About Us


Step By Step, CEC is a non-profit ministry of Gonzalez Baptist Church, affecting the lives of children and their families by providing a safe and quality education in a Christ-centered environment, introducing children to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and encouraging children to grow spiritually, socially, intellectually, and physically. We know that safe and healthy care of the child will support and strengthen family life by promoting cognitive, communicative, perceptual-motor, physical, social, and spiritual development of the child.


With the Bible as our source, we believe that the children entrusted to us are precious in His sight, deserving the best of our abilities. We believe that each child is a unique individual of intrinsic worth created in the image of God. It is our belief that early childhood education should, above all else:

  1. Introduce children to our Savior, Jesus Christ
  2. Teacher children to love Jesus and love each other
  3. Teach that the Bible is the Word of God
  4. Know that God is a personal God
  5. Instill Godly values by example of how we live our lives
  6. Teach early childhood educational lessons necessary to prepare each child for school.

Step by Step CEC focuses on the development of the whole child. Our teachers, appreciating individual differences, attempt to create an environment in which each child is free to play, learn, experiment, and develop at his/her own rate with loving instruction. The daily schedule includes Bible stories, scriptures and songs, indoor and outdoor activities for gross motor development, and classroom activities that promote readiness for reading, language, and math instruction during the primary years of formal education. Age-appropriate learning in music, art, science and math, language, drama, and fine motor manipulation play an integral part of the balanced program here at Step by Step.


Valerie Mazzanoble,
Assistant Director

Valerie has her AA in Education, and she will graduate the University of West Florida in December 2020 with her BA in Education. She has been married to her husband, Sean, for over 17 years, and she has two children, age 16 and age 13. She enjoys spending time with her family and going to the beach! She is excited to assume the role of Assistant Director as she serves our Step by Step families. Ms. Valerie’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 32:8 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”



Mike Mashburn,
Senior Pastor Gonzalez Baptist Church

Pastor Mike stepped into the role of senior pastor at Gonzalez Baptist Church on February 1, 2017.  He was born and raised in Pensacola, FL; has received his theological training from Baptist College of Florida; has served with North American Mission Board as church planter/pastor in Fort Wayne, IN; and – most recently – served as a talk-radio show host at WEBY and Director of Chaplain Services for a local hospital. He and his wife, Janet, have 6 children. They are excited to be serving at Gonzalez Baptist Church and Step by Step!