Meet the Elders

Kent Elliott

Elliott pic

I prayed to receive Christ as a child in a church pew at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9  We have been members of First Baptist Belton for nearly 24  years.  I currently serve as a co-teacher of the Multi-Gen Sunday school class.

My wife Sherry and I have been best friends for 46 years, spouses for 42 years; in her God has given me everything…and much more than I prayed!  I gratefully and regularly depend on Sherry for godly advice and wisdom. Despite losing one child who awaits us in heaven, God has blessed us with three wonderful children, Emily Golden, Phillip Elliott and Amy McLaughlin, who, along with their spouses, each love God and serve Him. God has blessed us with five grandchildren.

Justin Gaidusek


I grew up in the small town of Valley Mills and was blessed to have parents who loved Jesus and were faithful to their church, family, and each other. I was baptized at the early age of 11 following VBS. As a child growing up, I learned a lot about life, hard work, and common sense from my parents. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend UMHB and play basketball for the CRU. I was blessed to meet my wife April the start of my senior year; we just celebrated 15 years of marriage, and God has blessed us to be earthly parents to three daughters, who make our life on earth a true blessing.  I feel like God has called me to serve others, and I look forward to serving our church body alongside some very Godly men in this new role. As an elder, I pledge to put others before me and continue to be faithful in serving my family, our church body of believers, and to work hard in telling others about the peace, joy, and love our Savior provides us all. I love serving a Savior who could still love a sinner like me.

Bobby Johnson


I grew up in a large family with seven brothers and two sisters in Donna.  The first time I remember attending church was at the age of six.  Through my mother’s prayers and regular church attendance, I began to understand what it meant to be lost and without Christ.  Soon, at a revival service, my pastor shared Scripture with me, and I prayed to receive Christ. In 1967, I ended up at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  My wife Donna and I were married in 1971; we have two children and eight grandchildren.  Around 1973 I began to search the Scriptures and understand more fully what God’s will was for my life.  Scripture memory helped me gain insight into His Word and taught me how to live a victorious life.  Teaching has also been an important part of my ministry and very helpful in my growth and maturity.

John Vassar


I have been blessed to have been raised in a Christian family; I made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ at the age of seven. That began a journey of faith that has not been a gradual incline, but rather an ongoing and challenging relationship I’ve sought to work out in fear and trembling. At the age of 14, I began to sense a calling to the gospel ministry. In college at LSU Shreveport, I met and dated my wife Karen; we celebrated our 29th anniversary this year. We then moved to Fort Worth to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where my calling to ministry was further defined as pursuing higher education. We then traveled to Waco to begin working on a Ph.D. in Old Testament. I was then offered a job teaching at LSU in Shreveport. While there, we raised our three children. In 2017 we were called to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and joined First Baptist Belton.  I believe our church has a key role to play in advancing the Kingdom of God in Bell County, in Texas, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. We are honored to belong to a church that takes that calling seriously.

Mark Fitzwater


My family and I have been a part of the First Baptist Belton family for the last 20 years.  It has been a church home filled with love, support, and blessing.  I am very honored to have been asked to serve with our elders in ministry here.  My history includes an assortment of ministry roles – I have served on staff at several churches including student ministries, associate pastor, and mission pastor.  I love my opportunities to work here at First Baptist Belton and have been involved with youth, children, audio/video, music ministry, and as a deacon. I’m looking forward to the adventure that God has in place for our church as we continue to grow and seek to impact our world for Christ.

Jason Gish


Shanon and I joined First Baptist Belton in August of 2014. During these year since then, I have served the church in a variety of ways – a Sunday school teacher, youth lifegroup leader, finance committee member, and international mission trip leader. Shanon and I would agree that our lives changed dramatically in 2018, first when the church called me to be an elder and second, when the church called me to serve as its next minister of missions. I have been humbled to see God move in unexpected ways. I hope to serve our Lord faithfully, humbly, and boldly as I minister alongside the believers of First Baptist Belton.

Chris Green


Heather and I have been members of First Baptist Belton since 2011. For six years we ministered in the college department and led a life group of college students every Tuesday night out of our home on the campus of UMHB. We have poured our lives into many students through Bible studies, discipleship, and mentoring. We have also had the privilege of taking numerous engaged couples through their premarital counseling. We have served this church as members on various committees and I as a deacon. I consider it a huge honor and am deeply humbled to have been asked to serve this church as an elder. I look forward to this opportunity to advance God’s kingdom through this new ministry to which He has called me.

Mike Ratliff


Kay and I have been members of First Baptist Belton since 1978.  We have learned lessons of trusting in God, the power of prayer, and being available to serve.  Our church family has nurtured us, encouraged us, taught us, and loved us.  I serve as a deacon, on the property management committee, and I teach in preschool.  In trying to be available to serve God, I never expected to be called as an elder.  This is an enormous responsibility and I am overwhelmed; I will rely on God and on your prayers and support.

(254) 939-0705 | 506 N. Main Street Belton, TX 76513