First Baptist Church of Sterling

Pastor Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr.

Our Vision


The vision, mission and goal of the First Baptist Church 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.

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. 

Our Pastors



Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr. was born to Mary and Leslie Patterson, Sr., on June 28, 1964 in Lexington, Mississippi and raised in Holmes County. Although he did not see it at first himself others in the small Baptist congregations, where he attended church, recognized his calling at an early age. When he was about eight years old, one of the Elders nicknamed him “Preacher” stating that “there was just something about him…” but the young Leslie renounced this saying “I don’t want to be no preacher.” Well, many plans and God laughs.


From 1982 through 1993, Bishop Patterson served in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed all over the United States and spent time abroad in Japan and Korea. It was during this time period that Bishop Patterson began to hear God’s calling on his life. On January 13, 1991, the prophetic words of a southern church elder became a reality when Reverend Patterson accepted his calling to preach the Gospel. He was ordained on September 13, 1992, becoming the third generation of his family to be a preacher. He received his Bachelor of Theology degree from San Diego Institute and both his masters and doctorate from Andersonville Baptist Seminary.


On August 21, 1995, God placed Bishop Patterson as the third pastor of First Baptist Church of Sterling, Virginia – a small, but steadfast church of 75 members. Under his leadership and anointing, God grew the church membership ten-fold. In October of 2004, the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on a new 30,000+ square foot church building with a gymnasium and classrooms on the highest point of Loudoun County. In July of 2002, the Reverend Leslie Patterson was consecrated to the office of Bishop and in May of 2005, Bishop Patterson was promoted to the presiding Bishop of the Lord’s Churches Fellowship and Ministries, Inc. – an organization of like-minded churches with a shared evangelical vision.


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 Baptist Church of Sterling with his wife and Co-pastor, Dr. Francene Patterson. They have two wonderful children and two beautiful grandchildren. Together they make a spiritually strong team. They firmly believe that all can be healed, delivered and set free through the blood of Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.This is a long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.



Dr. Francene Patterson was the first of four children born to Ms. Frances E Sanderson on July 8 1960, in Vidalia, Georgia. Within a few years the family moved to Prince William County, Virginia. She was raised in Woodbridge, Virginia, only a short distance from Sterling, Virginia, the location of her future church home and family.


After graduation from Garfield High School in 1978, Francene Patterson pursued a career with the Federal Government. This career spanned 23 years during which time she honorably served the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the US Air Force. 


Throughout these years a hunger for knowledge of God’s Word was building and taking over her life. She finally left her well-established career and yielded to the Holy Spirit. I, 1996, 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.


Dr. Patterson met her future husband, Bishop Leslie Patterson, Jr., when they both tried to pull into the same parking space at a retail shopping center. Bishop Patterson, being a gentleman, gave her the space and thus began a strong spiritual union that would not only transform their lives, but the lives of many others as well. They were married in July of 1990.