Rev. Scott Dickison
A pastor friend of mine once told me that he knew he had found the right church when he realized he would choose to be a member there even if he wasn’t the pastor. I knew immediately what he meant because First Baptist is that place for me and my family.
First Baptist is a place of great warmth, grace, vitality and love. We are thrilled to call it our church home and I am honored to serve as pastor.
I came to First Baptist in the fall of 2012 from Dallas, Texas, where I served as a pastoral resident at Wilshire Baptist Church. Before that I also served churches in Massachusetts and North Carolina. After graduating from Wake Forest University, I served for two years in the Mississippi Delta through the AmeriCorps at West Tallahatchie County Habitat for Humanity. I’ve also received my MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and completed a unit of CPE at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.
Among my biggest spiritual influences are Fred Craddock, Christian Wiman, Marie Howe, Ross Gay, and a constellation of friends and current and former colleagues. I love poetry, running, the ritual of morning coffee, Wake Forest athletics, Chicago Cubs baseball, and watching in wonder as my children grow.
For me, ministry and church are most exciting when we open ourselves to the “breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s presence and love, and come to see it within our world, our neighbor, and ourselves. When we’re at our best, First Baptist is a place and people where this happens.
My wife Audrey and I grew up in church together in Charlotte, North Carolina and were married in 2008. Audrey is an artist and works for a studio based out of North Carolina. We have three young sons, Billy, Sidney, and MacKaye, and a dog named Moose, who is a good boy.
Rev. Kelsey Stillwell
Associate Pastor for Youth and Missions
Growing up the daughter of a Baptist minister, I knew every inch of my home church’s building. The “church” was a big, beautiful, old building that I explored and loved, but my view of the church shifted over time. It is when you graduate high school, undergo surgery, lose a family member, or celebrate big things that you see how the church is not the building. Church is the people who gather together.
At the First Baptist Church of Christ I have witnessed and experienced a community of people that exceed the beauty of the building (and the building is beautiful) with their compassion for each other and their neighbors, their work in social justice, their curiosity and creativity. This makes FBCX a community I not only love pastoring, but strongly believe in the mission, inclusivity, intentionality, and identity we share as a church family.
I grew up in central Kentucky. After graduating from Eastern Kentucky University and using my Interior Design degree for a year, I discerned a call to ministry. I attended the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta. Choosing the Global Christianity track that McAfee offered, gave me the opportunity to study missions and spend a semester with CBF field personnel in Bali, Indonesia. Years of work with youth in churches has deepened my love of student ministry, they teach me so much about the radical love of God.My call to ministry is centered around a passion for missions and youth ministry.
I find connection with the Divine through art, dance, and nature. I will likely mention Pickleball or my dog Eliza, and cat Higgins, when given the opportunity. I find home in my parent’s kitchen, in long phone calls with my sister, in the Macon community, in Atlanta and Bali, in pet snuggles, in dancing music, good burgers, Marvel movies, and in adventures with my partner Brent.
Rev. JD Granade
Associate Pastor for Children and Congregational Life
My father and grandfather were both Baptist pastors, so I was destined to end up as far away from ministry as I could get or as a minister myself. Thankfully, the latter happened! I have always felt most at home in church, and I am glad to have found a home in FBCX. Since I began here in 2019 I have gotten to fulfill my passion of working with children, and get to do so in a place that listens when God said to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God,” (Micah 6:8).
After growing up in the foothills of North Carolina, I received a Bachelor of Arts from UNC Asheville (completely separate from Chapel Hill) before going on to receive a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta. I have served in children and youth ministries at churches in North Carolina and Georgia, but my calling has been shaped by a lifetime of churchwork (paid and volunteer), summer camps, and many opportunities that have let me connect with people.
It won’t take long for you to discover my bent for goofiness and my passion for musical theater. I also love Dolly Parton, soaking up warm weather, swimming, cooking, and cuddling my dog and two cats. What I love most is connecting with people; I can enjoy most anything– even watching sports– if I’m with the right crowd!
Dr. Stanley L. Roberts
Minister of Music
My greatest joy is making music with others! Though it is my profession, music is also my hobby and passion. Music is my calling and provides the vehicle through which I minister. Serving at First Baptist is far more than a vocation; it affords me the wonderful gift of collaboration with a talented community of artists who love the music of the church and understand its significance in worship. Music is powerful. Music helps express joy and hope. Music gives wings to the deepest groanings of the soul and provides a voice when words seem to fail us.
First Baptist has been a wonderful home for my wife (Marie) and me since we arrived in 1992. Eventually two boys (Blake and Beau) came our way, and from their first days in the nursery until their transition into adulthood, they were nurtured by the church at every step with love and grace. Marie is a musician also. She sings, teaches voice at Mercer University and maintains a private studio. In my spare time, I am Director of Choral Studies at Mercer (’84 alum). I love college football (I hope to grow up to be a college football coach), attending Mercer University musical and sporting events, working in my yard, and traveling both domestically and abroad.
I have been the organist at First Baptist for over forty years, and I find great joy in preparing for worship each week. What a gift it is to work with Stanley Roberts, the Chancel Choir and Youth Choir! I am also grateful to be a part of such a warm and welcoming congregation, and I treasure all the times we spend together.
Johnson Music Fellow
Kirstine Buchanan is graduate student at Mercer University, studying Choral Conducting. Kirstine graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2020, with a degree in Vocal Music Education. She spent the past year teaching general music at a magnet elementary school. Kirstine recently married her sweetheart David, who teaches middle school chorus in Houston County.
I’m originally from Mount Dora, Florida. My personal goal is to leave the world a little better than I found it. Professionally, I’m committed to doing the best job in the position I have, to understand the goals and mission of the church, and provide a safe and functional environment in our workplace. I am the proud father of my two little girls, who keep me humble.