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Our Pastor

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Dr. Fred W. Batten, Jr. was born to the late Fred Batten, Sr. and Vergie Batten on March 15, 1965 in Murfreesboro TN.
 
Pastor Batten graduated from Oakland High School in 1983. During his senior year, he made a decision to answer God’s call to minister the Word. Pastor Batten, although winning “All-State” honors in basketball and receiving several scholarship offers to play collegiate basketball, refused to play the game that he loved so dear.
 
He served the Oaklands Park Seventh-day Adventist Church as local elder for 12 years. While serving his home church, Pastor Batten started a radio ministry entitled “FYI-For Your Inspiration”. This program aired for 10 years under his leadership.   He completed a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, with a minor in Finance and Economics from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1994.
 
Pastor Batten graduated from Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School in 1998 with a Master of Theological Studies degree. In the summer of 1999 the Lord blessed him to work in evangelism on the island nation of Bermuda. In recent years, he has conducted several Bible Crusades and Revelation Seminars.
 
In 2000, Fred Batten, Jr. began his pastoral ministry in the Mississippi Delta. He served for two years in the district with the Belzoni, Rolling Fork and Yazoo City churches. In January 2002 he was asked to the Canton/Yazoo City district.  While living in Yazoo City, Pastor Batten was invited to co-host a local radio program, “Community Awareness” on 92.1 FM. Most recently he served the New Heights and the South Jackson Seventh-day Adventist Churches in the city of Jackson, MS. While serving the South Jackson congregation, Pastor Batten shared the gospel via the radio with The “FYI-For Your Inspiration” broadcast. He helped his district to be actively involved in Community Services and Disaster Response (help manage FEMA warehouse after Katrina), promote Health and active Prayer Ministries. The church also partnered with Baker Elementary School to provide tutorial assistance. The South Jackson congregation operated an active Food Pantry as well as an Abstinence Education Program.

During Pastor Batten’s tenure the New Heights’ Pathfinder Club continued to excel. Additionally, the Lord led Pastor Batten and New Heights church to join forces with the Mississippi State Department of Health to provide Tobacco Education and Prevention, conduct several health fairs, and hold Abstinence Education, Marriage Enrichment and Computer Literacy classes. In addition New Heights Music Ministry reached out to the community by conducting a musical during the Easter and Christmas seasons. 

On August 2, 2015, the Doctor of Ministry degree in Urban Ministry and Church Growth was conferred upon Pastor Batten from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. His dissertation was titled: The Development and Implementation of a Community-based Evangelism Model in the Word of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He is happily married to his lovely wife, the former Denise Rhodes Terrell. They have been jubilantly married for 32 years. The Lord blessed this union with two lovely daughters: Amber, Oakwood University graduate in Nursing and Brandi, a Graduate Student at Southern Adventist University.

Doctor Batten loves reading. He also has a passion for playing basketball, tennis and helping others come to know Jesus.
 
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