About Jay

I am a native of Huntington, WV and grew up in Ashland, KY. On May 18, 1996 I married, Michelle Slater of Raceland, KY. Might I just say that although no one is perfect, she is perfect for me. Michelle and I have two boys, Quint (born January 2000) and Canon (born November 2004). There is no doubt in my mind that these two boys are the neatest pair of kids on the planet. Quint has set the goal of one day going to Cambridge and his brother Canon has declared that he wants to be remembered for two things: for how much he loves Jesus and for his trumpet playing. Michelle and I knew God was calling us to make a decision for service at the very first Experiencing God Weekend for couples at Ridgecrest in October of 1996 but I hesitated. I finally announced my call to preach at Ashland Baptist Church (where I had been serving as worship and youth pastor) Sunday night January 12, 1997. I went on to serve my first pastorate at Fellowship Baptist Church in South Shore, KY before being called as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Westwego, LA (suburban New Orleans) in November, 2002.

My academic interests are in apologetics, systematic theology and the philosophy of religion. Specifically, I enjoy dealing with the relationship between science and religion, the problem of evil, arguments for the existence of God, and Speech-Act theory. My dissertation will be in the area of the philosophical question of God's relationship to time, specifically how science interacts with the primarily theological and philosophical question of God's relationship to time. I hold an Associate Degree in Business, a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministry, a Master’s of Divinity specializing in Biblical Languages and a Master’s of Theology. I am presently working toward a Ph.D in Theology minoring in Philosophy of Religion at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I also had the wonderful experience of spending a short time studying at both Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

As a churchman my heart is pastoral work in the local body of Christ. I am a fourth generation Baptist preacher and teach rather long series of expository messages through entire books of the Bible. By doing this I hope to lead God’s people into a knowledge of good theology with an understanding of Christian Apologetics (1 Peter 3:15) enabling the average church member to better know scripture, glorify God in how they live and to be more effective in leading their friends and neighbors to Christ.

Regarding missions and teaching outside of the local church setting I have spoken in France, Switzerland, the Republic of the Philippines and in Asia as well as throughout the United States in evangelistic services, banquets, retreats, seminars, associational meetings, and Bible conferences. A particular privilege has been to serve as a guest lecturer at the Replicate Conference and to have been regularly invited to provide the devotion for the Institute for Christian Apologetics' Defend the Faith Conference.

Regarding denominational and para-church service, I have served as Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the New Orleans Baptist Association of churches; as an appointed teller to the Southern Baptist Convention by the SBC President; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Maritime Ministry Center; as a member of the BCM Advisory Council for Metro New Orleans; as a member of the Board of Trustees of Louisiana College; and as Past President of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Alumni Association for the State of Louisiana. I currently serve as the Moderator for the New Orleans Baptist Association of Churches. I am a member of the inaugural class of police chaplains for Jefferson Parish and I have been involved in SBC Disaster Relief work from New York after September 11th through Katrina to today.

My family gets first priority in my free time but they are also gracious enough to allow me personal time. Some pastors spend their relaxation time playing golf, I spend it as the drummer for Upperline, a traditional jazz band based in New Orleans. My "dream" would be to retire in New Orleans, get a pilot's license and to own a "Jazz" coffee house somewhere in the Quarter. I cannot be more proud of my wife and boys. They are the earthly focus of my life and they bring me great joy.

A short bio for speaking engagements:

Jay, Michelle & their 2 boys live in suburban New Orleans where he has served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Westwego since 2002. He holds a Master’s of Divinity (Biblical Languages), a Master’s of Theology & is presently working toward a Ph.D in Theology (minoring in Philosophy of Religion) at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s spent time studying at Oxford & Cambridge in the UK & his academic interests include the relationship between science & religion, the problem of evil, arguments for the existence of God, & Speech-Act Theory. His dissertation will be in the area of the philosophical question of God's relationship to time, but his heart is pastoral work in the local church. Jay is presently serving as the Moderator of the New Orleans Baptist Association of churches. In his spare time he enjoys playing drums in Upperline, a traditional jazz quartet from New Orleans. He has taught around the country as well as in France, Switzerland & the Republic of the Philippines.

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