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Dr. Mark Gaskins, Pastor


Mark Gaskins began serving as pastor of Murfreesboro Baptist Church on October 1, 2023. He came to MBC from Temple Baptist Church of Wilmington, NC, where he was pastor for almost seven years.

He has served in ordained ministry since 1980 as pastor or senior pastor of churches in North Carolina and Tennessee, and as University Chaplain at Wingate University in Wingate, NC.

Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, JoAnn. They are both natives of Tabor City, NC. They have adult twin sons, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter. Mark and JoAnn enjoy exploring the natural beauty and the historical sites of coastal North Carolina and Virginia. Mark also enjoys reading and playing golf (he’s a lot better at reading!).

Mark’s ministry as our pastor is grounded in the conviction that pastoral ministry must be guided by two primary concerns: the word of the Lord and the welfare of His people. Mark focuses on these concerns through his preaching and teaching, by providing pastoral care and spiritual guidance, and by leading the church to be on mission with Christ in the world.

Through the years, Mark has been involved in Baptist life beyond the local church, especially in the area of Christian higher education. He has served as an adjunct professor of religion at Campbell University and has taught in the Baptist Bible School of Belize. He earned degrees from Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC (Bachelor of Arts in Religion), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC (Master of Divinity), Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (Master of Arts in Religion), and Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Boiling Springs, NC (Doctor of Ministry).

Paula Pressnell, Organist and Choir Director

Paula, who has served MBC since November 2006, is from Sunbury, NC in neighboring Gates County. She attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC, where she graduated cum laude with a earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance.

In 1999, Paula began working at Chowan University as a part-time staff accompanist. During her time at Chowan, she played piano for all choirs, voice lessons, and instrumental students. She also went on many choir tours and stayed extremely busy at the university. In 2005 she became a full time faculty member. Paula served the Chowan community until 2018, when she retired and received faculty emeritus status in 2018.

Music has been a lifelong passion as Paula would listen to her mother teach piano at home and began playing by ear at age 3. Past career ambitions have been ventriloquism (age 8), and paleontology before dinosaurs were cool, (age 11). Thankfully for any hope of success, a piano teacher encouraged her to become a music major in college. Currently she enjoys spending time with her husband Larry, two stepchildren, seven grandchildren, reading, and teaching piano to people of all ages.

Teresa Martin, Administrative Assistant


Teresa, who is originally from Currituck County, NC, but now lives in Murfreesboro with Clay, her husband and best friend, has been with MBC since the summer of 2016. She graduated from Chowan University with an Associate’s Degree in Communications Art. Before her time with MBC, Teresa worked for over 31 years as a marketing representative for a local newspaper.

Being from a large family, Teresa enjoys any opportunity to spend time with them.  The beaches of the Carolinas and Florida are special vacation spots. When at home she likes to spend her time working her yard and flower gardens. Her time spent at MBC and serving its’ members  has been especially rewarding.

Thomas Caulkins, Pastor Emeritus

Rev. Caulkins served as the pastor of Murfreesboro Baptist Church for 25 years from 1968-1993. Following his retirement, he held several interim positions in the Hertford County area and served as pulpit supply for many churches in need of a good word. In November of 2016, MBC awarded Rev. Caulkins the honorable title of Pastor Emeritus. Tom continues to live in Murfreesboro with his wife, Ann, and they continue to embrace the work and fellowship of Murfreesboro Baptist Church.