Clear Springs Baptist Church, Tazewell Pike in Gibbs, has a new worship pastor. Pastor Rob Maddox started in March.
“Clear Springs has had a great music program for a long time,” he said. “I want to serve the Lord in this community through this church.”
Senior Pastor Justin Pratt said he feels connected to Pastor Rob as well as Pastor Paul Baird, the church’s youth director. “Even better than his singing is the love he has for people,” Pratt said, noting that Clear Springs now has three pastors virtually the same age yet from different parts of the country. Pratt is 39 and grew up in Knoxville, Baird is 38 and from Charlotte, N.C., and Maddox, 37, hails from Texas.
In a phone interview, Maddox talked about his early life and college. His family moved around the country, finally landing in Dallas where Rob graduated from Temple Christian Academy in 2001. It was in Dallas that Rob met Micah, his high school sweetheart.
Maddox graduated from Pensacola Christian College in 2005 with a bachelor’s in music ministry. He went on to receive a master’s in Christian studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as the worship and youth pastor for eight years at Rosedale Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and as the worship pastor at Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the past five years. He was ordained as a minister in 2011.
Rob and Micah were married in 2005 and have four children: Hannah, Madalyn, Jaxon and Ray.
How did Maddox even hear about Clear Springs? Turns out he attended college with Paul Baird. When Baird saw a Facebook clip of Rob and Micah singing, he phoned his old friend to tell him of the open position here.
“We must have talked for two hours,” Rob recalls. “I told him, ‘I’m good where I’m at, but I’ll pray about it.’ This time was different. I could sense God was doing something here. The minute I talked with Justin, I felt a real connection.
“I worried about leaving my fire guys.” Rob served as chaplain for his local fire department. “Then Justin said, ‘I’m chaplain for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.’
“There was affirmation after affirmation.
“I talked to my kids, the oldest one first. It was nothing short of unbelievable. They were willing to leave their school and friends to move here.
“And then I met the congregation; saw the spirit of the church and the joy of the people. I am so grateful to be here.”
The Maddox family found a house, just minutes from the church, a new home still under construction. Everybody is settling in. And Rob’s amped up, ready to go in his new job. Once the coronavirus scare passes, we can expect to see and hear preaching, singing and fellowship at Clear Springs Baptist. As member and media rep Bobbie Wyatt likes to say, “We’re a small church, just with a lot of members.”
Shut-ins (which are becoming more and more of us) can catch the Sunday service online here.