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Trey with his wife Laura and children; Amos (4) , Thatcher (6) and Willow (7)

New FBC pastor now official

By Michael Butler

Tallassee's First Baptist Church has a new pastor. Dr. Trey Waldrop's first official day was July 1.

"We're just settling in, unpacking boxes and getting used to a new pace of life," Waldrop said. "It's been good so far."

This is Waldrop's second pastorate position. He served seven years at First Baptist in Amite, La., the hometown of Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, who also left Louisiana for Alabama. Amite is about an hour's drive from Baton Rouge, the home of LSU.

"You're surrounded by LSU fans," Waldrop said. "One of the quirks of moving to Tallassee has been trying to convince my kids purple and gold and Tigers are acceptable now. They see the Tiger painted on the stadium and are like, 'Aw, yuck!'"

Waldrop and his wife Laura have three children. Waldrop hails from Brookhaven, Miss. and chose not to be an LSU Bengal Tiger 'convert' in a sports terminology sense - from his upbringing as an Ole Miss fan.

"We despised LSU. We're Hotty Toddy - die hard."

Waldrop's former church averaged about 200 attendees on Sundays.

"The church size here is a little bit larger. My goal every week is to preach a solid message and to beat the Methodists to lunch," he quipped.

Now 36, Waldrop said he felt the call to ministry at the age of 15. He holds a Masters of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Church Revitalization from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He follows Derek Gentle at First Baptist in Tallassee. Gentle served 24 years at FBC. Along with his predecessors, Jim Jackson and David Bentley, the trio combined for more than 50 years in the pulpit.

"It's a stable place. I want to honor those men and continue moving forward. We came with the intention of planting our life here. Yes it daunting anytime you follow a well-seasoned pastor who has done as great a job as Brother Derek did. I talked to him in the search process. I'll be talking to him a lot in the coming days."