18  Revelation 20:15  

1 Corinthians 2:7-9



These beliefs are ones we deem to be the essentials extracted from the Baptist Faith & Message, 2000. For the full listing of the beliefs in that document that we are in accord with please go to www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp

    our core values:

    1.)TRANSFORMATIONAL BIBLE TEACHING – We value seeing God transform lives & move people toward Christ-like maturity through the applied teaching of God’s authoritative Word.  

    1 Timothy 3:16 & Colossians 1:28

    2.)EVANGELISM/MISSIONS –  We believe Christ calls us to share his Gospel & serve the needs of others locally & globally. Therefore, we will go, supply, equip & send people from our church to preach & teach the good news & to meet the physical, emotional, relational & spiritual needs of all people. 

    Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 12:13, Luke 10:25-37  

    3.)AUTHENTIC WORSHIP –We believe God is worthy of our praise and that we were created to experience a personal connection to Jesus Christ through thanksgiving and praise. Therefore, we will seek to facilitate worship experiences that are Christ-centered, biblically-driven & enable people to connect to Christ by faith. 

     Psalm 8:3-4; Psalm 95:6-7; 1 Corinthians 10:31; John 20:28  

    4.)FAMILY – We value the biblical design of the family and believe that design, given by God, is best for the nurture & development of all people.  Therefore, we will resource, pray for, support and encourage Christian parents as the primary faith-shapers of their children.

     Deuteronomy 6:4-8; Ephesians 5:22  

    5.)FELLOWSHIP/COMMUNITY – We value people experiencing Christian fellowship & a vital sense of community within the church body. Furthermore, we delight in fostering cooperative relationships within our local area as we show the love of Christ while being culturally relevant and biblically rooted. 

    Acts 2:42-47; Mark 9:40; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; Acts 17:16-34. 

    6.)   PRAYER –We value prayer as the means by which God invites us into his presence and into the stream of his activity in the world. We value such conversational prayer with God for the purposes of worship, thanksgiving, confession, interceding for the needs of others, as well as the presenting of personal needs to God by way of petition. 

     Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2, & James 5:16. 

    Our pastors



      Scott, Tina and their three sons (Caleb, Luke, Daniel) came to Lake Wales in the summer of 2007. Over these last ten years God has used them to impact our church and community in profound ways. Scott began serving the Lord in the children’s ministry of his local church as a teenager in New Jersey. While attending Eastern University in suburban Philadelphia, Scott served as a volunteer staff member with Young Life in the suburbs and later in a Housing Project in Philadelphia.

      While attending Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth in the late 80’s he served as a Youth Pastor and met his future bride, Tina. They were wed in 1988. The pair then moved to Philadelphia where they served as church planters (NAMB) and started a campus ministry at Temple University.

      In 1994, God providentially directed them to serve as the Minister of College/Career for First Baptist Church, Durham, NC. For 13 years Scott and Tina ministered to students from local universities like Duke, UNC, & NCSU. During his later years at FBC Durham Scott’s role broadened as he served as an associate pastor administrating and leading out in many areas of ministry in the life of the church. While living in Durham Scott attained a Doctor of Ministry at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

      Scott and Tina have now been influencing many toward Christ in the Lake Wales area as Scott pastors and Tina teaches at LWHS. Scott is also the chaplain of the LWHS Football Team, serves in leadership with two active coalitions of local pastors, and is on the L.W. Care Center Board. They have raised their three sons in this community they have grown to love. They have led FBC-LW to be more missional than ever. Global, national and local mission trips, as well as local outreach initiatives such as tutoring, Faith Finders Clubs, Divorce Care, a Backpack ministry and Jobs for Life are now a part of the life of the church. Scott enjoys staying healthy by running & gets fired up cheering on his college teams—Florida and Duke. Tina enjoys crafts, Pinterest, and playing on her I-Pad. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 is a verse that guides the ministry of Scott and Tina: "We loved you so much we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us."

    • Rev. Barry Hooten


      Before answering God's call to ministry, Barry was a General Contractor in north Alabama. He graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in May of 1995 and came to First Baptist Church of Lake Wales in August of that year. Barry's responsibilities include the educational and discipleship ministries of the church, in addition to church administration and facilities management. Barry and his wife, Lynn, are both natives of Cullman, Alabama, and are the parents of four children. Isaiah 40:31 is the verse which Barry claims for the trying times of his life. "But those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." 

    • Rev. Charles Little

      Minister of Worship Arts

      Charles was called to the Music Ministry in November of 1975, while still a high school student. In 1981, he met and later married his wife, Tammy, and they have served as a ministry team in part-time and full-time ministries throughout the southeast. Charles received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Vocal Performance from The University of Mobile in 1981 and his Masters of Church Music degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989. His goals in ministry have always been to: 1) seek God's direction, 2) lead and equip the body for worship and ministry, and 3) provide quality opportunities for a diverse people to use varied styles and forms of music, drama and other ministry aids to encounter God on a weekly basis. Charles and Tammy are the parents of three daughters - Emily, Heidi and Rebekah. Ephesians 5:19 & 20 is a favorite verse for Charles because he says it speaks to the need for today’s church to be culturally relevant to all ages and diversities of people who gather to encounter God: "Speak to one another with psalms (Songs from Scripture), hymns (Traditional Worship Songs) and spiritual songs (New Praise and Worship Songs). Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord (The object of our worship and the reason we gather)…"

    • Rev. Matt Simpson

      Minister to Students

      Before surrendering to the ministry, Matt was pursuing a business career in the insurance industry. He was following his college degree of business and his heart’s desire. He had a spiritual awakening that reminded him of his call to ministry as a teenager. Seminary became the next step for him. He married his wife, Jennifer, and they began their ministry and life together at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. After receiving his Master’s of Divinity in December 2000, they moved to Shelby, NC where he served as Associate Pastor to Students at Elizabeth Baptist Church. In December of 2004, God led them to move to Palmetto, FL where he served as Associate Pastor to Students at First Baptist Church of Palmetto. Matt, Jennifer and their two girls have been at First Baptist of Lake Wales since June of 2006. Matt and Jennifer serve in the student ministry as a team and desire to see students grow into a mature relationship with Christ. Matthew 13:44-46 is a passage they hold on to: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!"


    First Baptist Church of Lake Wales, Florida is affiliated

    nationally with the Southern Baptist Convention.

    At a state-wide level we are affiliated with

    the Florida Baptist Convention.  

    Locally, we are affiliated with the

    Ridge Baptist Association of East Polk County. 

    In our mission efforts we are affiliated with a variety of agencies

    and organizations, but a historical relationship that is of priority

    to us exists with the

    International Mission Board of the SBC (based in Richmond, VA) 

    and the North American Mission Board (Alpharetta, GA).

    While we use a variety of organizations to help with church resources, FBC-LW has had a long-standing partnership with

    Lifeway Christian Resources.