Garrett Oppel

Hometown: Berwick, PA

Education: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Liberty University. Master’s in Discipleship and Church Ministry from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

God called me to the ministry in my junior year of college. I have a deep passion for Children’s Ministry and desire to encourage and equip parents as they lead their kids into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Before coming to Mount Pleasant, I served as the Children’s Pastor at GO Church in Orlando, FL. I was also the Spiritual Life Director at Camp Hydaway—a ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA.

Being a big sports fan, I take advantage of every chance I get to play sports and watch my favorite teams. On top of sports, I enjoy visiting historical landmarks, driving out to the country/mountains, using my smoker to cook for friends and family, and hanging out with my family and the kids of Mount Pleasant.

I love the city of Colonial Heights and strive to create a close relationship with the local elementary schools. I volunteer as a tutor and help out with special events throughout the school year. With parental permission, I also have lunch with 2-3 kids each week at their school.

I am happily married to Heather Anthony Oppel and we have one child, Ettamae.

My Life Verse:

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.” 1 Peter 5:2


Luke Southall

Hometown: Dinwiddie, Virginia

Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA | Currently Pursuing Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO

My Mission: To demonstrate through my words, actions, and lifestyle the joy of being a disciple of Jesus. I aim to encourage and challenge people, especially youth, to follow Jesus Christ.

My Vision:

When I was younger I hated when people said, “Do what I say and not what I do.” But as I have grown I have learned why people say things like this. It is extremely hard to do the right things. It is hard to show love without selfishness, to be kind and compassionate, to stand for justice and still forgive people who hurt you. It is much easier to say the right thing than to do it. That is why I am so thankful for Jesus Christ.

In Jesus, God demonstrated that He does not sit safely in heaven and say, “Be better!” But as it says in Philippians 2:5-8, He emptied Himself and became a man. A man who lived perfectly and then laid down His life for us. A man who did not merely say, “Do this!” but instead He said, “Follow me.” And that is my goal. I desire to follow Christ. And I desire to call people to follow Christ with me.

I want to walk with the students in this church as we follow Christ. Using whatever means are prudent, be it through personal conversations, small groups, or expository Bible teaching I want to encourage and challenge my brothers and sisters to follow Christ with me. I also want to reach out with them to their neighbors. For I believe that true disciples make disciples. I know that as our students walk as those set apart by God this will be a witness to the world around them. It will be an invitation to follow Him with us.

My Life Verse:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

Brian Howerton

Dr. Joey Anthony

Hometown: Hurt, VA

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from Bluefield College, Bluefield, Virginia; Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina; Doctor of Ministry degree from Liberty Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia

I began as Lead Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, Virginia in October 2015, coming here from Midway Baptist in Phenix, VA where I served for 18 years. In addition to my years of preaching, I have served as a Trustee for the North American Mission Board, SBC, from 2008-2012 and 2012-2016.  While serving with the Trustees, I have been on the Chaplains Commission; there I have been elected Vice-Chairman and Chairman.  Presently, I am also serving as the Ambassador to the Pastors of Virginia for the North American Mission Board.

I have been happily married to Angela Massie Anthony (since 1988) and have four children and one grandson, and two granddaughters!


Life Verse:

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Joe Mayes

Hometown: Evansville, In

Education: Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from University of Southern Indiana
Master’s of Theological Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I am married to a wonderful and beautiful wife, Alison. We have 2 daughters (Amelia Grace and Harper Jane) who are 5 years of age and almost 2, a son (Liam James) who is 3. I’m a huge sports fan, loving anything to do with: Indiana University, Chicago Cubs (2016 World Champs), Dallas Cowboys, or Utah Jazz. I also love to play sports, spend time with my family, watch movies, and hanging out with students.

I have been in ministry since 2000, and served the previous 4 years prior to coming to Mount Pleasant at Bethel Baptist Church in North Vernon, IN. I also love studying theology and listening to sermons. Some of my favorite scholars are John Piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Dever, David Platt, JD Greear, Russell Moore, John MacArthur and Tim Keller.

We want to partnership around the world in order for the gospel to spread to the ends of the earth. These partners should be biblically focused and missional minded. We pray daily for all of our partners around the world and ask for God to give us guidance on who to partner with in the future.

My Life Verse:

For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. Isaiah 48:11

Dr. Andy Brockelman

Hometown: Sherman, TX

Education: Ph.D. from the School of Educational Ministries, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary | Master of Religious Education, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary | B.A. Religion, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Lord saved me and called me to work in the local church during my college years. I have served in churches in Texas, New Mexico, Tennessee and Virginia working with the General /Educational Administration and Pastoral Ministries of the church. After working in churches for 40+ years, I am more convinced than ever that the world’s greatest need is Jesus.

Since being at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, I have been involved with many senior adult ministries including the Barnabas Ministry (a ministry of encouragement to shut-ins and hospital patients), the LLL (Lots of Living Left) Travel Club, Senior Adult Choir (formerly known as “Highest Praise” Choir), Senior Adult Bible Studies and Prayer Ministry. I am privileged to be a part of all these ministries and much more here at the Mount, but more importantly I cherish knowing the fine folks of Colonial Heights and the surrounding area and helping them grow in their relationship to Christ.

I am married to Lois LaGrone Brockelman (an English instructor at John Tyler Community College) and we have two grown children, Andrew III (Drew) and Emily.

I enjoy gardening and landscaping. Being outdoors working in the yard is therapeutic for me and although it can be hard work at times, it gives me great pleasure. History, music and art are also important to me. My wife and I love getting to know our nation’s history through visiting many of the historical sites around the Richmond/DC area. So much of our nation’s history began right here in Virginia.

My Life Verse:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20.

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