Dr. Michael Stephens

Interim Executive Minister


Michael C. Stephens was born in Parkersburg, graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1966, studied Agricultural Engineering at WVU in Morgantown for two years before transferring to Alderson-Broaddus College, where he majored in Social Sciences, met his wife Sherry (Wieland), whom he married after graduation in August of 1970.  During his time at Eastern Baptist Seminary, he served as youth pastor at FBC Mt Holly, NJ and Upland BC near Chester, PA and managed an apartment complex in North Philadelphia.  Sons Scott and Tim were born in 1971 and 72 respectively, and Mike received his Master of Divinity in 1973.

He served FBC Arcade, NY 1973-74, worked in an interdenominational youth ministry in Springville, NY 74-76, and his daughter Julie was born in 1975.  In 1977, Mike, Sherry and family returned to WV, where Mike continued bi-vocational ministry working in home construction while serving as Youth Pastor at Broadway BC 1977, then as pastor and builder of Belleville BC 1977-80.  Back in full time ministry, Mike served as pastor of Enon BC near Salem, WV 1980-87, during which time his daughter Rachel was born in 1981, and he received the Doctor of Ministry to Marriage and the Family in 1987. 1987-1996 he served as pastor of Baptist Temple in Parkersburg, before becoming Northwest Area Minister in September, 1996.  In 2003, he also became Director of Leadership Ministries and School of Christian Studies.

Mike still indulges his passion for farming by rolling up round bales and tending Limousin cattle on the same farm on which he grew up at Washington, WV.  He and Sherry have a total of seven grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 24.  He also indulges his passion for mission by encouraging and mentoring Christian leaders from West Virginia to Nicaragua.

Mike became the Interim Executive Minister of the West Virginia Baptist Convention in late August 2017.

Dr. Michael Sisson

Executive Minister Elect


Michael Sisson is a native of West Virginia.   Mike served as the Senior Pastor of the Crab Orchard Baptist Church, a growing, missional-minded congregation located in Crab Orchard.   Prior to coming to Crab Orchard, he served the pastorates of Sutton Baptist Church in Sutton and New Life Baptist Church in Shady Spring.  In addition to his twenty years in pastoral ministry, Mike was the owner and operator of Mike’s Distributing, a wholesale franchise for McKee Foods for 18 years.

Mike’s passion for ministry is directed toward the transformation and strengthening of the local church.  He strives to use the gifts God has equipped him with as leader, teacher and communicator to assist the local church and its leaders to become missional-minded, intentionally sharing the love of God and the message of hope found in Jesus Christ in their local communities.

Mike’s leadership experience includes having served as the president of the West Virginia Baptist Convention and president of the Pastors 4 Pastors: The West Virginia Baptist Ministers’ Council.  Mike served as chair of the West Virginia Baptist Convention School of Christian Studies and on the Board of Admissions for the Palmer Seminary Doctor of Ministry in Contextual Leadership.  He has served on many boards and committees within the West Virginia Baptist Convention including the Committee on Ministerial Standing, Baptist Campus Ministry Board and the Executive Board and Committee as well various committees and working groups.

Mike serves on the Board of Directors for the Beckley Health Right Free Clinic and its subsidiaries in Mercer and Summers Counties.  Before relocating to Crab Orchard, he served on the Board of Directors for Precision Services Inc. located in Gassaway.  Precision Services is a non-profit organization formed to provide employment opportunities to individuals who are physically disabled or developmentally challenged.

Mike is an adjunct professor for the Palmer Theological Seminary teaching courses in the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity academic programs. He has developed and led seminars and workshops on a variety of topics including Church Transformation, Leadership, Ministry Team Building and Visioning at an array of venues.  He teaches regularly in the West Virginia Baptist Convention School of Christian Studies.

Mike earned his Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Wilbur T. Elmore Prize in Church History and earned his Doctor of Ministry in Renewal of the Church for Mission from Palmer Theological Seminary.

Mike currently resides in Crab Orchard, with his wife of 34 years, Lorie, their dog, Abby and cat, Sam.

Mike became the Executive Minister Elect on November 11, 2017.  He will begin his duties on April 1, 2018.