Dr. Nate Leonard
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.
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, son-in-law, Brad, and a precious grandson, Isaac who live in Winterville, 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!
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.
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!
Vonne was born in Carteret County, but has lived from Miami, Florida to Ketchikan, Alaska, (father was in USCG) moving back to Carteret County in 1973. Raised in a Christian home, Vonne has known the Lord her whole life, was baptized at the age of 12, but says she began a real relationship with Him in her 30’s.
Vonne attended Carteret Community College and became interested in Data Processing and Computers. She moved to Raleigh and went to Raleigh School of Data Processing and Computer Programming school and was employed by North Carolina State University. She moved back home and was employed by the County Tax Department for two years and then worked in the office at Atlantic Veneer for 20+ years. Wanting a change, she left AVC and has had an eclectic group of jobs since then that include substitute teaching, driving a school bus, working for a car dealership and managing a Christian Bookstore for 5 years. She joined the First Baptist Church team on June 21, 2010.
Vonne and her husband of 35 years, Gray, make their home in Bettie, NC and they had/have two grown sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter. Sadly, they suffered a devastating loss in May 2013 when her stepson, Gray, Jr. lost his fight with cancer. His wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Grayson, still reside in Bettie. Drew and his wife, Ginna, live in Fayetteville where he is a Department Manager for Lowes Home Improvement and she is employed by Methodist University as an Assistant Athletic Trainer.
Vonne values her family and is most happy when she is with them. She enjoys reading, cooking, being with friends, going to ball games, especially when her granddaughter is playing, watching Carolina play basketball, doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, cake decorating, working on the computer and swimming. A member of Woodville Baptist Church for 38 years, she was a volunteer Secretary (6 years) and member of the choir, has served on various committees, been involved with VBS for 25 years (teacher & director), Children’s Ministry Director, taught Sunday School, served as AWANA Director and currently leads a Secret Sister Prayer Ministry. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 because she says, “I can do absolutely nothing without Him and anything is possible with Him. He has been there for me – always”.
Carol and her husband Dick moved to Carteret County over 45 years ago by way of the US Marine Corp. They fell in love with the area and made NC their home. Dick has been employed with the Department of Defense for 45 years. Carol has had a number of different careers including owning and operating a Ladies Boutique and Modeling School, a Nail Salon, spent ten years on staff at Glad Tidings Church as an Administration Assistant and did bookkeeping for small businesses prior to becoming part of the team at First Baptist. She oversees the "business" end of the church as her duties range from payroll to bookkeeping.
Carol and her husband have been members of Glad Tidings Church for 23 years where they are very active working in the Inspiration Station Bookstore and serving as Life Group Leaders caring for a small group of 14 people. Carol also volunteers at GTC on Mondays to help their Connections Pastor with administrative duties.
Carol and Dick have been happily married for 45 years and have one grown daughter, Amber who is an Assistant Manager at Goody's. Carol enjoys spending time with her family, going to movies and the beach, reading, crocheting, and is addicted to HGTV.