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Diaconate Ministry at Wake Forest Baptist

Life becomes challenging sometimes; often very suddenly. In those times, most of us find ourselves needing a little help. During a challenging time, assistance with meals, yard care, urgent home repairs, transportation, or other tasks can be helpful. Some may find it comforting to have someone pray with them or for them. Some may want a deacon to pray confidentially for a loved one or friend. WFBC Deacons and ministry teams support these needs, and have connections within our community and within our church, where we consider that every member is a minister. If you have a need, please feel free to click the button below to submit your contact information.

2024 Diaconate Team

Sherry Upton; 2024 Deacon Chair

I am married to Jerome and we have two adult children: a son, Graham and his wife, Alex and a daughter, Emma. I have been a member of WFBC for more than forty years. Throughout those years I have served as a pre-school Sunday School teacher and Worship Care volunteer, on the New Member Committee, the WEE Preschool Committee, and in the hand bell choir. For twenty-three years I served with the deaf ministry teaching sign language classes to our hearing members and interpreting for our deaf members. For the last twenty years I have been a member of the King’s Daughters Women’s Bible Study group and currently lead as a facilitator.

Ed Austin

Member since 1996. Along with his wife Esther, have two sons, Bobby and Brady. Ed currently serves as a member of the Music Ministry Building Committee, the Good Neighbor Ministry, and is a member of the Men's Chorus. He previously served as Personnel Committee Chair, Diaconate Chair, and has taught 11th/12th grade Sunday School for over a decade.

Tate Bennett

We have lived in Wake Forest since 2006 and members of Wake Forest Baptist Church since 2009. I am married to Stacey and we have one daughter; Savannah. After a 42 year career as a Respiratory Therapist, I retired from Duke University Hospital in 2016. I currently serve on the WFBC Handyman Committee and assist the chef for Wednesday night meals. I have also agreed to serve on the Long Term Planning Committee and act as a communication liaison with the NC Baptist Men for mission opportunities following a disaster. I am an avid Wake Forest Demon Deacon fan and enjoy sports of all kinds. I have had the pleasure of coaching Savannah's softball team this last year.

Leigh Berrier

Member since 2008. Along with her husband Chris, have two adult children, Emily and Clay. A former elementary teacher and school social worker, Leigh has taught 4-5th grade Sunday School since the family joined WFBC in 2008. She has been a part of the History Committee, Library Committee, Card Ministry, Pastor Transition Team, and has enjoyed several Women’s Retreats. Leigh and Chris coordinate the church’s monthly Mobile Market through Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Tuesday night Prayer Circle, helping with the annual Advent Devotion Guide, Moms in Prayer groups, along with Bible Study Fellowship are also important ministries in her life.

Annette Byrne

Member since 2012. Married to Matt and has four children; Mason, Amora, Aralynn and Avaleen. Serves as Adult Sunday School teacher, with Children’s Leadership, Women’s Ministry, and Spiritual Formation. Has also served as Deacon, on Leadership Council, and various other church planning teams.

Mike Dishman

Member since 2006. Mike is the father of a wonderful young man, Benjamin Dishman. Previously served as a Deacon and Deacon Chair, Children’s Sunday School teacher, and VBS leader. Has led Divorce Care for ten years. Led the Outreach Team for several years. Member of previous ministerial search committees, and served on Personnel Committee, Nominating Committee, Trustee, and Leadership Council.

Sally Gadd

Member since 2022. Along with her husband Charlie have three children, two sons and a daughter, and eight grandchildren. She is a member of the Barnabas Sunday school class, the Prayer Group, the King’s Daughters Bible Study, and facilitator of the Grief Support Group. In her previous churches, Sally served as Elder, Sunday School teacher for adults and children, led Bible Studies and chaired various committees. She is a retired public school teacher and counselor (LPC) in private practice.

Paula Goodson

I am a North Carolina native and have lived in Wake Forest for the past 27 years. My husband David and I along with our two daughter, Savannah and Taylor, have been members of WFBC since 2013. During the past years, I have enjoyed opportunities to serve in several different ways and ministries, including Women’s Bible Study, the new members/welcome committee, long-range planning committee, the visitation committee, and the new members orientation class. I am a member of the Paraclete Sunday School class.

Kristi Gupton

Member since 1995 along with her husband, Tim. Their 3 adult sons, Cole, Smith, and Sam, grew up in the church. Kristi currently serves on the Personnel Committee and is a member of the King’s Daughter’s Bible Study and Paraclete class. She has also served as Deacon, youth Sunday School Director, Children’s Sunday School teacher, and various other committees.

Tommy Killebrew

Member since 2004. Along with his wife Judy have two daughters, Emily and Katie. He has served as a Sunday school teacher, a Missions Council leader, Deacon, Chair of Deacons, and is the Coordinator for the Handy Persons Ministry. He volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Food Trailer, and Good Neighbor Ministries. He also participates in youth and adult mission trips.

Todd Lesley

Member since 2015 along with his wife, Lu-Ann. Todd has been doing children’s sermons since his high school days, and continues to do so with WFBC and has been a substitute teacher for the Barnabas class. At previous churches, Todd has served as an Elder and as Membership Chair.

Deborah Moye

I have been a member of WFBC for 27 years along with my husband, Buck. I currently enjoy singing in the Chancel Choir, serving as a facilitator of The King’s Daughters Bible study group, participating in the Tuesday evening Prayer Circle, and volunteering as Vice-President and Treasurer of ChurchNet Foundation. I have previously served in children’s Sunday School, on the Leadership Council, and as deacon. Buck and I have one adult son; Taylor.

Mitch Packett

I have been married to Anne for 35 years and we have two children. Our son is married and lives in Winston-Salem with his wife and our new grand-daughter, and our daughter is in Washington DC. We have been in Wake Forest and members of Wake Forest Baptist for 25 years. I am a member of the choir and men's chorus and currently serve on the Handyman ministry team and the "Music Suite Planning" committee. I have previously taught children's Sunday School, served as a deacon, Chaired the "Consultation Committee", Co-chaired the "Beyond the Walls" fund raising committee, chaired the "Long Range Facilities Planning" committee and have participated in numerous mission trips with both youth and adult groups.

Liz Sniffen

Member since 2018. Relocated to Wake Forest from New York City, New York. Sings in the Chancel Choir, serves in the Kairos Ministry, the Advanced Handbell Ensemble, Team Leader for the Virginia Tull Fine Arts Series, member of the Personnel Committee, Music Ministry Council, and Women’s Retreat Planning Team.

Jo Ann Stancil

ember since 2012. Along with her husband, Ed, have two children, Heather and Will (deceased) and two grandchildren. She has served on the ministerial staff of Wake Forest Baptist until 2018 at which time she retired from full-time ministry. Before that time she worked at New Hope Baptist, the Raleigh Baptist Association, Mount Vernon Baptist and Oak Level Christian.