Jeff Fields: A Different Kind of Pastor

Are you scheduled every night of the week?  Stressed out?  Too busy? 

77 percent of Americans are.  The number one cause of stress in the United States is job pressure and work overload. (Statistic Brain)

Pastor Jeff Fields of First Baptist Jensen Beach says, “We need to slow down, simplify and love each other.  Every week families can choose from many different activities, even church, and then church just becomes another choice on the shelf.  When this happens, church attendance loses relevance.” 

Jeff Fields adds, “Church is community; it is part of our nature and is necessary to support each other.  The church matters—it preserves society and is as vital as salt on our food.  It is not the Lions’ Club.” 

Jeff Fields is a different kind of pastor.

He sports a lengthy gray beard, rides a Harley, shoots his guns, and has tattoos on his arms and hands.  But if you listen to him speak, you’ll understand that he’s a lot like you and me.   

He’s not out to raise pastors’ salaries or build a stadium-sized church, he’s a committed pastor who believes in loving others.  Jeff Fields has been in church ministry for 24 years, 17 of them as a youth pastor.

Jeff and Sheri Fields

Jeff and Sheri Fields

Several years ago, I met Jeff and his wife, Sheri, when they first came to First Baptist of Jensen Beach.  My son had just entered Jensen Beach High School.  Jeff, as the church’s youth pastor, developed a dynamic program reaching many local teens in Jensen Beach.  His messages were well received by the youth; even their parents came to hear him. His words spoke of hope and respect for parents, and making good choices when temptation arrived.  Jeff did not skirt the issues that today’s kids face—he spoke plainly. 

The youth program expanded.  A bus was purchased. Jeff took middle and high school teens to camp and on mission trips, building character, humility, and a duty to help others within their hearts. 

Pastor Jeff personally counseled teens at risk. After my father died, Pastor Jeff even came to my Dad’s funeral to sit with my son.   

Pastor Jeff got to know the parents as well.  He gave me counsel after Dad’s death.  Pastor Jeff goes out of his way to give his time. 

Jeff Fields has lived his legacy every day—reaching both adults and youth with the love and truth of Christ.  

Today he is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Jensen Beach. This is his third position there. 

Jeff and Sheri Fields are the parents of three children and nine grandchildren.  They have been married for 37 years. 

You can find Jeff Fields outside on the front porch of First Baptist Jensen Beach each Sunday, smiling and greeting friends and visitors.

Contact Kelly Jadon at:

(C) 2018 Kelly Jadon

Help When Life Changes

Hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, reminders that change can happen overnight.  When disaster strikes, disaster relief goes into action.  Working together, FEMA, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and Florida Baptist Disaster Relief are four major disaster relief organizations in the Southeast United States.  They prepare throughout the year to help survivors.

Gary and Kathryn Wintercorn

Gary and Kathryn Wintercorn

Gary and Kathryn Wintercorn of Jensen Beach, Florida are two volunteers who give their time to Florida Baptist Disaster Relief.  They began this type of work with a local pastor needing help within his church in Covington, Louisiana after major flooding occurred.  There the men “mudded” homes—tore them down to the bare minimum, gutting them of rotten walls, carpeting and fixtures.  Kathryn’s eyes were opened to the need as she sat and listened to a woman tell that she and her husband had just gone to bed.  When she got up later and swung her legs off the bed, they went into water. They were trapped.  The husband was on oxygen and couldn’t be moved easily.

Kathryn states, "There was an unprecedented amount of rain at one time that flooded everyone. That area was stunned at the amount of rain in such a brief time."

Kathryn adds that this kind of experience is emotionally traumatic for survivors.  Sometimes they’re present as Disaster Relief moves their life, their stuff out of what was their home.  Kathryn just listens with compassion and loves them.

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief is divided into several zones and consists of around 600 volunteers.  They go out as teams for intense relief situations for a week at a time, at their own cost.  Gary and Kathryn’s team is made up of 20 individuals.  Together they mudd homes, care for children, put on blue roofs, and often cook the food that Red Cross distributes. Chainsaw workers cut down trees and clear debris. Semi-trucks bring in portable kitchens and showers for their use.  As one team exits, another transitions in from another Florida zone.

Other volunteers are in charge of administration, logistics, mechanics, and work as chaplains.  They do not go just to help other Baptists; this organization helps all people. 

Many volunteers are retired, but Kathryn and Gary are still working.  They take time off to go out and help others.  Their children and grandchildren see what they are doing and affirm it as good.

Disaster Relief responds after a natural disaster such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or flooding.  If you have a need after one of these disasters, please call the area association leader, Bert Holden at 772-485-6213.  He will assist you. Also, at this time, he will be able to answer any questions you may have about becoming a volunteer. 

Gary and Kathryn Wintercorn may be found Sunday mornings at First Baptist Church in Jensen Beach.

Contact Kelly Jadon at:

(C) 2018 Kelly Jadon