Brad Walker – Senior Pastor
Brad was born and raised in Sparta, TN and grew up in FBC Sparta. His maternal grandfather was a Baptist minister, and his parents and church taught him the gospel from an early age. Despite being raised in the church, being baptized at an early age, and claiming to be a Christian, it wasn’t until college that Brad surrendered his life to Jesus and made Christ the Lord of his life. After becoming a Christian at age 19, he immediately had a desire to pursue ministry. Brad attended Tennessee Tech University, where he played basketball and majored in English Literature. Through life on life discipleship and being involved with a college ministry, Campus Outreach, Brad grew deep roots in his walk with the Lord.
It was during this time that Brad met his wife, Elicia, who was involved in Campus Outreach at Southeast Missouri State University. After graduation, others affirmed external evidence of Brad’s calling to ministry. He and Elicia were married and then served on staff with Campus Outreach in Murray, KY for a year. After that year, they moved to Louisville in order for him to pursue a masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While serving as an intern to the Dean of the School of Theology (Russell Moore) and as a student ambassador, Brad was pursuing his degree rapidly. In God’s kind providence, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis during this season. As the Walker’s pursued the Lord and tried to discern what life and ministry with a chronic illness looks like, he put his formal education on hold. During this time, he served as Assistant Director of Admissions at SBTS, as Student Pastor and Associate Pastor at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church, and continued to study vigorously. In 2009, they accepted God’s call to Trinity Baptist Church in Southaven, MS for Brad to serve as Family Equipping Pastor. In 2012, they return back to Louisville for him to serve as a Lead Pastor at Carlisle Avenue, where he served in Louisville until God called them to FBC Sparta in June of 2015.
Brad’s main passions are evangelism, discipleship, leadership and preaching God’s Word. His desire for FBC Sparta is for her to be a Kingdom Outpost, where Christ is exalted and the gospel is central in all aspects of the church’s life and mission. Brad writes a weekly column, “Grace Upon Grace,” in the Sparta Expositor. Brad’s most beloved hobby is spending time with his wife (date nights, Netflix binges, etc.) and four boys (reading great books, dance parties, wrestling matches, board games, and acting silly etc.). For fun, he loves to read, play and watch sports (especially the Vols), and to do anything outdoors (hiking, fishing, boating, etc). Elicia works part-time as a speech teacher at WCMS, and they have four sons; Will (8), Jack (7), Benjamin (5), and Jude (2).
Jon Rushing – Pastor of Worship & Discipleship
Jon Rushing grew up in Southeast Arkansas and doesn’t remember a time when his family was not involved in the church. He began to sing and play piano at an early age, finding a place to express himself musically within his musical family. Jon’s mom taught piano and played and sang with his grandparents at church and community events. His dad ran sound and supported them in every way. Around the age of 5, he began singing alongside them. Christ saved Jon at the age of 11 in VBS at his local church. After high school, he attended Ouachita Baptist University and received a BA in Music with a Minor in Communications. It was there where God brought the gift of Suzanne into his life. They sang together during their college years in an 8 member ministry group called The Praise Singers. It was there that God began to cultivate a love for the local church in both their hearts. They served for a short time at Lakeside Baptist Church in Hot Springs, AR before marrying and moving to Nashville, TN. In Nashville, Suzanne landed a job teaching middle school and Jon pursued a music career. During those first few summers, God gave them multiple opportunities to lead worship at Summer Camps and local churches around the region. In the summer of 1997, they followed God into full-time itinerant worship ministry. God was continuing their journey with His Bride, the local church. Their first son, Elijah was born in 2000 and their second son, Josiah was born in 2004. As Josiah’s birth approached, God was stirring their hearts toward serving in one location for an extended period of time. He was teaching them about His Shepherd’s Heart and calling them to join Him in shepherding His church.
In the spring of 2005, Jon joined the staff of Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville (their home church since 1996) as the Associate Minister of Music and Worship. He served there until the fall of 2008. In June of 2009, he joined the staff of Trinity Baptist Church in Southaven, MS as Worship Pastor. God brought Jon, Suzanne, and their boys to FBC Sparta in January of 2017. They look ahead with expectation, knowing that God is calling and equipping worshiping disciples to make worshiping disciples whose hearts are being captured by the joy of knowing God and long to see others captured by that same joy.
Debby McCulley – Administrative Assistant
Debby joined the FBC staff in June, 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. She previously worked 23 years for Judge Benningfield as an Administrative Assistant. Debby has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. “I am blessed and very honored to be a part of the staff at FBC.