Meet Our Interim Youth Minister

screen-shot-2017-08-31-at-3-26-58-pmAs our youth ministry transition continues, we are excited to welcome Sarah Parker as our Interim Youth Minister this fall. Sarah is a student at Wake Forest University Divinity School. She has worked with several youth groups as a ministry intern, including most recently with Knollwood Baptist in Winston-Salem and Smoke Rise Baptist in Atlanta, where she worked with Doug Vancil’s brother, Danny, among others. She is the child of ministers, and has grown up in some of First Baptist’s peer churches, where she had wonderful experiences in youth group, including once upon a time at West Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, where Courtney Jones Willis served as youth minister.

Sarah will keep office hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in addition to her Sunday leadership, working with the Pastoral Staff, Youth Council and Youth Leaders. In this time of transition, we are grateful that someone with her gifts and graces was available to work with us in this interim role, continuing leadership for a healthy youth ministry until a permanent Associate Pastor: Youth & Families is in place.

Alongside our ministry with youth this Fall, our Search Process will begin in earnest for our next Associate Pastor for Youth & Families. The Personnel Committee and Senior Pastor are entrusted by our bylaws to make recommendations to the church for pastoral calls, and as has been the practice in the past, we are forming a Search Team from outside the Personnel Committee to lead in this process. The Search Team will seek to represent a cross-section of the church, and the many people closely connected to our youth ministry. Personnel has received many excellent recommendations, but if you have any additional names, you can email Coolidge Porterfield, Personnel Chair (

Upcoming September Dates:
Sept 6 – Wednesday Night kickoff, with Alan leading Youth Group
Sept 10 – Sarah Parker’s first Sunday
Sept 13 – Sarah’s first Wednesday
Sept 17 – Sunday Schedule Begins, with a couple special events:
5:00 Parent Meeting led by Youth Council and Sarah
6:00 Welcome Party on the lawn for Sarah and our 6th-graders
Sept 29-Oct 1 – Middle School Fall Retreat (sign up here)