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Springfield Baptist Church Leadership

Our council of Elders:

James Tyler


Lee Smith


Matt Perry


Cecil Smith

Elder (no relation to Lee)

Rick Perry


Leadership: List

James Tyler

Teaching Pastor

Our teaching pastor is James Tyler. He is 43 years old, and has been engaged in ministry for 23 years. James was called to pastor vocationally in 2007, ordained to full time ministry in 2010, and served as pastor in his first church for 11 years before departing to pursue church planting in July of 2021. He and his wife, Lisa, have three teenage children. 

James is passionate about sharing the Gospel, and is committed to making disciples as long as God keeps him alive. James loves his family, enjoys working in the secular marketplace for his income, playing music, and leading the church alongside his fellow elders. 

Leadership: Leadership

James' Story

I grew up in church from the time I was 12. I heard what I call the “self-esteem” Gospel early on in a (insert popular western denomination here) church my parents attended and brought me to. I heard that “God loves everyone, and wants us on His team because we are so wonderful.” I didn’t think that made much sense, since even as a lost boy, I knew I wasn’t wonderful. I was a liar, a cheat, and a petty thief.

We moved on to a Baptist church down the road when the minister at the (insert popular western denomination) church started encouraging folks to meditate on rocks. (No kidding.) I wanted to go to the Baptist church because I’d heard the music was better. This was where I first heard the seeker-friendly gospel. “You’re a sinner, but God loves you anyway. God has done everything He can to save you from your sin, now you just have to open the door and let him into your heart.” So I did the best I could to open the door and “let Jesus in”, and got baptized.

In the following year, I opened the door to my heart more times than I can remember, and my life never changed. I walked the aisle, prayed the “sinners prayer”, rededicated my life, and couldn’t quite figure out why it seemed like I was the same person I’d always been. I loved my sin way more than I loved Jesus. I still swore, lied, and acted like a fool, and in many respects was WORSE than before.

It wasn’t until I was 17, reading my Bible, and came upon John 3:1-3 that my life actually started to be changed.

1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

It was here that I began to learn the explicit Gospel. I didn’t think much of the love of God before then. I certainly wasn’t purifying myself as He is pure. I wanted people to think well of me, but I didn’t want to part with my sin.

I wasn’t just a sinner. I was hopelessly lost. I was no friend of God’s. I was an enemy. I was playing a game called Christianity. I didn’t need to open the door of my heart. I needed a NEW heart.

Ez 11:19 - “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh...

The Biblical Gospel began to click together. There wasn’t anything I could do to be saved. There was something God had done to save me. I asked Him for mercy. I confessed my sin, and I began to see that the solution to my sin problem was not more effort on my part, but faith in Jesus Christ. My heart was broken, and God moved in a powerful way in my broken heart.

Ps 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

The Bible has changed me by showing me the desperate need I have for a Savior. Now it is my heart’s desire to show other people the way to that Savior.

Leadership: About

What I know pastorally:

  • I have learned that people do not need seven steps to a better life or twelve steps to a brighter future. People need to meet Jesus Christ by faith. My job is not primarily to improve anyone’s circumstances. My job (and my privilege) is to show people the way to the foot of the Cross and the Throne of Grace.

  • I have learned that people, by and large, need to be loved. Love takes on many expressions. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is confront someone in their sin. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did with us? Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is be quiet and listen. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is pray. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is weep alongside someone who is brokenhearted, or laugh alongside someone who is overjoyed. 

  • I have learned that I can do nothing unless the Lord blesses me with wisdom, energy, and success. So I have learned to pray. A pastor who does not pray as if his life depends on it is headed for disaster. I want people to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and so I must pray that the Holy Spirit would work mightily through, and in some ways, in spite of me.

Leadership: Text
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