LEADERSHIP

Pastors & Staff

DR. JUSTIN GAMBRELL

Senior Pastor

A native of Alabama, Justin attended Samford University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies. While serving in churches in Alabama, Florida, and now Georgia; Justin completed his education and received his Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
 Since accepting the Lord’s call into ministry, Justin has served in many areas of church leadership and continues to seek new ways to reach those he has been called to serve.
 Justin is married to Amy and they have three children; Jackson, Colson and Madison. Together, Justin and Amy have committed their lives to helping people find and grow a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Reaching and serving the world through ministries inside the church and outreach opportunities is a way of life for Justin and his family. He strives daily to serve God by loving God’s children.

Rev. Will Emery

Discipleship & Administration Pastor
Will was raised in Blackshear, Georgia. God graciously saved him at the age of 12 and then called him to ministry at the age of 15. He has served with the youth, missions, and ministries over his time at FBC.
Will recently graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. He is currently working on a Master of Divinity through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Will’s role in the church is to provide leadership for Administration and Discipleship. In all that he does, he desires to, “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

Will enjoys to read, travel, and golf.

Rev. Matt Peters

Worship Pastor
Matt serves as the Associate Pastor of Worship for FBC Blackshear. He joined the staff in October 2020. Matt is from Cordele, GA and moved to Waycross in 2002. He is married to Jessica and they have four children, Lily, Will, Ella, and Judah.

Matt earned an A.S. in Business Management from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, a B.S. in Business Management from Georgia Southwestern State University, and a M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. After college, Matt spent nine years working as a golf professional and earned Class A status with the PGA of America. In 2009 he answered the call to the ministry and has served in the areas of outreach, community missions and worship leadership. Matt is currently working on a M.A. in Worship Ministry through New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Matt enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, hiking, kayaking, and playing & singing music.

Rev. Eric Dyer

Associate Pastor
Eric grew up in Cookeville, Tennessee, and was saved at the age of 7 at vacation bible school. After college, Eric attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary before moving to Blackshear in 2017. Then he graduated in 2019 with his Masters of Divinity. He is married to his wife Julia and has two children, Charlotte and Charles.

Eric's role in the church is to provide every person in the 6th-12th grade with teaching from the Bible, and the proclamation of the Gospel. He organizes Wednesday and Sunday programs that are attractive and beneficial to students. The summers are also packed with exciting activities and life-changing events like camp and DNow.

The goal of student ministry at FBC is as students take steps toward adulthood, they also take a step toward Jesus. FBC Student ministry hopes to see more and more high school students graduate and continue to attend church. Eric truly believes students are the church of today, and they will be the ones that bring the gospel to the world.

Jenna Maney

Recreation Director
Jenna Maney was born in San Diego, CA, but spent the majority of her life in Eden Prairie, MN.

She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2010 with a double degree in Early Childhood and Elementary education.
After graduating, she moved to Honolulu, HI where she met her husband, Nick. They got married in 2013.

In 2019, Jenna graduated with her Masters in Early Childhood. She taught for 10 years before leaving the teaching profession in May 2020.

Jenna and her husband have three boys; Kai (19), Jameson (5) and Henry (2). They have lived in Blackshear since May 2019.

Madi Lowe

Children's Director
Madi is from Pensacola, Florida and accepted Christ and was baptized at the age of 5. She is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a bachelor's degree in Communications. She has worked in preschool ministry for 6 years in Pensacola and moved to Blackshear in 2022. She is currently pursuing a Master's of Arts degree in Christian Leadership with NOBTS.

Madi's role in the church is to equip volunteers and to see children come to know Christ and grow in their walk with the Lord to become fully devoted followers of Christ in a safe, loving, and high energy environment.

Madi enjoys art, traveling, watching Alabama football and spending time with friends and family.

DARBY BENFIELD

Pre-School Director
Darby grew up in Blackshear as a member of First Baptist Church. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Postsecondary Education. She is a special  education teacher at Pierce County Middle School and is married to Greg. They have two grown children, Mary and Greg.

Gwen Cason

Ministry Assistant
Gwen joined the First Baptist Church staff in February 2001 as Secretary and has been Ministry Assistant since 2007.

Born and raised in Blackshear, GA, Gwen accepted Christ at the age of 12 at her home church, Beulah Baptist Church.

She is married to Bill Cason and has two daughters: Joanna Savino and Brianna King.

She enjoys working in her yard, cooking, shopping, and spending time with her family.

Denise Taylor

Financial Secretary
Denise is the Financial and Membership Secretary.
Denise joined the staff at First Baptist Church in August 1999 as Secretary and has been the Financial and Membership Secretary since November 2000.

She is married to Richie Taylor, and they have two children, Robbie Taylor and Maura (Brandon) Carter, and four grandchildren, Adalynn & Austyn Taylor and Avery & Dutton Carter.

She is a member of Lees Chapel Baptist Church.