Rev. Dr. Josh Lail
Josh joined the staff at First Baptist in May 2015. Prior to serving on staff, he served alongside many members of Valdese First Baptist in local, national, and international missions, as well as ecumenical youth activities. VFBC has played a large part in shaping him into the minister, and the Christian, that he is today. "I am thankful to serve a congregation that has served me. I am also thankful for a supportive congregation who values investment in younger generations."
Josh received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Gardner-Webb University. Before that, he received a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Mars Hill College (now Mars Hill University), near Asheville. Prior to coming to Valdese First Baptist, he served in student ministry at College Avenue Baptist Church in Lenoir, NC, and First United Methodist Church here in Valdese.
Josh married his best friend, Crystal, in November of 2007. Josh says, "Without her, I’m just not me!" Crystal is a graduate of Appalachian State University and a Pre-K teacher in the Hickory Public School System. In December of 2014, they welcomed their first child, Caroline.
"I came to Christ as a high school student, and I have a passion for seeing young people discover what God has in store for them during their teenage years. I am also zealous for seeing children, youth, and families nurtured in their walk with Christ. I am ecumenical by nature, and love to see the body of Christ work together as one. I believe strongly in leadership development among our emerging generations, so that they can fulfill the call that God has placed on their lives in the here and now."
After serving as both Associate Pastor and Interim Pastor, Josh was called to be Senior Pastor of First Baptist Valdese in 2019. He is excited to continue to serve in the community of faith that has loved him and his family very well in their time in Valdese!