• Jonathan Blankenship

    Lead Pastor


    Pastor Jonathan and his wife, Kathleen, moved back to his hometown of Charlotte in 2008 to re-plant Laurel Baptist Church. As our Lead Pastor, Jonathan has passionately dedicated himself to the threefold responsibilities of pastoral ministry: lead, feed, and protect the church of God (Acts 20:28-29). This involves giving our church directional oversight, providing weekly preaching and teaching, and giving spiritual counsel in our day to day Christian lives. Kathleen serves as our church pianist, leads a ladies Connection Group, and directs our Awana ministry.  Since day one of our church pastor has been committed to verse by verse, expository preaching and gospel-centered ministry with the goal of establishing a healthy church. Pastor Jonathan has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Studies. 

  • Jared Blankenship

    Administrative Pastor


    Pastor Jared and his wife, Julie, joined our team in 2009. They have been with us since the days of just a hand full of people, and they have been intricately involved in establishing Laurel as a healthy church. As our Administrative Pastor, Jared oversees our day to day ministry operations and directs our music and teen ministries. Pastor Jared has earned a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies. 

  • Austin Wright

    Assistant Pastor


    Pastor Austin and his wife, Marissa, joined our team in 2018 after serving several years in college ministry as a traveling representative and event coordinator. Pastor Austin’s creativity, organization, and leadership is a vital asset in our day to day ministry at Laurel. He currently gives oversight to our business office, as well as our weekly Connection Groups and adult ministries. Pastor Austin has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. 

  • RJ Lopez

    Children's Pastor


    Pastor RJ and his wife, Jessalyn came to Laurel Baptist Church in 2017. As children's pastor, RJ oversees our Kid’s Connection and Kid's Choir ministries. He also oversees our media ministry. His wife Jessalyn, as our nursery coordinator, leads a team of qualified and trained workers to provide the utmost care for our children. Pastor RJ is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Ministries.

  • Marissa wright

    office assistant


    Marissa is married to our Assistant 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. Marissa has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance. 

  • 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, and leads a mid-week Connection Group on Wednesday mornings. Lee is a United States Army veteran.