First Baptist Fort Lauderdale Welcomes New Lead Pastor

Rev. James Welch

The congregation of First Baptist Fort Lauderdale welcomed the Rev. James Welch as their new lead pastor on Sunday, March 24.

Coming to Fort Lauderdale from New Orleans, Louisiana, Pastor James and his wife Amy have three children: Addison, William and Blythe. As a family, they planted Harbor Community Church in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, where they made it a family and missional priority to love their city and intentionally engage the unchurched for the sake of the gospel. Pastor James’ heart is to bring that same mentality to South Florida.

“Our hearts are full of love for a people we haven’t truly met yet. We are excited to learn about the people of the church and South Florida. We are humbled by this assignment from our Heavenly Father and are ‘eager to share with you [them] not only the gospel but our lives as well’” said Pastor James Welch.

Welch was unanimously recommended as the next Lead Pastor by the Lead Pastor Search Team, made up of a diverse group of congregants, and then affirmed by the entire congregation on February 24, 2019. The Search Team’s process took just short of three years to complete, during their process they vetted and researched resumés and recommendations of 205 pastoral candidates before being unanimously led to recommend Pastor James as the Lead Pastor.

First Baptist Fort Lauderdale is located in the heart of downtown at 301 E. Broward Boulevard. Founded in 1907, the church pre-dates the city it calls home and boasts a diverse congregation hailing from over 40 countries.

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