Our Staff

Rev. Kevin Drake

Rev. Kevin Drake

Pastor Kevin has over twenty-five years of pastoral ministry, serving in a variety of ministerial positions. Pastor Kevin has served as Sr. Pastor of three SBC churches in Alabama and North Carolina. Furthermore, Pastor Kevin has also served as Youth Minister and Worship Leader, his current position with Hephzibah Baptist Church.

In addition to serving on staff of the local church, Pastor Kevin also enjoys leading Bible studies and serving as both supply preacher and revival preacher for various churches. Pastor Kevin has led Bible studies and revival services in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida over the years. Preaching and teaching the Word of God are burning passions of Pastor Kevin.

Pastor Kevin received his Bachelor of Theology degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Florida Baptist Theological College (currently The Baptist College of Florida) in Graceville, FL; the Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, AL; and the Master of Theology degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

Pastor Kevin also enjoys writing. Some of his works include: Seven Steps Toward Spiritual Maturity: A Primer for the Pastor and the Pew; Theology of Biblical Covenant; and A Textual and Theological Analysis of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenant: the nachvorziehen Function of Biblical Covenant. Pastor Kevin is currently writing: Genesis: The Perfecting of the Believer's Faith: A Tribute to Dr. J. W. Lee and Survival Kit for Ministry. Pastor Kevin has a desire to help minister's of all ages stay true to the calling of God and prays that these works will be helpful for ministry.

Pastor Kevin is originally from Fernandina Beach, Florida and has been married to Lori for thirty-two years. Together they have two grown boys, Kirk and Aaron, and one teenage daughter, Kari. The Drakes also have a daughter-in-law, Celcris (married to Kirk), and one grandson, Brenton.

Mrs. Valerie Howell

Mrs. Valerie Howell

Administrative Assistant

Valerie works in the church office two days a week preparing the bulletin, updating calendars, organizing and ordering supplies, and helping with various administrative needs. She began attending Hephzibah in 1995 after she and her husband Ricky moved to the Princeton area. Her husband grew up at Hephzibah so Valerie was warmly welcomed by family and friends. She grew up in Kinston where she still has family. 

She is a graduate of both East Carolina University and N.C. State University with history-related degrees. For almost 15 years she worked for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, first at Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum and then at the N. C. Museum of History in the Education Section. She has also worked at the Johnston County Heritage Center and the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield. The birth of her daughter, Mary Lee, led to several years at home but after Mary Lee began school Valerie became a substitute teacher with the Johnston County Schools which she enjoyed for 5 years. She also served as a member of the Princeton Elementary School Advisory Council from 2009-2014.

Valerie enjoys volunteer work. Her most rewarding experience to date was with the Red Cross Disaster Team after Hurricane Floyd. Right now her teenage daughter keeps her busy so she really doesn't have much free time!