Our Staff

ph: 936 634 3386
fx:  936 634 3361


Rev. Mark A. Newton, Senior Pastor

Mark Newton was born in Burnet, Texas. After graduating from high school, he went on to attend Baylor University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 1985 and was licensed to the ministry at his home church, First Baptist Church, Burnet. He received his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989. During his years as a student, Newton served as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church, Silver Creek, Texas as well as First Baptist Church, Marlin, Texas. He also served as Chaplain Intern at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana and Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Marlin, Texas where he was ordained to the Ministry in 1986.
His first pastorate was at First Baptist Church, Chilton, Texas where he served for more than 4 years with his wife, Aurelia Newton, a fellow Baylor graduate. Newton served as the Pastor of First Baptist Church, McGregor, Texas, and Baptist Temple Church, San Antonio, Texas before accepting the call as Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church San Marcos, Texas from 2002 until March 2014. Before joining FBC Lufkin, Mark was Director of Church Engagement at Baylor University. The Newtons have two children, Adolynn (son-in-law Zach) and Truett (daughter-in-law Grace).

Rev. Katie Baker, Minister to Preschool & Children

Katie is a Lufkin native and graduate of Lufkin High School.  She attended Texas A&M University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Finance.  Katie spent several years working as a Certified Public Accountant before entering into ministry work.  Prior to moving back to Lufkin, Katie served as the Director of Preschool Ministries at First Baptist Brenham. 
Katie and her husband, Matt, have three daughters, Natalie, Elizabeth, and Sylvie.

Leigh Belschner, Director of WEE Care

Leigh grew up in Jasper, TX, where she met her high school sweetheart and now husband of 22 years, Jeremy. They moved to Lufkin in 1999 to pursue a degree in business from Angelina College and Stephen F. Austin University and have been members of FBC for 15 years. Leigh enjoyed staying home with her four children, Austin (19), Hunter (17), Adalyn (9), and Haegan (6), and this led her to become involved in the Wee Care program. All four of her children attended Wee Care, and she taught for two years when they were young. She returned to teach at Wee Care in 2021 and now serves as the Wee Care Director. Leigh is thrilled to be able to serve First Baptist by doing something she loves—working with children and helping give them the beginning of a foundation for a life in Christ.

Rev. John Lassitter, Minister of Music

John is from Alabama and received his B.A. degree from Mississippi College with an emphasis in Piano and Christian Studies in 2006. In 2013 John completed two degrees from Baylor University – a Master of Music in Church Music and a Master of Divinity (Truett Seminary). John has served in churches in Texas and Tennessee and as a Chaplain in the Texas Air National Guard for 13 years.  
He is married to Angie, and they have two daughters, Esther and Ellen. 
When it comes to worship style, John believes in creating a space for each voice and generation to be represented on Sundays, ultimately building intergenerational worship.

Rev. Walker McWilliams, Associate Pastor/Minister of Missions

A native of Granbury, Texas, Walker attended Howard Payne University to receive his B.A. in religion. After graduation, Walker made his way to Waco to pursue a Masters of Divinity in theology at Truett Seminary. While in Waco, he served as minister to youth at Chalk Bluff Baptist Church before moving to Lufkin in 2011 to serve as the Minister to Students. He became Associate Pastor/Minister of Missions in 2016.
Walker is married to Katelyn, and they have three children, Hazel Jane, Rosie, and Foster. 

 Minister to Students and Graduates

FBC is currently in the process of searching for a new Minister to Students. Walker McWilliams is currently serving as the interim. He can be contacted at walker@fbclufkin.org

Support Staff

Stefanie Beames
Office & Pastor Admin. Asst. stefanie@fbclufkin.org
Laurie Hefner
Financial Officer
Delise McIlveene
Music Administrative Asst. delise@fbclufkin.org
David Ormsby
Facilities Manager
Katelyn McWilliams
Media and Communications
Church Office
ph: 936.634.3386
fx:  936.634.0524
Office Hours:
M-Th:  8:30am – 5:00pm
(closed 12-1pm for lunch)
F: 8:30-11:30am