Pastor Gilbert was born into a pastor’s home in rural Virginia. His first memories of Chattanooga came when his father, Charles, visited and then attended Tennessee Temple University in the 1960s. Little did he know that God would lead him back to Chattanooga in the coming years.
Although he grew up in a pastor’s home in a good church, Pastor Gilbert did not accept Christ as a young man. It was not until he was thirty years old and God captured his attention, convincing him that he needed to be saved, that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Once saved and baptized, it was not long before God began moving in his heart to preach the Gospel. Following in his father’s footsteps, he enrolled and graduated from Tennessee Temple University. While attending TTU, he was asked to direct Camp Joy, a ministry located across the street from Lakewood Baptist Church. It was while working at the camp that Pastor Gilbert met Pastor David Bragg, a former Camp Joy Director, and became familiar with Lakewood. This friendship bloomed and was the catalyst which prompted Pastor Bragg to ask Pastor Gilbert to join Lakewood’s staff several years after he graduated.
Pastor Gilbert accepted the position and worked for five years as the Assistant Pastor and Co-pastor under Pastor Bragg. Knowing he would be retiring soon, Pastor Bragg recommended to the church that Pastor Gilbert be accepted as the new pastor, and on August 19th, 2013 during the church’s 70th anniversary celebration, Ronnie Gilbert was appointed to be the pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church.
Pastor Gilbert’s ministry is highlighted by his care for people, his excellent Bible preaching, and his steady leadership of the flock. He has a genuine desire to help people to understand, accept, and live out the truths of God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.