About Central Baptist Church

Learn about our Savior, our pastor, and our church
Shawn Spencer

Shawn Spencer


Shawn Spencer, pastor of the Central Baptist Church, Athens, Texas, was raised in the mountains and farm communities of southeast West Virginia. As a ten year old boy he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior in a small country church in Frankford, West Virginia.

As a young man Pastor Spencer graduated high school and went to a technical college where he received a degree as a chemical engineer and worked in his field until 2004. At that point God began to “break up his nest” and move him into the ministry. He moved his family of five to Powell, Tennessee, where he attended The Crown College of the Bible and graduated with a Master of Ministry degree.

Pastor Spencer was called to Central Baptist Church in January of 2013 where it is his desire to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and help them grow in their relationship Him. Under Pastor Spencer’s leadership, the church enjoys several ministries such as the “Golden Age-ers” senior ministry, “Evening School of the Bible” certificate ministry, “Central Baptist Teen” teen ministry, Wednesday night’s ministry of “mentorship” and “youth programs.”

Pastor Spencer loves his church and has a heart to serve Jesus Christ in Athens, Texas. He married the former Marla Honaker of Ronceverte, West Virginia, in 1999, and they now have four wonderful children.

The Bible Way to Heaven

1. Recognize Your Condition

In order to find the way to eternal life with God, I must admit I am lost in sin. Romans 5:12 teaches us that since Adam and Eve, the first man and woman on earth, a sin nature has been present in all people. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin is any act contrary to God’s laws and commandments, and those sins that I have committed separate me from God. Whenever I have been lost, I have paid some type of penalty. I have been late to a special event and, on occasion, I have received a speeding ticket. Sin also has a penalty. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wage” or payment for our sin is spiritual death, and eternal separation from God.

2. Religion and Good Works Are Not the Answer

Religion and good works cannot bridge the gap created by our sin. Religions try to create their own ways to God. Their systems may seem logical, but they cannot bridge the gap created by our sin. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” In other words, our thoughts and ways are not what matter. God’s Word, the Bible, provides true answers of grace and forgiveness. In Ephesians 2:8–9 the Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

3. The Good News—Jesus Christ Provides the Way!

Through His death on the cross, Jesus Christ paid for our sins and delivers to us the way to eternal life in Heaven. Even though we were lost and separated from God, He loved us, and because He is love, God sent His Son to die on the Cross and raise from the dead three days later. John 3:16 explains “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, He became the payment for our sin. Now, we do not have to pay for our sin ourselves. By His grace, salvation is provided. In Romans 5:8, the Bible says, “But God commendeth [meaning proved or demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

4. Believe and Receive Christ

We must place our full trust in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness and eternal life.

In order to have a relationship with God and an eternal home in Heaven, we must stop trusting ourselves, our works, and our religions, and place our full trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sin and eternal life. In Roman 10:13 the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise directly from God that if you will pray to Him, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to forgive your sins, and turn to Him alone to be your Saviour; He promises to save you and give you the free gift of eternal life.

You can make that decision today by praying from your heart, something like this:

Dear God, I know that I am separated from you because of sin. I confess that in my sin, I cannot save myself. Right now, I turn to you alone to be my Saviour. I ask you to save me from the penalty of my sin, and I trust you to provide eternal life to me.

You’ll never regret that decision! If you have just trusted Christ, we would love to know about your decision and give you a Bible and some other materials to help you learn more about that new relationship! Give us a call at (903) 675-3028 and let us know today!