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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 contact any of our deacons.

2023 Deacons

Larry Barnes, member since 2017. Has been married to Charlotte for 27 years and have three children (Margaret lives/works in Charlotte, Will works building homes in WF and Ginny is in school at UNCC.) Currently serves as a deacon. Has served as Chair of Leadership Council; sings in Chancel Choir & Men’s Chorus; volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and serve on the Handyman Ministry Team. Member of Explorers SS Class. Formerly served on Finance, Building & Grounds, and Long-Range Planning Committees at former church (First Baptist of Greensboro). Contact:

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. Contact:

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. Contact:



Mike Dishman, member since 2006. 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 committee, and served on Personnel Committee, Nominating Committee, Trustee, and Leadership Council. Contact:



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. Contact:


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. Contact:


Martha Harmening, member since 2007. Served/serves as a preschool SS teacher, assisting with children’s music & puppets, VBS, former Preschool Sunday Director and Chair of Education Council, Children’s Leadership Team, VBS Leadership Team, Music Ministry Council, SS Council, Education Council, and Leadership Council. Also member of Adult Handbell Choir. Contact:


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. Contact:



Dave Leonard, member since 1997.  Served as Deacon, SS Teacher, & Youth Council Team Leader.  Member of Chancel Choir & Men’s Chorus. Contact:



 Keith McLemore, Keith and his wife Lisa have been members of Wake Forest Baptist Church since 1990. They are both graduates of UNC and moved to Wake Forest in 1988. Keith is a native of NC and grew up on a small tobacco farm in Roseboro. He has served on the finance and personnel committees as well as the Good Neighbor ministry. Keith was the co-founder of Stone Truck Parts in Garner and retired in 2019. He and Lisa are members of the Barnabas Sunday School class. Fortunately, their kids, Liana and Holden live and work in area, along with their son-in-law Tyler and granddaughters Layla and Lucy. Keith enjoys spending time with family, Nascar, UNC athletics and travel. And since retiring has discovered pickleball as favorite exercise. Contact:

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. Contact:


Allen Overton, member since 2006. Serves as Administrative Chair of Leadership Council, Youth SS Teacher, Helping Hands Outreach Chair. Volunteers with Youth Mission trips, Habitat for Humanity, & NCBM. Contact:



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. Contact:

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. Contact:



Sherry Upton, I am married to Jerome and we have two adult children; Graham and 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, 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. Contact: