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!"