I am a native of Douglasville, Georgia. My wife, Cindy, is from New Orleans, Louisiana. We have three children and an eccentric cat name Mercy. We moved to the beautiful city of Jasper in July 2014.
I am a graduate of Shorter College (B.A.) and Southern Seminary (M Div). Having served churches in several states, I have most recently been pastor of North Broad Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia (1995-2002), Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida (2002-2005), and Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky (2005-2011).
My interests include preaching and leading worship, helping people in their spiritual formation, spending time with my family, watching ESPN and reruns of The Office. I possess an embarrassing number of books. Whenever my wife allows me, you will find a book in my hand. My favorite authors include Robert Benson, Wendell Berry, Frederick Buechner, Ken Follett, Anne Lamott, Thomas Merton, and Flannery O’Connor.
I am honored to serve as pastor of such a diverse congregation of kind and generous people. I also have the privilege of working with a fine and gifted staff. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet you. My email address is email@example.com. Please join us for worship.
Matthew NewtonAssociate Pastor, Minister of Music and Administration
I was blessed to grow up in a loving family with strong ties to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Ellijay, GA. My grandmother was the church pianist, and my father was a choir member, a deacon and the church treasurer.
Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother practicing hymns at the piano and letting me pick out melodies by ear. I was fortunate to have the consistent example of mature Christians to guide my spiritual development.
At age eleven, I made a profession of faith and was baptized. I sang in children’s and youth choirs, played handbells, and studied piano and organ.
My wife and I started dating when we were in church music activities together, and she has been a faithful soprano in every choir I have directed. We both value the church experiences we had as children and youth, and it is very important to us to provide a similar environment for our children. My diverse interests have taken me down many interesting paths in life, but God has patiently provided opportunities for me to serve in ministry. No matter what I did, I found myself drawn more and more to serving in the church. I once asked a wise pastor friend how the Lord calls one to ministry, and his reply was, “He is relentless.” Looking back, I realized that I had already been following the call one step at a time. Whenever I least expected it, God led me to new places of service with new challenges and opportunities for growth. I am excited to be the Minister of Music at First Baptist Jasper.
Annie SuttonMinister of Youth and Outreach
I was born a preacher’s daughter and Georgia peach. I spent my childhood in South East Georgia, picking up pecans from my back yard and enjoying Vidalia onion rings as much as possible. The last half of my life was spent in Western North Carolina, taking in the beautiful mountain views and learning what it means to be a Carolina girl.
I was a Religion Major with a concentration in Youth Ministry and a minor in English at Mars Hill College – now Mars Hill University. During my time there I found a love for leading in ministry, exploring theological ideas, and experiencing the transforming power of Christ. I also have a love of psychology and find God most often walking beside people as they explore their identity and work through life experiences.
I recently earned a Master of Divinity at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, focusing on Pastoral Care and Congregational Ministry. I’m always down for some sushi or a good taco, or three. Running, reading, camping and crafting are my favorite hobbies, along with watching Gilmore Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, The Vampire Diaries, and Parks & Rec.
Feel free to add me on social media or find me in the youth room or office during the week. I can’t wait to get to know you!
Cassie RascoPreschool Director
I am the mother of three boys and wife to Kyle Rasco. I received my diploma from Reinhardt University in Public Relations and Advertising and worked in the corporate world for seven years in Business Marketing until I realized my calling to be more involved in my children’s lives and to teach. This is when I started teaching at the FBC Jasper Preschool in the two-year-old class. After teaching for four years I applied to become the Director and began in June of 2015. I have the unique perspective of being a parent of children that went through FBCJ Preschool program, as well as being a teacher. Having this background has allowed my to incorporate many new programs, curriculum and activities for the school. I hope that my love for God and for the children of this school truly shine through every day.
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!
Christie BeiringOffice Administrator
I am blessed to be the mom of four boys. My twins are now grown and starting an exciting season in their own lives and my two youngest and I have been enjoying the amazing and beautiful surroundings and history in these Appalachian foothills 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 speak English and Spanish fluently, have studied French and German, and learned enough Greek to get around. My love of languages and experiencing various cultures guided my degree track at Mississippi State University. I earned my bachelor in International Business and Foreign Languages and a MA in Spanish, teaching Spanish at labs as an undergraduate and lower level courses as a grad student.
I have since lived in four southern states and gained invaluable experience working first as an office administrator with a small family-owned business, then with executive level management of a national stevedoring company with international subsidiaries while simultaneously teaching Spanish at The University of South Alabama. Then my twins were born. I shifted career tracks and began teaching at a Christian college preparatory school in Mobile, Alabama. After relocating to Georgia in 2001 I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years, occupying my time with my children, PTO, volunteer work, scrapbooking, doing some part time computer work (writing articles, creating documents for certification, desktop publishing, presentations, etc.) for the City of Snellville and a sports medicine doctor. In 2010 I began teaching all levels of Spanish from pre-kindergarten through high school at Wildwood Christian Academy in Marble Hill and was there until the school’s closing in Fall 2016 and found my way to FBCJ. Joining the staff at FBCJ as their Office Administrator has been a true blessing and a joy.
In my free time I most enjoy reading and writing and have written several middle grade and YA novels, one work published. I spent thirteen years volunteering online as a guide, I explore new interests with my boys, and I admit to dabbling on the computer sometimes a bit too much. My motto is “Aun aprendo. Siempre aprendo.” (“I am still learning. I am always learning.”) I have a wide range of interests, a keen curious nature, and I am always learning something new.