• Joshua Barrett


    Joshua is the undeserving, grateful recipient of the gift of God’s love in and through his wife, Laura, and their four children, Luke, Aubrey, Sam, and Nate. The Christlike example of Laura, and the blessing of their children, have made an incalculable difference in his life.


    He did undergraduate work at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, and graduate work at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, TX.


    His calling in ministry is to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ, equip the saints for the work of ministry, and live his life in a manner worthy of the calling to which he has been called; …part of which includes being an unapologetic snob to the quality of coffee made in his home. He and Laura proudly brew black, pour-over (Hario v60), coffee daily!

  • Will Gerrald

    Will is blessed to be married to Caitlin, an encouraging wife, supportive partner in ministry, loving mother, and compassionate Physician Assistant. They have three sons—Henry, Theodore, and Patrick—who keep things interesting with their joy and curiosity.

    Will met Caitlin during undergraduate study at Furman University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music. They moved to Kentucky for graduate work where Will received a Master of Church music degree at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Will is passionate about leading others in true worship of our triune God, especially in obedience to the biblical command to sing. He believes the health of a church can be measured in the spiritual fruit of individuals and in the corporate exuberance of the congregation’s worship.

    Will is an avid fan of the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gerralds enjoy spending time breaking bread with others, playing games, and taking in live music and theatre.

  • Larry Phillips


    Larry is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy. They have two children. Scott is a corporate pilot and Laura is a Spanish professor. Kathy and Larry have seven grandchildren.

    Larry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

    He served as pastor of First Baptist Church Lima, Peru while under appointment with the International Mission Board. He served with the IMB for 19 years before joining the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina where he served 20 years as a Hispanic consultant until his “retirement”.

    Larry has a passion to see people move beyond self-imposed limits on their personhood and potential. He believes in one’s ability to move forward - to become all one is meant to be in Christ. He embraces diversity, encourages differences, shares decision-making, and purses a personal identity conformed to the servant image of Christ. He demonstrates heart, warmth, acceptance, honesty, and challenge as he ministers living into servant-leadership. 

    When not “working” he enjoys his “Wing” and water sports.

  • Tyler Shepherd


    Tyler, a native of Winston-Salem, is married to Elspeth, and is very grateful for eHarmony for bringing them together. They are the parents of Eleanor, who is a great source of laughter and joy.

    Tyler originally pursued a career as a physical therapist while at Appalachian State University, but changed his plans when the Lord led him to prepare for pastoral ministry during his senior year. Since then, he graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has worked both in student ministry and in coaching.

    Passionate about patient discipleship, Tyler aims to make Scripture accessible to students so they are equipped to handle the Word of God properly, think well for themselves, and understand God's intention for their lives. He desires for students to grow to spiritual maturity one small degree of glory to the next, and to find their place in the life of the church.

    In his spare time, Tyler enjoys strength training, swimming, reading, exploring the great outdoors with his family, and he is learning to enjoy the many dress-up games his daughter loves to play with him.

  • Minister to Children

    We are currently accepting resumes for a full time Minister to Children and Their Families


  • Ashley Dyson


    The Lord brought Ashley and her husband, Matt, together by way of their 8am Organic Chemistry class at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  Ashley is thankful for Matt’s help to pass the class but far more importantly for the Lord's uniting of them in marriage just a few years later in 2002.  They now have two amazing children, Hank and June, who love country music only half as much as their names imply but do indeed love the Lord, vacations, and family board-game nights!  Moby, the tiny dog, hardly moves from the top of the sofa for any of it but is deeply loved regardless.

    By God’s grace, Ashley loves to study and teach God’s Word, to strengthen servant leaders, and to celebrate God growing His children in their likeness of Jesus.  She never stops being amazed that God would gift her the privilege to serve Him and the children that He fiercely loves.  Her heartfelt desire is that eternal seeds would be planted, watered, and matured in the hearts of each child and that foundational Christian relationships would be fostered in these early years.

    Ashley also loves to cook (but no so much doing the dishes), to see live theater shows, and to hike in gorgeous western NC with her family!

  • Heather Lockman


    Heather has worked in full time ministry for over twenty years.  A native of Hickory, she finds joy in spending time with her large extended family.  She is married to Shane and they have three children; Julie, Rylan, and Rebekah, and two well loved furbabies; Ozzy & Rocky.


    She is dedicated to seeing children know The Lord and currently serves as a preschool leader at her church. The ministry of foster care and adoption hold a special place in the heart of her family. Heather loves to sing and all things music. Her favorite singing is with a gospel choir or with her children.


    Heather enjoys a good movie, game nights, and road trips!

  • Nancy Cook


    A native of Hickory, Nancy brings 20 years of non-profit administration experience to First Baptist Church.  

    She enjoys serving others through outreach ministries including mission trips, Habitat, and Catawba County Humane Society. 


    “Building wheelchair ramps for people in need, to putting up siding on new church buildings, allows me to put my faith in action.”


    Nancy loves to travel, Tarheel basketball, and outdoor activities including tending her vegetable garden.  Most weekends are spent outdoors with her four-legged sidekick, CoCo. 

  • Elaine Robinson


    Elaine has been married to Matt for 31 years. They have two grown daughters; Miranda and Madelaine.  


    She has worked in Christian Eduation for over twenty-five years. Elaine holds degrees in Administration and Early Childhood.  


    “Since the first five years are critical and the majority of learning takes place, I want to teach these children about Jesus.  If they carry nothing else away from the CDC, I want them to know Jesus loves them and is always there for them. I want them to feel safe and loved by the CDC and FBC.”


    Elaine is an avid crafter and loves using sharing her gifts of creativity for family and friends.