Noel Schoonmaker has served as Pastor of First Baptist Church since 2013. He is married to Dayna and they have two young daughters, Maggie and Nora. A native of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, he was ordained to the gospel ministry at Churchland Baptist Church in Lexington, North Carolina, where he served as Pastor from 2004-2005. He also served as Pastor of First Baptist Church, Valdese, North Carolina from 2007-2013. Noel is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.), Wake Forest University (M.Div.), and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.), where he currently serves on the faculty of the David G. Buttrick Certificate Program in Homiletic Peer Coaching. He has presented essays at the Academy of Homiletics and the Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion and has published for Homily Service, Homiletic, Preaching Online, NextSunday.com, and the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church. Noel enjoys spending time with his family, making music, playing basketball, and traveling. One thing he likes about First Baptist Church is its numerous ecumenical partnerships in worship and mission.
Minister of Christian Formation
Phil Potratz has served as Minister of Christian Formation since 2008. He is married to Karen and they have one married daughter, Nicole Chambers, and one son, Nathan. Phil was ordained to the gospel ministry by the First Baptist Church of Knob Noster, Missouri, where he served as associate pastor. He also served as associate pastor at churches in Kentucky and Nashville before moving to Murfreesboro. Phil holds the Master’s of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College. One thing he likes about First Baptist Church is how very welcoming it is to all people.
Minister to Senior Adults and Congregational Care
Pam Pilote serves as Minister of Senior Adults and Congregational Care and has been on staff at First Baptist Church since 1996. She is the mother of 3 grown sons and has previous professional experience as a social worker and rehab counselor. She holds a Master’s degree from Arkansas State University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee. One thing she likes about First Baptist Church is how church members of all ages treat each other like family.
Minister to Students
David Cates serves as Minister to Youth and College-Age and has been on staff at First Baptist Church since 2000. He is married to Ashley and they have a teenage son, Benjamin. David studied business administration, criminal justice, aerospace, business management, computer science and agribusiness before finally coming to what had been suggested by his college pastor…ministry among young people! One thing he likes about First Baptist Church is the updated website.
Minister of Preschool & Children
Brent Greene, a native of Boone, NC, serves as our Minister of Preschool and Children. Brent was ordained to the gospel ministry by the First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC in 2002. He holds the Master's of Divinity from The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Science in Education from Appalachian State University and holds a Graduate Certification in Non-Profit Management from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Brent is married to Martha Williams Greene and they have three children - Bryanna, Ray and Hailey. Brent appreciates First Baptist Church for its great heritage while seeking to be open to new ministry endeavors as a united yet intergenerational family of faith.
Director of Chancel Choir
Bryan Anderson has served as Director of Chancel Choir since 2012. He is married to Lauren and they have two children, Jacob and Hayden. Bryan holds a M.M. in choral conducting from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. from Carson-Newman College. He previously served churches in Nashville, Franklin, and Knoxville. One thing Bryan likes about First Baptist Church is its appreciation for different types of music and the various ways music is employed in worship services.
Contemporary Worship Leader
Scott Willis has served as Contemporary Worship Leader since 2000. He is married to Vickie and together they have two adult children, Andrew and Amy Beth. Scott was ordained to the gospel ministry at Forrest Highlands Baptist Church in Little Rock and served as a Baptist campus minister in Arkansas and Georgia. He holds a Master’s degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University. He appreciates how First Baptist Church is committed to worshipping God in different ways and serving God in a unique downtown setting.
Teresa Franklin has served as Publications Secretary since 2000. She has been married to her husband, Mike, for 28 years. They have two sons, Matthew and Michael. Teresa also has a son, William, and a daughter, Toni, from a previous marriage. All together, they have 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. One thing she likes about First Baptist Church is how its members respond to needs that arise by helping in any way they can.
Brenda Alexander has served as Financial Secretary since 2000. She is married to Tim and they have two children, Whitney and Wesley, who are students at Middle Tennessee State University. They also have two dogs, Jazzy and Harley. Brenda studied computers and accounting at Nashville State Community College and has previous professional experience in banking, insurance, and retail management. One thing she likes about First Baptist Church is its commitment to ministering to the community and beyond.
Donna Loggins has served as Administrative Assistant since 2009. She is the proud aunt of three nieces, three nephews, eight great-nephews and finally a great-niece! One thing she likes about First Baptist Church is how it encourages and utilizes lay participation in all its ministries, giving every member an opportunity to be a part of the body of Christ.
Sherri Poole has served as Facilities Manager since 2000. She is married and has two children. One thing she likes about First Baptist Church is its willingness to show the love of Jesus to others.
WEE School Director
Karen Parris serves as the WEE School Director for the parents-day-out program of the church as has been on staff since 2000. Karen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Human Development and Family Life with a minor in Business and an Associate's Degree from Cleveland State Community College in Information Systems with a minor in Business. Karen is married to Pat (the church organist) and they have three grown children: Jonathan, Elizabeth (& Charlie), and Benjamin (& Caitlyn) who are all very active in the church. Karen enjoys spending time with her family, her cat Chester and cooking. She also helps serve the Wednesday evening fellowship meals. One of the things she likes about First Baptist is how it has been a great place to help raise her family to love God and others from the time they were in the nursery to their adulthood.