I was born and raised in Bluff Park, Alabama. Church was a big part of my family’s life. I attended Samford University and majored in History. I had no plans of going into Church ministry but after college, I began to wrestle with that calling. After 3 years of wrestling with the calling I decided to go to Mercer University, McAfee School of Theology to get my Master of Divinity. The best thing I got out of New Testament class was my wife Eydie. We are a clergy couple We married in Atlanta and a few years later our son Jackson came along. Eydie used to serve at FBC Jasper for four years as the Associate Minister to Families.
Ruth Mehari9:00 Worship Leader
I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA with two older brothers and a younger sister. My parents moved to Atlanta in about 1992; they’re from Eritrea. I grew up in an Eastern Orthodox Christian church until I went off to study music at Reinhardt University. I’m a Music Education and Cello Performance major. In my time at Reinhardt, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to expand on my knowledge of different styles of worship which inevitably led me to FBC Jasper.
In my free time, I enjoy searching for kitten/puppy videos on the Internet, Netflix, hiking, reading, and practicing the cello. I also enjoy massive amounts of sushi and Thai food, and baking desserts!
I would love to see you at our 9:00 am worship service!
Bill StoneChurch Administrator
I grew up in a magical, blue collar, middle class neighborhood in southeast Atlanta called Lakewood Heights where I attended Lakewood Heights Baptist. My pastor was William Rainwater. We were blessed to have great Sunday school teachers and men who lead us in RA’s and coached church softball teams.
After graduating high school, I went to work with Southern Bell in Atlanta. Three years later I enlisted in the U. S. Army and served 18 months overseas tour on Okinawa and in Vietnam and Thailand after basic and advanced training. I served my last year of enlistment in New Jersey.
After my discharge from the Army in 1969, I returned to work at Southern Bell. In 1971 I met and married Diane Griffin. We have two sons, Kevin, and Troy. For much of our years as a family we lived in Lithia Springs, Georgia where we attended Lithia Springs First Baptist Church. Our pastor was Marion Beaver, a wonderful man who was active in ministry into his 90’s. I was ordained as a deacon there and was blessed to be surrounded by many saints in that congregation.
In 2001 we moved to Pickens county. After visiting several churches in the area, we decided that First Baptist of Jasper felt like home. We were so lucky to land in the Fellowship Sunday school class which has played a major role in my life. In 2005 Diane died after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. This church helped me get through those two years and the subsequent grief that ensued.
I met Edie Jones, who worked at the fitness center that I attended, and we discovered many shared bonds. Edie had lost her husband and was spending a great deal of time caring for her sister, who was also dealing with cancer. Edie and I were married in September 2006 and are having a wonderful life together. Our family now consists of four sons and ten grandchildren.
Erin Lovern MartinDirector of Children's Ministries
Erin Martin is a native of Jasper, Georgia and a 2001 graduate of Pickens County High School. Although she now resides in Dawson County with her husband Phil and her three children Shelby (13), Maggie (10) and Sawyer (7), she remains closely connected to the community as her parents, David and Sheila Lovern, and grandmother, Ruth Lovern, all still live in Jasper. Erin is currently a preschool teacher at First Baptist Church of Jasper and also taught prior at Bethel United Methodist. She is an active volunteer in both Pickens and Dawson counties and enjoys spending her free time cheering her children on at various sporting events and spending time with her extended family. Erin is excited to step into the role of Director of Children’s Ministries here at FBCJ and is looking forward to meeting all of the children and families who will be involved in children’s programs throughout the year. Erin greatly enjoys sharing her love of Christ with children and is excited to be an active part of this ministry.
Austin McCormickDirector of Youth Ministries
Austin McCormick was raised in Pickens County and attended Jasper United Methodist Church as a child and youth. He is married to a young lady named Skye who comes to us from Cherokee County. Austin is a firefighter in Woodstock and also serves in the Georgia National Guard. He is actively involved in a church in Cherokee County where he has been working with youth for the last 3 years.
Christie BeiringOffice Administrator
I am the mom of four wonderful boys and I have been enjoying the beautiful surroundings and history in these Appalachian foothills with my family since 2007. While not a native of Jasper, this is the first place I’ve lived that feels like “home”. I was born in Washington DC and enjoyed a unique childhood growing up in six countries. I earned my bachelor in International Business and Foreign Languages and MA in Spanish from Mississippi State University where I taught Spanish labs as an undergraduate and lower level courses as a grad student.
While I have taught for a number of years, I first gained invaluable experience working as an office administrator for a small, family-owned business and then as an executive level assistant to VP of Marketing with a national company. In my spare time I enjoy reading, computers, learning new skills, and especially writing.
Lana CallahanPreschool Head Director
Lana Callahan was born in Arkansas but spent most of her life here in Jasper. She has been married to Marty Callahan for 30 years. She is a long-time member of First Baptist Church and was recently elected Secretary to the Deacon Board. Lana and Marty have two grown daughters; Abbey works at Georgia Tech and Claire recently graduated from University of North Georgia. Lana taught in Pickens county for many years, including elementary, middle, and high school. She brings considerable experience and knowledge to the position of Head Director and is very excited for all the things to come at FBCJ Preschool & Kindergarten.
Samantha DunnPreSchool Assistant Director
Samantha was born and raised in Jasper, GA. She has been a member of First Baptist Church of Jasper since she was 12 years of age. Upon completion of High School, Samantha obtained her Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining FBCJasper Preschool, Samantha worked as Project Manager for McKesson Healthcare. Samantha is married is Matthew Dunn and has two children Madison and Molly Dunn.
Her interest include traveling around the world, cooking and competitive clogging. Samantha has deep ties to FBCJasper Preschool and cannot wait to build upon the great legacy already established.