ABOUT US

THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING

Here at First Baptist, we believe the most important thing for anyone is to personally know Jesus Christ as the Savior and Leader of their life. God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible. We believe God's words to us when He said


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." John 3:16-18 (ESV)

OUR TEAM

 MARK THOMPSON

Lead Pastor


Pastor Mark began as our Lead Pastor in July, 2019.  He brings with him a long list of experience including youth ministry, family ministries, church planting, missions mobilization, and even coaching athletics.

Mark without a doubt has a heart and deep love for God.  He is a gifted, focused, compassionate, caring and optimistic leader who loves his flock and the community deeply!  He likes to have fun and be creative with his staff, leaders and congregation. Mark is passionate about the development of leaders and feels called by God to invest into the next generation. He is known to even laugh at his own corny jokes…..who does that?

Mark was an Air Force brat who has lived in Tacoma, Omaha, and Tokyo Japan. He attended 7th-12th grades in Porterville, California. Mark met his beautiful wife, Karen, during his undergraduate studies at Fresno State. They were married in 1987, which Mark says “was the smartest earthly decision that he’s ever made!” They have two adult sons, Christopher & Michael (wife, Brianna). The Thompson men love bass fishing and basketball. They are proud grandparents to Gracelynn who was born on Oct 15, 2018. Mark and Karen believe she is the cutest lil’ girl on the face of the earth (could be slightly biased).

 

Mark's hobbies include spoiling his granddaughter, basketball, fishing and studying the Word of God.

BRIAN GRIFFIN

Associate Pastor

 

Brian Griffin joined the ministry team at First Baptist in 2012. Before that he was in the media for ten years as a photojournalist for television news, a real estate agent for six years, and a sales manager for G.J. Gardner homes. During his time as a photojournalist, Brian explored a wide variety of life experiences. This has played a unique role in his life as a Pastor. It has allowed him to identify with many different situations that people are journeying through.


Brian would not be who he is today, if it were not for his family. Jill Griffin decided she was just bored enough to marry Brian in August of 2001. Since then, God has entrusted them with three awesome kids!  His family loves being goofy and enjoying time together on a hiking trail, at the coast, in the mountains, and around the dining room table with some good food or a game. Brian’s favorite thing to do with his kids is to imagine their own custom adventures -- from chasing the infamous bank robber, Dark Shadow, to playing Griff’s Grocery Games, to a good old fashioned obstacle course in the back yard.


Brian is an avid sandwich-eater, consumer of bacon, tamer of sushi, and baron of burgers. His favorite color is blue, because it makes his eyes look like deep pools of splendor. He enjoys reading, movies, hiking, hunting, camping, and walks with his wife, Jill.


As a licensed pastor, Brian loves preaching and teaching the word of God. His passion is reaching people with the good news of the gospel of Jesus, while helping believers unlock and use the potential and spiritual gifts that God has given them. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he does take God serious. His education has been at Liberty University, Bethel Seminary, and on the mad streets of Kingsburg

Brian grew up in the valley and has been married to his wife Jill for 18 years!  Together they have three beautiful children, Evie, James and Nicholas.


Brian's hobbies include studying God's Word, hiking with his family in the mountains, watching movies with his family and celebrating Christmas!

ESTEBAN MENDIZABAL

Student Pastor


Esteban Mendizabal joined the team as our Student Pastor in 2020. Esteban has been leading ministries for over 6 years, everywhere from California to North Carolina. His primary passion has been starting and leading ministries for the next generation.


Esteban met his wife Kelsey during his first year of college as “stars” in a music video. One date to Panda Express and the rest was history. In 2015 they were married in Clovis, CA. Two years later they were blessed with a happy little son named Zion. They all love to read, watch movies, have dance parties, and eat great food (especially tacos and pizza).


Esteban loves to read books in his free time. Some of his favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, John Mark Comer, and J.K. Rowling. He also loves to play guitar and sing. Bands such as Kings Kaleidoscope, Citizens, and Social Club Misfits inspire him to bring creativity into the church and life. He strives to become a better apprentice of Jesus every day by bringing bits of heaven into earth through justice, mercy, beauty, and evangelism.

JOSH MERRITT

Director of Worship


Josh Merritt became our Director of Worship in 2020. He has a heart to disciple people through worship and leading them to connect to the Lord in a fun, exciting, and energetic way. He is also the Choral and Performing Arts Director for the Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District, and is the Founder, President, and Musical Director of the local non-profit organization Kingsburg Vocal Academy. Through these avenues of outreach Josh finds great joy in working with children and teens and teaching them the importance of music, and how to grow their musical abilities in service to the Lord. He hopes to bring the same spirit and energy to the families at Kingsburg First Baptist. For the past 8 years Josh has been a part of leading worship at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church, and has a lot of experience cultivating the worshipful spirit of the church body. 


Josh grew up in Kingsburg and attended Kingsburg First Baptist for the greater part of his childhood and teen years. He is very excited to return to his hometown church, and feels honored to lead worship in the church that he grew up in. Josh met his wife Chelsea in high school, and they both went on to attend and graduate from Fresno Pacific University. They have two young boys Hudson and Dawson. Josh loves the fact that his boys loves to sing, dance, and play instruments or basketball as much as he does.


In his spare time Josh loves to play basketball (or any sport for that matter), play the piano or guitar, sing, and spend time with his wife and two boys. He gives thanks to the Lord everyday for the life he has been given, and the experiences he has had that has allowed him to grow in the Lord and his abilities, and ultimately become a leader who disciples people to the Lord through worship. 


LOREE BERGMAN

Director of Children's Ministries 

 

Loree in our Director of Children's Ministries!  She oversees our children's department which includes our nursery through 6th grade students on Sunday mornings.

 

Loree grew up in Stockton, California. Loree's love for children began at a young age when she was volunteering.  Loree brings with her over 20 years experience in this field.  She helped start up her church's Preschool/Daycare in Stockton where she met her husband John while they were making 30 sandwiches for the grand opening!  She also runs her own daycare during the week! 

 

Loree loves the Lord and has a servants heart that is evident the moment you meet her!  Loree and John have three beautiful daughters Mariah, Ashlynn and  Breegan.

 

Loree's hobbies include long walks, family outings, beach days and the simple things of life!

DIANE HEATH

Custodian

Diane Heath plays an important roll on our team here at First Baptist!  She is the caretaker of our facilities.  Her duties include making sure our buildings are in good order and are stocked efficiently to serve our congregants.  


Diane has a beautiful spirit and loves to study God's Word and to serve.  She has been attending First Baptist Church for over 22 years and has served in her current roll for 15 years.  Diane has two grown children, Jake (Cayton) & Krystal and two wonderful grandchildren, Brandon and Dayn.


Diane's hobbies are spending time on the coast and working jigsaw puzzles.  She also enjoys arts and crafts. 

PAM BARTEL

Director of Administration


Pam is our Director of Administration.  She has extensive training in Administration and Human Resources.  Before she began her career at First Baptist Kingsburg she worked for AT&T in the Bay area.  She has been on staff at First Baptist Kingsburg and has served in various rolls for the past 21 years!  She overseas and manages all the finances & facilities. 


Pam was born in Dinuba, California but raised in the Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, California).  She has been married to her husband Chuck for 39 years!  Together they have three married children Holly (Josiah), Jill (Ryan) and Matt (Kristen) all residing in Kingsburg.  Pam & Chuck welcomed their first grandson, Ezra, January 2020.


Pam's favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6.  Her hobbies include crochet, jigsaw puzzles, reading, cooking & traveling.

Cara Badger

Office Assistant

 

Cara is our office assistant!  She is the first smiling face and kind voice you will encounter when you drop by or call the church office!  Cara is kind, loving and an effective team player!  Her role includes assisting the associate pastor, children's director, youth director as well as serving the administrative staff.  

 

Cara was born in SLO and moved to the valley in 2009.  She has been attending first baptist church for 10 years with her husband Keith.  They have two daughers, Bekah & Sadie.

Cara's hobbies include drinking coffee, spending time with her family, baking with her daughters and patio date nights with her husband.xt...

Board of Elders

Tim Smith 

Chairman

Ken Bean 

Elder

Rick Pendergrass 

Vice-Chariman

Jason Fridolfs 

Elder

Dave Grant 

Secretary

Loren Haworth 

Elder

Brad Arnsberger 

Elder

OUR HISTORY

First Baptist Kingsburg has a long and exciting history of Gospel-centered ministry and God's faithfulness.

CONTACT US

Check out all the ways to connect with us below, from social media, where we are located and how to call the church staff. We would love to interract with you and get to know you and your family. Please call, email, find us on Facebook or tweet us with and questions you have!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Keep in touch & share

Know what we’re up to