Meet the Staff

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Mark Newman--Associate Pastor/Minister to Students

I have had the honor and privilege to serve as Student Minister at Calvary since December 2002. From the first moment I met with the Youth committee I knew this is where God was calling me to serve. God has allowed me to be involved in Youth ministry since 1989. God has allowed me to see Him move in the lives of teens that I would have never been able to see. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, Myra, who keeps me in line, and two blessings MaKayla and Craig. I was raised in a Christian home, by two wonderful parents, Don and Mary both of whom taught me the importance of following and serving Christ in all circumstances. Thanks Mom and Dad for living the Christian life out in front of me.
 
Before serving at Calvary, I was a volunteer worker at Duncan Park Baptist in Chattanooga and Cedar Valley Baptist in Sweetwater TN. God then moved Myra and myself here to the Tri-Cities, where I served at Boones Creek Baptist in Gray, and First Baptist Jonesborough.
 
I have a BS degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (1993).  I worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a wellness consultant, 1994-2000 in Johnson City. I then took a position at Franklin Health and Fitness Center as Program Director from 2000-2002. Then I felt God was calling me to full time Youth Ministry.
 
More of a personal note: I love spending time with my family, going for a run in the community, and watching Craig and MaKayla play sports. I am a huge fan of the Tennessee Volunteers “Good Ole Rocky Top” and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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Elmer Sams--Worship Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church will always be very special to me. My three older brothers and I were raised here by two devoted Christian parents. During my high school years, God called me into His service, and my calling became clear as He lead me to Carson-Newman College to major in Church Music. Following college, I completed my formal education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
 
I have been blessed to have served churches in a full-time ministry for 30 years. My wife Frances and I along with our three children have served churches in Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Then through God's leading, I accepted a full-time position with the State of Tennessee as an Adult Probation and Parole Officer and began serving churches part-time in music. Now, after 15 years as a Probation and Parole Officer, I am retired from my state employment.
 
I feel so blessed in that I have come full circle as I am in my tenth year serving as the part-time Minister of Music at my home church were it all began.
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Carol Church--Ministry Assistant

Serving as Ministry Assistant at Calvary Baptist Church since November 1999 has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, because God surely placed me here. He called me from the secular workforce where I had worked in the Accounting Department for 22 years when Raytheon, a local military defense contractor, closed in December of 1998.
 
During the time from January to October 1999 He caused me to grow a deeper love of His Word through Precepts Bible Studies and created in me a desire to serve Him in full-time ministry. That's when He opened the door at Calvary Baptist Church and allowed me to fulfill my heart's desire of serving Him and His people in full-time ministry.
 
I am married to the love of my life and soul-mate, Gary Church, since 1980. We have one daughter, Leslie, and a Weimaraner, Lilly. I enjoy target shooting, riding my bike, cooking (especially grilling out!), and serving as Media Technician at the church I attend, University Parkway Baptist in Johnson City, TN.
 
I also currently serve as the East Tennessee Representative for the Tennessee Baptist Convention Secretaries Association (TBCSA). --Click here to visit the TBCSA Facebook page.--
 
My life verse is Romans 1:16--"I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then the Gentile." To God be the Glory through Jesus Christ who saved me and the Holy Spirit within me giving me everything I need to do His work till He returns. Amen.