Dr. Ron Murray

Interim Pastor


Dr. Ron Murray has over four decades of experience as a pastor and has served Baptist churches in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Baylor University and his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Ethics.  After retiring from the full-time pastorate in 2015, Dr. Murray has focused on supporting churches in an interim capacity. A native of Kentucky, Ron and his wife Freddie currently live in Griffin, Georgia.  His interests include mission work, photography, travel and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

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

John H. Uldrick

Minister of Students and Missions


John has been on staff at FBC since 2007. A native of Clinton, South Carolina, John enjoys college football, playing golf, and spending time with his family. He has been married to his wife Jennifer since 1997 and they have two children: Charlie, born in 2000, and Annalise, born in 2002. He really enjoys his work with middle school, high school, and college students and sometimes can’t believe he gets paid for this!

Life Verse: Matthew 28:19-20

Kristen Pope

Minister of Faith Development


Kristen has been on staff at FBC since October 2017. She lived in Rome as a child and is happy to return and settle here after living in Kentucky for most of her life. She loves helping families navigate their faith journey together, and especially enjoys empowering children to realize their importance and potential as Christians at every age. She enjoys hiking, reading, and trying different donuts at The Sweet Bar!

Life Verse: Romans 12:4-5

Gwen Stephens

Ministry Assistant


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

Linda Beard

Financial Secretary


Karen R. Garrett

Administrative Assistant to Senior Associate/
Minister of Worship and Minister of Students and Missions


Debbye Akins

Administrative Assistant to Minister of Education/
Administration and Minister of Faith Development


Melinda W. Duke

Administrative Assistant to Senior Pastor


Mike Holloway

Head Custodian

Jan Dandridge


Melissa Wood

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.

Greg Paulson



Beverly Harris



Joan Hill