David is a native Floridian, but he had the joy of serving as a pastor in four different wonderful congregations in North Carolina before coming to Rome in August 2022. He has been privileged to share life together with his high school sweetheart, Laurie, whom he married in 1994. Laurie and David are the proud parents of Caroline and Jacob. David is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and Samford University. He loves the Duke Blue Devils, high school football, fishing, and time spent with his family and friends. David considers it an honor and sacred calling to be able to remember people’s names with ease, to build relationships, and to help others to grow in their faith as they follow Jesus and love their neighbors.
Life Verse: Philippians 4:4-7
Keith A. Reaves
Senior Associate/Minister of Worship
Keith has served as Senior Associate/Minister of Worship at First Baptist since 1999. He also is responsible for the Senior Adult ministry at First Baptist. He is a native of Arkansas and he and his wife, Hilary, both graduates of the University of Arkansas, have two adult children, Graham Reaves, Ellen Reaves Wood and a grandson, Owen Wood.
Life Verse: Psalm 118:14
Tamara Tillman Smathers
Minister of Education/Administration
As Minister of Education and Administration Tamara strives to keep things safe—to help the church become a safe place for persons to explore the deepest questions of faith through Bible study, prayer, and conversations with others. She also works to assure that the our buildings are kept safe and prepared for anyone who comes our way. Tamara is a Rome native, having recently returned to her home church after years of serving churches in Alabama and ministry in international settings. She is married to Jeff Smathers and has one step-son, Andrew.
Life Verse: Psalm 91
Minister of Students/Missions
Nick grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where he received his undergraduate degree in Psychology at William Carey University. During this time, he began his first ministry job as a youth minister. Later, Nick earned a Master of Divinity at Candler School of Theology in 2018. While in his last year of theological studies, Nick received his first pastoral appointment in the Rome area where he served as the lead pastor until late June of 2020.
Nick is married to his best friend, Aubrey, they have a daughter, Halle, and a son, Emory.
Life Verse: Jeremiah 29:11-13
Minister of Faith Development
Kristen has been on staff at FBC since October 2017. She is passionate about helping families navigate their faith journey together and considers it a privilege to help introduce children to Jesus and realize the importance of their relationship with God at every age. She is married to Ben Mathis, and they have an Australian Shepherd named Zoey.
Life Verse: Romans 12:4-5
Minister to Extended Family
Gwen has been on staff at FBC since 2012. She serves as Ministry Assistant where she keeps tabs on the FBC Extended Family, visiting home-bound members and those in assisted living. Her hobbies include reading and exploring antique shops.
Life Verse: Philippians 3:12-14
Karen R. Garrett
Administrative Assistant to Senior Associate/
Minister of Worship and Minister of Students and Missions
Administrative Assistant to Minister of Education/
Administration and Minister of Faith Development
Weekday Preschool Director
Melissa is a native of Rome and has been a part of our Weekday Early Education program staff for more than nine years.