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Pastoral Staff

Dr. Larry Finger

Lead Pastor

A person couldn't be more privileged than I am to serve Christ in a town like Lavonia and a congregation like FBC. My wife , Lydia, and I have together enjoyed the richness of pastoring two wonderful congregations. Lydia and I spent eleven years with the Cassville Baptist Church congregation and have been here since 1996. We have three great kids: Kelly, Sara and Davis; two more wonderful children through marriage: daughter-in-law, Ashleigh and son-in-law, Adam. And best of all they've given us five of the most beautiful grandchildren ever: Savannah, Cohen, Addison, Kate and Bryce.

I serve alongside a terrific staff and some of the most remarkable voulunteers God ever made! We practice a team approach that focuses attention on God using everyone. Four pastors sharing the Sunday morning preaching responsibilities in two simultaneous services is a bit unusual, but we enjoy the variety and team strength. It is a blessing to serve alongside such a gifted and devoted staff.


B.A. Toccoa Falls College (1979)

M.Div. (1985) D.Min. (1995) New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


Music, DIY projects, Walking /Hiking and NASCAR

Rev. Chris Chitwood

Associate Pastor

Hi, I'm Chris, and I am excited to be a part of the movement of God here at FBC. I work alongside Dr. Larry to help with strategic leadership, preaching, worship planning, and family ministries. I am so blessed to be married to my high school sweetheart Leslie, and we have two great kids, Jonah and Kailey.


Leslie and I are Lavonia natives and are so thankful God called us back here in 2003 to serve at FBC. Before moving back, I was in the Air Force Reserve flying C-17s around the globe. When not in the air, I was also serving full time on a church staff in Summerville, S.C.


B.S. Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

M.A. Human Resources Development from Webster University

Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Doug Garvin

Youth and Worship Arts Pastor

Doug joined our staff in 2016 and provides leadership to our growing student ministry as well as direction and technical support to our worship ministries. Doug is married to Shelly, and they have three children, Ryan, Ashleigh, and Chandler. Doug has a M.A. in Theology from Liberty University.

Rev. Dick Patton

Ministry Care Director

Hi, I'm Dick , and I serve in a part-time role on the staff of FBC as the Ministry Care Pastor. I also serve as part of the preaching and teaching team for the church.

After many years as a pastor I retired and Kathryn, and I moved to the Lavonia Hartwell area. Our first question was where do we worship our Lord? We found a loving caring home at Lavonia First Baptist. We are blessed to worship and serve with a great church family under the loving leadership of Dr. Larry and Chris. Kathryn and I have been married for 44 years. We have two wonderful daughters and sons-in-law, Alicia and Stephen Richwine, and Kristin and Ben Marion. We have received a triple blessing our three grandchildren, Emma, Anna Kate, and Ben

EDUCATION: I graduated from High School in Savannah, Georgia 1960. In 1970 I earned a BA from Stetson University followed by a MDIV from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have several EARNED units from the school Of Hard Knocks.

INTERESTS: Anything the grandchildren are doing, travel, outdoor things, hunting, fishing, family and serving our Lord as he allows.

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