Staff

Though the congregation will always be the heart and soul of the First Baptist Church of Asheville, its talented and dedicated staff keep the ship in tip-top shape. Get to know our ministerial staff through the listings below. Some of them may surprise you!

Feel free to contact any minister with questions.

guy saylesGuy Sayles, Pastor

Joined the FBCA staff in 2001

Family: Anita Plunkett Sayles, wife, and children Amanda and Eliot.

A native of West Virginia, Guy grew up in Atlanta where he later attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. His work is focused on leading the church to discern and pursue its mission.  He enjoys playing racquetball and hiking and, from time to time, a handful of malted milk balls and licorice jelly beans.

B.A. in History – Georgia Southern University

Master of Divinity – Southern Seminary

Doctor of Ministry – Candler School of Theology of Emory University


david blackmonDavid Blackmon, Coordinating Pastor - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email David.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2009

Family: Susan, wife, and children Ryan, Elizabeth and Jonathan, and his wife Ellen

David and his wife Susan moved to Asheville in 1990. She worked as a teacher at Valley Springs Middle School while he served as a chaplain, clinical ethics coordinator, and director of pastoral care at Mission Hospitals. They first came to FBCA that January, falling in love with the people, music, and mission of this church. Almost 20 years after that fateful day, he was asked to join the staff, providing support and helping create focus for the goals and hopes the church has outlined together by engaging leaders and enriching relationships. David also manages the internal and external communications. Don’t be surprised to find David munching on chocolate malted milk balls and watching “The Shawshank Redemption.”

B.S. in Education – University of Georgia

Master of Divinity – Southwestern Seminary

Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education

Master of Health Administration- UNC Chapel Hill


tommy brattonTommy Bratton, Minister of Christian Formation - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Tommy.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2004

Family: Laura, wife, and children Ryan, Jake and Ben

Tommy was all over the Southeast before coming to Asheville. Born in Belton, SC. College at Furman. Graduate school at Emory in Atlanta. He hasn’t outgrown his raising, either: a fan of those classic, sad country songs, boiled peanuts and any sport he can find. He puts his versatility to use at FBCA coordinating the adult Christian education and spiritual formation ministry, and overseeing the children’s ministry.

B.A. in Religion – Furman University

Master of Theological Studies – Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Serves on the Coordinating Council of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC, the Steering Committee of the WNC Baptist Network, and as the treasurer of the Fairview Athletic Association.


leah-brownLeah Brown, Minister with Senior Adults - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Leah.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2008

Family: William, husband, and children Cameron and Collin

As a member of FBCA since 1999, Leah loves working with and learning from Senior Adults at FBCA. An Asheville native, Leah enjoys playing the piano and singing in the choir. She's also a movie buff whose favorite movie is "Gone with the Wind." And of course, there's a reason her favorite color is Carolina Blue - she"s an avid fan of the Carolina Tarheels!

B.A. Psychology – UNC-Asheville

Master of Social Work – UNC-Chapel Hill

 

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Leah is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Parent Advisory Council – Progressive Education Program.


jenny leeJenny Lee, Minister with Students - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Jenny.

Joined the FBCA staff in May 2010

Family: Parents, Keith and Susan Lee, younger sister Carrie, older sister Kristi and her husband, Roger, and their children Leah and Logan

Growing up in Henderson County, Jenny had always known about FBCA’s good work but hadn’t been involved until 2009 when, encouraged by friends she shared with FBCA, she applied to work with the student ministry. Somewhat unusual, her favorite colors are yellow… and gray! She keeps candy in her office and loves board games like Bananagrams and Cranium.

B.A. in Religion – Campbell University

Master of Divinity – Campbell University Divinity School

Member of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for Religious Studies and Theology.


eddie morganEddie Morgan, Minister of Missions - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Eddie.

Joined the FBCA staff in 1983.

Family: Martha, wife, and children Mark and Rebecca.

Eddie offers leadership to our counseling ministry and to young adult ministry. He also works with the Nominating and Scholarship committees.

B.A. in Religious Education from Furman University

Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Master of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.


lynnett

Lynnette James Sills, Ministry Associate for Grade-School Children - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Lynnette.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2004

Family: children Elizabeth and James

A native of Virginia, Lynnette grew up in Tenessee, and first walked through the doors at First Baptist Church of Asheville almost 15 years ago as a guest of a college friend. Ten years later, she joined the staff and now enjoys working with 1st thru 6th graders in Children’s Ministry. She serves as the director of the Media Center, which makes sense because Lynnette is also a writer, penning poems and short stories in her free time. She has read—and plans to read—Gone with the Wind once every decade of her life.

B.S. degree in Radio, TV and Film – Western Carolina University

Post graduate courses in Elementary Education at Mars Hill College and UNC Asheville.


clark sorrellsClark Sorrells, Minister of Music - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Clark.

Joined the FBCA staff in 1997

Family: Karen, wife, and children, Lillie, Hannah and Jacob.

Clark grew up in Greeneville, TN, but has called Asheville home since 1997 when a call from Margie Kiser brought him to FBCA for the Minister of Music search. Of course, we know how that story turned out; he coordinates the worship life at FBCA, leading the Adult, Jubilee and Youth Choirs as well as the Brass Quintet and Orchestra. A man who enjoys spending time with his family, Clark also loves hunting and fishing, and serves on the North Buncombe High School Hawk Club. What you might not know about him is that he has “an insatiable fascination with Civil War history.”

B.A. of Music – Carson Newman College

Master of Divinity in Church Music – Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Member of Polyphony, a fellowship of pastoral musicians and the American Choral Directors Association.


karen sorrellsKaren Gray Sorrells, Associate Minister of Music - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Karen.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2002

Family: Clark, husband, and children Lillie, Hannah and Jacob

Born in Durham but raised in Edenton, Karen helps lead the music ministry across all ages, from children’s choirs to adult handbell choirs, in addition to serving as pianist for worship services. She loves the beach and walking, keeps her mind sharp as an avid reader and keeps her hands busy with knitting. Her secret desire is to one day go skydiving! Karen’s favorite movie is a tie between “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “The Sound of Music,” though she confesses she’s partial to just about anything starring George Clooney.

B.A. in Music (Piano) – UNC-Chapel Hill

Master in Church Music – Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Kodaly Certification – Arizona State University/University of North Texas

Member of the Choristers Guild, American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), and Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE)


breeBree Welmaker, Ministry Associate for Preschool Children - Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to email Bree.

Joined the FBCA staff in 2003

Family: Jed, husband, and children Patrick and Allyson

A born and bred Southerner, Bree came to FBCA as a newlywed with her husband Jed, choosing it as their church home after a year-long search. Now, as a certified teacher, she provides programming for preschoolers and their families. In her spare time, Bree likes to curl up with a good book or get creative herself with some scrapbooking. When the weather’s nice, you’ll find her out in the garden.

BA in Spanish and Sociology

Master of Education Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary

Serves as PTA President and a Brownie Troop Leader