GET TO KNOW OUR LEADERS
Carlton is a native of Wrens, GA and a graduate of Furman University. He received both the M. Div. and D. Min. degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. For thirteen years he served as Minister to Youth at FBC Greenwood, SC and, for ten years, as pastor at FBC Claxton, GA before coming to Commerce in 2005.
He is married to Donna Logan, who is a Registered Nurse. They have three grown children and two grandchildren. Elizabeth and her son, Colton, live in Commerce. Vicki lives in Register, GA along with her husband, Adam, and their daughter, Ellison. Carl is a teacher and baseball coach in Walton County, Ga.
Baseball is one of Carlton’s favorite pastimes. Along with watching the game, he announces and operates the scoreboard for the Commerce Tiger home baseball games. He also enjoys playing golf and reading and collecting Southern literature.
Carlton is the author of a collection of short stories, entitled Falling Toward Grace. He has written sermons for NextSunday.com and has had sermons and stories published in Baptist Today and The E-Street Journal.
Carlton enjoys living in a small town and thinks there is no better place in the world to live than NE Georgia.
Todd Chandler is a native of Jackson County. He is a 1991 graduate of Jackson County Comprehensive High School and is now the choral director at his high school alma mater. He earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education in 1995 from Shorter College, his graduate degree from Piedmont College and his doctorate from University of Georgia. Todd currently resides in Commerce with his wife, Renee, and their three children.
He has conducted choirs and orchestras that have performed in prestigious concert halls and churches throughout Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, and Austria. The most recent international concerts were at the Berliner Dom and the French Cathedral in Berlin, Germany; Thomaskirche and St. Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, Germany; Marktkirche in Halle, Germany; and Schloss Belvedere, Weimar where instrumentalists from the Liszt School of Music Weimar joined forces with the American choir to record Faure’s Requiem.
In 2006, Todd conducted Dvoÿák’s Te Deum, Opus 103, accompanied by the Prague City Orchestra at the Lichtenstein Palace and St. Nicholas Church. In 2005, he conducted a combination of college music professors, high school and middle school music educators, college music majors, First Baptist Church Choir members and community choir members in performances at Santa Maria della Pieta in Venice, Italy; San Zeno Maggiore Church, Verona, Italy; and the Mozart Hall of the Teatro Nuovo in Verona, Italy. In 2004, he directed choirs at the Vienna Rathaus and Melk Abbey in Melk, Austria.
When Todd isn't working on music, he is spending time with his family at the lake or the beach. He enjoys water skiing, silly movies, camping in the mountains and is a history buff.
"Get that corn outta my face!" - Nacho Libre, personal hero
Dr. Chris Strickland has been hired as our part-time Director of Youth Ministries and will administer, develop and implement youth ministry programs designed to meet the spiritual, social, and emotional needs of the youth, leading them to spiritual commitments and disciplines. Additionally, he will video Sunday morning worship service and Wednesday night Bible Study. He has extensive lay servant experience, most recently serving St. Paul United Methodist Church. He graduated from Shorter College with a Bachelor of Music Education and with a Master of Educational Leadership from Augusta University. He received his Doctorate of Educational Leadership in 2008 from the University of Georgia. He is the Choral Director at East Jackson Middle School. Chris is married to Kelleigh and they have two daughters, Emmaleigh, a freshman at Piedmont College and Maggie, a sophomore at Each Jackson High School.
Etta has been serving our church for many years as we have watched her share her gifts and talents volunteering in a variety of ways. She has volunteered on numerous occasions to help our children's ministry activities by leading the children's sermon during worship, teaching Sunday School and assisting with the children's choir. Etta graduated from Piedmont College where she was an English major and received a minor in Music. She also served as the Editor for the schools literary magazine, Trillium. Etta works as a Customer Service Representative for the City of Jefferson's water department.
Mrs. Judy Eubanks has served as FBC pianist since 1985. She first began her service as church musician over fifty years ago (1965), at the age of 13. The former Judy White, she is a lifelong resident of Commerce and is a graduate of Commerce High School. She is married to Johnny Eubanks and they have two sons and three grandsons. She is retired from Commerce Printing, after 33 years as graphic designer. She is President of the Four Seasons Garden Club and is a member of the Commerce Athletic Booster Club. She loves watching her grandsons play sports and working among her flowers. After retiring, she is still doing design and printing from her home where she operates Judy's Print Shop.
Kathy Pruett is a life-long member of First Baptist Church of Commerce. Along with her family, Kathy was actively involved in the programs of the church. She served as church organist during high school. Kathy graduated from the University of West Georgia, moved to Atlanta and began her career in international hotel sales management.
Since Kathy and her husband, Ernie, moved back to Commerce, Kathy served as interim organist at the Commerce First United Methodist Church for 7 years and church organist at FBC Commerce for over 15 years. As well as her responsibilities as organist, she has participated in many activities of the church; she has served terms on the deacon board and several other standing committees.
Kathy and Ernie have three children and eight grandchildren. Since retiring, they spend most of their time on Lake Lanier enjoying time with family and friends.
Tami and her husband, Rick, make their home in Madison County although she admits they are still Commerce Tigers at heart. They have two daughters, Kellyn and Taylor. Tami began working at First Baptist in May of 2004. She and Rick are members of Union Baptist Church in Hull where she teaches a women’s Sunday school class. When she is not at FBC, she enjoys evenings on the deck with Rick, gardening, football in the fall, and a recent new hobby, experimenting with new recipes.
Martha began her service as financial secretary in May of 2006. Born in Toccoa, the family moved to Marietta, GA when she was an infant. Marietta is where she met and married her husband of 50+ years. After moves to California and South Carolina, Martha & husband, Don moved back to this area. In 1994 they purchased a farm in Franklin County on which a home built in 1910 stood. The past 25 years have been spent renovating & maintaining this old homeplace. The much needed work lead to the discovery of many abilities – plumbing, carpentry and such. Baking and gardening are just for fun!
Cameron will promote and communicate events, programs, activities and ministries of the church to the congregation and community through our social media accounts and website. Cameron began her Commerce career as the Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor at Commerce High School. Currently, she is the Work-Based learning and Dual Enrollment Coordinator for Commerce High School and promotes Shirley Feed and Seed through their social media. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees from Clemson University and her Specialist degree from Auburn University. She married Matt Shirley in 2013 and they have two children, Jack and Beau.
First Baptist Deacons for 2019-2020
Chair, Terry Canup