First Baptist Church - Morehead City
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 Our Team 

Dr. Nate Leonard    
Senior Pastor


Nate grew up in Salisbury, NC prior to attending North Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, graduating magna cum laude.  In 2004 he received a Master of Divinity degree from Campbell University Divinity School and in 2011 a Doctor of Ministry degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.  Nate spent 10 years in student ministry prior to his call to serve as senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Morehead City in January of 2013.

Nate has a true love for Christ, his church, and the lost.  He has spent time preaching and serving the least of these in places as far away as Indonesia and Ukraine as well as rural Appalachia and his own backyard.  Nate is passionate about preaching and teaching the Word.      

Nate and his wife Suellen have three children: Pierce, Creed, and Selwyn.  Nate loves the beauty of Carteret County, learning to fish, playing racquetball, and spending time with his family. 

Darrell Williams                                        
Associate Pastor/Minister of Education


Darrell joined the staff of First Baptist Church in May, 2008 after serving as Minister of Education at Mission Baptist Church in Oakboro, NC and Minister of Education at Spilman Baptist Church in Kinston, NC.  Darrell graduated from East Carolina University in 1978 with a BS in Business Administration and worked in the banking and financial industry for 17 years before answering the call to full time Christian ministry in 1995.  He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned a Masters of Divinity in Christian Education in May of 1999. 

Darrell has been happily married to his wonderful wife, BJ, since November 6, 1982.  They have a grown daughter, Amanda, and a son-in-law, Brad, who live in Greenville, NC.  Darrell enjoys quiet times on the back porch with a cup of coffee, taking walks on the beach, and biking.  Oh, and by the way, he is a diehard ECU Pirate fan!

Deborah Lockey
Director of Youth & Senior Adults


Deborah Lockey is Director of Youth and Senior Adult Ministries here at FBC and leads worship along with our Worship Team for our 11am blended service. Deborah grew up in Burlington, NC and graduated from Campbell College with a Bachelors of Music Education degree. 

During her late high school and college summers she worked as a staffer at Camp Mundo Vista and at age 19 felt a call to serve God with her life. Following college she served on staff at Newport Baptist Church with youth and music ministries, while also serving as church pianist and part-time secretary. In 1985 this church planted a mission in Havelock which became McCotter Blvd. Baptist Church. Deborah and her husband, Tim went with the team to help begin this work. There Deborah served as church pianist and helped develop the music ministries, eventually serving on staff as Music Minister and volunteer director of youth ministries. In 2008 Deborah joined the staff here at First Baptist, working with our youth and senior adults.

Deborah has been joyfully married to Tim Lockey since 1979. They have three grown sons and two lovely daughter-in-laws. They reside in Newport and love life in the country. Deborah enjoys singing and  playing all kinds of music, riding her bike, sailing, reading, and spending time with Tim on their small farm.  

Diane Hawkins
Director of Music Ministries & Organist


Diane Hawkins is our Director of Music Ministries and Organist.  She is married to Jess, a retired Marine Biologist, and they have two daughters, Leigh, a designer, and Mari, an Athletic Trainer.  The Hawkins family found their way to FBC and became members in 1999. Diane’s first impressions of FBC were that this was a church that loved to sing and worship, the members were so very welcoming to visitors, and there was a strong emphasis on children’s and youth ministry.  She joined the staff in 1999, first as organist, and shortly thereafter was offered the position as Music Director. 

Diane is a graduate of East Carolina University (GO PIRATES!) and holds degrees in Church Music and Organ Performance.  Her career in church music began as organist at the age of 16 at Carrow Baptist Church in Va. Beach, Virginia. She has also served at Oakmont Baptist Church and First Christian Church in Greenville, NC. She has enjoyed teaching piano, organ, accompanying, performing, and conducting throughout her career.

Time outside of Diane’s church ministry includes teaching group fitness classes at a local gym and helping her husband Jess with his second career and family business, Crystal Coast Ecotours. She enjoys renovating and repurposing found objects and has a secret desire to star in an HGTV show one day working with big power tools!

Lori Muns


Vonne Lewis
Ministry Assistant


Carol Reed
Financial Secretary


Fran Welch

Sabrina Juarez