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You Belong Here!

Our Vision

The vision, mission and goal of the First Sterling is to preach, practice and produce the gospel to the spiritually and economically poor; the brokenhearted; to those who are in spiritual, emotional, physical and financial captivity; to give sight to the spiritually blind; and those who have been emotionally wounded and bruised by life's battles.


The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind to set at liberty those who are oppressed.  Luke 4:18 


This Ministry seeks to provide food for the hungry, drink to those who are thirsty, housing for the stranger, clothing for the naked, and give visitation to the sick and imprisoned.


For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.  Matthew 25:35-36 


As Jesus reached out to those who were in despair and destitute, it is our Mission to reach out to the drug addict, homeless, hungry, unwed parents, rejected, and those who have lost hope in life.  Proclaiming that with God First, all of Life's ills can be healed.



Bishop Patterson’s no-nonsense, practical preaching and teaching of God’s Word as a living organism viable for everyday life application has been seen on the Word Network and The Black Family Channel. Although now a nationally known preacher, teacher and sought after conference speaker, he continues to fulfill his calling as Pastor at First Sterling with his wife and Co-pastor, Dr. Francene Patterson.



With a passion for the community, and as a life long Northern Virginia native, Dr. Francene Patterson received her Bachelor of Theology degree from Andersonville Baptist Seminary. From that same institution, she received her Masters of Christian Counseling and subsequently her Doctorate in 2003.


Our History

On January 28, 1962, the late Reverend John W. Thornton officially organized the First Baptist Church of Sterling with 42 members. The first services were held in the basement of the home of Reverend and Mrs. John Thornton. During his tenure, God blessed his ministry and the first building was built in 1964. On May 15, 1978, God called Reverend John W. Thornton from labor to rest.


On April 17, 1979, the church called their second pastor, Reverend James E. Jefferies. During Reverend Jefferies’ tenure, many improvements to the building were made. On August 21, 1995, Bishop Leslie Patterson Jr., was called to the First Baptist Church of Sterling, Virginia to minister where he would become the third pastor of the congregation. The membership at that time as approximately 75 members.


During the years that Bishop and Co-Pastor Patterson have been with First Baptist Church of Sterling, they have dedicated themselves and worked very diligently toward the vision that God gave them for this ministry. Both Bishop and Co-Pastor have a “no nonsense, make it happen” attitude. By the accomplishments that God has given, it is evident that Pastor and Mrs. Patterson truly believe that all things are possible through Christ Jesus. Under the leadership of this dynamic partnership, there have been numerous achievements. Dying souls have been saved and the lost have been found, as evident by the growing membership. In April 2001, First Baptist Church of Sterling broke ground for a new church edifice. In July 2002, Pastor Leslie Patterson was appointed to the office of Bishop, thereby, expanding First Baptist to a worldwide ministry. In October 2003, the new church edifice was completed and the start of the “New Beginnings” commenced.


God has truly blessed the ministry of our Bishop and Co-Pastor and they are always constantly reminding us that we are a “Church Where Everybody is Somebody” and that God gets the credit for all accomplishments but they are responsible for all failure.


Our church represents the fulfillment of a dream. We know that our work has really just begun. We pray that God will continue to bless Bishop and Co-Pastor Patterson and the First Baptist Church Family as we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

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