Staff

Chris George, Pastor

Chris is a graduate of Samford University, Harvard Divinity School and received the Doctor of Ministry from Methodist Theological School of Ohio.

Chris loves hearing and telling the stories of God at work in the past and present, and leading people into God’s good future. He and his wife, Jennifer, have four children. Chris has served as the Pastor at Smoke Rise since April 2013.

Becky Caswell-Speight, Minister of Families, Faith Formation and Connection

Becky is from Louisville, KY. She received her B.A. in Religion from Georgetown College and her Master of Divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. She finds joy in creating new ways for young families to experience God’s love together. Outside of church Becky spends most of her time with her husband Josh and chasing after their two girls Ainsley and Evelyn.

Bart McNiel, Associate Pastor of Administration, Ministry Support and Congregational Care

Bart is a graduate of The University of Mobile and Florida State University, obtaining degrees in Psychology, Religion, and Law. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Health from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas. Bart is passionate about congregational life and care. He enjoys helping people experience God’s love in word, worship and work.

Bart likes poetry, music, and movies. He enjoys family fun days with his wife, Stacey McNiel, and their two young girls.

James Smith, Pastoral Care Associate
Danny Vancil, Minister of Music & Worship

Danny became the Minister of Worship & Music at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in May, 2006. A native of Illinois, Danny received a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Murray State University (1986) and a Master of Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1989). Danny loves creating thoughtful worship that utilizes both traditional and modern elements while maintaining historic Baptist values.

Joel Harrison, Coordinator for Senior Living Satellite Ministries

Joel Harrison served for 39 years as the Associational Missionary and Executive Director of Atlanta Metro Baptist Association. Joel was ordained to Gospel Ministry at Columbia Drive Baptist Church in Decatur at the request of First Baptist Church Chickamauga, Georgia in 1973. Joel and his wife, Georgianne, have been members of Smoke Rise Baptist Church since 1979. Joel previously served as part-time staff at Smoke Rise when Dr. Truett Gannon was Senior Pastor. 

Joel brings years of experience working with congregations of all sizes and with diverse backgrounds and histories. His work with Senior Living Satellite Ministries includes a chaplain-like ministry that fosters connection with and pastoral care for adults in senior living communities.  

Merrilee Brock
Administrative Specialist

Denise Burcham
Director of Academy of Arts

Amanda Coe Burton
Ministry Director for Children and Families

Lynne Ginn
Music Admin. Asst./Wedding Coordinator

Ashley Litzell
Communications Director

Harrison Litzell
Weekday School Co-Director

Stacey McNiel
Weekday School Co-Director

Teri Moore
Pastoral Administrative Assistant

Antowyn Smith
Facilities Manager

Karen Stitt
Hostess Assistant

Lou Tankersley
Church Hostess

Jill Wade
Financial Administrator

Fe Williams
Finance Manager

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