Rev. Thomas B. (Bucky) Erwin, IV, Senior Pastor
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Pastor Bucky became our Senior Pastor at CFBC on August 1, 2014. His philosophy is to pursue ministry from grace and with grace through the lens of worship, discipleship and mission. He feels his purpose is to labor from His grace and by His Spirit to preach and teach, shepherd, care for and equip the flock, edify the saints, evangelize the lost, and to love and serve his family, God's people, and the city.
Before coming to Cleveland, Pastor Bucky served as the pastor of Hebron Baptist Church in Soso, Mississippi, for over four years. He has a rich background in church missions and service to others.
Pastor Bucky holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Education from Louisiana College and a Masters of Arts degree in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Because of his connections with Louisiana, we can't hold it against him that he is a LSU fan, although some staff hope to recruit him for UGA and others for Georgia Tech.
Bucky and his wife, Colbye, have six children-Ryleigh, Graceson, Piper, John Butler, Avery, and Ava.
His hobbies include sports, outdoor activities, hunting, reading, running, coffee shops, wrestling with his kids, family time, and date nights with his wife.
Pastor Bucky's favorite bible verse is Col. 1: 28-29 (ESV): "Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me".
Rev. Dennis Turner, Associate Pastor
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Dennis has a heart for ministry, which is apparent by his journey of following Christ's calling on his life in ministry at Cleveland First Baptist Church. As the Associate Pastor, Dennis leads the Senior Adult Ministry, and the Pastoral Care Ministry, and he shares administrative responsibilities with the Senior Pastor. He also enjoys preaching the occasional sermon, leading Bible Studies on Wednesday evenings with the 30 and 40-year-old adults, and helping out with special youth events.
Beginning his ministry while attending Truett-McConnell College, Dennis served as a part-time Youth Director. Since that time, he has served as Minister of Youth, Minister of Youth, and Music and Associate Minister. After graduating from Truett-McConnell College, Dennis furthered his education at North Georgia College and the University of Phoenix, where he majored in Business Administration. He continues to participate in educational opportunities and is certified by the University of Maryland in Pastoral Crisis Intervention and Group Crisis Intervention.
Dennis has served since 2008 as the Executive Director of White County Caring and Sharing, Inc., a local charity that helps White County residents with financial assistance. Dennis is on the Clergy Staff of Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Georgia, where he has volunteered since 1999.
Dennis' favorite Bible verse is Matthew 6:33 -- "But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (ASV)
Rev. Manning Minton, Associate Pastor of Students and Families,
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Manning was called into full-time ministry during his freshman year of college at the age of 19. Since then, he has served in full and part time ministry working with children, youth and college students. He has been serving at Cleveland First Baptist Church since July 2015.
Manning grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi where he met his wife, Jennifer, in the youth group at First Baptist Church of Biloxi, and after high school, Manning earned his Associates degree at Gulf Coast College, his Bachelors degree at William Carey and his Masters of Divinity in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Manning and Jennifer have three children-William, Emily and Matthew. In his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children at home, sporting events and family vacations.
When it comes to ministry, nothing excites him more than seeing students come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and seeing their live changed.
Manning's favorite Bible verses are Philippians 4: 6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Mr. Michael Pickett, Music Director
Michael serves at Cleveland First Baptist Church as the director of our volunteer orchestra that plays during the Sunday morning worship services. Recently the church has expanded his duties to include that of Interim Worship Leader. Michael uses music to educate, inspire and lead.
A graduate of West Georgia College, with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, Michael also has a Master's Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia. He is on the faculty at White County High School as a band director. At WCCS, Michael directs the marching band, the concert band, and various other ensembles.
Michael and his wife Christie, are the parents of Ethan, Ashton, and Aiden. They have a dog, two cats and 6 chickens. Michael enjoys biking.
Mrs. Laura Cormier, Church Executive Secretary
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Laura helps to keep the staff and members of Cleveland First Baptist Church organized and on task as she has facilitated the day-to-day office activities at the church since 2001. She is the person who knows who is on what committee and whether the fellowship hall is being used on a certain day. It is her kind voice you hear on the phone and she is the one who prepares the weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter.
Laura is a native of White County. She attended Georgia Southern College where she not only received a Bachelor's degree, but also met and married in 1981, her husband, Dennis. Laura is known for her healthy living, although she will partake of the homemade goodies which are brought frequently by the church office. She and Dennis have an 8 pound min-pin, Sami, who is their joy and entertainment. In her spare time, Laura enjoys riding motorcycles with her husband, exploring old graveyards, making homemade cards, gazing at waterfalls, camping, and traveling on her husband's airplane that he built. Laura often kicks her shoes off so she can move faster throughout the building and is teased about "running people over" if you get in her path.
Laura's favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40: 31--"They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will take wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint."
Mrs. Bea Chambers, Church Receptionist
Although Bea works in the office on Tuesdays from 9 AM - 1PM as a part-time receptionist, she retired in March 2011 from First Baptist Church as their Financial Administrator where she worked for almost 22 years.
Before coming to CFBC, Bea worked in the medical field. Her heart has always been in working and doing things for the church and others... whatever and where ever she is needed.
Bea has two daughters, three grand children, and two great-grands. They are the ones that keep her busy most of the time now.
Her hobbies are gardening, landscaping, reading, cleaning and organizing. She also is on the Board of W C Caring & Sharing and serves as the Treasurer of W C Food Pantry.
Her favorite Bible Verse is Matthew 19:26, "With man it may be impossible, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!"
Mrs. Sue Massey, Organist
Having served as the church accompanist at Cleveland Frist Baptist Church for a number of years, Sue now plays during the Sunday morning worship services whenever she is needed. Her love of music and willingness to serve are qualities that describe Sue well.
She enjoys reading, watching movies and listening to music. Her daughter, Veronica, is married to Danny Winder, who is on staff at Vanderbilt in Nashville. Sue has two grandsons, Nathan and Clay.
Sue joined in 1966. Since most of her family members live out of state, she feels that the church members are her resident family.
Sue's favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11-- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."