our staff

  • john tagliarini

    pastor

    Pastor John completed the Doctorate of Ministry Degree at Gardner-Webb University in 2009.  He is a proficient musician and enjoys wood turning and amateur radio. John is married to Pat and they have two married daughters and five grandchildren. 


  • ted duncan

    ASSOCIATE PASTOR

    Ted joined the Bryson City First Baptist Church team in 2010 as Associate Pastor in Spiritual Formation and Youth. Ted finished his Master of Divinity Degree at Gardner-Webb University after serving 10 years with the NC Forest Service as an Educational State Forest Ranger. Ted loves to hike and is married to Robyn Roberts Duncan. They have three children: Johnathan, Mae, and Rebecca.

  • Judy hensley

    CHURCH SECRETARY

    Judy is a native of Columbia, SC and a graduate of the University of South Carolina, Judy moved to Swain County in 1976 and taught in Swain County Public Schools from 1981-2005. She is married to Jim Hensley and they enjoy their 9 grandchildren from Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina.


  • michael and daniel cochran

    CUSTODIANS

    Michael and Daniel are graduates of Haywood Community College with degrees in horticulture. In addition to maintaining our facilities, Michael and Daniel serve on our media team and operate a local greenhouse and nursery. 



  • j gilbert

    MUSIC DIRECTOR

    J has been Music Director since January of 1995 and is also retired  from teaching drama and vocal music at Swain County High School. J received his Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana (Baptist) College and his Master of Religious Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Barbara have lived in WNC since 1976. They have two adult children: Lori and Marty. J loves sports and leading disaster relief mission teams.

  • carol ricketts

    ORGANIST

    Carole has played the piano and organ from childhood and has had many opportunities to be a part of musical ministry. Carol says,"In 2000 when I returned to Bryson City, I had the rare opportunity to come back and play at my home church— Serendipity for me— unexpected joy! My prayer is that at every service in which I make a musical offering, any burdens you have may be lightened and that the joy you feel in the presence of the Lord will be magnified."

  • lori gilbert

    PIANIST

    Lori is a gifted musician and serves as pianist at First Baptist Church. Lori is a graduate of Western Carolina University and teaches fifth grade in Jackson County.