Meet Our Staff

Rob Nash

Interim Preacher

Dr. Robert N. Nash, Jr. is the Interim Preacher at First Baptist Church of Rome. Rob serves as the Arnall-Mann-Thomasson Professor of Missions and World Religions at McAfee School of Theology. He received his Ph.D. degree in Church History (1989) and his M.Div. degree (1985) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, he completed both his M.A. (History) and B.A. degrees at Georgia College and State University. Dr. Nash served as Global Missions Coordinator at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (2006-2012) and as a professor in the religion departments at both Shorter College (1994-2006) and at Judson College (1992-1994). He also served as Dean of the School of Religion and International Studies at Shorter College. The Nash family were members at FBC Rome when they lived here. Dr. Nash is married to Guyeth, a psychotherapist, and they have two grown children, Douglas and Lindsay.   

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.

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 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!

Life Verse: Matthew 28:19-20

Gwen Stephens

Interim Minister of Faith Development/Ministry Assistant

Gwen has been on staff at FBC since 2012. As a part-time employee, she served as Ministry Assistant where she kept tabs on the FBC Extended Family, visiting home-bound members and those in assisted living.  In August, she assumed the role as Interim Minister of Faith Development.  Now retired from elementary music teaching, she enjoys being able to connect with children through the ministries of the church.  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


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


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