First Baptist Church campus is humming with life. Our team invests their lives into helping people bump into Jesus through every ministry of the church.


Dr. Paul Howell, Pastor

Dr. Paul V. Howell began his ministry at FBC, Summerfield in October 2009. He was born in Smithville, Missouri, while his father was a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He moved to Florida when he was a small child, and likes to consider himself an “adopted” Florida Cracker. “Pastor Paul”, as he prefers to be called, has served as Minister of Youth in Tavares, Florida; as a pastor of two churches in North Carolina; served for several years with Trinity Baptist Church in Apopka, Fl; and as pastor of Seminole Springs Baptist Church, Eustis, Florida prior to coming to FBC Summerfield. He also taught school in the Orange County public school system, and was a high school football coach for 18 years.

He earned his Bachelors degree from Stetson University in 1984; but is a huge Florida Gator football fan (that may change now that Stetson has a football program – GO HATTERS!). He earned his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988, and earned his Doctor of Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006. His wife, Julia, is also a graduate of Stetson University (B.A., 2000).  Pastor Paul and Julia are both certified teachers and love working with children. Pastor Paul enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, reading, but most of all, he enjoys spending time with his wife Julia and their family, (especially spoiling the grandchildren).

Paul and Julia have four children – Laura, Stephanie, Michael, and Phillip. Laura and her husband Jason are teachers and live in Apopka, Florida with our grandchildren MaryAnne and Christopher. Stephanie and her husband Matt live in Whitmire, SC and is a middle school reading teacher. Michael is an Engineer with Harris Corporation, his wife Jessica works at home as a mother to our grandchildren Samuel, Elsie Kate and KoraLou; they reside in Melbourne, Florida. Phillip is entering Fire College. He and his wife Amanda (who is a stay at home mom) live in Dennison, Texas with grandchildren Jade, Aryana, Joseph and Julian.

Pastor Paul and Julia have nine grandchildren.

Rev. Bruce E. Hallman, Associate Pastor

Rev. Bruce Hallman came to us as a Director of Music and Worship Leader on June 15th, 2008. He has served the Lord for the last 41 years (38 of them in Marion County) with his music. He has used his voice as an instrument for the Lord and has performed for countless gospel concerts. While in the U. S. Navy, he had the honor of singing the National Anthem for the President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon. Bruce has also been actively involved in prison ministry at the Lowell Correctional State Institute for Women since 2003.

In January of 2010, Bruce stepped down from his position with the music department and was ordained for full time gospel ministry primarily working with seniors and homebound ministries. According to Bruce, “When God closes one door, He always opens another. We must trust God to lead us as to where He would have us to go and serve Him.”

Bruce and his wife Linda, have 3 grown children, David, Michelle, and Heather. David is a Deputy Sheriff in Seminole County, and the father of three. Michelle is an elementary school teacher in Orange County and the mother of three. Heather is also a teacher, at Harbour View Elementary School in Marion County, and she works with students who are autistic and or deaf. She is the mother of one child. We are blessed with seven wonderful grandchildren, Andrew, Jackson, Hannah, Xavier, Brandon, Natalie, and Katelyn, as well as 2 adopted cats Socks and Lucy.

Bruce’s life verse is Matthew 22: 37-39 – “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

My desire is to always give hope to those who feel hopeless by sharing the Lord with them.