First Baptist Church Naples | Naples, Florida

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Todd Stearns

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Though Todd had become a member of the church at a young age, he truly trusted Christ as His Lord and Savior at the age of 18. He admits that he had lived a lie throughout his high school years, struggling with personally surrendering to God. He was convicted by the words of contemporary Christian music artist Dave Meece who said, “There is no such thing as a part-time Christian. You either are one or you’re not. CHRISTIANITY IS A RELATIONSHIP; something you are moment to moment, day to day – not just something you do one day a week and then forget about.”

Soon after his salvation, Todd sought God’s direction for his life. He wanted to use his gifts and talents in music for God’s glory and it became clear that God called him to serve in the Gospel ministry through music. He prepared and trained for that ministry calling and received his BA in Music from the University of Mobile. He also received his MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992 and his Doctor of Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999.

While in college, he met and married Sonya Simmons who also sensed God was leading her to vocational ministry. She is zealous for Christ, deeply rooted in His Word, and serves in leadership in the music ministry. Presently she teaches at First Baptist Academy. They have 3 wonderful children: Victoria (18), Christiana (15), and William (13). Together, Todd and Sonya have served West Mobile Baptist Church in Alabama and the First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace in Florida.

His heart and passion is to lead the church in honoring Christ through authentic worship. Pastor Todd believes that worship is a ‘front door’ in our present culture and that the church must respond with excellence, creativity, and integrity. Most of all he believes with all his heart that God has called him to equip the saints for the work of ministry.

Todd’s life verse is:

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)