Pastoral Team

Dr. Scott Markley

Senior Pastor

Scott, Tina and their three sons (Caleb, Luke, Daniel) came to Lake Wales in the summer of 2007. Over these many 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."


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Pastor Barry Hooten

Minister of Discipleship & Administration

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." 


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Pastor 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 served as a ministry team in part-time and full-time ministries throughout the southeast.  Charles and Tammy are the parents of three daughters - Emily, Heidi and Rebekah, and four granddaughters.
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. 

Ephesians 5:19 & 20 is a favorite verse for Charles because 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)…"


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Pastor Matt Simpson

Minister Of 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!"


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Candice Mckeon

Director of Children's Ministry

Before her position as the Children’s Ministry Director, Candice taught high school mathematics for 15 years. In 2011 she married her husband, TJ, and completed her graduate degree in Educational Leadership at USF. Both Candice and TJ were born and raised in Lake Wales and enjoy raising their four children, Isabell (9), Kevin (8), Parker Diann (5), and Maggie Moo (4) here. Candice has a heart for teaching children God’s Word and telling them about the love of Jesus. 


The Bible verse Candice looks to is Zephaniah 3:17… “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing”.


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Pastor  Anthony Dejesus

Church Planter

Before an encounter with Jesus at the age of 21, Anthony worked as a producer for Hector “El Father” in urban music with renowned Hispanic artists in Reggaeton and Hip-hop. He successfully progressed in his career as a producer, Jesus impacted his life with the Gospel message in such a way that everything changed from then on. In 2011 he was sent by the Buena Vista Baptist Church in Cayey, PR, to prepare for the ministry at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Caguas Puerto Rico, where he completed two years of study while serving in youth ministry. In 2013 he moved with his family to Kissimmee Florida, where he continued his training at the Central Baptist Church of Kissimmee for the next nine years serving in different areas of ministry as a youth leader and teacher at IBCK Educational Center. On February 6, 2021, he was ordained to the ministry and obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Pastoral Leadership. He was called to plant and develop together with the First Baptist Church of Lake Wales, a Hispanic church in May 2021. Anthony De Jesus and his loving wife Enghy Garcia have been married for 16 years, they have two children, Yanis De Jesus & Jayden De Jesus. Together we have the opportunity to serve the Hispanic community of Lake Wales by bringing the only message of hope to all those who have to believe in the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, the only one capable of transforming lives and families for eternity. 


"For as the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the LORD." Habakkuk 2:14


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Support Staff

Jill Pavy

Ministry Assistant of Administration

Jill became a member of FBC in 1984 and joined the Support Staff in 2006. Jill and Marvin have 4 children and have been blessed with 14 grandchildren. Not only has Jill seen her family grow but has seen God’s hand in growing FBC. Jill’s office responsibilities are varied, including receptionist, purchasing and scheduling of facilities, to name a few. When not in the church office Jill enjoys spending time with her sisters and grandchildren, cooking, home improvement and vacationing in the mountains. Anyone who knows Jill, knows she loves Christmas. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).


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Jan Pitman

Ministry Assistant of Finances

Jan has worked at FBCLW since June 2007. She served 12.5 years as Media/Student Ministry Assistant and for the past 2 years as Finance Ministry Assistant. Jan and her husband Jay have two grown children and one granddaughter. She has served in Children’s Ministry for over 20 years. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, spending time with her family & friends, reading and crafting. Jan and her husband Jay have two grown children and one granddaughter. She has served in Children’s Ministry for over 20 years. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, spending time with her family & friends, reading and crafting. A verse she loves is 2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ... To him be glory both now and forever!"


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Dylan Gunton

Ministry Assistant of Administration

Before being hired on as a full time Ministry Assistant, Dylan was one of the first rounds of interns at FBC Lake Wales. Dylan is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree at Polk State College and has plans to attend a seminary in the not so distant future. Dylan enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, beach volleyball and SpikeBall. Dylan also loves to spend quality time with friends and family. He is also a huge fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida Gators! 

A passage that Dylan loves is 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor."


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