Roy Yelton, Pastor of Oakland Avenue Baptist Church, was born December 20, 1943 to James Monroe and Mae Hill Yelton. Educated in the public schools of Mitchell County, North Carolina, he graduated from Tipton Hill High School in 1962. Following graduation, he continued his education at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee. In 1963, Pastor Yelton enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the Signal Corp. Upon his discharge, Yelton became an employee of Eastman Chemical Company. He later studied at Graham Bible College.
Pastor Yelton was saved at the age of 27. He surrendered to preach in 1972 and was ordained to the ministry by Oak Grove Baptist Church in 1973. He has served as pastor of East Park Baptist Church, Gunnings Baptist Church, Community Baptist Church, Beaver View Baptist and currently serves Oakland Avenue Baptist.
Yelton married the former Pat Woody in 1966. They have three sons: Todd and wife(deceased) Shauna (Nichols), their children, Mackenzie and Colin; Matthew and wife, Tamara (Ricker), their children Aiden and Addison; Jeremy and wife Graham (Holt), and their son, Monroe.
Brother Charles was born on October 18, 1967 in Bristol, TN. His father was Pastor Franklin D. Biggs and his mother was Martha Biggs and he was also the youngest brother to Robert. He lived the largest portion of his life in the Bristol area attending the local city school system and in 1985 he graduated from the Bristol Tennessee High School. Along with his family, he attended the Emmanuel Baptist Church on the corner of 5th Street and Weaver Pike where the late Dr. Howard Robinson was the Pastor for a quarter of a century.
On August 24, 1979, Charles felt the Holy Spirit dealing with his life about being saved, and on that day he trusted Christ as Lord and Savior and followed the Lord in believers baptism. After his salvation, he began serving the Lord in the bus ministry and served there for many years building one of the largest bus routes in the ministry. He surrendered to full time Christian work on January 23, 1983 at Emmanuel and on April 18, 1988, he surrendered to the call to preach the word of God at a “Stand Up for America Rally” at the Castlewood High School where Evangelist Tim Lee was holding a series of revival meetings.
On June 19, 1993, he married LaVonda Sue Cox of Bristol, VA and the Lord has blessed them with 2 wonderful children, Carson (07-26-96) and Mary Beth (07-03-00). He was licensed and ordained at the Belle Meadows Baptist Church on July 5, 1998 and begin Pastoring the Braemar Baptist Church in Hampton, TN that same year. He graduated in 1997 from the Belle Meadows Baptist Bible College with an Associates degree in Pastoral Theology and attended the Pastors College at The Crown College in Powell, TN in 2008 and 2009.
In January of 2013 the Lord lead his family to serve at the Oakland Avenue Baptist Church where he currently serves as Assistant/Youth Pastor, helping his Pastor and leading in various other areas of ministry for that congregation. He has worked in a broad range of ministries in the local church including the youth department, Sunday School Superintendent and outreach director. Also, he has lead in many building and improvement projects, is founder and director of a weekly radio ministry and has written several ministry helps for church members, youth groups and leaders in the local church. His favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 which encourages him to stay close to God and to stay strong in the work of the Lord. His desire is to see the world come to Christ and for God to send a sweeping revival to change the world.
Robert (Bobby) Laughlin
Robert (Bobby) Laughlin was born April 23, 1964 in Bristol, TN. He is the son of Johnny (Albert) Laughlin and Elva Laughlin. He attended public school in Sullivan County, TN and graduated from Sullivan Central High School in 1982. He was saved at a young age while listening to Bro. Harold Sightler on the radio and his mother led him to the Lord.
He was a member of Pleasant View Baptist Church at a young age under Pastor Ralph Cook and Pastor Wayne Baker. He met Pastor Roy Yelton while he was Pastor at Gunnings Baptist Church in Blountville, TN and became part of their youth program. He sang in the youth choir and had a bus ministry while at Gunnings.
In July 2018, the Lord led him and his father to Oakland Avenue Baptist Church. He was asked to be assistant choir director in late 2018 and remained in that role until the choir director retired in April 2019. He is excited about how the Lord led him to Oakland Avenue. He desires to see the church and the choir grow in the Lord in the days ahead and see true revival come “one more time.”