Meet the First Baptist Church Staff
Dr. Jeremy Muniz - Sr. Pastor
Pastor Jeremy Muniz has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, DeSoto since May of 2000. He loves preaching and teaching God's word and has a heart for hurting souls. Pastor Jeremy has an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies from Midcontinent University in Mayfield, KY; a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX; and a Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Our pastor loves to spend time with his wife Jenny and their two children Averi Grace and Zachary Paul. Jeremy enjoys playing soccer, running, reading, and traveling.
Jason Arens - Executive Pastor
Jason grew up in Blue Springs, Missouri. The Lord used some Christian friends and a small rural church to help him understand the gospel message. He became a believer in Jesus Christ his senior year in high school. Soon after his conversion, he sensed God calling him into the gospel ministry. After attending Saint Louis University for a year, he transferred to Hannibal-LaGrange College where he met his wife, Amy. In 2001, Jason received his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has pastored churches in both Missouri and Kentucky. In September 2009, Jason began serving as the Executive Pastor of FBC DeSoto. He is passionate about discipleship and faithful teaching, especially concerning the importance of the local church in living the Christian life. He desires to equip church members to do the work of ministry. Jason and Amy have three sons, Jonathan, Logan, and Asher. Jason loves reading, fishing, and wrestling with his boys (that’s why his back always hurts!).
Gene Smith - Associate Pastor
Gene grew up in Jefferson County. He has a BA from Missouri Baptist College, and a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gene has been the student pastor at FBCD since August 2004. Gene loves ping-pong and playing basketball. He is married to Kristi and has four beautiful children: Emily, Josh, Isaac, and Haley.
James R. Raspberry, Jr. - Director of Music Ministry
James grew up in Hillsboro and graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1981. He holds a Bachelors of Music Education, vocal and instrumental, from Southeast Missouri State University and has done graduate work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. James retired as the Director of Choral Music at Northwest High School in Cedar Hill after teaching there for 25 years. He is married to his lovely wife Cindy, and has two daughters - Christy Richman (Raspberry) and Caitlyn Raspberry, and one grandson – Easton Richman. In January of 2011, James accepted the call as the Director of Music Ministry at FBC DeSoto.
Mary Jo Linhorst - Minister to Children
Mary Jo was born in Farmington, MO and brought home from the hospital to a small farm right outside of DeSoto. She is the youngest of the Hemme family's five daughters. At a very young age, Mary Jo gave her life to Jesus and trusted Him as her personal Savior and friend. This was the result of a godly mother and her active role in Child Evangelism Fellowship. After graduating from William Jennings Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, Mary Jo moved back to DeSoto and married Mike Linhorst. They have two daughters, Joanna (Jason) Fischer, and Carolyn (Brent) Marcum and one son Jonathan (Nicole) Linhorst. Feeling the call of God on her life, Mary Jo began a Christian Education degree at Midwestern Seminary when Jon was four years old. Mary Jo has been on staff at FBCD since 1991. Her hobbies are her five grandsons & one granddaughter, oil painting, and photography.
Jacque Charlton - Financial Secretary
Jacque has been Financial Secretary since January 2004. She graduated from Arcadia Valley High School in Ironton in 1971, marrying and moving to DeSoto not long afterward. Her husband, Mike, owned a trucking business here for 25 years, and Jacque took care of the office while raising children. She came to know Jesus as Savior through the ministry of First Baptist Church in 1980. Jacque and her husband have three children (Kris, Lisa, and Ryan), and six precious grandchildren. Her greatest joys in life are teaching a women’s Bible study class, spending time with her children and grandchildren, reading, and creating Excel spreadsheets.
Lee Ann Null - Ministry Assistant
Lee Ann Null has been Ministry Assistant at First Baptist since June of 1999. She enjoys working with our wonderful church staff and watching the church grow spiritually. Her family moved to De Soto when she was 6 years old and she graduated from De Soto High School. She has made a life long investment not only in First Baptist De Soto, but also in this community.
Her husband Alan Null works for the City of De Soto Public Works Dept. and sings bass with Jericho, a Southern Gospel quartet. Together they raised 4 children and now have 5 beautiful grandchildren.
Angie Trigg - Ministry Assistant
Angie Trigg has been a ministry assistant at FBC De Soto since August 2007. She graduated from Rosati Kain High School, worked as a receptionist, then was blessed to stay home with her children for 10 years before coming to work at FBCD. She married her husband Joe in November of 1991, they have 2 sons, Austin and Evan. She enjoys working and worshiping with the wonderful FBC family, spending time with her family, reading, watching the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball and teasing Lee Ann about always being old… I mean cold.
John Hardin - Maintenance and IT Supervisor
John grew up in the DeSoto area and graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1988. He has an Associates Degree in Theology, and an Associates degree in Architectural Drafting and Design and before coming to work for First Baptist Church, he served as Assistant Pastor at Victory Baptist Church in St. Louis. He was also a Journeyman carpenter in St. Louis for 10 years prior to owning Floor Crafters floor covering sales and installation company for 10 years. John has been the Maintenance Supervisor at First Baptist Church for 3 years, and the IT Supervisor (computer geek) for 2 years. His hobbies include; playing guitar, physics, theology, fishing, setting up tables, and making up outrageous stories to tell his children at the dinner table. John and his wife Tammy have 7 children; Steven, Tess, Johnny, Molly, Anna, Rebekah, and Daniel.
Cheri Fitzsimmons - Maintenance Assistant
Cheri is a life-long resident of DeSoto and graduated from DeSoto High School in 1980. She has been blessed with three daughters and two granddaughters. Cheri has worked at FBCD for two years and she and her husband Jeff and daughter Emily have been members of the church for over 10 years. Cheri loves the outdoors and enjoys riding horses and helping the girls at the God's Green Acre Horse Ranch.