​Nashville First calls
Dr. Thomas West as the
new Senior Pastor

Article written by Charles Overby | November 20, 2023

Members of Nashville First Baptist Church voted Sunday, Nov. 19, to call Dr. Thomas West, the pastor of Queen’s Redeemer Church in London, England, to be their next senior pastor.

Dr. West, 38, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, started the church in London five years ago.

“Dr. West brings a missionary zeal to our downtown church. He is a gifted preacher and writer with an ability to engage believers and non-believers with a loving heart,” said Melita Thomas and Charles Overby, co-chairs of the pastor search committee.

“My family and I are incredibly excited about the opportunity to join Nashville First,” Dr. West said. “It is one of the true legacy churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. It is known for being a ministry innovator while holding unswervingly to biblical orthodoxy.”

“Dr. West’s experience in a city and setting like London makes him uniquely qualified to effectively engage and serve the people of Nashville,” said Joy Harris, chair of the board of trustees of Nashville First. “Our church membership’s overwhelming support to call Dr. West reflects our deep love for our city and our desire to move boldly into the future.”

West has most recently served as the Founding Pastor of Redeemer Queen’s Park in London, England. He also worked as an Equip teacher for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and provided Theological Consultancy while in London.

Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, he grew up attending First Baptist Church of Montgomery. West’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University, a Master of Divinity in Christian Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Systematic Theology also from Southeastern. West began his ministry as a College and Equipping Pastor at Providence Church in Raleigh, NC where he also served as a Discipleship Pastor.

West and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, a daughter Perry, and a son Shepherd.

Dr. West is only the sixth pastor of Nashville First in the last 100 years.

In his sermon before the call, Dr. West preached on “Looking to Jesus” and referred to Habakkuk 3:2 and Hebrews 12:1-2.

He said there are four places to look when you are looking for direction in life:

  • Look back to the mighty works of God.
  • Look back at the witnesses for God.
  • Look up to Jesus.
  • Look ahead to joy.

Dr. West praised the past great leaders and works of Nashville First and he called on God to “do it again” in the same spirit that Habakkuk prayed.

“Habakkuk could look back and remember the Exodus, he could remember the crossing of the Jordan. He could remember those times and places where God miraculously provided for his people. And that was a source of comfort for him.”

Habakkuk 3:2: “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day. In our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”

Dr. West said: “What a word for Nashville First Baptist Church. What a word for a 202-year-old congregation. What a word for people who existed before the state of Tennessee existed.”

He called on members to have a do-it-again faith like Habakkuk.

“Think about all the souls the Lord has saved through this church. Think about all the people who have been baptized at this church. Think about all the people who have been married at this church. Think of all the comfort that has been given through the funerals of this church. Think about all the people who have been sent to other parts of the state, other parts of the nation and other parts of the world to be God’s light from this church. Can you see it?”

Dr. West said the Christian God is not a dead idol. “He is alive. He is well. He is full of energy and vitality. And he is not finished.”

He said Habakkuk’s knowledge of God became fuel in the tank that allowed him to pray for God to do it again.

“I have asked what would it look like, Lord, for you to take the past mighty acts of faithfulness that you have conducted in your word. In the 202-year rich history of this church, God, what would it look like if you took Exodus-power and unleashed it downtown Nashville?”

He called on members to imagine with him a re-energized church “where we have more water in the baptistry than we have funerals in a year.”

Dr. West urged members to look up to Jesus in all things.

“I’m a Jesus man,” he said. “If you will have me, what I can guarantee to you today is that I won’t stop showing you Jesus in all of scripture. The gospel is not the ABCs of faith. The gospel is the A through Z of Christian faith. Some people think the gospel is just this little thing that we are going to dabble around in and then we are going to move on to graduate level Christianity. The gospel is the whole pool of Christianity.”

Dr. West said, “Hebrews tells us there is no neutral in the gearbox of Christianity. You are either going forward towards salvation or you are drifting back in deceit.. There is no treading water. You are either gaining ground or you are drifting back.”

In his closing prayer, Dr. West said, “We pray for great faith to be inspired in this congregation. Father, overwhelm us with the sense of what you have done before and help us to look to you with expectant do-it-again faith. In our day and in our time, God, give this church stories to tell our children and grandchildren.”

Following the sermon, a special business meeting was convened to vote on a motion from the pastor search committee to call Dr. West to be senior pastor of Nashville First.

After members voted by secret ballot, the deacons counted the votes. Trustee chair Joy Harris announced that members had overwhelmingly affirmed that Dr. West become the next senior pastor of Nashville First. The vote was 404-3 (99.3%).

Dr. West will begin his transition as senior pastor on Jan. 1, 2024. He will preach two Sundays in January, two Sundays in February and begin full-time duties Easter Sunday in March.