First Baptist Church gets new pastor

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Danny Wyatt started last month as First Baptist Church’s new permanent pastor, the first since Pastor Butch Adcock left to take a position at First Baptist Church in Sequim, Wash., several years ago.

Wyatt comes to Sweet Home from Zillah, Wash., where he served as a pastor for 9 1/2 years.

“I grew up for the most part on an Indian reservation,” Wyatt said.

From the age of 12, he lived in White Swan, where he graduated from high school. The reservation was about 35 miles from Zillah, which lies between Yakima and Tri-Cities.

“I didn’t surrender to the ministry till I was 24 years old,” said Wyatt, 44. After working a series of secular jobs, Wyatt took correspondence courses.

He served his first pastorate in White Swan. He spent about 6 1/2 years there before moving to a church in Zillah. He was on staff in Zillah for three years before becoming head pastor for 9 1/2 years.

“I just felt God’s calling to move elsewhere,” Wyatt said. “I got my resume out, and then heard they (First Baptist) were looking for a pastor.”

Wyatt is married to Laura, 45. They have three children, Tim, 19; Staci, 16; and Angela, 14.

“I’m a people person,” Wyatt said. “I just try to form relationships and be friends with people and just get to know people where they are. I’m also a musician.”

Wyatt plays bass, mandolin and guitar. His son, Tim, plays guitar and drums.

They will add those elements into the music service, Wyatt said.

“Music has always been big in my family.”

Wyatt’s older brother is a country music recording artist, whose popularity is rising in Australia and has had a number-16 single on international charts.

“I just grew up with music, all my life,” Wyatt said. “I taught myself. My son is the same way, self-taught. He is an excellent guitar player and excellent drummer.”

As far as his preaching style, “I try to make it relevant to people, to meet their needs,” said Wyatt, who uses PowerPoint presentations as part of the service. “I also try to present the Gospel because you never know where people’s hearts are.”

Wyatt is happy to be in Sweet Home.

“I love it,” Wyatt said. “It really is home to me. I like the small-town atmosphere. It’s about four times bigger (than Zillah), but it’s still got that small hometown feeling.

“I just plan on being here (depending on God’s lead), putting down roots and settling here,” Wyatt said. “The people here are already becoming family, and that just feels good.”

He describes First Baptist’s congregation as “very warm.”

Wyatt enjoys fishing and football. He describes himself as a NASCAR “nut.” NASCAR is his favorite spectator sport.

Wyatt noticed Willamette Speedway as he came through Lebanon to Sweet Home, and he plans to be there Saturday nights when racing season starts.