Reverend Thomas Nathell Bessix was elected Senior Pastor of Westside Baptist Church in March 2015. He preached his first official sermon on May 17, 2015. He is a native of Maringouin, Louisiana and a graduate of Southern University (Baton Rouge) receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology & Rehabilitation Counseling. He furthered his studies at Louisiana State University (LSU – Baton Rouge) receiving certification in Special Education. He attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a Masters of Theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Following graduation from Southern University, he pursued his love for the education of children, and accepted a position with the East Baton Rouge School system for 10 years.
He began his Pastor-Teacher journey at the New Gideon Baptist Church (Baton Rouge) July 2, 2000. During his pastoral tenure, New Gideon’s membership grew and its services expanded to include a weekly noon-day “Hour of Power” bible study and midweek worship. He further established a comprehensive Christian Education ministry which included the establishment of new member’s orientation, annual leadership conferences/workshops and an aggressive evangelism campaign through social media outlets. During the course of his leadership, at New Gideon, over 23 active ministries were established.
Pastor Bessix has a passion for Christian and secular education, evangelism and outreach. To embrace his passion and the vision given to him by God, he established the mantra for Westside as the, “Greater Works Church”. He has expanded the foreign mission work of Westside by creating new outreach opportunities to Westside Baptist Church of Sierra Leone, Africa, and, plans to plant a Westside Baptist Church in Jamaica and Belize. Westside is addressing the Spanish speaking population of Lewisville and the DFW metroplex with a partnership with Iglesia Bethania. He also plans to see Westside serve as a community hub socially and academically. He plans to fully maximize the gifts and talents that the Lord has placed within Westside.
Pastor Bessix has served as a Faculty Member for the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education since 2005. He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. In March of 2017, he received the 2017 Interdenominational Ministerial Alliances, Bishop J. Neal Haynes Minister of the Year Award.
Pastor Bessix is married to the lovely Dr. Kimberly Davis Bessix, and they have a daughter, Madison. He enjoys the Discovery Channel, fishing and motorcycling, but nothing compares to his love of preaching and teaching the Word of God. He is anointed, filled with the Holy Spirit and is persuaded that he will let “nothing separate him from the love of God.”