Rev. Steven Taylor, Lead Pastor of McConnell Memorial Baptist Church, has been in ministry for more than 27 years. His passion is to see people become fully engaged followers of Christ, not just better informed Christians. He was born in Athens, Georgia (1963), but grew up in college towns all across the Southeast as the family followed his father’s teaching career. He became a follower of Christ at the age of 8 in children’s church.
Steve attended Western Carolina University on an athletic scholarship (BSEd’ 85) and met his wife, Desi Frady, there during his freshman year. They married in 1984. Steve taught and coached for three years before entering ministry full time in 1987. He completed his MDIV. at the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University while pastoring full-time and raising a family.
Steve and Desi’s son Andrew, wife Gini, and grandchildren Adley and Samuel live in Fletcher, NC. Their daughter Megan, granddaughter Liv and grandson Judah, and son-in-law Brandon Gilliam live in Ohio. Steve’s hobbies include working out, fly-fishing, and playing golf with his son Andrew… & anyone else who likes to play.
Rev. Danny Byers was born in Hiawassee, Ga and grew up in Waynesville, NC. After graduating from Tuscola High School (1975), he attended Western Carolina University (B.S.Ed. 1980) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1982 M.R.E.) in Louisville, Ky. Danny has been in ministry for more than 32 years and has a passion to make reproducing followers of Jesus and to lead the local church to “be the Church” by loving God and loving people.
Danny has been married to his wife, Henrietta (Retta) Rogers, a Hayesville native, for 37 years. They have two sons. Daniel, his wife Brittney, daughters Kippin and Ridge live in Asheville, NC. Tyler, and his wife Felicia, daughter Raelyn live in Rosman, NC.
Danny’s hobbies are outdoor adventures, especially trail running, camping and fishing.
Rev. Jeremy Pearson was born in Hartwell, Ga and raised in the Lake Hartwell area. He has been involved in student ministry for the past 5 years. He is devoted to helping people far from Jesus grow closer to Him; especially teenagers and young adults. He has participated in and led over a dozen international mission trips and loves seeing lives changed in the mission field. He spends his time having fun with students and helping them navigate their life with Christ.
Jeremy met his wife Calah Harris in 2011 and they were engaged 3 months later in Honduras on a mission trip. They were married in 2012 and welcomed their first born son Judah in September 2015.
Jeremy’s favorite thing to do is to just be with people especially his friends and family. He likes to run, hike, and enjoys the outdoors.
Chris, a native of Blairsville, GA, attended Young Harris College, graduated the University of Georgia (UGA) with a Bachelor of Music Education. While attending UGA, Chris was both musician and singer. He was the pianist for the Men’s and Women’s Glee club, the African American Choral Ensemble, and Grove Level Baptist Church in Maysville, GA. On a month-long trip to Seoul, Korea with the UGA Baptist Student Union, he sang and witnessed at several colleges. He also auditioned for and sang with UGA’s Accidentals, an a Capella performance group. Serving churches since 1990, Chris continues to use his passion and gift for music to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Chris and his wife Susan, a native of Woodstock, GA, live in Blairsville, GA. with daughters Bailey, Hensley and Mady and son, Logan.
Betty was born in Marietta, GA and grew up in Blue Ridge, GA. Betty was raised in church and exudes a strong faith in her Heavenly Father as she walks closely with him one day at a time. Betty is gifted by God with a passion for working with children- teaching, crafting and fun play/activity time.
Betty’s past experience working with children include: ten years working at elementary school in Fannin County, GA and serving in her former church as a Children’s Church teacher, VBS teacher and assistant, nursery volunteer for infants and toddlers, Awana club, and volunteering for special events.
Betty attended Chattahoochee Technical college studying for Associates in Business Management and Supervisory. She is a Georgia licensed Real Estate Agent. She is an outdoor enthusiast who loves walks in nature, trail running, and water sports. She, also, enjoys her devotion time and reading. Betty has two grown children, her son Nicholas, who lives in Asheville; and her daughter Amanda. Amanda, her husband Brian, and grandson Alexin reside in Blue Ridge, GA.
Pastor’s and Financial Secretary