Pastor Don A. Elbourne Jr. was born in Baton Rouge, LA, January 24, 1969. He and his wife Courtney have two children, Zachary (b. 1990) and Emily (b. 1991). Lakeshore Baptist Church, in Lakeshore MS, is Bro. Don’s first pastorate where he has served since August 1994. His wife Courtney, loves her husband, her children, and her two dogs. She enjoys cycling, growing okra, eating chocolate, and making delicious pepper jelly. Zachery teaches English at the University of Massachusetts where he is pursuing a Masters Degree in Creative writing. Emily teaches piano at her Emily Ball Piano Studio in Baton Rouge, LA. Pastor Don spends most of his spare time reading theology, especially the life and works of 19th century Southern Baptists, but he also enjoys raising chickens, growing hot peppers, and cooking Cajun cuisine. He began growing a beard in 2015.
Ministry priorities, for Pastor Don, begin with an emphasis on Biblical expository preaching. He makes no apology for his passion for the Bible, the doctrines of grace, reformed theology, the importance of baptist distinctives, and the necessity of church life. His compassion for those in need pushes him to do everything within his power to help people facing difficulties of every kind.
Don graduated from Mississippi College and has received a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages, a Master of Theology in Old Testament, and was pursuing a Ph.D. in the area of Old Testament/Hebrew from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary when hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast (August 29, 2005). Setting his formal studies aside, Pastor Don dedicated his energy to a massive mercy ministry in the ongoing relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts after the storm. Lakeshore Baptist Church has hosted thousands of volunteers from over 700 churches as they sought to Rebuild Lakeshore to the glory of God. After 10 years of Katrina recovery, the ministry has continued to serve as a mission trip destination, host retreats, camps and conferences, and engage in various disaster relief projects.
In addition to his work at Lakeshore Baptist Church and Rebuild Lakeshore, Pastor Don often speaks at other churches, Bible conferences, camps, retreats, and southern heritage events. He serves on the planning board of the Deep South Founders Conference and the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.
Don suffers from Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that continues to rob him of his eyesight. He is legally blind, unable to drive, read standard print, and do other things that most people take for granted . Not willing to allow his visual impairment to hinder the ministry God has called him to, he uses an assortment of assistive technologies, relies heavily on his faithful wife’s support, and and in his words, “fakes it a lot.” He asks for patience from those he ministers to as he strives to overcome his disability by God’s grace and to do all things for God’s glory.