R. Marshall Blalock has served as Pastor of First Baptist Church since July of 1997. A native of Charleston, Marshall grew up attending First Baptist School from second grade through high school graduation, becoming a member of the church as a teenager. A graduate of Furman University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Marshall was ordained at First Baptist in August of 1981. He previously served as pastor of St. Helena Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC, and Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church in the Charleston area.


Marshall is married to Cathy and they have three adult children, all married, and the children grew up as part of the First Baptist Church family. Cathy is a partner in ministry, serving in the Women’s Ministry, teaching a Bible study for young adult women. 


Marshall’s tenure as pastor has been marked by an abiding commitment to the original mission of the church, missions and education. First Baptist Church annually gives generously to international missions, ranking in the top one percent of all Southern Baptist churches. First Baptist takes teams at least twice a year to partner with First Baptist’s many missionary families serving in various parts of the world. First Baptist is involved in local mission projects, two church plants in the city, and has opportunities to reach families through the ministry of First Baptist School of Charleston. 


One major focus going on at present is the Regeneration campaign to renew the church campus to provide opportunities to reach generations to come. First Baptist Church has made several key decisions regarding properties and buildings during the pastor’s tenure. Among those was the 2008 purchase of 60 acres to build new school facilities on James Island. The beautiful and spacious new facilities to serve high school students will be ready for Fall 2018. The renewal of the downtown campus is beginning in earnest in the fall of 2018 with completion by 2020.


Since June of 2015 when the shooting took place at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the pastor has been working to bring racial reconciliation to the city and beyond. He has spoken at Mission Mississippi, the Southern Baptist Convention, and in universities across South Carolina. In 2018 he is serving as president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the theme for the year is “Building Bridges.”

“In my life I have been afforded many blessings by the grace of God, and among the choicest of those blessings is being a part of First Baptist Church of Charleston. I rejoice in getting to love and serve our people, to preach the eternal truth of God’s word, to be part of a church on mission for Christ, and to rejoice in worship of the One True God together. Our staff and our volunteer leaders are all outstanding, and together we seek to honor Christ and make disciples as we serve our city.”  — Marshall


R. Marshall Blalock

Walker Maginnis

Associate Pastor

Student Minister

George Bednar


Sarah Wallace

My name is Sara Wallace and I am the Children's Minister at First Baptist Church. I am married to my husband, Justin, and we have two children, Brooks who is 10 years old and Carly who is 9. I was born in Arlington, Texasand lived there until I was 11 when our family moved to Boulder, Colorado. I returned to the Lone Star State for college where I attended Abilene Christian University. I graduated with a journalism degree and began my career as a producer in the television news business. That is how I met my husband as we both worked at the same station in Midland, Texas. It also led us to move here to Charleston, SC in 2004. We both eventually transitioned our careers outside of television. In 2015 God made a big change in our lives and led us to move to Guatemala the following year. We worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, but our main goal was mentoring and teaching a group of middle school students. Just as God called us to Guatemala he brought us back to Charleston during the summer of 2018, however, we continue to support our students. In my free time I am typically in transit to and from soccer and basketball practices and dance classes. Our family enjoys going for a run, riding bikes around the neighborhood or having friendly competitions in the backyard.

Children's Minister