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

Doug Hankins
Lead Pastor

Dr. Hankins came to serve with us in November 2020 having served the previous four years as College & Young Adult Pastor at First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL. Dr. Hankins earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the Master of Divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and the Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University. We are thankful that he and his wife, Natalie, and their children, have come to join the ministry of FBC as we reach Cleveland County for Jesus.

Tony Tench
Executive Connections Pastor

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. From November of 2000 through September 2018, he has served as our Pastor; and, since October 2018 he serves as our Executive Connections Pastor.

Eric Johnson Interim Music Director

Dr. Johnson has been serving with us since mid-2021. He serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at Gardner-Webb University. Prior to pursuing the Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Mississippi, he was choral director at James E. Holmes Middle School in Eden, NC. We have been blessed by his leadership with our Sanctuary Choir and in worship.

Artur Hofer Interim Minister of Youth

Artur began his service with us on October 25, 2021. He served as Summer Youth Intern with us in 2019 and is a second year student at Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity from Boiling Springs, SC.

Christina Hampton Interim Minister of Children

Christina is a recent college graduate with a B.A in Discipleship Studies (Christian Education), and a soon-to-be graduate with a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care & Counseling. Aiming to merge the academic experience and knowledge of counseling, biblical studies, and community outreach through ministry to children. Christina begins her service with us on December 1, 2021.

Staff Contacts -- 704-482-3467

Jene Baxter, Operations Coordinator
Donna Dryden, Financial Coordinator
Penny Corn, Weekday Ministries Director
Clara Spangler, Mother’s Morning Out Coordinator