Our Ministry Team

Pastoral Ministry Team

Rev. Dr. Paul R. Gilliam III (Trey)


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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 is now living his dream as pastor to a church that is as close to a perfect fit as he has ever experienced and also serving as associate professor of religion, just down the road, in Murfreesboro at Chowan University. Trey and Lou Ann have a fifteen year-old daughter Matty Grace and two cats, Tabby and Bubba, who do not get long with one another.

Rev. Anita D. Thompson

Associate Pastor

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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

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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

Pastor Emeritus

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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. Buddy Hyatt, III

Music Associate/Organist

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Mr. Bland Baker

Music Associate/Pianist

Administrative and Facilities Ministry Team

Miss Judy G. Pierce

Office Assistant

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Judy G. Pierce faithfully served FBC Ahoskie as full-time secretary for twenty-four years before retiring in May of 2015. When the need arose for a part-time office assistant, Judy re-joined the church staff in that role. The church is grateful to Judy for continuing to share her gifts in this way.

Judy graduated from Ahoskie High School and attended East Carolina University.  She is a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, and is an ever-faithful member of the Sanctuary Choir and the Vocal Ensemble.

Open Position

Financial Secretary


Mr. Selton Vaughan


Ms. Wilhamina M. Sessoms