Worship Ministry Advisors
DR. HERB ARMENTROUT
Minister of Music at Broadmoor Baptist Church
Herb Armentrout is the Minister of Music at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. He and his wife, Jana, have served there for the past 20 years and they have 3 children, all married, and one incredible grandson. Herb received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Baylor University, his Master of Music Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctorate in Worship Studies from Robert Webber Institute of Worship Studies. Herb has served churches in Louisiana and Texas for the last 35 years. Presently he directs the Louisiana Baptist Singing Men and serves as the Youth Music Consultant for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. He also regularly serves as an adjunct professor for worship classes and regularly teaches at worship conferences.
Worship Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church
Kevin Batson has been a career church musician for over thiry-six years, serving churches in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Missouri. His choirs have performed in thirteen states, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Chile, and Great Britain. Since 2008 he has served as Worship Pastor at Taylors First Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, where he directs four choirs from ages 10 to 90, and leads weekly worship services. He is a graduate of Furman University (SC) and earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (TX). Kevin has been a featured soloist with the Greenville (SC) Chorale, and sings with the 24-voice professional group, the Herring Chamber Ensemble. He and his wife, Teresa, have two grown daughters and two grandchildren, ages 1 and 4.
Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church Rockwall
Trent and his wife Joi have two children, Nathan and Rachel, and reside in Sunnyvale, TX. Trent has been the Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church Rockwall since November of 2015. Previously, Trent served long tenures at The Heights Church in Richardson and Sunnyvale First Baptist Church. A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in 2019 he became Director of the Singing Men of Texas, North Central Chapter.
Minister of Music, Bellevue Baptist Church
Mark Blair has been the Minister of Music at Bellevue since the fall of 2007. Prior to that, he led music ministries elsewhere in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. Mark’s responsibilities include overseeing the music ministry at Bellevue, including the music staff, as well as directing the Bellevue Choir, leading worship in the weekly services, and directing multiple productions throughout the year. One of those, The Singing Christmas Tree, is in its 44th year and has a yearly attendance of nearly 40,000. Mark’s greatest joy, in this season of life, is mentoring and encouraging young men and women in ministry to help them maximize their opportunities and giftedness. He was blessed to have men and women pour into his life when he was younger and considers it a privilege and even a requirement to “pay it forward.”
Mark attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Chattanooga and has a degree in music education. He is married to Mardi and they have two grown children, Kristen and Hunter. He enjoys fly fishing, is a huge Drum Corps International fan, and enjoys playing with their three dogs, Zeus, Tucker, and Gus.
DR. TYLER BRINSON
Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church of Dallas
Dr. Tyler Brinson was raised in Cleveland, Tennessee as the son of a music minister and is a third-generation minister in his family. At the age of 5 years old, he began singing, playing the piano, and was actively involved in sports. Dr. Brinson received his Bachelor's in Music Business from Lee University, his Masters of Music in Church Music from Baylor University, and received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Church Music from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
At the age of 24 he became the Minister of Music & Worship at First Baptist Cleveland, TN where he faithfully led the congregation in musical worship and grew the choir from 60-200 members during his tenure there. In 2015, he was awarded the coveted Gospel Music Association Dove Award for his Choral Collection of the Year.
Tyler and his bride, Diana, who is originally from the country of El Salvador, have been married since 2015. They met through their involvement in the collegiate a cappella group, Voices of Lee. The Brinson’s enjoy traveling and exploring new places together and view ministry as a partnership and mutual calling. Tyler and Diana are proud parents of their firstborn daughter, Savannah Claire Brinson.
Dr. Brinson has served as the Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX since 2019.
Associate Worship Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
Rick Briscoe has served the local church for 34 years as a worship pastor and church choir specialist. He attended Ouachita Baptist University, graduating in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He then traveled as a vocalist with the group TRUTH, just after graduating from Ouachita. After TRUTH, Rick served churches in Tyler, Houston, and Dallas. Since joining the Prestonwood Baptist Church ministry team in 1992, he’s led numerous student choirs on national and international music mission trips, served as platform soloist/worship leader as well as a campus worship pastor. Currently, Rick is an associate worship pastor at Prestonwood’s Plano campus and gives pastoral and musical leadership to the renowned, Prestonwood Adult Choir. Rick and his wife, Barbi, live in Carrollton, TX and have two adult children. Together they enjoy their four grandchildren…and have two more on the way!
DR. D. DORAN BUGG
Former Music Chair, Belhaven University
Dr. Doran Bugg began in July 2019 as Chair of the Music Department at Belhaven University
in Jackson, Mississippi, with a desire to prepare students to serve Christ in every artistic area of church ministry and society through visionary, inspirational leadership and the highest level of musicianship. His journey of serving through music education and vocational worship ministry began in rural Mississippi and has led him all the way to directing performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Dr. Bugg holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Mississippi, a Master of Music from Baylor University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Louisiana State University. His background is in classical music and he specializes in percussion. Dr. Bugg spent the previous decade as Minister of Music and Worship at the 13,000 member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas where he co-produced multiple Christian choral collections, recording projects, and participated in ministry tours to Argentina, the Holy Land, and the Mediterranean.
Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church
North Augusta, SC
Jeff Bumgardner is a top songwriter for Sunset Gallery Music and has had nearly four-hundred songs recorded. The recipient of seven GMA Dove Awards, Jeff also has seven number one songs, a Singing News Fan Award for Song of the Year, and an Absolutely Gospel Music Award for Traditional Song of the Year.
In addition to the local church, Jeff has led choirs in music conferences and conventions across the country, and most recently led the mass choir at Carnegie Hall in celebration of the Gospel Music Association’s 50th anniversary of the Dove Awards. His choirs have recorded with such artists as TaRanda Greene, Meredith Andrews, Joseph Habedank, and Travis Cottrell. Jeff's most recent choral projects, Your Word (2019) and God of Our Praise (2020), feature the First Baptist North Augusta Choir and are available from Brentwood-Benson Publishing.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Brewton-Parker College in Mt Vernon, GA, and a Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, and has received Alumni of the Year honors from each of his alma maters. He married his wife, Jody, in 1998, and they have four children; Caleb, Abby, Ella, and Ava Drew. Having served churches of various sizes, in both rural and urban settings, literally spanning from coast to coast, Jeff offers a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 25 years in local church ministry. As a much sought after clinician and coach, he has a passion for equipping others to achieve their greatest potential while fulfilling their calling.
Executive Pastor of Worship at Sagemont Church
Bill is married to Laurie and has three sons, two daughters-in-law and five amazing grandchildren.
He has been in ministry for forty years serving churches in Texas. He is presently serving in his 33rd year at Sagemont Church. Bill has Music Education and Vocal Performance degrees from University of Texas at Arlington. He leads and pastors musical and technical teams for multiple services each week at Sagemont. Bill values creativity and finding fresh ways to share the message of Christ and leading Sagemont to passionately worship. With a new pastor (Dr. Matt Carter, formerly of Austin Stone), he sure knows about transition and starting over.
Senior Music Pastor, First Baptist Church Hendersonville
Greg Crane has been in full-time Church Music Ministry for over 41 years. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. In his years in ministry, Greg has served in churches throughout Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. He currently serves as the Senior Music Pastor at First Baptist Church Hendersonville near Nashville.
Greg has been married to Melanie for 40 years. They have 2 sons and 2 grandchildren.
Dr. Leo day
Artist in Residence, Recording Artist
First Baptist Church
Leo Day is a native of Canton, Mississippi. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Dr. Leo Day has served on the faculty of both William Carey College and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The courses taught by Dr. Day are as follows; Vocal Pedagogy, Diction for Singers (French, German, Italian, and English), Sacred Solo Literature, French Song Literature, Italian Song Literature, and Vocal Studio Management.
Leo was Minister of Music at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Not only did he facilitate worship leadership, but also the children/youth choirs, the drama ministry, adult choir, orchestra, praise team and many other ensembles. During this time, Leo also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of West Florida.
Formerly, Dr. Day was the Dean and Director of the Center for the Arts in the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. These positions were active from 2013 – 2020.
Leo performs frequently throughout the Southeast and Northeast regions of the United States. He has performed professionally with the Hawaii Opera Theatre of Honolulu. After completing the regular opera season, Leo was invited back to be the lead tenor for the Hawaii Opera Theatre's touring company. Since Honolulu, Leo has performed in Maui, Hawaii and Mackinac Island, as well as several countries including Russia, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Germany, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Philippines, Nigeria, Brazil, China, and Australia.
Leo Day, the recording artist, can be heard on his solo recordings. "He Loves Me" was released in June, 2003 and “Solace For The Soul” was released in June of 2005. “Wake Up! It’s Christmas Morning!” is Leo’s first Christmas CD. It was released in November of 2017. In 2021, Leo Day will return to the recording studio to work on his 4th CD, which will be dedicated to hymn preservation. These recordings can be obtained by emailing Leo at Leodayvoice1234@gmail.com.
DR. MARK DEAKINS
Minister of Worship at Broadway Christian Church
Dr. Mark Deakins serves as the Minister of Worship at Broadway Christian Church in Lexington, KY. He directs the 45-voice Broadway Choir who has performed at Music in the Mountains Music Conference in Gatlinburg, TN, and in 4 Gaither Christmas Homecoming concerts in Cincinnati, OH.
His undergraduate music degrees are from Ozark Christian College, Joplin, MO and Malone College, Canton, OH. He earned the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Kent State University, Kent, OH, and the Ph.D. in Musicology from The Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, OH.
Dr. Deakins served as the Dean of the School of Music at Kentucky Christian University, Grayson, KY, for 21 years and was a member of the faculty for 23 years. His choirs have performed six classical concerts in Carnegie Hall, two concerts in Lincoln Center and in Vienna, Austria, while Deakins was a guest conductor for MidAmerica Productions and Distinguished Concerts International New York.
Dr. Deakins lives in Lexington with his wife, Sandra.
Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church
Cliff Duren is the Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church Woodstock. In addition, Cliff writes, arranges, orchestrates, and produces music resources for various church music publishers while also producing various artist recordings each year. He is a 3-time Dove Award winner for his contributions to church music. Cliff recently completed his first film score for the faith-based film “Champion,” which hit theaters nationwide in May of 2017. Cliff became a Christian at age seventeen and soon after pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Shorter University in Rome, GA and a Master’s Degree in Church Music from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. In March of 2002, Cliff married his college sweetheart, April. Cliff, April, and vocalist Heather Richardson recently released “You Reign Forever,” their 4th trio release, under the group name “Overflow.” Together, Cliff and April enjoy leading worship together and ministering at various churches, conferences, and workshops. They reside in Woodstock, GA with their 4 children; Mac, Sydney, Elijah, and Emma Kate.
Worship Pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church
Brent Dyer has been a worship pastor for more than twenty years. Serving churches from 200 to 16,000, Brent has a vast range of experience and perspective. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in order to obtain his license as a professional counselor due to his deep compassion for hurting people while serving as a local church worship pastor. Brent leads, plans, and directs the Houston Christmas Spectacular which features more than 1,000 cast members, and 36,000 attendees. In addition to speaking, writing and teaching, he oversees a multi-campus, multi-generational, multi-cultural ministry. Additionally, Brent serves as a producer, songwriter, and more. Brent feels called to help worship pastors struggling with relationships, addictions, isolation, depression, and more. He also has a passion for leadership development, team-building, vision-casting, and helping people become who God created them to be. Brent has a Bachelor of Music from Baylor University and a Master of Arts in Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Executive Pastor of Worship Ministries for Crossings Community Church
Oklahoma City, OK
Larry serves as the Executive Pastor of Worship Ministries for Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kim, and they have one daughter, Halle. Having served for almost 30 years in vocational ministry (Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston, TX/Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Edmond, OK/Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX), his experience includes serving churches that consist of a hundred to multiple thousands and overseeing a staff of 20+. After touring the world as a vocalist with the Christian group, Truth, Larry found his calling in pastoring and leading the worship of the local church. He also has a heart for coaching and coming alongside the next generation of pastors and worship leaders. “There’s not a more impactful organization on the planet than the local church when it is healthy and flourishing”, Larry says. “There’s also not a more detrimental organization when it’s not healthy.” At the heart of a great church is great pastoral leadership.
Worship Pastor at Hyde Park Baptist Church
Mickey is an experienced and gifted worship pastor, and presently holds this position at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, TX. He has served in several of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the convention, including some with the most well-known music ministries. He has led large choirs and every facet of a church's music ministry, dating back to his college days at First Baptist Church, Jackson, Mississippi. He has also served in administrative positions overseeing large projects, church education ministries, and more.
Mickey has a Masters Degree in Voice from Mississippi College, a Masters Degree in Church Music from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and has done post-graduate studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is highly recommended by other ministers of music and worship pastors, as well as senior pastors he has worked with in the past.
He places a high value on investing in the next generation and has always worked to mentor young leaders in every season of his ministry, as evidenced in his two sons, both of whom are serving as worship pastors in Southern Baptist churches.
Worship Pastor at First West
West Monroe, LA
Brad has served as the Worship Pastor at First West since 2018. Brad & Bethany come from serving other churches in Texas and they love serving the local church together. Brad was licensed & ordained to ministry at North Richland Hills Baptist, in the Fort Worth, TX area. He grew up in Paducah, KY and went to Murray State University where he earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education. He also earned a Masters in Church Music at The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Brad’s heart is to see every age in the local church joining together both at home and in corporate worship. His desire is that no one misses the grace of God. He enjoys playing with his kids, yardwork, gardening, and always loves a good party!
DR. Gary matthews
Pastor of Worship and Sacred Arts at Christ Memorial Church
Gary Matthews holds music degrees in Organ, Music Education, and Sacred Music as well as earning a Doctorate degree in Worship Studies. Ordained, Gary has a heart for shepherding God’s people and does that through his music and worship leading. Being a Worship Pastor in 3 churches during his 40 years of church worship leadership ministry, he loves the opportunity to mentor the next generation of worship leaders. He is presently Pastor of Worship and Sacred Arts at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI. He also is a composer and arranger, and has an active concert schedule with his wife, Martha. They have 5 children and reside in Holland, MI.
Pastor for Music and Worship at First Baptist Church
Roger McGee has served as a Worship Pastor for nearly 40 years spanning many musical styles and encompassing all ages. He is Pastor for Music and Worship at First Baptist Church Alexandria Virginia. He has been at Alexandria since 1995 having previously served churches in Charleston and Anderson, South Carolina. He grew up in Selma, AL, was high school Valedictorian and graduated Cum Laude from Samford University with a Bachelor of Music Education. He received a Master of Church Music from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville Kentucky in 1981. Roger was the elected Worship Leader for the Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore in 2014. He loves blending multi-age choirs, praise teams, soloists, orchestras, bands, and technology into a dynamic experience of worship. Roger's desire is to be transparent about his love for Christ and sharing that with others.
Lead Worship Pastor at Bell Shoals Baptist Church
Jason Millsaps has been the worship pastor at Bell Shoals since December 2014. Bell Shoals is a multi-site church with 5 campuses. Jason oversees the worship leaders at each campus as well as oversees the ministry at the main campus where he is serving. Jason became a Christian at the age of 6 and felt the call into full-time ministry at the age of 17. He has a degree in Music with a minor in Business Administration from Carson Newman University and a Masters in Worship from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jason was a part of G3 Music Publishing Company for many years as the editor and co-producer. He has served in churches in Texas, Georgia, New Mexico, and Florida. Jason and his wife, Andrea, have 2 boys and reside in Brandon, Florida (outside of Tampa).
Worship Pastor at Crossgates Church
David Oliver has been the Worship Pastor at Crossgates Church in Brandon, MS, for 21 years and has over 40 years of experience as a worship pastor. His heart is to see churches experience “Presence-driven” life-changing worship, mentoring worship leaders of all generations, and blending worship choirs, praise teams, bands, and orchestras into relevant worship leading teams.
Associate Pastor for Worship at Green Acres Baptist Church
Mike Parks is the Associate Pastor for Worship at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. He holds an A.A. from Northeast Mississippi Junior College, a Bachelor of Music from Memphis State University and an M.M. in Church Music from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Mike is a veteran staff member, joining the GABC ranks in 1991. He has served at First Baptist Church in Okolona, Mississippi, Calvary Baptist Church in Columbia, Mississippi, Hilldale Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi.
Mike and his wife, Jo, have been married since 1980 and have two children and two grandchildren. Mike enjoys traveling, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends.
Dr. Matthew Slemp
Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church
Indian Trail, NC
Dr. Matthew Slemp serves as Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church, Indian Trail, North Carolina a suburb of the greater Charlotte area. He is married to Chelsea and they have three beautiful daughters. Dr. Slemp holds degrees from Belmont University, Union University, and Andersonville Theological Seminary. Throughout his ministry, he has served churches in Tennessee and most recently First Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Slemp has a passion for growth and excellence for choirs and orchestras and also shares a strong heart for student choirs. He has been honored as a distinguished Presser Scholar and awarded one of the Top 10 Artists of East Tennessee. He has toured choirs both nationally and internationally, including China, London, Paris, Haiti, and throughout the United States.
With a broad and unique approach to worship, his style has been greatly influenced by conductors and worship leaders such as Dr. Edgar Scruggs, Landy Gardner, and Rodney Brooks. Having begun directing church choirs since the young age of 12, it is the passionate call of his life to continue leading with excellence within the church and to develop generations of worshippers for the glory of God. Amid his work as Minister of Music, Dr. Slemp first and foremost walks with God, worships Him, and desires that all may know Him.
Minister of Music, Olive Baptist Church
Jon Tyner’s passion is to help people know and love Jesus through worship and discipleship. He pursues that mission each day as Minister of Music at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL.
Jon loves to invest in the people around him and help them not only become better musicians, but also fully devoted followers of Christ. He believes truly experiencing God through worship is one of the most important pursuits in life. His desire is to lead people in a way that leaves them encouraged, strengthened, inspired and moves them to a deeper relationship with God.
Jon holds degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi and has previously served churches in Mississippi and Tennessee. Jon and his wife, Angie have been married since 2002 and have three sons: Jack, Ben, and Eli.
DR. RON UPTON
Worship and Creative Arts Director, Idlewild Church
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, I was raised in a Christian home and trusted Christ as Savior and Lord as a Junior in High School. I will celebrate 40 years of ministry in 2020, the last 33 years being with Idlewild.
I have served as Adjunct Professor at Liberty University and have been Guest Lecturer at Mid-America Baptist Theological University and Cedarville University. I led music and worship for the Pastor's Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention (2005).
With a heart that beats for missions, I have taught or prompted worship throughout the United States, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, London, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Israel, and Nepal.
My passion, both as a worshiper and Worship Leader is to prompt a multi-generational, multi-cultural body of believers to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in unity, spirit, and truth.
Rev. Jim Van Matre
Minister of Music & Worship at First Baptist Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores, AL
A Florida native, Jim attended the University of Mobile where he earned a B.S in Music Education then New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Masters degree in Church Music. He is married to Karen, who sang with her sisters as The Searles Triplets of Denver, Colorado and just celebrated their 38th year anniversary. They have two sons - Jordan and Kory, both married and 3 precious grandchildren. The Van Matres have served churches in… Warner Robins, GA; Ft. Myers, FL with Jay Strack; 2 Churches in the Atlanta metro area, Euless, TX, Mobile, AL and currently First Baptist Church of Gulf Shores, AL. Jim has had the privilege of leading Music for several Southern Baptist Conventions annual meetings/ Music Leader for the SBC’s 1991 Pastor’s Conference/ The Texas Evangelism Conf/The Georgia Baptist Convention and Evangelism Conf/The Alaska State Evangelism Conference/The Crusade Choir Coordinator for the 1994 Atlanta Billy Graham Crusade and led the 10,000 voice Crusade choir and has recorded 8 Choral Recordings.
After stricken with terminal Cancer during his college years after his calling…. and given no hope of surviving, he still marvels that God allowed him to live…to serve!
Worship Pastor, The Heights Baptist Church
Colonial Heights, VA
Dale Wilbur has served in Worship Ministry for 35 years. He currently serves as the Worship
Pastor at The Heights Baptist Church in Colonial Heights, VA. At The Heights, Dale manages the Creative Team which includes Media, Technical Ministries, Creative Arts, Print and Promotion, along with all aspects of the musical worship ministry. He has a heart for Multi-Generational worship and a desire to pass on a passion for worship to the next generation.
His ministry has lead him to churches in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kansas before coming to The Heights. Dale holds a BM from Friends University in Church Music and a MM from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Church Music. Dale and his beautiful wife Erin have two children Erik and Heather along with 4 grandchildren.