Ray Burks

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Ray Burks became pastor of Belmont First Baptist Church in August of 2009. Prior to that he was senior pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Selmer, TN for 10 years.  He served as pastor of three other churches in Mississippi since 1986. Ray served for six years as a minister to students while completing his college and seminary education. 

Ray married Amy in 1984 only 20 days after both graduated from college.  They have two sons, Matt and Taylor.  Matt is a graduate of Union University in Jackson, TN with a major in Accounting and a MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is married to Alisha, who is a graduate of William Cary University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  They currently live in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada where Matt is a student at the Candian Southern Baptist Seminary. They are the parents of the greatest grandson, Judah, who was born in January, 2016. Taylor is a graduate of Belmont High School and Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, MS. He currently attends Delta State  University in Cleveland, MS majoring in Music Education. Taylor writes band music and marching arrangements for local schools. He has also participated in Drum Corp International competitions.

Following college and marriage, Ray attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.  He left Southwestern to pastor the Enon Baptist Church in Grenada, MS  and ultimately completed his Master's degree at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Preaching through the Master's International Seminary, studying expository preaching under the late Dr. Stephen F. Olford.  In his spare time, Ray has served as an adjunct instructor for Union University, University of Tennessee at Martin and Itawamba Community College.

Amy has served as a Science teacher since 1984.  In 1990 she received her Master of Science in Natural Science degree from Delta State University.  Following that, she completed advanced work toward her Education Specialist degree from Mississippi State University.  In 2004 she completed her National Board Certification as a secondary science teacher.  In 2005 she received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.. She is currently an instructor in Natural Sciences at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, MS. 

Ray counts it a great privilege to serve as pastor of a church like FBC Belmont.  Since surrendering to the call to preach at age 16, it has been his desire to follow God's will as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Ray has published several books. You can purchase them from


Minister to Youth

Steven Sanderson

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Steven Sanderson started serving as our youth pastor and associate pastor in October 2016. He is originally from here and graduated from Belmont High School in 2000. Three years later, he married Lisa (Frye) from Red Bay, Alabama. They have a daughter Lily who is in the fifth grade at Belmont Middle School and a son Max who is in the first grade at Belmont Elementary.

When he was ten years old, Steven placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved by His grace at a VBS in Tishomingo, MS. Several years later, he felt God call him to preach and began ministering to the youth at Shiloh Baptist Church in Hamilton, AL. After serving there, he pastored churches in Alabama and West Virginia.

Steven graduated with distinction with a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA. He also graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Religion from Liberty University. As well, Steven has an A.A. in Religion from Liberty University and an A.A. from Northeast Mississippi Community College.

He is currently in an alternate route teaching program at the University of Mississippi and will have his license to teach special education this May. Steven loves working with students and longs for God to use him in any capacity to help students in this important time of their lives. Both he and his wife Lisa are very excited to be back in the area ministering to the youth!

His favorite verse from the Bible is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Ministerial Assistant

Susan Bolding

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Susan Riley Sparks Bolding is a 1975 honor graduate of Amory High School and a 1979 graduate of Blue Mountain College with a B.A. degree in Bible and minors in Psychology and Art. She married Edwin Bolding in May, 1976. Edwin currently serves as a Deacon here at FBC, Belmont. He is in a management position with a local retail/wholesale business. They have 2 daughters, Erica Suzanne Lundy (Josh) and Natalie Lenore Copeland (Matt). Erica is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Animal & Dairy Science and she also holds an AA degree in AgriBusiness from Northwest Mississippi Community College. Natalie is a graduate of Blue Mountain College with a BA degree in Bible & Psychology. Susan enjoys her granddaughters, Riley Elizabeth ("Riley Beth") Lundy , Tallie Grace Bird, and Maddie Copeland. Susan & Edwin also have two grandsons whom they enjoy: Bo Lundy and Landt Copeland.  Susan served as Church Secretary from 1994-1996 and then came back in October of 2002 to serve as Ministerial Assistant. Susan is also the Preschool Director of First Baptist Preschool ~ a program she has headed up since 1986. Years ago, Susan served at various churches and also in the Tishomingo Baptist Association as Minister of Music and Youth. Susan loves her church and thanks God for the opportunity to serve the people of this church. She currently serves as the Women's Ministry coordinator as well as the Nursery coordinator.


Minister of Music

Steve McAnally

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Children's Director

Lisa Thrasher

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This is a great tool in introducing children to worship and an opportunity to present the Gospel in a relevant manner.  These volunteers are critical to the spiritual development of children.


Latest Message
Bro Ray Burks
Date: April 15, 2018
  April 2018  
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