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 have two children, son Andrew, wife Gini, grandchildren Adley, Samuel & Jonathan and daughter Megan, husband Brandon, grandchildren, Liv and Judah. 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 (Brittany), Tyler & three grandchildren, Kippin, Ridge & Raelyn.
Danny’s hobbies are outdoor adventures, especially trail running, camping and fishing.
Associate Pastor of Children & Discipleship
Steve was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. His mom, Barbara, was the spiritual leader in the home. She took Steve and his older brother, David, to church every week. Steve’s spiritual journey began on a youth mission trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In a small dorm room on a college campus he prayed and committed his life to Jesus Christ. In 1994, Steve served as a youth summer missionary at West Greeley Baptist Church in Greeley, Colorado. That summer he began to sense God calling him into the ministry. He has served in many different areas of ministry over the years, including youth pastor, worship pastor, senior adult pastor and children’s pastor. He also had the honor to serve as an ordained deacon for 4 years at his home church in Alabama. His family served for 3 years as house parents at a children’s home, Eagle Ranch. Steve loves to build relationships with people of all ages and backgrounds. He loves hearing people share their life story and talk about what God is doing in their lives. He also has a passion for children’s ministry and serving families in the community.
Steve has been married to the “love of his life,” Virginia, for 19 years. She has played a major role in his ministry over the years. He definitely married up! Steve and Virginia have 2 awesome children, Ashlyn, and Alex. Ashlyn loves dancing and reading and Alex is all about basketball and video games. He’s also an Auburn fan, which is another story. (Roll Tide!)
Steve enjoys playing guitar and listening to music. He loves praise and worship, blues and bluegrass music! He also enjoys shopping with Virginia. (Not really!) He does love spending time with his family and embarrassing his kids out in public! That’s every parent’s job, right?
Pastor to Students and Young Adults
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 have two children, Judah & Zeke.
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.
Minister of Music
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.
Pastor’s and Financial Secretary
Music Ministry Assistant
Music Ministry Assistant