Doug Shows is the new pastor of First Baptist Church in Bridge City. Shows, who is shown standing by a portrait of his grandfather, R.E. Barclay, who was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Silsbee for 30 years, is excited about the opportunity to be in Bridge City. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

Doug Shows has always been involved with church in some capacity, but his road to being pastor of his own church was one he had to travel for a long time to reach his destination.

Shows is the new pastor of First Baptist Church in Bridge City and has already fell in love with the community he now calls home. It took him some time to find his path, but he knows God’s will is all he had to follow to reach this point in life.

“I grew up under the ministry of my grandfather (R.E. Barclay), who was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Silsbee for 30 years,” Shows said. “So I always thought, one day, I might end up doing some kind of ministry with the church in some capacity. However, as a teenager, I was the epitome of rebellion and had other ideas.”

When he was just 17 years old, Shows faced his own “life-changing” events as his teenage girlfriend became pregnant and he was now faced with the responsibility of fatherhood at such a young age.

“My own sin had not only affected my life, but that of my girlfriend and my child,” he explained. “It really brought me to my knees and put me on my direction toward God.”

Shows and his girlfriend eventually married and had six children before he faced with another life-altering moment in 1997, when she was killed by a drunk driver.

“All of the sudden, I was a single-dad to six children,” Shows said. “So my job at that point was to work and provide for my family.”

Shows remain involved with church and he credits another member of the ministry at First Baptist Church in Silsbee with keeping him involved. As it turns out, Shows now realizes this was part of God’s plan for his life too.

“Ed Killough really cared about me and he knew what I was going through,” he said. “He got me involved again and that made a difference. It was his care that helped get me through a tough period and kept involved in church, when things could have been different.”

As it turns out, he wasn’t the only one facing one of life’s difficult moments.

“That’s how I met my wife, now, Amy,” he said. “She had just dealt with her own hardship and we were there at the same time. As it turns out, I started the Single Parents Ministry at the church with Amy.

“God had grown us together through our activities at the church,” he continued. “And, as it turns out, I just knew we were supposed to be together. I knew she was the right person. I asked her to marry me before we ever went on our first date, and she said yes. In fact, our first date was planning our wedding.”

By December 2001, Shows and his new wife, Amy, were married the family now featured the husband and wife, along with eight children total.

During those early years, while Amy worked as an instructor at Lamar University, Shows was a small business owner. However, as the years passed and the economy became more difficult, he closed the doors to his business and looked for a new direction.

Following that, he decided to earn his Realtor’s certification and become an agent in his hometown.

“I always wanted to be successful. I wanted people to know who I am and see how important I had become,” Shows said. “It was during this period when I realized that wasn’t what I really wanted anymore. I had the chance to get a job earning a lot of money and my name on a sign, and I turned it down. Money was all they could offer me, and I knew I wanted more.”

This was in 2009 and the year he “surrendered” to the ministry.

“I never did mind working hard, whether it was construction work or even at my own business,” he continued. “But I knew I was done with school. I never wanted to go to college, but I finally decided I wanted what God wanted, and that meant I had to get up and go to school.”

After talking with his wife, Amy, and receiving her support, Shows, now at the age of 41, decided to enter college in order to make a better life for not only his family, but for himself, and to follow what he finally realized was his calling to be in ministry.

He enrolled in school and began attending Lamar University in January of 2010. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in August of 2013.

At the same time, through his growing involvement at First Baptist Church in Silsbee, he got the call to come serve as a guest pastor at Campground Baptist Church in Woodville.

“I went there a couple of times, and they asked me to come back,” Shows said with a slight laugh. “Then they asked me to become their interim pastor and, eventually, to be pastor.”

After graduating from Lamar University, Shows enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where is working on earning his Master’s Degree in Divinity. He has anticipated graduation date in May of this year.

“People always talk about a calling to something, but, in 2014, I had a different calling,” he explained. “Sometimes you get away from a church.”

So, in December 2014, the Shows left Campground Baptist Church. He now believes the purpose of this was to allow him to focus on school and his future plans God was setting for him.

“Since I started school in 2010, I haven’t had a break longer than two weeks,” he continued. “I have attended every semester, including summers and mini-semesters. So, for one year, I wasn’t pastoring anywhere. I focused on school and completed 37 (credit) hours.”

Just as he felt called away from one church, Shows said he felt the calling again to become part of another church. In January of this year, he became pastor of First Baptist Church in Bridge City.

“It’s amazing because we feel like we have come home, even though we aren’t from here,” Shows said happily. “Bridge City reminds me of my hometown and this church reminds me of my church. We are just so blessed to be here.”

Shows said he and his wife, Amy, are enjoying life. He is busy with church and she with her work. They have their eight children, now ages 19 to 29, five of which are married, and there are now seven grandchildren as well.

“Pastoring is more challenging than anything I have ever done, including running my own business, being a single dad to six children or going back to school at 41-years-old,” said the now 47-year-old pastor. “It’s extremely humbling to be here and the love and trust these people give me just blows me away.

“If we are willing to do what God wants, then it’s amazing what God can do,” Shows added. “He will transform your world.”