Staff & Leadership

  • Pepper Puryear

    Senior Pastor     email

    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 Hassell

    Associate Pastor of Family Ministries     email

    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.

  • Fred Randles

    Music Minister    email

    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.

  • Anna Tidwell

    Associate Pastor of Childrens Ministry     email

    Anna joined the First Baptist Team in February of 2022.   A former teacher and coach, Anna also served as Children's Associate in San Marcos.  Anna works with preschool through 6th grade children.  Her goal is to help ignite a passion for Christ from a young age.  She enjoys everything outdoors and most of all hanging out with her hubby Montana and three children:  Bear, Colt, and Birdie.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • Brenda kerr

    pastoral secretary

    After retiring from the 8th Judicial District Court office in December 2021, Brenda joined the staff in April of 2022. Brenda is married to Robert Kerr and together they have 5 children, 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Robert and Brenda live at Lake Cypress with their two fur-babies and enjoy the lake and riding motorcycles.

  • TBD

    KUC director


  • 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.

  • Denise Case

    Custodial manager

    Denise received her Bachelor’s from TAMU-T in 2000. She married John in 1992. They have

    four children, Deidra, Justin, Jarret and Jett. Denise was raised in Mt. Vernon, and returned to

    the area in 2005 with her family. She enjoys dance fitness, reading, stand up comedy and some

    crafting but most of all she enjoys time with her family. Led by the Lord she joined the staff in


  • 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.