Pastors & Staff

Mike Popovich

Senior Pastor

Mike is the senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Pocatello since 2011. He is married to Cindy, who works as a para professional at Alameda Middle school in the area of special education. Mike and Cindy have been married for 40 years.
Mike served as the Senior Pastor of Olive Drive Church in Bakersfield for twelve years. He also served as the Associate Pastor and Minister with Single Adults and Men at First Baptist Church of Visalia now called Gateway Church.
During his fourteen years from 1985 to 1999, Mike developed a well-rounded ministry to single adults and their families. He led a divorce recovery workshop twice a year that provided a healing context for the divorced single adult and also their teenage and elementary age children. He also led the men's ministry focusing on developing small groups where men met weekly for the purpose of encouragement and accountability.

Mike received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997 while at First Baptist of Visalia. Mike has also contributed a chapter in a release from Baker Book House, entitled Counseling Single Adults.

“God called me into full-time service while I was working for the U.S. Forest Service. In college I was involved in vital campus ministry through witnessing and discipling. The local church is God's ordained vehicle of mission here on this earth. The primary purpose of the church is to fulfill the Great Commission and effectively reach its community for Jesus Christ. Each local Body of Christ is filled with people who need to walk in close personal relationship with Him and each other and serve where He has given them gifts, talents and ability.”

“I love the local church. As a pastor I want to raise up disciples, teach and preach to motivate, and equip people for life transformation and service to God.”

Mike and Cindy’s oldest son Steven is married to Mandee and are living in Visalia, CA. They have two children Brynlee and Blaire. Steven is an eleven year veteran with the California Highway Patrol. Their son David is married to Hannah and they are living in Kennewick, Washington. They have one son named Sawyer. David is the pastor of College View Baptist Church. Their Daughter, Rachel, is working on her Masters in Teaching and a high school business teacher in Caldwell, Idaho.

Karl Pettit

Worship & Creative Arts Pastor

Karl has been serving in the worship ministry since the late 1980s in various capacities. From leading children's choirs and adult choirs, to leading in worship for churches, camps, conferences and events. He attended Idaho State University for 2+ years as a music performance major before being lured away into retail management full time.

While working full-time in the retail industry in Idaho, Texas, and Southern California, Karl continued to lead worship in local churches as a part-time Worship leader. In November of 1995, after being called by God into full-time ministry, he began serving at Living Hope Baptist Church in Whittier, CA, where he served until being called to Pocatello in 2001.

"I believe it's important for believers to know why God calls us to worship, what that looks like, and how we can express our worship for Him, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week. Once we allow ourselves to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, with freedom and joy, then we will truly begin to understand worship expressed in the Bible!"

Karl and his wife, Sue, have been married for 36 years. They have two children. Austin, married to Melissa, living in Bakersfield, CA, with their 2 grandkids. (Daniel, who has Grandpa Karl wrapped around his pinky, and Emily, who also has Grandpa totally wrapped!) Austin is the QA Manager for Bolthouse Farms. Daughter, Kia, married to Pat Shaw, living in Pocatello, is the warehouse manager at the Idaho Foodbank.

Charles Monroe

Director, Student (J-Walk) Ministries

Charles is a long-time native of Pocatello and an FBC member since 2006. He also serves in the Idaho National Guard, and has been mobilized as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

In addition to the military, he and his wife, Katie, have been involved in student ministries since 2007, serving primarily as volunteers and then volunteer leaders.
Charles states, "I have grown in my walk with God and learned a lot while serving in student ministries and from other leaders within the First Baptist community. Through all my experiences with school (Idaho State University grad), the military and the many years in ministry, I look forward to see what God holds for me in the future while serving and in my relationship with Him."

Charles married his best friend, Katie, in November of 2007. They have dedicated their marriage in service to God, the First Baptist family and the Pocatello community. God also blessed them with 3 beautiful girls, so far.

Kristie Jo Hess

Early Education Children's Director

Kristi, also called JoJo, has called First Baptist Church home since 1986. Born and raised in the church she began serving in the Children's ministry while in the 5th grade. "There's just something about introducing kiddo's to Jesus, helping them see Him in their daily lives and showing them ways to engage in a relationship with Jesus that blows your socks right off! Seeing that spark, whether it is curiosity, joy or understanding, or flat out 'Ah-Ha! I get it!' is truly amazing!"

In October 2016, JoJo took on the role of Early Ed Director. "I am excited to see what God has planned for our First Baptist family. We better hold on, it's going to be a fun ride!"

JoJo has been married to her best friend, Noah, since June of 2009. They have been blessed with 2 beautiful children who are the joy of their lives. They enjoy being outdoors, laughing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and living this life that God has blessed them with - together.

Gina Patterson

Elementary Children's Director

Gina loves God, loves children and loves teaching children about God.
Gina was born and raised in Montana where she accepted Jesus. She met the love of her life, Chuck, while she lived in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 2001. They married in 2003 and soon added their son to the family in  2004.

Gina received her A.D. in Counseling and Human Services, with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education and Studies. She culminated her education by receiving her M.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Montana State University in Billings, Montana. She takes the opportunity to put those skills to work using art, music, and creative things to point kids to Jesus. She utilizes multiple senses to help kids connect to the message each week.

Gina is also currently a Teaching Assistant for Kindergarten and Recess Supervisor at Pocatello Community Charter School.