Dr. Rhett G. Payne, III, a native of Jackson, AL, did his undergraduate work at Oral Roberts University. Rhett received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Bible from Oral Roberts University in 1977. From there, he received two masters’ degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO – a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies in 1981 and a Master of Divinity in 1985. Finally, Rhett received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, in 1995. Rhett began in student ministry, serving four different churches over eleven years. The last of the four was the Central Presbyterian Church of St. Louis, MO. He even co-founded EPC youth ministry (now “Student Ministries”) in the late ‘80s. Rhett began his pastoral ministry as a church planter in Marshall, TX, serving as the founding pastor of EPC of Marshall, from 1985 until 1991. In 1991, he moved to Dallas, TX, to take over a “stalled” church plant, which at the time was called “Grace Church.” Rhett served as the reorganizing pastor of Grace Church, which later changed its name to CrossPointe Community Church, from 1991 until 2002. In the summer of 2002, Rhett became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Meridian, MS, where he has served ever since. Rhett has served in the Presbytery of the Central South his entire pastoral ministry. He has chaired both the Nominating Committee and the New Church Development Committee. And in 2006, he served as the Moderator of the Central South Presbytery. Rhett and his wife, Donna, have been married for 40 years. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.