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March 2016


More Than Money


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Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders reveals a diverse combination of traits, but changing lives is a common theme.


Leader Profile


Steve Trail

Pastoring is not an easy journey; it requires a blending of skills unlike any other profession. No one would claim to have everything needed for the task, but much can be learned from reading how others tackle the role. Steve Trail pastors First FWB Church in Dothan, Alabama, and for eight years has seen growth in people and campus size. He grew up in a military family (Navy), and lived in seven states before graduating from high school and settling in Arkansas.

Steve and his wife Judy found Free Will Baptists at this stage of their journey. Their pastor and Steve’s first mentor, J. W. Blanks, asked Steve to teach a teen Sunday School class, and some time later, he spoke at a church men’s day event. God used these and other opportunities to cultivate Steve’s communication ability. Steve’s goal was to coach high school football, but God transformed him into a pastor who coaches people in much deeper ways. 

Over the past 40 years, Steve and Judy have poured themselves into congregations. Steve is known for his work ethic, goal setting, and a desire for excellence. He has been a church planter, led multiple building programs, and experienced success in many people’s eyes. 

When asked about his biggest failure, however, Steve’s recalled, “During my third year of ministry, while pastoring a church with an annual call (annual vote on the pastor), I let my feelings get hurt. The first two years, we had tripled in size. A new building was built without debt, and I had received 100% vote each of those two years. So, in the third year, when I only got 85%, I took it too personally and resigned. I really loved those folks, and they deserved better. I have always regretted how I responded as a leader.”

Steve, You are a great leader!


Get to Know Steve

Do you have kids?

Michael (age 43 and wife Lynnette)—live in Rector, Arkansas, with two boys
Christi (age 39 and husband Toby)—live in Hoxie, Arkansas, with three boys


Tell me about your quiet time. I am an early riser, and between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m., I read, pray, and meditate in Scripture. Because of the convenience of my Bible apps, I find myself reading while sitting with families during surgeries at the hospital. And I take seriously the ‘pray without ceasing’ admonition for my drive times, running the names of prayers requests people have shared.


What do people misunderstand about you? Even though I love people dearly, I have been told that I seem distant at times. Not sure if it is my emphasis on professionalism and my drive for excellence in ministry, or my habit of trying to give 100% of my attention and focus to each task.


Paper or Plastic

Fiction or Nonfiction? Fiction
Music or talk radio? Talk radio
Sushi or Burger? Sushi
Facebook, Email, Pinterest, Twitter, or texting (don’t pick FAX)? Facebook
Tie or No Tie? Tie
Mac or PC? PC

©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists