Meet Our Pastors

Rich and Melissa
Rich & Melissa May

Pastor Rich May (semi-retired) was born into a Christian family in 1955, the third of three boys.  He was raised on a small farm (on May Road!) outside of Dallas, Oregon.  He received the Lord Jesus when he was eight years old.  He played football and sang in choirs in high school, then went on to earn a machinist’s degree at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. He felt the call to ministry while attending a retreat at camp, so he changed courses, pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology at Western Oregon College.  He then went on to North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, SD, to train for the ministry, receiving his Masters of Divinity in 1985.

Rich’s first church was tiny Pilgrim Baptist in Sioux Falls, a warm African American fellowship.  After graduation, he was called to serve at Portland Avenue Baptist in a rough area in Tacoma.  He accepted the call to First Baptist Church in Colfax, beginning to serve here in March, 1999.

Rich married Melissa (Stephenson) in 1980, and they are the proud parents of Hannah (1990), Ben (1991), and Lizzy (1996).  When asked what drives him in ministry, he will invariably say he loves the people.  He also loves being part of this small community!  His favorite hobby is definitely fishing.


Dean & Connie Ellis family

Dean and Connie’s first ministry here at FBC was as Director of Church Ministries, beginning January, 1990. On staff until March 1994, Dean resigned to pursue an itinerate speaking ministry at various churches, conferences and retreats throughout the Inland Empire.

Dean and Connie, with three sons and one daughter, were and continue to be, very involved in our school and community, with a burden for the hearts of the youth. Dean has, since the fall of 2010, served as “the voice of the Bulldogs” along with numerous MC roles for various community events. Connie enjoys being cheer coach, DYW co-director and art designer for the high school musical.

In March, 2009, 15 years( to the week) after their departure from First Baptist, Dean and Connie returned to our church, filling the position of Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach. He ministers with Bible teaching & doctrinal instruction in various Sunday School classes and Bible studies, youth ministry, and occasionally filling the pulpit. Dean also organizes outreach events and visitation.

We are thankful God has brought the Ellis’ back to our church family.
For a further testimony→Dean Ellis’ Biography