• Jonathan Blankenship

    Lead Pastor


    Jonathan and his wife, Kathleen, moved back to his hometown of Charlotte in 2008 to re-plant Laurel Baptist Church. He is passionately committed to verse by verse, expository preaching, and has preached through 33 books of the Bible in 12 years. Jonathan's vision for our church is spiritual health by leading us in a gospel-centered ministry that is focused on the glory of God. Jonathan has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Studies. 

  • Austin Wright

    Assistant Pastor


    Austin and his wife, Marissa, joined our team in 2018. Austin assists our Lead Pastor in leading the day to day business and ministry operations of our church, as well as providing oversight to the choir and teen ministry. Austin has earned a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. 

  • RJ Lopez

    Assistant Pastor


    RJ and his wife, Jessalyn, came to Laurel in 2017. RJ directs all of our Kid's Connection children's ministries including the kid's choir and Awana clubs. He also oversees our media and publications ministry. RJ has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Ministries.

  • Kathleen Blankenship

    Music DIRECTOR


    Kathleen is the wife of our Lead Pastor and works behind the scenes to coordinate the logistics of our music ministry. She is an accomplished pianist, and our church loves to hear her play during our worship services. Kathleen has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education.

  • Marissa wright

    office assistant


    Marissa is married to one of our assistant pastors, Austin, and joined our team in 2018. As our Office Assistant, she assists our pastoral team in the day to day ministry operations of the church, as well as coordinates several of our church events. Marissa has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance and enjoys teaching private lessons. 

  • Lee Smith



    Lee Smith joined our staff in 2010 and assists our pastor by providing facility oversight. Lee has been a faithful member of our church and also serves on our leadership team. At Laurel, you'll find him faithfully serving our Senior Adults and participating in as many ministry opportunities he finds possible. Lee is a United States Army veteran.