First Baptist Church at La Crescenta welcomed its new pastor recently.
The Rev. William Flanders will officiate his first service at First Baptist with the Sunday morning service on July 12, with some time at the church before that in preparation.
Flanders' background includes five-plus years service as a Marine helicopter pilot, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. During his service at El Toro Marine air station and Miramar Naval Air Station, he served at various churches in youth ministry.
Following his military service, Flanders earned his bachelor's degree at Pepperdine University and a master of divinity degree from Talbot Seminary. He also served during that time in youth work at local churches.
Upon completing his education, he served as a church planter and founding pastor at Inland Area Fellowship Church in Rancho Cucamonga. He then served for 11 years as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Indio.
Flanders' wife, Tammy, has degrees in music as an accomplished pianist and vocalist. She has been teaching both for many years and plans to open a studio in La Crescenta to continue teaching as well as taking part in the church's music programs.
The Flanders have grown children, two of whom are still in college, and also have four grandchildren.
The church is grateful for the interim ministry of Pastor Dave Beckwith. He has had the wholehearted support of the congregation as he led the church for the last two years.