Staff

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Pastoral Staff
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Robert Lawrence

Senior Pastor

He has served at Ascension Baptist Church in Gonzales, Louisiana since 2012. He has also pastored churches in Georgia and Mississippi. He has served in the ministry for over 28 years, is a veteran of the United States Air Force, and an author. He is involved in associational work and leads Church Revitalization and Replant.

He is married to his wife, Wanda, for 45 years. They have three grown children: Brian, Sharon and Mary. They have 7 grandchildren.

In his spare time he enjoys fishing and reading.

He has a passion for the Kingdom of God and to see lost people come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, and born-again believers strengthened in their personal walk and defense of the faith.

“Today is not the time to take our faith into a place of hiding but to turn up the flame of our light and increase the flavor of our salt. As one crying in the wilderness, let us prepare the way of the Lord!”

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Marvin Reed, Jr.


Associate Pastor

He was licensed to the Gospel Ministry in 1997 and ordained in 2004. He has served on the pastoral staff of Ascension Baptist Church since August of 2002. He is an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Pensacola Junior College, University of West Florida, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and his wife, Nicole, have been married since 2004 and have three children, Abigail Grace, Elijah Jacob, and Micah Ray. He is a native Floridian, and she is a native Louisianan. Following God’s call and direction for their life, Louisiana has become home to both of them.

His vision for the Ascension Baptist family is a vision of togetherness as the Body of Christ. A passion of his and Nicole’s heart is to link the generations within the church. ONE BODY… ONE CHURCH… ONE MISSION… Come and join in all of the fun and help them see their vision become a reality.

Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His Child.


















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William "Red" Thornton

Minister of Music

Having served churches in Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia, he and his wife Jo Ann came to Ascension in July of 2013.  He has served as a Worship Pastor/Minister of Music for over 40 years and never tires of the opportunity to lead God’s church in worship and in celebration of the living and loving God.  “It is my heart’s desire to see the church grow in its passion for the Lord as we worship God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It is our Biblical mandate to be a people of worship and praise as we come together as a church family.”  This is his purpose in leading Ascension Baptist to be a worshipping church.  

He also has the privilege and pleasure to give leadership to the Sr. Adult Ministry of Ascension, The Young at Heart Ministry, and enjoys their time together each month as they meet for lunch and as they take excursions around the community and state.  

He and JoAnn have three sons Nathan, Joel, and Luke. They also have five grandchildren.

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Andrew Roberts


Community Engagement Pastor

He joined Ascension Baptist Church in the summer of 2021 as the Community Engagement Pastor. He graduated from William Carey University in 2015 and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2021. He is an avid fisher, a huge LSU fan, and loves trivia.

He and his wife, Andrea, have been married since June 2018. Andrea, a native of Pascagoula is a primary school teacher in Ascension Parish. For him, moving to Gonzales was like coming home. Having grown up in Baton Rouge, he is glad to be back in Louisiana.

He has the desire to see the Church equipped for the work of the ministry. His focus is on teaching and empowering believers to live out the Gospel in their own lives, homes, jobs, communities, and all over the globe.

Christ is with us until the world's end. Let His little flock be bold therefore.

-William Tyndale






















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Shannon Cunningham

College Pastor

He is originally from the Hill Country of Texas.  He surrendered to God’s call to ministry at the age of 16. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas and served a local rural congregation. Upon graduation, he moved to Fort Worth, TX where he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology. While there he participated in two church plants and served with the North American Mission Board to recruit and deploy church planters in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to this, he has served churches in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, and Texas. 

His passion is shepherding the local church, counseling with Scripture, proclaiming Christ to the lost, and discipling His people.  He believes that Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit is truly sufficient for everything pertaining to life and to godliness.  This drives him to proclaim the Scripture boldly, allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work. 

He and his wife Annie have been married since 2003 and have four sons together- George, Aaron, William, and Henry.

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Administration
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Gayle Jones

Pastoral Ministry Assistant