Church Staff

Mark Frizzell, Senior Pastor
Pastor Mark grew up on the mission field in Bolivia, South America. He came to faith in Christ at age 15 after a youth worship service. He surrendered his life to ministry in Africa on a mission trip after his senior year of high school. He has a Bachelor’s in Cross-Cultural Communications and Bible from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO and a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary in Shreveport, LA. He has served at churches in Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico for over a decade. He and his wife Mindy have been married for 13 years and have two beautiful daughters—Chloe (7) and Sophie (1). He’s been serving as the pastor of FBC Van since January 2019.
Thomas Causey, Family Pastor
Thomas grew up in Macon, Georgia. He began going to church in 8th grade and it was through his time in youth group that he was saved and accepted God’s call into ministry. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Middle Georgia State University and a Master’s in Discipleship and Family Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He met his wife Katie at Southern and they have been married for a year. Thomas began serving on staff at FBC Van in May of 2020.
Barry Sartain, Minister of Music
Barry grew up in a musical family and has been singing since he was 7 years old. He was saved during a revival at age 14 and began attending a little country church regularly and got very involved in the youth group. At 17 he became part of a Gospel quartet called “Testament” which he and his brother started. They sang all over North and East Texas for a few years until they were all in college. Barry graduated from Dallas Baptist University and was part of “The New Covenant Singers” while at DBU. He also played baseball and tennis. During his time at DBU he was called to First Baptist Lavon as their youth and music minister. He has served on staff for 13 churches over the last 37 years. He is thankful to be able to minister to God’s people through music! Barry has been married to his beautiful wife Melissa for 29 years and they have two sons, Logan and Lucas, who are definitely more talented than their dad! They are all involved in ministry at their churches. Barry has been serving on staff at FBC Van since 2005.
Julie Johnson, FBC Kids Director
Julie grew up in Allen, Texas. She was an active member of her church growing up and accepted Jesus at a young age. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from LeTourneau University and is in pursuit of a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from LeTourneau. She plans to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Children are her passion! She loves making the Bible fun, VBS, camp, and connecting with children using biblical foundations! Her ministry is built around her purpose, to raise up the next generation of Christ followers for the greater good of His creation. She has been married to her husband Michael for 17 years and they have three sons—Austin (14) and twins, Barrett and Dylan (12). She has been serving on staff at FBC Van since 2008.
Molly Russell, Administrative Assistant
Bio coming soon.
Cindy Lanier, Church Secretary
Bio coming soon.

Our Vision and Values

First Baptist Church has a very simple and compelling vision for our church, our community, our nation, and our world:

We want to see every family in Van and around the world reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We evaluate every ministry and entity of our church against that vision. We want everything we do to contribute toward achieving that goal. We will accomplish this vision by being intentionally:

PRESENT in our community;

VOCAL about our faith;

WELCOMING in the church;

CONSISTENT in preaching the Gospel;

PROACTIVE about developing leaders;

COOPERATIVE with other churches.

We believe by focusing on these six areas we will be able to see every family reached.

Discipleship Path

Brandon Cox wrote that, “Discipleship is the art and science of helping people find, follow and fully become like Jesus. Discipleship happens as God’s people show love, share truth, and live life with one another, making new disciples along the way.” That is the mission of the church. Reaching every family with the Gospel is only the first step; intentional discipleship is our end goal.

At First Baptist Church, we look at discipleship like a narrowing path. Each subsequent step narrows and intensifies the focus. We want every church member to move steadily down this path:

Attend corporate worship

The widest and easiest part of the path. We expect every member to connect to the body of Christ in corporate worship, but we are also mindful of the fact that very little active discipleship happens in such a large group.

That’s why the road narrows here to a more focused area:

Connect to a group/class

Joining a Sunday School class and/or a Wednesday night Bible study group is a key step in our Discipleship path. The smaller group unlocks more accountability. You’re able to connect at a deeper level than in corporate worship alone. But the road narrows even further:

Get involved in a men’s or ladies’ Bible study

There are small group Bible studies available throughout the week for men and women. These small groups offer an intense level of camaraderie, encouragement, accountability, and opportunity to go and grow deep. We encourage you to plug into one of these groups.

Find a mentor

One-on-one mentoring is an absolutely unmatched opportunity for growth. In this kind of relationship, you can discover the kind of student-teacher plan that Jesus intended for His followers. We offer opportunities to find a mentor in our Walk with the Wise program. This program runs 3 months at a time and matches a younger and an older member up together to build a relationship. We think this is a critical step to becoming a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

The path of discipleship narrows finally to the most important juncture:

Become a replicating leader

All that came before brings us to this place. As the pastor, the Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and mentors have poured into a church member, they are preparing them to go and do likewise. This step is our desire for all church members, that eventually they become replicating leaders. That they pour themselves into other people as they have been invested in. This is clearly demonstrated in 2 Timothy 2:2—“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” The Discipleship Path leads us to make disciples who make disciples. That is how we’re going to see every family reached with the Gospel!


What We Believe

What we believe as Southern Baptist denomination is fully explained in The Baptist Faith & Message.  To learn more please visit the Southern Baptist website