Our Team

Craig Ward

Senior Pastor

Dr. Craig Ward is originally from Maryville, TN. He has been serving local churches for 30 years. The first five years he served as a Student Pastor and an Associate Pastor. The last 19 years he has served as a Senior Pastor, first at First Baptist Church of Strawberry Plains, TN for six years also at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Newport, TN for 13 years. He has served as Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church since August of 2013.

Dr. Ward earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN, and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Educational Ministries degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Family is a major part of his life. He and his wife, Anne, have been married for 25 years. Their children are Aaron and Hannah Brooks and Julianna, Micah, and Noah Ward. They also have two grandchildren, Thomas Brooks and Joyce Anne.

Dr. Ward has a heart for people and an earnest desire to see the principles of Scripture applied to every aspect of life. He has a passion for the community and a desire to see people not only know Christ but grow daily in their relationship with Him. His sense of humor, passion, and genuine love for people, and his practical application of Scripture are a trademark of his ministry.

Dr. Ward loves spending time with his family, and is an avid jogger.

Matthew Butler

Minister of Worship

Matthew hails from the booming metropolis of Auburn, GA. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He has been serving in local church ministry for 29 years. He and his wife, Jennifer have been married 26 years and have 2 children, Bryson and Brianna. Matthew loves movies, cooking, reading and motorcycle riding!

Chip Cranford

Minister of Families/Senior Adults

Chip grew up in Thomson, GA. He is a graduate of Shorter College (now Shorter University). He has served in local churches for 20 years. Chip and his wife, Deann, have been married 24 years. They have 3 children – Annie, Lily, and Cooper. Chip enjoys reading, sports, grilling out, and attempting to golf.

Lisa Holsonback

Ministry Assistant

Ray Clifford

Facilities Manager

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