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Meet Our Staff



SENIOR PASTOR since March 2017, James leads our church, preaches God's Word, and casts vision to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ around the world. His greatest passions are for Jesus, His family and Missions. His wife, Jamie, is a teacher at Marion Junior High, and he has four children: Madeline, an aerospace engineering student at Mississippi State University; Abigail, a freshman student at Mississippi State University; Malia, a high school senior at West Memphis Christian School; and Jay, an 9th grader at Marion Junior High. James holds a Master's of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Nichols has a heart for equipping pastors as a regular contributor to pastor's conferences in El Salvador and Cuba. Dr. Nichols' door is always open!

Click to contact James.


ASSOCIATE PASTOR since November 2014, Stephen is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a music education degree and from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master's' of Divinity. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Danielle, have two daughters, Hallie and Harper.  With a passion for teaching and equipping believers to be disciples, Stephen oversees our discipleship ministry for adults, provides insight and oversight to student and children's ministries, facilities and transportation, and is a adjunct professor for the Delta Institute of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Stephen teaches piano in our Marion Arts Center, runs our Upward Sports program, and is the local jack-of-all-trades. Stephen has served churches in New Orleans, Kansas City, Texas and now the Memphis area as he searches the world for great BBQ! In his extra time, you can find Stephen enjoying and providing armchair play-by-play commentary and game management advice for whatever sport is in season.

Click to contact Stephen.


STUDENT PASTOR since June 2018, Kevin is a graduate of Liberty Seminary and a long-time resident of Marion. Kevin leads our ministry to 6th-12th graders and college students. Kevin has an incredible heart to serve our young people and lead them to in-depth relationships with Jesus! Kevin has been married to his wife, Tonya, for 22 years. He has two kids, Ashton, a junior at Ouachita Baptist University, and Hunter, a senior at Marion High School. You can find Kevin and his family conquering escape rooms throughout Memphis and rocking out to the latest theater productions across the state. If you can find it on YouTube, Kevin can show you how to do it! 

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CHILDREN'S PASTOR since August 2018, Rusty leads all of our Children's and Preschool Ministries and teaches parenting classes for families at First Marion. Rusty is married to his wife, Amie, and has one 3 year-old daughter, Olivia. Rusty oversees Children's Church, Centershot Archery MInistry, Upward Sports, and love to work with technology. Rusty is finishing his Master's of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Rusty is also chaplain candidate with United States Army Reserves.

Click to contact Rusty.


WORSHIP PASTOR since February 2018, Bro. Jim leads our adult worship program, leads Adult Choir, our Sunday Morning Worship Band, and our Audio/Visual Team. He and his wife Rhonda have two adult sons, and four grandchildren. When not at First Marion, you'll find him running his business, King Motor Co. in Marion, Arkansas.

Click to Contact Jim.


MISSIONS COORDINATOR. Mike recently retired from Sonoco, and is our volunteer Missions Coordinator. He oversees all of the mission efforts of First Marion. Mike coordinates mission trips around the world, including current international partnerships in Cuba, El Salvador, and Ukraine. Mike works with church planting partners in the Arkansas Delta, including New Beginnings Baptist Mission in Marion, Tabernacle of God Baptist Church in Marion, Second Baptist Church in Turrell, and Greater New Philadelphia Baptist Church in Wilson. If you're interested in being a part of our Acts 1:8 ministry to take the gospel to the world, contact Mike.

Click to Contact Mike.


MINISTRY ASSISTANT since January 2004, Mary is married to Mike, her husband of thirty one years, who is the church’s chairperson of Missions and Evangelism. They have two sons, Bradley and Nathan. She takes time to stop and smell the roses as she enjoys camping as well as reading and traveling.  

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BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR and LIFESHAPERS DIRECTOR since January 2004, Misty and her husband Daniel have been married for 17 years. They have two daughters: Josie, 16, and Sarah, 13. After moving to Marion in 2005 from Nashville, they joined the First Marion family. Misty has a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Business from Arkansas Tech University and has been at LifeShapers since it opened in August of 2005.

Click to contact Misty.

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MARION ARTS CENTER ADMINISTRATOR. Lynell oversees our arts program that offers Art, Dance and Music lessons each spring and fall. Art Class is available on Mondays from 4 - 6 p.m. Dance lessons (Jazz, Ballet and Tap) are offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Music lessons (Voice, Guitar, Piano) are offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, visit

Click to contact Lynell.