meet our pastors

Rick Gutierrez

Rick was born in Weehawken, NJ, but grew up in Angier, NC. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, he pursued a career in pharmaceutical and medical sales. In 2003, Rick accepted the call to full-time, vocational ministry and enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) where he earned his Masters in Divinity. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Leadership.

Pastor Rick sees his life's calling as being a good friend to others.. the kind of friend that helps others know God's love and to live daily in the light of God's truth.

Pastor Rick has served as  college & singles pastor at Apex Baptist Church (Apex, NC), and pastor of biblical living at Explore Church (Fuquay-Varina, NC). In April 2013, Rick and his family moved to Angier, NC to start Anthem Church. Rick coaches soccer every fall and currently serves as the president of Angier's Chamber of Commerce.

Rick is married to Jamie, and is father to Edie, Ellie, Emmett, and Eve.

For more about Anthem Church visit or email at

Chris Turner

Pastor Chris has served Neill’s Creek Baptist since February 2011.  Under his leadership the church has grown and experienced new passion in the areas of worship, disciple-making, and ministering to the needs of our community.  Pastor Chris is a faithful and dynamic preacher of God’s word, who is committed to connecting the enduring truth of the Bible to the real issues of life.  Pastor Chris loves people and believes in helping each person connected to our family of faith flourish in their walk with Jesus.  

He graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Religion in 2006, then went on to earn a Master of Divinity in 2010, and a Doctorate of Ministry in 2017, both from Campbell University Divinity School.  

He has been married to his wife Melissa since June of 2010 and they live in Angier with their black labs Lacy, Luna, and Deuce.  In addition, Chris enjoys hunting, fishing, and boating.

Thomas Allen

Thomas began as the Senior Pastor  at Angier Baptist in June of 2019. A graduate of Campbell University Divinity School, he is committed to teaching the Word of God and sharing God’s love with everyone.

Thomas believes that the gift of conversation is one of the greatest gifts God has given us and he welcomes each opportunity to share with the people around him.

Thomas and his wife, Ashley, have 3 children. He spends most of his free time with his family but you also might find him cheering on his undergraduate alma mater, Wake Forest University, as well as watching sports of all kinds.

Mark Howard

Pastor at Kennebec Baptist Church.

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