Pastor Derrick Jackson was born in the small Mississippi delta town of Itta Bena, Mississippi, the fourth of four sons to the late Mrs. Mary Bell Jackson-Stevenson and the late Mr. Emmitt Stevenson.
On October 1, 2001, Pastor Jackson began his pastorate of the historic First Baptist Church of Gallatin. He is the sixth pastor in a series of strong men who made up the rich preaching, teaching, and pastoring legacy of First Baptist Church over the past 153 years. Pastor Jackson was licensed to preach by Pastor John H. Gibson of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church of Itta Bena, Mississippi, and ordained to preach by his father in the ministry, Dr. George T. Brooks, Sr. of Saint James Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
Our Associate Pastor Calvin Gager is a native of Hopkinsville, KY, and is the son of Mrs. Alice Albritton and the late Samuel Gager. After graduation from Hopkinsville High School, he attended and received a B.S. in English and Journalism from Austin Peay State University. He also completed the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Program while at APSU, and was commissioned as an Army Officer in 1984. He retired from active duty after 20 years of service.
God has blessed Brother Calvin with the opportunity to serve the kingdom in several capacities with other memberships, as his family moved while on active duty. Prior to uniting with First Baptist, he has served mainly in the areas of Christian Education and Couples Ministry. He was ordained as a Deacon in 2002 at the First Baptist Church Denbigh – Newport News, VA, and was later licensed into the Ministry in 2009.
Laurie Michelle Lanakila Smith-Jackson is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated from Hunters Lane High School and continued her education at Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Ever thirsty for knowledge, Laurie did her post-graduate work at the University of Tennessee and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her passion for Social Work also led her to obtain her licensure as a LMSW (Licensed Master’s Social Worker).
Although her career is very rewarding, Laurie cherishes spending quality time with her husband and son as well as other family members and friends. Laurie sees her relationship with God and her relationship with her family as her most prized possessions. She loves traveling, reading, scrapbooking, shopping, going to movies, and hanging out with her family.