Our Ministry Team
Pastoral Ministry Team
Rev. Dr. Paul R. Gilliam III (Trey)
Trey Gilliam began his service at First Baptist in February 2017 as Interim Pastor. Trey and First Baptist soon discovered that they liked each other! Therefore, Trey became permanent pastor in August of the same year.
Trey got his start in ministry via Young Life – an outreach to unchurched high school students – during his years as an undergraduate student at Gardner-Webb University. During this time, Trey and his then future wife Lou Ann started the first ever Young Life club at Crest High School. The lessons learned then have served him well as a pastor – the importance of personal relationships, relevant preaching, and intimacy with God through Christ.
After college, Trey attended and graduated from the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity while serving as pastor to Henrietta First Baptist Church. During this time, he was given the opportunity to experiment with university teaching at his alma mater. As a result, Trey fell in love with the classroom in addition to the church. He then pursued further academic training. While serving as pastor to Caroleen Baptist Church, he worked towards and received a Master of Arts degree in religious studies from UNC Charlotte. Next, he and his family moved across the pond to Edinburgh Scotland, where Trey received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in early Christianity from the University of Edinburgh.
Trey and Lou Ann have a seventeen year-old daughter Matty Grace and two cats, Tabby and Bubba, who do not get long with one another.
Rev. Anita D. Thompson
Anita D. Thompson joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie as Associate Pastor on April 15, 2002. An Ahoskie native, she is a graduate of East Carolina University (B.M.), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.C.M.), and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (M.Div.).
Prior to joining the staff of FBC Ahoskie, Anita served as Minister of Music, Minister to Children, and Minister of Youth for churches in Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, and North Carolina. First Baptist Church of Ahoskie had the privilege to ordain Anita to the ministry in 1997.
Anita’s household includes two canine pals, Carlton and Lucy, and one feline, Ashley. For personal enjoyment Anita loves to read, sew, and spend time with family and friends.
Elizabeth Miller Villegas
Minister to Youth & Children
Elizabeth Miller Villegas graduated from Chowan University in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She then went to Campbell University Divinity School where she graduated from Campbell Divinity School in 2017 with a Master of Divinity degree. In the past, she has served as Co-Minister to Youth at Creedmoor United Methodist Church in Creedmoor, NC; volunteer youth minister at Rose Hill United Methodist Church in Rose Hill, NC; and as minister to youth and children at Ann Street United Methodist Church in Beaufort, NC. Elizabeth’s husband, Jason, serves as pastor to Murfreesboro United Methodist Church. They have two preschool boys, Phillip and Worth. The Villegas family resides in Murfreesboro.
Rev. Dr. Jesse J. Croom
Jesse J. Croom, a native of Burlington, served as the 23rd pastor of First Baptist Church from 1991-2005. He was educated at Elon College, Wake Forest University, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Croom has served six other churches in North and South Carolina.
Dr. Croom and his wife, Mary Anne, now call Edenton, North Carolina home.
A beloved former pastor and mentor to our current pastor, Dr. Croom is honored to continue serving First Baptist Church as Pastor Emeritus.
Music Ministry Team
Mr. Bland Baker
Administrative and Facilities Ministry Team
Miss Heather Joyner
Heather Joyner joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie as the Office Assistant in August 2018. She graduated with honors from Roanoke-Chowan Community College in May 2018 with an Associate’s Degree in Medical Office Administration.
Before joining First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, Heather worked as a cashier at Piggly Wiggly for 5 years, all while being in school and playing sports all year round.
In Heather’s spare time, she likes spending quality time with her friends and family. She also loves spending time with her pups, Beau and Deuce.