• Jonathan Blankenship

    Lead Pastor


    Jonathan and his wife, Kathleen, moved back to his hometown of Charlotte in 2008 to re-plant Laurel Baptist Church. He is passionately committed to verse by verse, expository preaching, and has preached through 33 books of the Bible in 12 years. Jonathan's vision for our church is spiritual health by leading us in a gospel-centered ministry that is focused on the glory of God. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and is committed to helping strengthen pastors and churches around the mission fields of the world. Jonathan has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Studies. 

  • Austin Wright

    Administrative Pastor


    Austin and his wife, Marissa, joined our team in 2018. Austin assists our Lead Pastor in leading the day to day ministry operations of our church, as well as providing oversight and direction to all church ministries. He regularly provides teaching in our Wednesday Seminars and counseling to our church membership. Austin has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. 

  • RJ Lopez

    Youth Pastor


    RJ and his wife, Jessalyn, came to Laurel Baptist Church in 2017. RJ directs all of our youth ministries including Kids Connection and Teen Equip. He also oversees our media ministry. His wife Jessalyn leads a team of qualified and trained nursery workers to provide the utmost care for our children. RJ is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Ministries.

  • Kathleen Blankenship

    Music DIRECTOR


    Kathleen is the wife of our Lead Pastor and works behind the scenes to coordinate the logistics of our music ministry. She is an accomplished pianist, and our church loves to hear her play during our worship services. Additionally, Kathleen directs our Awana Clubs and leads our Ladies Ministry. Kathleen has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education.

  • Marissa wright

    office assistant


    Marissa is married to our Administrative Pastor, Austin Wright, and joined our team in 2018. As our Office Assistant, she assists our pastoral team in the day to day ministry operations of the church, as well as coordinates several of our church events. Marissa has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance and enjoys teaching private lessons. 

  • Lee Smith



    Lee Smith joined our staff in 2010 and assists our pastor by providing facility oversight. Lee has been a faithful member of our church and also serves on our leadership team. You'll find him faithfully serving our Senior Adults and teaching from time to time in our Wednesday Seminars. Lee is a United States Army veteran.