Dr. Jimmy Lewis, Interim Pastor
In an overwhelming majority vote the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Lewis was called to serve as Interim Pastor of FBC Cornelia on June 1. A native of Rome, Georgia, Lewis was ordained to the ministry by his home church, North Broad Baptist, in 1972.
Lewis received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He has served churches throughout North Georgia including FBC Cave Spring, Locust Grove Baptist, FBC Morrow, FBC Jasper, and FBC Tucker. Lewis and his wife Sandra retired to Toccoa in 2019.
Ministering in a pandemic has been a challenge for Lewis. He admits he has a hard time preaching on camera. “I want to see the people and have contact with the people,” he said. But he recognizes that God has a plan for the church during this difficult season.
“The community is looking for the church to give of itself to the community. People today want to know what the church is doing. Are they just meeting on Sunday? That is one of the things that is happening in this pandemic. The church is having to figure out who she is when we are not meeting on Sunday and Wednesday and what we do with the resources. It is a real challenge and it is important. If the church is really going to love the community – if we are going to take seriously what the Bible says about love thy neighbor as thyself – we are going to have to figure out who our neighbor is and how we are going to minister to them,” said Lewis.
The needs of the congregation and the community should shape the mission of the local church, according to Lewis. This “Jesus-with-skin” approach led him to co-found the local Habitat for Humanity in Cobb County and free clinics in Morrow, Jasper, Atlanta and Toccoa.
Through his ministry in Jasper, Lewis became aware of the housing needs of some adults with developmental disabilities. Their housing need led to a church partnership with Developmental Disabilities Ministries of Georgia; Lewis still serves as Chairman of the Board for the organization.
When he’s not pastoring or meeting on behalf of the various boards on which he sits, you can find him tinkering with his race boats. “I race boats with American Power Boat Association. I have a 20 ft. Allison with a 200 HP Mercury Outboard and I am working on restoring a 14 ft. Allison with a 105 Chrysler Outboard,” said Lewis, who enjoys a good trial run on Lake Hartwell.
Randy LeBlanc, Minister of Worship & Music
Randy grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana, a small town 60 miles north of New Orleans. His family was actively involved in Calvary Baptist Church where he learned of the love of Jesus in a caring community of faith. Musical influences in his life included the church graded choir program, playing in the band, and a musical family. The call to church music ministry came while serving as music director of a small country church during his high school senior year.
While majoring in church music at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Randy met Cecelia Patterson. Now married for 49 years, they have three children. Jennifer works in Raleigh for Red Hat Technology in leadership development and has two children, Jacob and Grace. Jason, general manager of The Waterfall Club at Lake Burton, is married to Amy and they have two daughters, Allie and Maddie. Jon is employed with BHP Billiton as a strategy manager and is married to Lizzie. They have a son, Noel, and are presently living in Singapore.
In 1990, Randy completed his Masters of Music degree at Baylor University and in 1997 did further post graduate studies in conducting at University of North Texas. He served churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, and now Georgia for a total of 46 years. He is also licensed as a financial advisor.
When not making music or advising financial clients, Randy loves to hike and photograph the beautiful landscape of Northeast Georgia. He and Cele enjoy travel, spending time with family and friends, and gardening.
Mrs. Carrie Trotter, Minister to Children
Carrie Trotter, part time children’s minister, has spent her life dedicated to children’s service. Whether you know her from MOSAIC Arts Camp, Cub Scout Camp, a teacher at Level Grove Elementary School or South Habersham Middle School, Carrie’s passion for children is sure to be seen.
Carrie’s personal mission is to lead responsibly, respectfully, and relationally. Her vision for the children’s ministry at FBC Cornelia is to create an environment that fosters spiritual growth through family partnerships, quality programs, and Biblical truths.
The ministry goals that Carrie seeks to fulfill are:
- Partner with families to create the greatest impact in the spiritual development of children.
- Create a safe, welcoming environment with strong leaders and quality experiences.
- Ensure that each child in the ministry understands core Christian values essential for laying a foundation of faith.
It is important that Preschoolers understand three basic truths:
- God made me
- God loves me
- Jesus wants to be my friend forever
In the elementary program our hope is that we teach children:
- I need to make wise choices
- I can trust God no matter what
- I should treat others the way I want to be treated
Carrie is married to Brad Trotter and together they are the proud parents of Jacob, a student at Young Harris College and Kate, a middle school student at Tallulah Falls School.
Dustin Biggers, Interim Youth Minister.
Dustin has been in ministry for 12 years, having served churches in the White County area as Associate Pastor and Student Pastor. In addition to ministry, he teaches part-time and works on his family’s farm. Dustin and his wife Chelsea live in Sautee Nacoochee. Dustin and Chelsea are the proud parents of Riley, a preschooler, and baby Elijah. Dustin is a graduate of Toccoa Falls College and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry in 2012. He has written two devotional books for students.
Dustin will be keeping office hours at the church as he plans youth activities. He will lead our youth in Sunday School and on Wednesday nights along with Chelsea, his wife and ministry partner.
“Chelsea and I are excited to begin our ministry at Cornelia First Baptist and reach students for Jesus Christ,” says Dustin.
Contact Dustin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Thomason, Bookkeeper and Minister Assistant
Carol Hasty, Church Secretary
Becky Hughes, Communications Ministry Assistant