J. BARRETT OWEN
Rev. J. Barrett Owen is a pastor, writer, and teacher. His passion is seeing the intersection between divinity, culture, and the church. Through preaching, organizational leadership, and spiritual formation, he desires to help people experience the inclusive love of God.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Leadership in 2007 from Belmont University, a Master of Divinity in 2010 from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and a Master of Theology in Homiletics in 2012 from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
He has served as a bi-vocational pastor at Union Baptist Church in Pine Mountain, GA (2008-10) and National Heights Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia (2010-15) while working full time as the associate director of admissions at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.
In addition, Barrett writes for Baptist News Global and EthicsDaily.com. He taught as adjunct faculty for two years as well as served on the steering committee for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Young Baptist Ecosystem and the Coordinating Council of CBF-GA. He was ordained into Christian Ministry by Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on January 4, 2009.
He is married to his best friend and life-partner, Noelle. She is a clinical mental health practitioner. Before moving to Waynesboro, she worked as the Director of Family Preservations at the United Methodist Children’s Home serving homeless families with kids as well as teaching court appointed parenting classes to families in the community. She graduated in 2008 from Belmont University in Christian Leadership and 2012 from Mercer University with a Dual Masters in Divinity and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Barrett and Noelle met at Belmont while serving on a University Ministries team that mentored undergraduates. They married in March, 2011, and have two kids, Henry and Georgia.
For quality time, Barrett and Noelle hike, run, and read. They are Atlanta Braves fans as well as love eating at new restaurants, touring museums, traveling, hanging out with friends, and playing board games. When spending time apart, Barrett plays golf while Noelle does art projects or hangs out with friends.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: 540-919-8187
Minister of Music & Worship
Larry Jones joined our staff in September of 2008. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Morehead State University in 1976, and a Master of Church Music from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983. Larry has served churches in Kentucky, Alabama, and South Carolina. Other experiences include worship leader at the South Carolina CBF State Assembly and the CBF National Assembly; Adjunct Professor Music, The University of North Alabama; and Alabama Singing Men and Brass Ensemble. He is currently a member of Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro and the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale. Professional affiliations include the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorister's Guild. Larry and his wife, Nancy, have one son, Chris, and his wife, Amanda, and a granddaughter, Anna Claire.
email@example.com | Office: (540) 932-0698
LACEY B. WONDREE
Minister to Families with Children
Growing up in a large family of her own—six older brothers, one older sister, and 20 nieces and nephews—Lacey values family and supporting the spiritual growth and formation of various and differing family units. Lacey is passionate about ministry, writing, and faith development for all ages.
Lacey earned her BA in Sociology from Mars Hill College, with triple minors in Religion, Women’s Studies, and Mathematics. She graduated in 2015 with her Master of Divinity degree from Campbell University Divinity School, concentrating in Biblical Studies. The intersection of these two degrees—Sociology and Divinity—is the desire of Lacey’s lifetime ministry. She believes that understanding and engaging social constructs, family entities, and communities creates space for God’s love to be made known and for God’s Kingdom to be here as it is in heaven.
Lacey and her husband, Rev. Chris Wondree, both enjoy sports, time with family, good food and coffee, traveling, and watching comedies.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: (540) 949-8187
Minister to Families with Youth
Ben is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He has earned two degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University: a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and a Masters in Patient Counseling.
Ben is a graduate of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond where he served in many roles including Community Life Representative and Associate Moderator for the Student Leadership Council. Ben has served most recently as a Chaplain Intern at VCU Health System earning 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and ministering to youth at Derbyshire Baptist Church where he was ordained into gospel ministry.
His hobbies include long distance running, playing the acoustic guitar, trivia, finding the perfect filter on Instagram, VCU basketball and drinking coffee.
Ben and his wife, Courtney, married in May of 2017. They enjoy going to concerts, cooking, and spending time with their two cats, Toby and Mrs Landingham.
email@example.com l Office: 540-949-8187
Lynn W. Fields began her work as our Administrative Assistant in June of 1982. She received a Certificate in Secretarial Science from Blue Ridge Community College. She completed an intensive Church Secretaries Certification through Virginia Baptists. Before her work at FBC, she worked with the Virginia Department for the Visually Handicapped for six years. She is a member of the Chancel and Handbell Choirs and Waynesboro Schola Cantorum. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, following the local Rockingham County Baseball League, and bowling in local leagues as well as in local and state tournaments.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: 540-932-1395
Financial Ministry Assistant
Brenda began work as our Financial MInistry Assistant in March 2011. Prior to coming to First Baptist, she worked at West Side Baptist in Harrisonburg for 23 years as Church Secretary and then Financial Administrative Assistant. She also spent 3 years as Program Secretary with the Shenandoah Valley Head Start with the Augusta County School Board. She has taken numerous classes and courses at Blue Ridge Community College to further her knowledge of church work. She has 2 children, 4 grandchildren and a kitty named Reepicheep.
email@example.com | Office: 540-932-1936
Director of the Weekday Preschool
Janis is an early childhood education supporter and advocate. Providing a nurturing, child-centered educational environment for young learners has been her mission for over thirty years. She enjoys and appreciates the natural curiosity and energy of young children, and the joy that they share each day. The opportunity to work with the dedicated staff of First Baptist Waynesboro Weekday Preschool and the children and families served there allows her to happily continue her commitment to providing enriching experiences for young children.
Upon graduating from James Madison University with degrees in Business Communications and Early Childhood Education, she taught for several years before returning to earn her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. She later received an additional endorsement in Administration and Supervision. She retired from Waynesboro Public Schools after thirty years as a public school teacher.
She is a native of Waynesboro and is married to Jimmy Rule who works at James Madison University. Their daughter, Jamie, also lives in Waynesboro and their son, Jacob, lives in Arizona with his wife and children.
Visiting her grandchildren, assisting area animal rescue groups, taking care of her rescue pets and reading keep her busy when she is not enjoying the company of children.
mailto:'firstname.lastname@example.org' | 540-942-2253
Kim has been working with the FBC Custodial staff since 1989. She is a graduate of Waynesboro High School and attended Blue Ridge Community College. Kim has two sons, Brian and Michael, and two grandchildren.
Kathy Melton has been a member of First Baptist since 1995. She has been active as a Chancel Choir member, Children's Choir director, deacon, and Sunday School teacher. She is currently serving as pianist for the Chancel Choir and the traditional worship service. Kathy, a native South Carolinian, is a lifelong Baptist and musician.
Kathy earned the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Georgia and maintains a teaching studio, with voice and piano lessons. She is an active Board Member and accompanist for Schola Cantorum of Waynesboro. She and her husband, Alan, have two daughters and two sons-in-law who make their life a joy.
Mary Alice Downs
Mary Alice Downs graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty Missouri with a BA in Music Education. She has taught music in public school and voice and piano classes at Purdue University. For more than 25 years she was choir director at Westminster Presbyterian in Waynesboro during which time she also taught private voice and piano classes. She has retired from the City of Waynesboro as Voter Registrar where she served for 15 years. She has three grown sons and four grandchildren.