Joe Ferguson, Pastor

Joe began his ministry at FBC Baxley in January of 2017.

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Phil Warren, Pastor of Music & Sr. Adults

Phil began his ministry at FBC Baxley in October of 2011. He and his wife Jan have a daughter and a son, Catherine and Andrew.

A graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985) and Georgia Southern College (1976), Phil previously served FBC Acree, FBC Leesburg, FUMC Richmond Hill, Morningside Baptist Church, and Pinecrest Baptist Church. 

Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Deneta Lightsey, Youth Ministry Director

Deneta began her ministry at FBC in November of 2016. She is the daughter of Doug and Dovie Doyle, granddaughter of the late Melvin and Winnie Doyle, lifelong, active members of First Baptist Church.  She and her husband Ricky have two sons, Luke and Jack.


Tricia Chauncey, Children's Coordinator 

Tricia began her ministry at FBC Baxley in November of 2015. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She moved to Baxley in 2012 where she married Yates Chauncey and became a stay-at-home mom. Together they have 4 children, Madison (15), Meadow (12), Mikaela (10) and Ry (2). They enjoy spending time with their kids and going to new places.

Tricia felt a calling in her heart in 2015 to work with the children of our church and to begin to build our Children's ministry. Her hope and prayer is to lead the children of our church and our community to Christ through new and exciting activities and Bible lessons. She is a strong believer that kids are not "just kids," they're future leaders.

Laura Bruce, Administrative Assistant 

Laura began her service in January of 2009. She has been a resident of Appling County since 1976. She has two daughters: Kaitlin and Jesse Riane. Her hobbies are reading and spending time with family and friends.

Elesa Varnadore, Secretary/Receptionist 

Elesa began her service in June of 1990. She has been a resident of Appling County since 1973. Her family includes three children: Christy (Luke) Schuster, Joshua, and Caleb. She is especially thrilled over the newest arrival to the family, a grandson, Andrew Ezra and joins his big brother, Evan Joshua. Her hobbies are bird watching, enjoying nature, and collecting Peanuts memorabilia. She enjoys spending time with her family.

Gail Carter, Pianist

Gail grew up in First Baptist Church.  She began part-time service at twelve years old and served periodically from then through her college years. She began full-time service in the early  1970’s. Gail teaches mathematics and physics at the high  school and was married to the late Jerry Carter, a retired high school English  teacher. They have one son and daughter-in-law, Jeremy & Emily Carter. 

David Williams, Organist

David has extensive schooling at Brewton Parker College, Tift College, Mercer University and Cambridge College. He began his service as Interim Organist in December 2015. He has also served as Interim Music Minister in 2010. David has an extensive background in music and theatre. He has entertained crowds in 41 states, Canada and Ireland. He has had wonderful success with three major solo recordings, “Get On Board” with the Uplifters, "Reflections & Memories," and “Remember When.” David is the Assistant Principal - Director of Instruction at Appling County High School and recently named a finalist in the Georgia Assistant Principal of the Year program. David is an active member of the Gospel Music Association and the Southern Gospel Music Association. He is listed in "WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA," and “WHO’S WHO IN THE WORLD.” He is highly "sought-after” as a solo artist and with David Williams & Legacy –a southern gospel trio.