When God called Rick to the ministry he was training to be an airline pilot, his childhood dream. After he and his wife traveled with Evangelist Eddie Martin, providing special music and training others to share their faith, Rick felt a more specific calling to work within the local church in the educational areas of the church.
While going to seminary in New Orleans, Rick served First Baptist Church of Kenner, the largest church in the city, as the Minister of Education and Administration. Ultimately, God called him back to Daytona Beach where he had been in flight training, as the Minister of Education of the great First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach.
He then moved to his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico to serve as the Associate or Executive Pastor of the 8000 member Hoffmantown Church. During his tenure in that church he felt God changing the direction of his ministry once again as God called him to preach.
Moving to East Texas, Rick pastored for ten years, developing a dynamic, contemporary style church called Carpenter's Way Church, which grew to a thousand members within six years. Since 2004 Rick has been ministering to the ill and dying as chaplain at Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin, Texas. During the same time period he has also served as a Church Growth Consultant and as a Transitional Pastor to churches that were pastorless
Throughout his entire ministry he has been faithfully supported by his beautiful and talented wife Melody. They have two married daughters who each have produced two beautiful granddaughters.
Craig Ireland of Brisbane, Australia has been called as the Senior Pastor at Oak Grove. His first Sunday with Oak Grove will be October 1. Craig holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Charles Sturt University and has been serving as the Senior Pastor at Hope Reformed Baptist Church in Australia since September of 2008. He and his wife, Katarina, have four young children-Knox, Lucia, Tobiah, and Baxter. His sermons at Hope Church are available through that church's webpage and youtube channel. Craig is passionate about preaching, evangelism, missions and discipleship.
Pastor Craig has traveled extensively, particularly in Asia and Southeast Asia, doing mission work, church planting and training and equipping of rural pastors. He has authored several books for pastoral development, evangelism, and church planting. For the past 6 years he has sat on the national executive board of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches of Australia. On a personal level, Pastor Craig loves coffee, reading history, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rugby League, travel, and personal evangelism.
Matthew Garland, a summer graduate of SFASU, has joined the staff of Oak Grove as Interim Youth Minister. At the same time, he is also serving as a campus intern with the Baptist Student Ministries at Stephen F. Austin. Matthew is married to Kelly who is a student intern to young women at Oak Grove.
Tom is a native East Texan. Growing up in Crockett, he accepted Christ at the age of 12. By this time, he had already expressed an interest in music. He attended the Texas Con-servatory of Music in 1983. After graduating high school in 1984, Tom attended Lamar University, studying Music-Percussion.
Upon graduating in 1988 with a BBS in Economics, Tom entered the work force in the Insurance Industry where he remains, to this day. He has always held music near and dear to his heart. Tom has participated in numerous musical groups, quartets, theater productions and Praise and Worship venues.
Tom and wife, Angie, live in Nacogdoches. They have three grown children: JT, a Texas State graduate recently married Brieann, lives and works in Austin; Ashton, a senior student at Texas State University; and Kylie, a first year nursing student at Angelina College. "Worship is not something we do. It's not just singing songs. It's the way we live."
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. --John 4:24