I am a native of Douglasville, Georgia. My wife, Cindy, is from New Orleans, Louisiana. We have three children - Kristen, Jennifer, and Ryan - and a new Beagle puppy named Benson. 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 First Baptist Church here in Jasper. I would love the opportunity to meet you. I am most excited about expanding my vocation as radio preacher (live Sunday morning 11:00, WYYZ) and televangelist (10:30 Sunday morning, ETC Cable Channel 3, previous Sunday’s worship service)! I am learning to pronounce Jesus with four syllables and searching for a white suit with matching white shoes!
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.
Minister to 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 live in Canton with a beautiful roommate, Hilary, and her dog Lexie. I'm always down for 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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Come find me after worship on Sunday morning or in the youth room Sunday and Tuesday nights. I cannot wait to get to know you!
Minister To Children
I am a native of Macon, Georgia, and with the exception of a few years in North Carolina, have lived in Georgia my whole life. My husband, Nathan, is a native of Calhoun, Georgia and we have a son, Luke. We moved to Jasper in 2010 and have loved living in this city!
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Religion/Philosophy from Shorter College and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education from McAfee School of Theology. I have served in children's ministry in several churches: four summer internships at Highland Hills Baptist Church in Macon and First Baptist Church in Roswell, a two-year residency at First Baptist Church in Dalton, and as Minister to Children at First Baptist Church in Lumberton, North Carolina. For the past several years I have enjoyed staying home with our son, but I am excited to be working in children's ministry again!
Our family enjoys exploring all that north Georgia has to offer – from apple picking to hikes at Amicalola Falls. I also enjoy cooking, shopping, attempting to be creative, and "binge watching" television shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
I grew up in Jonesboro, GA in Clayton County (home of Gone With The Wind), and attended several local Christian Schools in the area.
In 1996, I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Clayton State College in Morrow, GA, concentrating in Vocal Performance. Both of my parents were music majors at Shorter College, and I’ve been playing the piano & singing in church since I was 4 years old. Music was the natural choice for my studies in college!
In 2004, my daughter, Anne, and I moved to the Jasper area from Clayton County. We didn’t know a soul when we moved to Pickens County, but I have found this to be the most welcoming and inviting little town! During the first few years after we moved here, I was still commuting to Atlanta to work at The Church of The Apostles. However, after working there almost 8 ˝ years, it was time to make a change and work locally. I became very active in the Chamber of Commerce, was the President of their Ambassador program, and was also chosen to serve on the Board of Directors. I’ve been fortunate to work at several local businesses since 2006, but I am most excited about serving here at the First Baptist Church!
My husband, Kevin, and I were married in June of 2014. He is the band director at PCMS, and we met through a mutual friend after attending a music festival in the Spring of 2012. He and Anne are the greatest joys and blessings in my life. I thank God for them each and every day! When we aren’t being total nerds at home and watching anything on TV related to Lord of the Rings, Batman, Star Trek or Star Wars, I am usually performing with North GA Acting Company, on the sidelines of the football field with the Marching Band, or crocheting!