We have heard Jesus say, “Come to me all you who are weak and burdened, struggling with life’s demands, and I will give you rest.” Jesus transforms us from ‘strugglers’ on life’s journey to ‘difference makers’ for God’s glory as we follow him into Community, Compassion, and Service!

Community + Compassion + Service


Jesus calls us to live life together – that’s what community means, ‘with unity.’ Small Group Bible Studies connect us so that we are not trying to live life on our own! Worship is our signature way of uniting our hearts and lives in obedience to God as we commit ourselves to his Kingdom work.


Jesus calls us to love our neighbors. Paul underlined this teaching for the early church saying, ‘The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.’ Our hearts break when our neighbors hurt and grieve or struggle with sin. We look to share God’s love with them by missional living ‘here’ and ‘there.’


Even as Jesus came not to be served but to serve, so each First Baptist Church member finds a place to give themselves in service to the Lord and our neighbors. Visit our Ministries page to learn more.



Local Missions

Local Missions include cooperation with the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association (GCCBA) in the Feed the Hungry Body and Soul Soup Kitchen Fridays,  Baptist Counseling Center Tuesdays/Thursdays, Jail Ministry Sunday rotation, and October’s Greatest Treat Festival.  We also offer free English as Second Language classes on Mondays, partner with the NE Shelby ministries of CBF missionary Cecelia Beck, as well as partner with the Men’s and Women’s shelters of the Cleveland County Rescue Mission and the Abuse Prevention Council among others!


International Missions

International and North American Missions include cooperative giving and going with the North Carolina State Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

International mission trips since 2001 to Mexico, Germany, Trinidad, Canada, Nicaragua, Cuba, Belize, Malawi, Macedonia, and Brazil.

We Are Baptist Christians

Since 1847, First Baptist Church has ministered the love of Jesus in the heart of Shelby. Throughout our history, our Baptist distinctives have led our fellowship, ministry and mission. What does “Baptist” mean to us? Here it is in a word….. “Baptist.”

B – Bible as our authority for faith and practice.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-1, NIV

A – Autonomy of the local church.

“To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:” 1:2, NIV Each church is to be “holy” (set apart as servants of Jesus), “faithful” (to the direction of Jesus), “called out” of the world and into Jesus’ Lordship!

P – Priesthood of every believer.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10, NIV

T – Telling others about Jesus.

“When you are going (OR As you go) make disciples of all peoples.” Matt. 28:19, TTV

I – Immersion as believer’s baptism.

“…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:19-20, NIV

S – Soul Competency in matters of religion/ethics.

“Jesus said, ‘I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.’ John 16:12, NIV

T - Torchbearer for Religious Liberty.

“We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

Our Ministers

Tony Tench

Tony has served our church since 1998 coming to us as a missionary with the International Mission Board and serving as Minister of Education and Missions from 1998-2000. Since November of 2000, he has served as our Pastor.

Email Pastor Tony
Carol Ann Hoard
Minister of Students and Activities

Carol Ann has served our church since 1998. She is an MDiv graduate of the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University and is committed to walking with young people to introduce them to Jesus.

Email Carol Ann
Andy Roby
Minister of Music

Andy has served our church since 2001 coming to us from his post as Chair of the Music Department of Union University. Dr. Roby leads us to encounter the Lord in worship while encouraging and equipping our members as leaders in worship.

Email Andy
Perry Holleman
Minister of Education

Perry has served our church since 2001 bringing with him valuable years of congregational service. Perry encourages us through varied ministries including small groups, jail ministry, single adults and senior adult ministry.

Email Perry
Missy Smith
Minister of Children

Missy has been serving our church since January 2016 and is sharing with us a wealth of children and family ministry experience coupled with a great passion for sharing Jesus with children in ways they can understand and come to know him.

Email Missy
Staff Contacts

Jan Swartzbaugh, Business Manager

Donna Dryden, Financial Coordinator

Dianne Spangler, Publications