Staff
Pastor

David Gray

Send Email

What does your job involve?

I have the greatest job in the world!  I have been called to help, serve, care for the entire Sterling family. In times of challenge, opportunity, crisis, sickness... I have the privilege of walking with folks in their everyday concerns and crisis.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Carmi, IL.  My father was a Baptist minister and we moved several times during my ‘growing-up’ years.  All of those years however, were confined to central and southern Illinois.  We always called  Mt. Vernon, IL as our home base since my grandparents lived in that area all during my growing up years.

How large is the family you grew up in?

Our family consisted of three girls (two older/one younger) and me...the only son. 

Where and How did you come to know Christ?

During the closing service of a revival in my father’s church, as a nine year old boy, I realized I was lost and needed a Savior...  I made my profession of faith in Christ that day and was baptized a few days later.  I had come under conviction about two weeks earlier in a ‘tent’ revival, where my father was preaching.  My family was very excited and had been praying for me for several weeks.

What was the first job you ever had?

My first “paying” job was while in high school as a carry-out boy in a local grocery store.  I was introduced to work and gaining respect for others as well as how to serve and meet the needs of customers.

Where did you go to college?

I was a wandering  student... overall, I attended about 7 different colleges due to family and re-location challenges.  I finally settled down and graduated from Dallas Baptist College in Dallas, TX.  I then continued on to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (and graduated), in Ft. Worth, TX.  During some of my college experiences, I was privileged to pastor some greatest, loving and caring church families I have ever known.

 Who did you marry – kids?

My wife, Rosemary, and I have been married for over 20 years and have four children, three sons and one daughter; fifteen grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  A beautiful and loving family.  All of our children are involved in some phase of ministry  and the ‘grands’ are moving in that direction as they grow.

How did you get into the ministry?

I began my educational pursuits in the field of medicine, and had all my educational expenses covered by a Dr. Friend of our family.  Having grown up in the parsonage really thought I knew what I wanted.  Asked to ‘fill-in’, speak for my father’s minister friend, I agreed to help out.  (Told God I would become pastor if someone saved in the service... 10 year old girl was saved that morning !   How did this happen?   Shortly after that, I surrendered to the call of God on my life for ministry.

Have you ever done any long/short term missionary work?

Yes, as a matter of fact I have been privileged to do two such short term projects.  The first was an evangelism project in Alaska, 30 day project located in King Salmon & Anchorage  (two churches & 2 military installations).

The other project was a 30 day Church Planting project in Mindanao, Philippines.  Our team was permitted to establish almost 300 preaching points and possible church plants.  Very exciting!   

What other churches have you been privileged to serve?

I have been privileged to serve a total of 10 churches as Sr. Pastor and several others as interim pastor.  Of those ten were: 2 in Missouri;  2 in Kentucky  and 6 in my home state of Illinois.     

What has been a turning point in your life/ministry?

I have found real joy in serving in other areas of ministry other than ‘pastoral’ ministry.  I have served 2 Baptist Universities in fund raising ministry;  fund raising for 2 Baptist children’s homes;  Administrator of two social service agencies as well as consultant for church growth and financial development.  This opportunity served me to keep me in touch with the world “outside” the church.  Returned to the pastorate a better educated and more committed servant.

What do you like best about your job/ministry?

I truly enjoy seeing how Jesus can touch and transform lives, inside and outside the church.   I enjoy people and desire to see them fall more deeply in love with Jesus.  I love to walk with folks during times of crisis and  again, renewing their relationship with Christ and telling others of what Christ has done for them.

What has been your most memorable moment in ministry?

Several come to mind... perhaps three are at the top of my list:

  • Serving a church in a growing community and privileged to baptize 80+ persons a year for 5 years

  • Serving a church that had multiple and effective outreach ministries reaching about 100 people weekly

  • Serving a church family that had been told to give their church away... they said no, and have begun to grow into an exciting and faithful church where I serve today- “Exciting Sterling”!!!

  • Do you have favorite Bible verses or passages?

    Yes, Jeremiah 29:11-13; Philippians 4:4-9;  Psalms 92:12 and many more!

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I enjoy playing golf with friends... working in my yard... fellowshipping with other pastors and friends... spending time with my lovely, talented and gifted artist wife

    If you were not a Sr. Pastor,  what would you be doing?

    Teaching, preaching somewhere, traveling outside USA to do evangelistic work, short term missions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pastor of Hispanic Ministries

Cal Ulloa

Send Email

What does your job involve?
My primary responsibility is to nurture and train to those who take part of the Hispanic congregation here at Sterling Baptist Church, through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

 

Where were you born and reared?
I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

 

How large is the family you grew up in?
Besides my parents, I have 7 siblings, 4 brothers and 3 sisters. I’m the youngest.

 

When and how did you come to know Christ?
When I was in my junior year of High School, my class planned a field trip to a river. During that trip one of my classmates drowned, in spite of all efforts to help him. That experience shook my entire world and made me realize that young people can also die, and that I could well had been the one who died on that day. I also realized that I was not prepared for passing into eternity. Few days later, on March 27, 1977, I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior when a friend of mine shared to me the Four Spiritual Laws.

 

What was the first job you ever had?
My father was a mason, so the first job I ever had was working for my dad.

 

Where did you go to college?
I went to Seminario Teológico de Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where I received B.A. in theology. From there I went to Seminario Teológico Centroamericano in Guatemala, where I received a Masters of Arts in Theology in 1988. I also earned a DMin (Doctor of Ministry) from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2006.

 

When and whom did you marry?
I married Lily Soto on November 30, 1985. We met at Emmanuel Church when we were teenagers. She was the preacher’s daughter. We married after she received her degree in teaching. We had been married for less than two months when we loaded up everything we owned and moved to Guatemala city to attend seminary.

 

How many children do you have?
Three, one son and two daughters.

 

How did you get into ministry?
I grew up in a Catholic family and ever since I was little boy I felt attracted to God. When I was 20 years old I attended a youth camp and heard a missionary talking about the Christian Race. I was so impacted by his teaching that I wanted to meet personally that preacher. That man was Dr. George Hilgeman, president of a Bible college. One year later I was enrolled in that College.

 

Have you ever done any long- or short-term mission trips?

I’ve been involved in missions since I was in seminary. While I was a student in Bible College I had a trio, and every year we went on tour singing and preaching to the most remotes places in Bolivia. Later on, my wife and I moved to Guatemala, Central America where we lived and worked with Guatemalans for 5 years. In 2003 we moved to Illinois, USA, where we have been working with the Hispanic population for 12 years.

 

What other churches have you been privileged to serve?
My very first church was Iglesia Emanuel (Immanuel Church) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where I was ordained to ministry at age 24. I was the youth pastor for 5 years. The second church I served was Iglesia Nazaret in Guatemala. In 1990 we moved back to Iglesia Emanuel in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where I pastored for almost 14 years. From there, I went to Iglesia Bautista Agape of Collinsville, Illinois, where I served for almost 10 years before coming to Sterling.

 

What brought you to “Exciting” Sterling?

The Lord just put things together. In 2012 after I had been looking for a church that was really interested in having a Hispanic ministry, I decided to attend Sterling for a Sunday morning service. At the end of the service, Carole Russell, a longtime friend from MEBA, introduced me to Pastor Dave. He invited me to have lunch together. After that meeting I knew God had brought me to the right place.

 

What has been the turning point in your life?

The first time I came to Illinois in 2001. I was in the United States for a Pastor’s Conference and decided to visit one of my former members of Iglesia Emanuel in Bolivia, who happened to live in Greenville, Illinois. He took me to the church they were attending where I met a group of Hispanic people. After few days of preaching and fellowshipping, they asked me if I would consider coming to Illinois to be their pastor. I shared this idea with my family and we started to pray. The Lord paved the way and we moved to USA in 2003.

 

What do you like most about your job/ministry?

That I have the opportunity to touch lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and see people growing up in their faith. Besides that some of the greatest people I’ve ever met are in Sterling.

 

What is your most memorable moment in ministry?

There have been many memorable moments, but I believe the most memorable of all have to do with my family. The most special moments were seeing each one of my kids receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and baptizing them.

 

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?
1 Timothy 1:12: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”

 

What do you like to do with your free time?
I love music, so when I have some free time I enjoy listening music, and playing my guitar or keyboard.

 

If you were not a Minister, what would you be doing?

Being an attorney is like a tradition in my family. There are nine of them among my relatives. So, if I were not in the ministry, probably I would have ended up being an attorney myself.


Director of Childhood Ministries

Terenda Wyant

Send Email

 

Terenda has been called to serve in the area of Childhood and Family Ministry. It is imperative that we reach the families in our communities by building relationships that change lives. The children are our future and laying a strong biblical foundation in the early years is a mandate from God, I Corinthians 3:10-11. Childhood ministry is more than just Sunday morning, it is about building God’s Kingdom by investing in the lives of children, their parents and those who lead and teach the children.  My passion is to see each member of the family come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord and to grow in their understanding of living a life for Christ.  This is accomplished through age graded children’s programs that are biblical based and child centered.  Every time the child is at church it should be a time of learning, fun and building relationships.  Relationship building is essential to building a Bible teaching partnership with the parents.

She has served as a Childhood Minister at Swansea Church for 10 years and New Christian Fellowship, Consultant for both VBS and Sunday School with IBSA and ABSA, Assistant Preschool Ministry Director at 1st Baptist Maryville, and is currently the Director of Childhood Ministries at Sterling Baptist Church. She also serves as the Ministry Assistant for Grace and Hope Ministries. Terenda is a graduate of Liberty University, a certified Precept Leader and a Registered Nurse.

Terenda is married to Lt. Col. (retired) Dale A. Wyant and they have one daughter Dr. Erin Wyant.


Youth Minister

Josh Laurion

Send Email

Josh Laurion

Josh leads our youth ministry, Sterling Students, with his wife, Erin. They equip students to experience

a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s essential for our students to build a valuable and energetic

relationship with Christ. Our youth ministry engages students and their families, teaches the wisdom of God’s

instructions, and guides youth to truth—preparing them to proclaim Christ and His Kingdom through salvation

and persistent discipleship. We structure our youth activities to build from the foundation of our childhood

ministries, creating a seamless transition for continued growth and knowledge of Christ.

Josh and Erin are passionate about Jesus, relationships, and ice cream. Let them treat you for ice cream and

begin a new relationship centered on Christ.

Discover more at sterlingstudents.com


Praise & Worship Leader

Rick Waller

Send Email

Adult Education Director

Ray Purnell

Send Email

Ministry Assistant

Marilyn Seavers

Send Email  •  (618)397-4365

Deacon

Wilbur Clark

Wilbur Clark serves Sterling Baptist Church as Deacon Chairman, as Adult LifeGroup Coordinator, and teach Bible Study.  Wilbur asked Jesus to be his savior in 1971.  

He grew up in east central Illinois and graduated from Homer High school.   He earned a BA in Math and Physics from SIU-C and obtained an AF communion upon graduation.  He also attended University of Texas, earned a Master’s in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, and an MBS from Webster University.    

He served the Air Force for 22 years with assignments in Texas, Missouri, Washington, Nebraska, Illinois, Southeast Asia, and Germany   Various job areas included weatgher forecaster, staff meteorologist, unit command, instructor, planner, current operations duty officer, and computer center operations officer.   Later he worked 20-years as a civil servant performing jobs as a staff meteorologist, manpower and organization advisor, and I information technology manager.

Wilbur and his wife, Carol, reside in O’Fallon IL.  They have four children,   seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 

 


Deacon

Dale Wyant

Dale became a Deacon at Sterling Baptist Church in 2014.  Some of his activites include a Sunday School Teacher, Bible Study leader, and childhood minstry.


Deacon

Luis Hernandez

Luis became an active deacon at Sterling Baptist Church in 2014.  He works closely with Pastor Cal in the Hispanic ministry.