Ray Burks

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Ray Burks became pastor of Belmont First Baptist Church in August of 2009. Prior to that he was senior pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Selmer, TN for 10 years.  He served as pastor of three other churches in Mississippi since 1986. Ray served for six years as a minister to students while completing his college and seminary education. 

Ray married Amy in 1984 only 20 days after both graduated from college.  They have two adult sons, Matt and Taylor.  Matt is a graduate of Union University in Jackson, TN (BBA), University of Southern Mississippi (MBA) and Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary (MDiv). He is married to Alisha, who is a graduate of William Carey University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  They currently live in New Orleans, LA where Matt is a Ph. D. student at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary. They are the parents of the greatest grand children, Judah, Elizabeth and Truman. Taylor and his wife, Emily, are both graduates of Delta State University in Cleveland, MS with a Bachelor of Music. They currently live in Omaha, Nebraska where Taylor is a Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Emily is an aspiring High School Band Director who teaches online.

Following college and marriage, Ray attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.  He left Southwestern to pastor the Enon Baptist Church in Grenada, MS  and ultimately completed his Master's degree at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and earned his Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Preaching through the Master's International Seminary, studying expository preaching under the late Dr. Stephen F. Olford.  In his spare time, Ray has served as an adjunct instructor for Union University, University of Tennessee at Martin and Itawamba Community College.

Amy has served as a Science teacher since 1984.  In 1990 she received her Master of Science in Natural Science degree from Delta State University.  Following that, she completed advanced work toward her Education Specialist degree from Mississippi State University.  In 2004 she completed her National Board Certification as a secondary science teacher.  In 2005 she received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.. She is currently an instructor in Natural Sciences at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, MS. 

Ray counts it a great privilege to serve as pastor of a church like FBC Belmont.  Since surrendering to the call to preach at age 16, it has been his desire to follow God's will as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Ray has published several books. You can purchase them from


Associate Pastor and Minister of Music and Youth

Steven Sanderson

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Steven Sanderson has been serving as our youth pastor and associate pastor since 2016. In January of 2020, he also began serving as our Music Minister following the retirement of our long time music minister, Steve McAnally. 

A long time ago in a town that is not that far away (actually this town) he graduated from Belmont High School. In another town, not that far way, his wife Lisa graduated from Red Bay High School. Steven and Lisa are both educators for the Tishomingo County School District. He works at Iuka Middle School as a Special Education Teacher, and Lisa works at Belmont Elementary School as Library Assistant.

Steven and Lisa have been married for 15 years and live in Belmont. Their spectacular daughter Lily is in the seventh grade at Belmont Middle School and by night is known as Casey the Cardinal. Their pro-athlete son Max is in the third grade at Belmont Elementary and loves to play basketball and tennis.

At the age of ten, Steven placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved by His grace at a VBS in Tishomingo, MS. Several years later, he felt God call him to preach and began ministering to the youth at Shiloh Baptist Church in Hamilton, AL. After serving there, he pastored churches in Alabama and West Virginia.

Steven has Masters in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelors in Religion from Liberty University. He also has an Associates from Northeast Mississippi Community College. He obtained his teaching license through Teach Mississippi Institute in the University of Mississippi.

Steven loves working with students and serving in any capacity where he can help edify and encourage the church. His passion is evangelism and discipling the youth. He also loves teaching and preaching the Word of God.

His favorite verse from the Bible is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Ministerial Assistant

Susan Bolding

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Susan Riley Sparks Bolding is a 1975 honor graduate of Amory High School and a 1979 graduate of Blue Mountain College with a B.A. degree in Bible and minors in Psychology and Art. She married Edwin Bolding in May, 1976. Edwin currently serves as a Deacon here at FBC, Belmont. He is in a management position with a local retail/wholesale business. They have 2 daughters, Erica Suzanne Lundy (Josh) and Natalie Lenore Copeland (Matt). Erica is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Animal & Dairy Science and she also holds an AA degree in AgriBusiness from Northwest Mississippi Community College. Natalie is a graduate of Blue Mountain College with a BA degree in Bible & Psychology. Susan enjoys her granddaughters, Riley Elizabeth ("Riley Beth") Lundy , Tallie Grace Bird, and Maddie Copeland. Susan & Edwin also have two grandsons whom they enjoy: Bo Lundy and Landt Copeland.  Susan served as Church Secretary from 1994-1996 and then came back in October of 2002 to serve as Ministerial Assistant. Susan is also the Preschool Director of First Baptist Preschool ~ a program she has headed up since 1986. Years ago, Susan served at various churches and also in the Tishomingo Baptist Association as Minister of Music and Youth. Susan loves her church and thanks God for the opportunity to serve the people of this church. She currently serves as the Women's Ministry coordinator as well as the Nursery coordinator.


Children's Director

Lisa Thrasher

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This is a great tool in introducing children to worship and an opportunity to present the Gospel in a relevant manner.  These volunteers are critical to the spiritual development of children.


Latest Media

What's Right with the Church

Bro Ray Burks
Date: September 24, 2020
  October 2020  
Upcoming Events


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