Families who love God and one another finding joy and hope in Christ and making a positive difference in our world.

James Copeland
Associate Pastor for Youth and Children

James joined Wallace First Baptist Church in April 2013 as the Associate Pastor of Children’s and Youth Ministries.  James and his family are from Birmingham, Alabama which was the only place they had called home before following God’s call to and new home in Wallace, NC.  He has been serving in youth ministry for 15+ years.  James is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Evangelism from Liberty University.

James was married to his lovely bride, Emily, in May of 2002 and they have two amazing children, Matthew and Lucy.  James’ passion is building a ministry that is truly family friendly.  Deuteronomy 6 informs us of God’s desire for parents to be the primary spiritual leaders in their children’s lives and he views it as his job to create an atmosphere that will help accomplish this task.  This is accomplished through programming that is not only fun and exciting for students, but is informative and accessible to parents.  The ultimate goal is for you to be the spiritual hero in your child's life, and James is determined to give you all you need to make that possible. 

Rev. Arledge Castles

Arledge was born in Charleston, S.C. in 1944.  Born profoundly deaf, he went South Carolina School for the Blind and the Deaf in Spartanburg, S.C. from 1950 until 1963.  He enrolled Gallaudet University in Washington DC.  Later he became offset operator in Maryland and then relocated back to South Carolina.  He became a member of First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC.  Some years later, he attended Gardner Webb University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 1984.  He graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary in Wake Forest, NC with a Master of Divinity.  He has served as Deaf ministry pastor at several churches in North Carolina and has served as an evangelist at Deaf revivals in both North and South Carolina.  He enjoys painting with watercolor, acrylic, and does calligraphy.  Arledge is married to Lynne Castles, a Kentucky native.  She works as Sign Language interpreter at Campbell University.  She serves in a Deaf ministry near Buies Creek.

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Rev. Arledge Castles

James Copeland

Wallace First Baptist Church

Dr. Alan Thompson
Senior Pastor

Al Thompson, not to be confused with Santa Claus (white beard), or the mysterious guy in the background who is making the rabbit ears behind Al's head... where was I?  Oh, Al Thompson is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and has served churches in Texas, Florida, and Virginia before coming to Wallace, NC, in January of 2012.  As you can see, he knows Santa personally.  

Al went to the University of Richmond, VA, Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, and did his doctoral work at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY.  His most recent writing is his book, Meet the Real Jesus: A No-Spin Look at Jesus through the Eyes of Matthew.

Al's wife, Dee, was born in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and they met during their college years.  They have three children:  Emily, who teaches chemistry in Nashville; Stephen, who works in web-based services in Northern Virginia; and Sara, who is a quality control specialist (editing) for a company in Charlottesville, VA

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Dr. Alan Thompson

Our Family

At First Baptist, you’ll find people of all ages from all kinds of backgrounds. Some of us have been here all of our lives, and others have just arrived. We have excited children, active teens, passionate adults, and an active and fun senior adult group, too. You’ll find answers for life’s questions and problems, and you’ll also find people who are honest about not having it all figured out. We’re imperfect people, but we serve a God who can handle our doubts and questions, as well as fill us with joy and hope.

And you’ll also find open arms. We’re saving a place for you in our community of Christian friends.