Rev. Don Whitener
Reverend Whitener became the Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church of Oak Island on October 1st, 2021 after the retirement of Pastor Charlie Carter. Rev. Whitener has been in the ministry for more than thirty years and has pastored churches in North and South Carolina.
Pastor Whitener has a B.S. Degree from West Carolina University and a Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Seminary at Wake Forest, NC.
In addition to pastoring, Reverend Whitener has done more than 25 evangelistic Sports Camps for children throughout the United States and in Canada.
His last full- time position was at Shiloh Baptist Church in Monroe, NC where he spent 20 years of his ministry.
Michelle Cheeks has served in ministry on Oak Island since 2008. Having previous experience as a Children’s Protective Services Worker, Child Development Specialist, NC State Probation & Parole Officer and Mental Health Agency Director, Michelle previously served for 5 ½ years as Children’s Minister at FBCOI, while also serving in her capacity of Church Secretary.
Michelle is manager and co-founder (alongside her daughter- Christian Music Evangelist, Megan East Parrish) of East2West Ministries. Serving as Chaplain for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is an additionally rewarding experience for Michelle’s current season of ministry to a broken and hurting world.
Michelle’s favorite scripture is the promise…” Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5
Beth joined church staff as Children's Minister in October 2016. She is wife to Pete and mother to four beautiful daughters- Katie Del, Abbie, Chloe, and Ellie. She was born in Gastonia, NC, but moved to Oak Island as quickly as the Lord allowed in July 2014.
In 1999 Beth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from UNC Greensboro. While at UNC-G, she focused on Children's Theatre, touring with the NC Theatre for Young People.
Beth committed her life to the Lord at age 5 and has felt a calling to share the love of Jesus with others, especially children, from a young age. She volunteered in Children's Ministries following graduation from UNC-G, directing VBS, Children's Ministry Programs, and Children's dramas in her church.
In her leisure time, Beth bakes, volunteers in the PTA at Southport Elementary School, and loves to read, spend time with her family (especially on the beach), and run.
Lauren was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains and attended Marshall University for Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management. With her three boys and husband in tow, Lauren moved to Oak Island in 2014. Lauren has owned Indulgence Cupcake & Sweet Shop, worked as Pastry Chef, Banquet Chef, Restaurant Manager, Food Sales Rep, and now uses her zeal for feeding bellies and hospitality as FBCOI's Youth Minister (where her desire to FEED comes in very handy with always-hungry teenagers).
Lauren is blessed to devote her days bringing up her boys to know God and serve like Jesus, "home"-educating her two littlest boys, traveling and adventuring with her family for views and food, dreaming of being a farmer, and cooking/baking for family and friends!
Lauren and her husband, Ryan, offer an open invitation to Saturday Night Taco Parties- message for the address- all are always welcome!