FBC team

The staff and leadership here at FBC Mt. Vernon is comprised of men and women who love, care and pray for every single person in the church. If you have any questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them or call our church office to speak with them. You can contact the church office at 903.537-2322.

Staff & Leadership

  • Pepper puryear

    Lead Pastor

    Bro. Pepper Puryear came to First Baptist Church in January of 1993. He is native of Cisco, Texas, where he graduated from high school. Bro. Pepper received a bachelor's degree from Howard Payne University and a Master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Placing an emphasis on biblical exposition and its application, Bro. Pepper desires his messages to be riveted to reality. Each message is designed with real world living in mind.   He and his wife Debra have three children and five grandchildren.  Pepper is a fan of the MV Tigers, Cisco Loboes,  and all things baseball.   



    Shannon joined First Baptist Church as Minister to Families in September of 2009. After serving many years with students and pastoring for almost 8 years at First Baptist Church in Yantis, Shannon, his wife Cyndi and boys Daniel and Caleb come as a family to minister to families and the total ministry of First Baptist, Mt. Vernon.   Shannon accepted Christ at the age of ten, accepted the call to minister as a high school senior, and when not serving at the church enjoys sports, outdoor activities and woodworking.



    An ordained minister, Fred was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, grew up in Tennessee and educated at the University of Tennessee. He and his wife Jane are the parents of a daughter and son-in-law Natalie and Darren Brown and have two granddaughters, Olivia and Camille.  Fred has been the recipient of certificates of appreciation from four United States Presidents, The U. S. Congress and the governments of Cozumel, Mexico and the Bahamas, as well as the entertainment division of Walt Disney World.

  • kathleen puryear

    Associate Pastor of Children's Ministries

    Kathleen came to FBC in 2021, a 2007 graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, is excited to be back in her home town.  She attended East Texas Baptist University and graduated from Kanakuk Institute in Branson, MO. Kathleen previously served as children's minister at Cornerstone Fellowship in Tahlequah, OK.  When not with family and friends, Kathleen enjoys spending time with her fiancĂ© in Dallas.

  • Sherrie Rutledge

    KUC Director

    Sherrie became a member of FBC in 1993 and took over as KUC director in 1999.  Sherrie holds a Certificate of Leadership in Childhood Weekday Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been trained in "hands on Ministry," a volunteer chaplaincy program.   She is a native of Mt. Vernon, and she and her husband Jack have three children, and eight grandchildren.  Sherri fills in as pianist at church services as needed and enjoys fishing, camping, cooking, and gardening.

  • Shirley Burkett

    Senior Adult Ministry Coordinator

    Shirley moved to Mt. Vernon in  1999 and has served as senior adult ministry coordinator off and on since 2013.  She was a hair stylist over 30 years.  She and her husband Tommy have two daughters, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time.

  • kristie blair

    pastoral secretary

    Kristie has been pastoral secretary since 2006.  She has lived in Mt. Vernon most of her life.  Kristie is married to Murray and they have two children, two grandchildren, and two dogs.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching sporting events, reading, and spending time with family.

  • pam williams

    financial administrator

    Pam has been a member of FBC since she was in fourth grade and started working for the church in 2020.  She is a retired school teacher of over 30 years.  Pam is married to David and they have three children, seven grandchildren and two dogs.  She enjoys crafting, spending time with family,  and being outdoors.  

  • jerry holter

    property manager

    Jerry began working at FBC in 2012.  Besides taking care of the property, Jerry also sings and plays the guitar on Sunday mornings, often mans the sound board, and works with Cubbies on Wednesday nights.  Jerry and his wife Paula have two children, Bill and Jeff.  He enjoys fishing, hunting, and all things outdoors in his spare time.

  • tina wilmeth

    custodial manager

    Tina moved to Mt. Vernon in 1996 and began working for FBC in 1997.  She and her husband Frank have three children and six grandchildren.  She and Frank live on a ranch and raise Longhorns.  Tina also works part-time at Pure Hope Foundation.  In her spare time, she likes to shop and decorate.

  • tammy thompson

    music assistant

    Tammy joined the FBC team in 2018.  She and her husband Clint moved to Mt. Vernon in 2017 and felt that God led them here for a purpose.   They have three children,  one amazing grandchild, and a cute little westie.  Tammy enjoys spending time with her children, especially her grandchild, on the lake or playing games and just hanging out together at home.

  • dennis martin

    custodial assistant

    Dennis began working at FBC in 2013.  Dennis is a retired Baptist pastor of over 40 years.  He has been married to his wife Carolyn over 50 years.  They have three children, seven grandchildren, and one great grandchild.  He enjoys fishing and model railroading in his spare time.

  • john gunn

    maintenance assistant

    John started working at FBC in 2012.  He retired as head maintenance supervisor for a chemical company in 2005 when he and Donna retired and moved to Mt. Vernon.  John is an active member of FBC, sings in the choir, and serves as deacon.

  • ann blair


    Ann graduated from Cooper High School and East Texas State University with a BS and M.Ed.  She taught at Mt. Vernon schools before retiring and joining KUC.  Ann writes curriculum for KUC.  She is married to Hugh and they have two sons, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

  • camille brown


    Camille has been playing the piano for FBC on and off since 2011.  This year she and her husband moved to Mt. Pleasant which allowed her to come to FBC full time.  Camille is the 504 coordinator at Mt. Pleasant High School and her husband is a coach for Chapel Hill.  They have three children.  In her spare time, Camille enjoys playing the piano and anything outdoors.

  • crystal proctor

    KUC assistant director

    A 2008 MVHS graduate, Krystal became assistant director of KUC in 2021.  She has worked in daycare  since 2009.  She and her husband Adam have one daughter, Gracie.  In her spare time, Krystal enjoys traveling, exercising, and being with family.