Phillip Clark - Deacon Chairman
As did several other First Baptist Church deacons, Philip Clark “grew up” in our church. His parents, Knox and Gussie Clark, made sure that Philip along with his brother and sisters participated in Sunday School, 1st Baptist pre-school, church camps and mission organizations. He also participated in the local Boy Scout group, where he became an Eagle Scout. During a revival at the age of 9, Philip gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ. Philip graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He had worked in the family custom home-building business for as long as he could remember, so the day after graduation he knew where to show up. A few months after graduation, Philip married his college sweet heart, Sandra Toney from Orange. They have 2 children, Brian and Laura, who are also members of First Baptist. They also have a son-in-law Chad, daughter-in-law Amanda, and two grandchildren. On a pretty day at the lake, you may be able to find him with his son and son-in-law, along with a nephew or two riding dirt dikes through trails in the piney woods.
Philip has served as a deacon since 1998. Over the years, Philip and Sandra have been blessed to work in various Sunday School classes from 1st grade to Junior High. They have been privileged to work alongside many talented and dedicated teachers, and with many great kids. For the last few years, Philip has attended Adult 4/5 Sunday School. It’s a great group of folks, who often laugh together, sometimes cry together and regularly pray together. If you don’t have a Sunday School home, Philip would like to invite you to come by and visit. There is always an extra chair and fresh cup of coffee for a new friend. Philip believes in the power of prayer as witnessed in his life and the lives of many others in our Church. He would like to share this Bible verse: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Troy Woodall - Deacon Vice-Chair
Troy Woodall has been a member of First Baptist Church since 1964. He and Brenda (Hays) were married here in 1962. Brenda graduated from Bridge City High School and Troy from Pasadena High in Pasadena, Texas. Brenda graduated from Lamar University and taught at Bridge City High School, West Orange High School and retired from Orangefield High School. Troy graduated from Pasadena High School, Lee College, East Texas Baptist University and the University of Houston and retired from the Bridge City district coaching and teaching for forty years. Brenda and Troy have two children, Laurie, in Marion, Texas, and Leslie, in Bridge City. They have four grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren. Troy has been a deacon since 1970.
Ron Ellis - Deacon Secretary
Ron Ellis and his family moved to Bridge City in 1962 and began attending First Baptist Church Bridge City (FBCBC) a few years later. He was saved while in the fifth grade and was baptized by the Rev. Bullard Jones who was the pastor at the time. He credits Jack Etheridge, his college and career Sunday School teacher, for helping him stay involved with the church as an usher after graduating from high school. Ron has remained a member of FBCBC since then, even while living in Groves, Texas, for a while in the 1980’s. He has served the church in several capacities throughout his membership here.
Ron is a graduate of Bridge City High School and Lamar University in Beaumont. He is currently employed by Motiva Enterprises in Port Arthur, Texas, as a laboratory technician.
Ron and his wife Cheryl were married in June of 1987. They have two sons, James and John. Both sons are serving the church as Audio/Visual technicians in the sound booth.
Before they were married, Cheryl was involved in the FBCBC children’s ministry. After their marriage Ron joined her and has remained involved with teaching children about the Lord. He enjoys teaching the kids because of their willingness to learn about Jesus and His love for them. Because of their “childlike faith” he has learned much more from the children than they have learned from him.
In October of 1989, Ron was ordained as a Deacon at FBCBC. Having been a church member for over forty-five years and a Deacon for the past twentyfive years, he has seen the church experience good times and bad. He believes that as long as a church, any church, is made up of imperfect members there will be challenges, but he also believes that we serve a perfect God who can and will use believers who are willing to be used by Him to spread the Good News. Our God has shown many times in the life of our church that His work will continue in spite of what hurdles the adversary may throw our way.
Russell Allen’s family moved from Port Arthur to Bridge City in 1946, when he was six years old. Russell attended Prairie View School, as it was called then. After the 9th grade in Bridge City, all the students were sent to Stark High School, because there was not a high school here. When he was a senior, he could choose to come back to the new Bridge City High School, which he did, and graduated in the first senior class in 1957.
Russell met Dorine when her family moved to Bridge City in 1955. The Davis family was very active in First Baptist Church. Bro C.S. Miers married Dorine and Russ in FBC in 1961. A couple of years later, he was drafted by the U. S. Army and served two years in the military. All three of their children, Kimberly, Shaun, and Craig came to know the Lord, were saved, and baptized in this church. His mother and father were saved and baptized here also. Russell has served as a Sunday School teacher for 9th grade boys and Adult 6 men. He has served on various committees over the years.
Russell was ordained a deacon in 1973, and has held the office of chairman and vice-chairman. He is presently serving as deacon and Trustee. He considers it an honor to serve the people of First Baptist Church. Russell said, “I cannot begin to name all the men and women that have taught me over the years. They will never be forgotten.” Dorine and Russell pray for God's blessing on First Baptist Church and continue to say “What a great church!”
Hiram Clark is a charter member of the First Baptist Church Pre-Kindergarten program. He grew up in the church, as did Darrell Segura. His parents, Knox and Gussie Clark, are longtime members of FBC. Being a longtime church member, Hiram remembers when everyone's mother was your mother and just might pinch you from behind on the ear to make you behave. Hiram graduated from Lamar with a business degree and has worked in the family business, H. K. Clark & Sons Custom Homes, started by his father. He has been a member of only one church in his lifetime, FBC Bridge City. Hiram was ordained as a deacon on October 8, 1989. He began teaching Sunday School in the High School department, and has never promoted out of the youth department, where he is currently Director/Teacher. Married by the Rev. Robert Holt at FBCBC, Hiram and Janice Davis Clark have been married for almost 38 years. Their daughter, Stacy, is doing real well after her latest round of surgeries due to a car accident in October 2012. Their son and daughter-in-law, H. K. III and Heather; have a son, Camden, and daughter, Cambrie. Hiram enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
H. K. (Knox) Clark accepted the Lord when he was 14 years old at First Baptist Church in Hemphill. He graduated from Hemphill High School in 1945. Knox served a short time in the Merchant Marines. While serving a tour of duty in the Army, He and Gussie Lohman were married in 1950. He served 18 months on the Russian border Patrol. While he was in the Army Gussie worked at DuPont. After his army time they moved to Orange for a short time, then to Bridge City. They have 2 sons, Hiram and Phillip and 2 daughters, Sharon and Carolyn. All were saved at First Baptist Church, Bridge City. They also have 8 grandchildren and 5 great grand children. Knox has been a member of First Baptist Church since 1955 and was ordained as a deacon in 1968. Knox was a boys Sunday school teacher and worked with the R.A.’s. He has helped with many building projects. It is his prayer that our church will become what God desires us to be. If you are reading this and do not have a church home, he invites you to come worship and become a part of First Baptist Church.
Billy Crull became a Christian when he was ten-years old here at FBC. He was baptized by C.S. Myers, and says he was a “pew warming” member until he was convicted to be a better servant for our Lord. Billy was a forty-year old, married father of two sons when he was convicted to be more than what he had been. Billy began serving Him in our church as an “active” member. Since that time, he has served our Sunday School and numerous committees. Billy was ordained as a deacon in 1989. Deanna and Billy have been married forty-three years and have been blessed with sons Darren and Danny, two wonderful daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. Deanna serves in the nursery/pre-school Sunday school and Billy serves in the Adult 4 & 5 Sunday school. If you are not an “active” member, Billy encourages you to become involved in your church. He says, “don’t waste years, as I did, before becoming involved.”
Maxie Neely was born and raised in a small town in Louisiana. When he graduated from high school, he came to Port Arthur to live with his Aunt and Uncle, and look for a job. Soon after, he was hired by Texaco and continued to work there for 40 years. Maxie is married to Betty (Baldwin) Neely who is originally from Mineola, Texas but was living in Beaumont when he met her. They have six children and nine grandchildren. Maxie and Betty have been involved in several ministries since joining First Baptist. He was involved in the Bus Ministry when we had one about 40 years ago. Betty, who has always had a desire to teach, started teaching as a sub- in Pre-K in 1976, and is still teaching/director at this time. They started teaching Sunday School when FBC had the special needs class, helping Susan and Clifford Daigle. Since then they have taught mostly the pre school kids for many years. Maxie became a Deacon in 1998 and has served mostly in trying to help keep the church up to date as far as repairs, etc. He feels that God has given him the health and talent to do this and will continue with this as long as he can. Maxie was and still is, on a limited basis, involved in the communications ministry helping with various projects such as lighting and sound related projects and was actually operating the sound when we had two services. He is thankful that God has blessed him with a good wife, and good health. Maxie is also very thankful for the church family we have at First Baptist. It is his prayer that First Baptist will again grow into the church it was when they first joined, when FBC had about 400-450 attending Sunday School. He believes that we have dedicated members who also want this and will strive to achieve this goal.
Randy Rickenbrode was born in Jasper, Texas. He contracted polio at the age of six and after many struggles and his Mother’s determination recovered and learned to walk again. He attended Jasper schools and was very active in the band during Jr. High and High School. His mother read him Bible stories and he learned about Jesus through her teaching. Randy moved to Port Arthur in 1970 to attend Port Arthur College and studied Electronic Technology. It is there he met Pat and starting attending First Baptist Church. It was at First Baptist that Randy met so many loving and caring people and received lots of encouragement in the knowledge of the Lord. Bro. Bob Holt was the pastor at the time and asked Randy if he knew the Lord as my personal savior and he did not. He led him to the Lord and the age of 23 and was baptized the next Sunday. Randy completed his technical degree from Port Arthur College, moved to Houston and began working for Texas Instruments. One year later Randy and Pat were married at First Baptist Church, Bridge City (1972). Their first child, Timothy was born in Houston and they decided to come “home” to raise their family and rejoin First Baptist. They have two sons, Timothy and Phillip and 5 beautiful grandchildren. Randy worked for N. L. Schaffer Tools for about one year in Beaumont. He now is employed by Chemtrade Logistics (old Olin Chemical) where he has worked for 37 years. Once back home Randy began to know that there was more to church than just singing a few songs and hearing good preaching on Sundays. The Lord convicted him to start learning what it really meant to serve. He taught Junior High children for about eight years and was the Adult 5 Sunday School Director for 12 years. He has served as an active deacon for 20 years. During this time he joined the choir, each time growing in a deeper relationship with the Lord. Randy enjoys gardening, fishing, traveling and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He considers it an honor to serve at FBC. It is very hard to put into words, Randy and Pat thank you, First Baptist, for the honor to serve each of you. His very favorite two scriptures that he lives by are below: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
Beginning first grade in Bridge City, Darrell literally grew up at First Baptist Church. His parents, Anne and Jimmy Segura, began and operated the Bridge City Cleaners for 50+ years. His parents were longtime members of FBC. Darrell admits to having a drug problem as a youth. His mother "drug" him to church every time the doors were open. Darrell graduated from Lamar with a business degree and spent 35-years with Texaco/Star Enterprise/Motiva, retiring as a Human Resources Consultant in 2010. He has been a member of three churches in his lifetime: Amelia Baptist in Beaumont, Second Baptist-BC, and First Baptist Church-BC.
Darrell was ordained a deacon while attending Second Baptist Church. He began teaching Sunday school while at Second Baptist Church, and currently teaches the Adult 9 Mixed Age Class. Darrell has been married to Sharon Piggott Segura for nearly 42 years. They have two married adult children and two grandsons.
Most of the people who know Darrell know he enjoys playing guitar and singing. He traveled locally with a gospel group called The Followers in the late 70's/80‘s. These days he can be found entertaining for our Golden Harvest group as well as other church senior luncheons around the area. Darrell‘s current focus is on helping our church get back to the place that God has ordained us to be. He said, "this has always been a great church, but only in the sense that it was doing the work God expected of us. We need to all re-dedicate ourselves to this task. Only then will we once again achieve greatness" If you are currently not attending Sunday School, Darrell would like to invite you to visit the Adult 9 Sunday School Class. They always have great muffins, coffee, and wonderful fellowship.
Donnie gave his life to Christ in 1984, as a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Bridge City. He joined First Baptist Church in 1988, after feeling God calling him to “Part the Baptist Baptismal Waters”. Donnie has been married to Pat Wright Stanton (daughter of Myra and the late Bruce Wright) for nearly 24 years. They have a daughter (Bethany) and a son (Nicholas), both of them are active in the Youth ministry. Donnie serves actively in the sound booth, as the primary media operator.
Donnie earned an Associate’s Degree in Management from Lamar. He has been in the Water and Waste Water field for 24 years. He served as 6th grade Sunday School teacher for 7 years, and found it very rewarding. Donnie was ordained as Deacon in 1997.
Donnie’s current focus is on encouraging service among members of the body of Christ at FBC. “Christ encouraged all of His children to serve. Folks in the community don’t Care how much we Know about the Bible, until they Know how much we Care about them and show them the love of our risen Savior”.
Marvin Waddell was born just outside Village Mills, Texas, in 1933. Marvin made his commitment to Christ at Memorial Baptist Church in Port Arthur as a teen. After a stent in the Army, Marvin and the whole family moved to Bridge City in 1957. Marvin continued attending Memorial Baptist in Port Arthur, however after several month of driving back to Port Arthur for church services plus his sister’s persistent reminder that “you have got to meet my Sunday school teacher.” Marvin began attending First Baptist, Bridge City where he met Sally Howard. They were married in September, 1959. Twin sons were a later product of this union. Both sons graduated from A & M and married Aggie girls. Both sons are in the Ministry. Marvin serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.