Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Kenneth G. Lawrence began his ministry here in the fall of 1976. He grew up on a dairy farm in Western New York State, was led to trust Christ as his personal Savior at an early age and was encouraged in a walk of faith by Godly parents and involvement in a small country church.
Ken attended Houghton College where he first felt led of the Lord to consider pastoral ministry. It was also at Houghton where the Lord brought Connie into his life. Ken graduated from Houghton in 1973 and that fall, began seminary at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. In 1974, he and Connie were married.
After graduation from Gordon-Conwell in the spring of 1976, Ken and Connie were led to Hampton Falls to assume pastoral responsibilities. While pastor here, Ken earned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1987, also from Gordon-Conwell.
Connie’s interest in education has taken her from public school to preschool to Portsmouth Christian Academy. Since coming on staff at the academy she has spent several years teaching, several years as principal, two years as headmaster, and has now assumed responsibilities again as the principal of the lower school. Connie has earned a Master’s Degree from Cambridge College and her Doctorate from Nova University.
Connie and Ken have three boys. Derek was born in 1978 and is married to Julie. They live in Oklahoma City where they are university adjunct professors teaching music/piano. Ryan was born in 1980. He lives in Chicago where he is a student at the University of Chicago Medical School. Wesley was born in 1983. He lives in Cincinnati where he is working as an adjunct professor of voice while he completes his doctoral degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Pastor of Student Ministries
Grant Winnes came to First Baptist in the Summer of 2010, assuming pastoral oversight for all our student programs from nursery through college age.
The son of missionaries, he grew up in an atmosphere of ministry. However, it was not until after he had taught 5 years at a Christian high school and been in youth ministry for another 6 years that he distinctly felt the call of God to full-time pastoral ministry. Thus, in 2007 his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend Bethlehem Seminary and work in the Family Discipleship Department at Bethlehem Baptist, where the Lord fostered his vision for God-centered, mission-minded, Bible-saturated, family-focused student ministry.
Grant met his wife, Jennifer, at Wheaton College and they were married in 1996. They have three children. Family pasttimes include reading together, watching movies, going for walks and hikes, camping and cheering for the Indianapolis Colts.