The First Baptist Church of Middlesboro has welcomed a new pastor, the Rev. Zachary Bay, who began his duties Aug.15. Bay was born and raised in Maysville, the oldest son of Ronny and Jill Bay. He has a younger brother, Jeremy.
Bay spent his college years at Georgetown College, where he double-majored in religion and philosophy and minored in history. From there, he moved to Atlanta to study at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, both partners with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
For three years, Rev. Bay served at Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta as a maddox pastoral resident. This unique position afforded a full-time staff minister position with built in mentoring and coaching components. “The residency was a great gift, one that I will be unwrapping and unpacking for many years to come as I stretch into my calling,” said Bay.
First Baptist Church is also happy to welcome, Bay’s wife Kristy to the church and community. Kristy, the daughter of Glen and Janille Eggert, is from Glen Ellyn, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. She, too, is an ordained Baptist minister. Before attending seminary at McAfee, Kristy studied music and french at Belmont University in Nashville. After seminary, Kristy served as associate pastor of youth and adult education at Milledge Avenue Baptist Church in Athens, Ga.
“We are genuinely enjoying getting to know Middlesboro and the surrounding area,“ Bay says. “I hope to help the good folks at First Baptist Church lean into the wide arms of God’s love and grace as they do the work of ministry in Middlesboro, Bell County, and beyond.”
As for hobbies, Zach loves to hike and is looking forward to getting out on the trails in the parks in the Cumberland Gap area. He enjoys coffee, mid-twentieth century literature, good movies and just about all things science-fiction. He and Kristy are animal lovers, having three rescued cats — Peanut, Pepper and Jack.
Worship service at First Baptist Church begins at 11 a.m. each Sunday. Childcare is provided. There will be a special service of installation with Kentucky Baptist Fellowship Coordinator, Rev. Dr. John Lepper, on Sept. 22 during the morning service. The public is invited to attend.