Big Lake Baptist Association
Saturday, July 13, 2024
United in Him, One for Him! 1 Peter 3:8

2021 annual reports

AMS Rick Giles resignation


Dear leaders and members of the Big Lake Baptist Association,


It is with a very sad heart that I must at this time tender my resignation as Association Mission Strategist, effective August 1, 2021.

Due to the health and welfare of my mother, brother and other family needs, I must leave Okeechobee for Polk County. We have much more help there than we have here because of family.

We are really going to miss all of you, and the ministries we have worked in. Blessing, and let us remember each other in prayer.


In His grip,

Rick Giles



NOTE: Tom Pasquarella was asked to assume the role of Associational Missions Strategist and agreed but was almost immediately stricken with COVID-19 and was in ICU for many weeks. Phil Nason graciously agreed to fill in until Tom’s return.




Interim Associational Mission Strategist Report

September 27, 2021

My name is Rev. Phil Nason.  I serve as the pastor of Buckhead Ridge Baptist Church.  Currently, I am serving in the temporary capacity of the Associational Mission Strategist while Brother Tom is recovering from his illness.  I know we are all praying for his speedy recovery. 

I want to give you a glimpse of what I have been doing and am planning for the upcoming weeks.  At the time of this writing in early August, I have visited four outstanding churches and have met with their leadership.  I have also met many other stewards of God’s work at the Associational office.  By the time you read this report in September, I hope that I will have visited all twenty-three churches of our Associational family.  Communication is the key to healthy relationships. 

I am also beginning a Discipleship class on Monday nights at the Associational office for everyone.  On October 4 at 7:00 pm, I plan to start teaching the Baptist Faith and Message.  This is a free course that will only require the cost of the materials (11.00).  Register now through the Associational office.  We will order your book and reserve your space in the class. 

This past year has been difficult for everyone.  My message to you is that you are not alone.  While the struggle is real, it is no more real than the victory through Christ Jesus.  Remember, we are doing God’s work. 

Phil Nason




Associational Mission Strategist Report

My name is Tommaso (Tom) Pasquarella. I have been in this association for 15 years and served as pastor at Cornerstone for thirteen of those years. Sadly, Cornerstone closed, and I am now a member at Everglades Baptist Church here in Okeechobee.

Rick asked me to be the AMS for our association and after prayer I accepted the task of leading. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was hospitalized. Praise God for Pastor Phil Nason stepping in and leading in my absence. Well, I have quickly recovered and will do my best to serve our convention in this new capacity.

I am thankful for our churches and for the task we have to be about the gospel. In a time when our convention is in trouble. We as an association must stand against the tide and be a part of our convention to combat it. It is sad that I, in my sickness, since I woke up am in better condition than our convention. Since we are an autonomous association we can make a difference for our churches, for our association, and ultimately for the sake of the gospel. There are ideologies that are seeping through our convention, and we need to stay that tide. I would like to craft a resolution for our state convention to see that we are not going to stand for godless ideologies such as Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. If you want a glimpse of this, refer to our July newsletter where I gave an assessment of our convention.

Since I am new to this position, we will learn together and hopefully grown in our support of our churches and or pastors.


In Christ,


Tommaso Pasquarela





Jim Womble

Missions Engagement Team Coordinator



Who am I?

I am James, Jimmy or Jim Womble. I was born and raised in Okeechobee, have been married for 37 years, 38 next month, and have five children and 14, soon to be 15, grandchildren. I began attending church shortly after my mother and older brothers received Christ as their savior. I was about 5 years old at the time. My first memory of attending church was in a fish house in Buckhead Ridge. My first memory of Sunday School was in someone's car in 1965 or 66. The LORD began working in my life at an early age. However, I did not come to faith in Christ until much later in life.


As an adult, my family attended a local church, Victory Baptist. There, they talked about and were in constant contact with many missionaries. This exposure to missions built a strong connection to missions in my wife and me. The LORD moved us from Victory after many years there, and we eventually became members at Buckhead Ridge Baptist Church.


My older brother invited me on a short term mission trip to Zimbabwe, Africa to do some pastoral training with national pastors. We held four or five pastors' conferences in various cities in 2008. The LORD brought 100-200 pastors to the meetings. My brother was the main teacher, and I gave him a break for one session at each meeting. The LORD began in earnest to do a powerful work in me through that trip. A short time later, I answered the call from our LORD to serve in a greater way, a call to preach.


I finally settled on attending online classes with the Baptist College of Florida. It was early in their offering of online classes, and the course I was taking was called Ministry Studies. The LORD provided me with employment with a company that paid for college classes for their employees. The college began a missions' course with an aviation emphasis a year or so after I began my studies. I switched majors after that, because I already had a commercial pilot's license. I graduated in 2016 with a BA degree with an aviation emphasis. I was ordained a few months later at Everglades Baptist Church where I serve as the missions pastor.


What is my vision for this role as Missions Engagement Team Coordinator?

I view my role in this position not as separate from my pastoral duties at EBC, but as a widening of what the LORD has put on my heart. I want to serve the pastors in our association to help them with their vision to fulfill the Great commission given to the church in the four gospels but namely in Matthew 28:18-20. I want to attend each of your churches to get a feel for the local mission field they are planted in and to help wherever I can with the resources available from BLBA and the FBC.




Pedro Cabreras

Church Planting and Revitalization Team Coordinator


My name is Rev. Pedro Cabrera, and I have been asked by Rick Giles to help with the church planting and revitalization ministry of the BLBA.


I am honored to serve along with our association in this ministry. I started my ministry as a church planter in the East and worked as church planter up until 2003 when I took a pastorate on an established church in LaBelle.


I look forward to working in this capacity with the support of the churches in our association please pray that our Lord will guide us where He would have us work.



Cindy Silvey

Pastors’ Wives Ministry


Hello Pastors Wives

It is my desire first that we pray for our husband. We should pray for our congregations and of course for each other.


I would like to meet with each of you and share our prayer concerns and have a Bible Study together.


I would like each of you to reach out to me and provide your phone number so that we can pass our prayer concerns and needs.


We continue praying for Laurie and her family in the home going of John. We continue praying for Stacy and Tom and praise God for His healing hand upon Tom.


There are so many things we as pastors’ wives can share with each other.  God’s word tells us where two or three are gathered together He will be in the midst.


I do look forward to seeing each of you. I have suggested if the pastors pray together once a month in the evening we wives could meet as well.


I look forward to hearing from each of you. Remember we are our husband’s biggest cheerleaders!


My phone number is 540-425-6115. Feel free to call anytime.


Serving Our Lord Together

Cindy Silvey