Meet Our Staff

P. Joel Snider

Joel Snider has been pastor of First Baptist since 1995. He and his wife, Cherry, have two grown daughters, two granddaughters and one grandson. His hobbies include reading, hiking, and cycling.

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 and Ellen.

Sherri Dickens

Minister of Faith Development
Sherri has served as the Minister of Faith Development since 2011. Sherri's passion is nurturing the faith and spiritual growth of children in developmentally appropriate ways, and partnering with parents as they learn to be the primary shapers of faith in the home. She was born in St. Louis, MO and has served at churches in Orlando, Tampa, Charlotte, and now Rome. Combined, she and her husband Doug have six children - four boys and two girls.

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.

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 riding bikes with his children. 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!

Gwen Stephens

Ministry Assistant
Gwen has been on staff at FBC since 2012. She is a part-time employee who keeps tabs on the extended church family, visiting senior citizens who are home-bound or residing in assisted living centers. In addition to church visitation, Gwen assists with other ministries of the church, giving the ministerial staff support as needed. She works as an elementary music teacher in a local school, and has been known to teach private piano lessons on occasion. Her hobbies include reading and exploring antique shops.

Linda Beard

Financial Secretary

Karen R. Garrett

Secretary to Senior Associate/
Minister of Worship and Students and Missions


Debbye Akins

Secretary to Minister of Education/
Administration and Faith Development



Melinda W. Duke

Administrative Assistant to
r. Joel Snider

Mike Holloway

Head Custodian

Jan Dandridge


Greg Paulson


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.

Beverly Harris


Joan Hill


Anna Kate Wilson

Youth Ministry Intern