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Short-Term Mission Team Leaders

If you are interested in leading a short-term mission team, please fill out the application or email Pat Ragan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Ben BanksBen Banks | Peru 2019
Ben has been married to his beautiful wife, Laura, for nine years and has three young daughters. They moved to the Atlanta area just over a year ago to work on the Student Ministry team at FBA, particularly with college students and young professionals. Ben has a passion for God's Word and is currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. Between the degree and young children, the only hobby he has time for is trying to get enough sleep. He is looking forward to partnering with local churches in the capital city of Lima, Peru, to witness the Gospel's transformative power in the lives of its nine million residents!

Merideth and Tracy BoatrightMerideth and Tracy Boatright
Wyoming 2018
God led Tracy to start attending FBA in November 2013 where he soon met Mary Gellerstedt, Director of Global Missions. She encouraged him to attend FBA's annual Missions Conference which led to his first mission trip to assist in building North Andros Children's Home. Since then Tracy has made a return trip to Andros, traveled to El Salvador with Living Water and Nicaragua with Luis Chavarria for Frontline Ministries. God has used his talents as a carpenter to assist in sharing the gospel through missions.

Merideth is member of the Discovering God Sunday School class taught by Jennifer Rosania. Wyoming will be her first mission trip.

Dede DarbyDede Darby | El Salvador 2018
Dede Darby is a native of Lake City, Florida. In 1985, she married her High School sweetheart, Tim Darby. They have three wonderful children, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law and two precious grandchildren. In 2012, with the support of her family, she accepted the position as Associate for Children's Music at First Baptist Atlanta. She has always had a desire to make a difference in the lives of children, with a passion to provide opportunities for them to share their gifts and talents.

During VBS at First Baptist Atlanta Dede was introduced to Living Water International, as she played a role in presenting the Living Water organization to the children as their Mission focus for the week. Dede walked away from that week of VBS with the desire to be a part of the process of providing fresh water and The Living Water of Jesus to children. In 2015, she went on her first mission trip to El Salvador to help dig a well and share the love of God through music and teaching the children of the community. In July 2017 Dede led her first mission trip as she went back to El Salvador to dig another well and is planning to lead another mission team to El Salvador in October of 2018.

Presently, Dede is a member of Children's Ministry team, leading the Children's Creative Worship team and Children's Choirs at First Baptist Atlanta. Before coming to First Baptist Atlanta she taught music at the Elementary and Middle School levels for over 17 years. Dede lives in Suwanee, Georgia with her husband Tim.

Roland and Kathy DavidRoland and Kathy David | Honduras 2019
For Roland and Kathy, missions has always been an integral part of their lives. Becoming members of First Baptist Atlanta in 1977, they were involved in the very first FBA Mission Conference as well as the first production of the Atlanta Passion Play. Serving in these two ministries created a passion for sharing the gospel through short term missions in Ecuador, Kenya, Indonesia, Honduras and South Africa. Recently retired from many years of teaching in high school and university, Roland and Kathy are looking forward to the mission opportunities the Lord is preparing for the future. In 2018, they will be leading the Honduras Pastor-Teacher team for the third time.

Believing that God has called this team to encourage, equip and train young pastors and Bible teachers to effectively reach their own people groups, the key verse for this ministry is found in 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT),"You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others."

Steve FowlerSteve Fowler | France 2019
My wife, Julie, and I have so experienced God's amazing grace throughout our forty years of marriage. He has sovereignly led us, bringing us to the Atlanta area in 1989 and to First Baptist Atlanta to be shepherded by Dr. Stanley, with his intense devotion to the Lord and His Word and to reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord then so mightily blessed us with three wonderful children, Hannah Grace, John Stephen, and Josiah David.

The Lord has given us the grace to worship Him and to serve Him in and through our home, our work and homeschool, and our church. He has enabled me to work with Delta Industrial Contractors, Inc. for thirty-eight years, while He has given Julie the joy of homemaking and homeschooling all three of our children.

Through my work, I have gained many construction skills which later the Lord would call upon me to use on many subsequent short-term construction mission trips within the United States and to countries in Europe and Central America. In the spring of 2019 our construction mission team will be working with Paul and Karan Davis, who serve as church planters with TEAM France. I have always served with the desire to be a blessing to others, but invariably I have sensed that I am the one blessed by being able to serve.

Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Tim GoistTim Goist | Pittsburgh and Wyoming 2019
By college degree Tim is a geologist. By profession he is the president of a national environmental engineering and consulting firm. And prior to 2002 he was a member of FBA, but not particularly active, until he decided to covert passive belief into active faith and voluntarily joined an FBA short-term mission team going to Russia in the summer of 2002. The trip was to work with orphans and Tim was entirely convinced he was unqualified to participate in any sort of mission trip let alone working with orphans. Yet he went anyway and the trip changed Tim's life forever. Tim learned quickly that we don't do things through our own strength, but only through Christ can we accomplish His work (Philippians 4:13) and the Lord uses our weaknesses to show us His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Since that first trip Tim has participated in seven additional mission trips, mostly as team leader, to Russia and Lebanon. Getting involved in missions also fueled Tim's desire to pursue Christ and a desire to share that pursuit with others. In addition to his love for missions, Tim is an assistant teacher for his Wisdom Seekers Sunday School class and volunteers for other activities at FBA when schedule and work trips allow. Tim encourages anyone that has even in the smallest interest in going on a mission trip to follow that prompting and do so. He says he guarantees it will change your life, strengthen your faith, and bless you beyond your expectations.

Simone KellySimone Kelly | Greece 2018
Simone has been a member of FBA since 2012. She is an active member of the FBA Choir and her Sunday school class. In 2015, Simone took her first mission trip outside of the country to Greece and found the experience transformative and rewarding. She knew, then, that even though she went to plant seeds, a seed had been planted in her heart for missions work and the work being done in this region. Still in communication with Tamara Gutomska, one of the women who leads the Polish camp in Greece, Simone learned from her the true testament of being the hands and feet of Jesus. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10.

Simone will be headed back to Greece this year to lead, a role that she doesn't take lightly and has taken after much prayer. She is excited to see how God will use her and ask that you pray for the team and for those they will have the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel.

Deborah LareauDeborah Lareau | Romania 2019
Hailing from Montreal and Toronto, Canada, Deborah Lareau has now lived in the U.S. longer than in Canada, so while she is officially a Canadian-American, her heart is red, white and blue! Since she joined FBA almost 15 years ago shortly after coming to the Lord, Deborah has thrown herself into global missions participating in 10 short-term mission trips to China, Hungary, Belarus and Lebanon, leading several of them herself – by the grace of God. Her heart has always been to work with youngsters and so most of her mission trips have been VBS' and day camps for youngsters. This joy for children has led Deborah to be an active volunteer in the Pre-School Ministry where she has worked with 2, 3 and 4-year olds for more than five years.

This will be Deborah's first trip to Romania which she felt called to when she read of the extreme poverty of the families and children whom the team will work with in providing day camps. It is common practice for the children's parents to leave the country to find work so it's hard to imagine what kind of abandonment issues these youngsters suffer from. Coupled with the fact that only 3% of the country's population is considered evangelical, this is a unique opportunity for FBA to partner with Ambassadors for Christ International which has a vibrant church outreach program in Romania and across the border into Moldova Republic, along with a trash dump ministry where they give out food, hygiene items, hats and gloves to children living near the dump and a discipleship ministry with Roma gypsies. And Deborah readily admits to the fact that it was fascinating to think they'll be working in the Transvylania region!

The greatest lesson Deborah has learned through these years of mission trips is how much alike we are all regardless of country, socioeconomic status and especially our need for our Lord and Savior….and it is humbling indeed when you see the strength of the human spirit in the most desperate situations.

Efrim C. MooreEfrim C. Moore, MD | Haiti 2019
Efrim is a physician board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. He is part of a three physician private practice group in metro Atlanta. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Efrim served as a Fleet Surgeon in the U.S. Navy (1990-1994) and had the privilege of becoming a Desert Storm Veteran. First Baptist Church Atlanta has been his church home since 1998 and he is honored to have been serving on medical mission teams for 8 years. Efrim loves serving Christ by serving others.

He lives in Stone Mountain with his wife of 28 years, Bea. They have a son, Efrim Jr., who lives in Atlanta (recently married Juneli) and a daughter, Joi, who is a sophomore at Samford University.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Babatunde OlorunfemiBabatunde Olorunfemi | Cambodia 2019
Babatunde Olorunfemi, is a Registered Nurse currently practicing in the State of Georgia. Babatunde is a native of Ibadan, Nigeria and has lived in Atlanta, Georgia since 2004. He was naturalized as United States citizen in 2009 and has been a member of FBA since 2016. Prior to his nursing career, he worked as an account payable officer with Georgia Department of Revenue for seven years. Babatunde enjoys volunteering in the communities and serving on short term mission trips; and has had the opportunity to serve four times on trips to Haiti and El Salvador with FBA in the past two years. Babatunde received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Clayton State University Morrow, Georgia. He has been married to Olawumi Olorunfemi for 16 years. They are blessed with three children, DivineFavour, David and Eniola.

Pat RaganPat and Traci Ragan | Ukraine 2019
Pat and his wife, Traci, have been married for 31 years and have three adult daughters, Lara, (married to Tyler), Jessica, (married to Daniel), and Hannah, (married to Reid), as well as two amazing grandsons, two-year-old Judah and four-month-old, Asher! Pat and Traci and their girls spent two life-transforming years serving full-time in Guatemala and the last 20+ years encouraging, equipping and leading others to serve in short and longer-term missions around the world. One of the verses God has used over the years to help us stay focused is Luke 9:24, "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it."

Ingrid ReynoldsIngrid Reynolds | Alaska 2018
Ingrid has been a member of FBA since 2000 and has had the great fortune to serve on mission teams since 2004. She was active in Sunday School classes and prior to being married, served as the teacher of the Single Women's Sunday school class for three years. Ingrid has also served as a bible study teacher in the Women's Ministry at the church for several years prior to teaching Sunday School. For the past three year's Ingrid has had the honor of leading the Alaska short term teams with her husband, John, and worked with Grace Works and the Fireweed Ministries. The fourth team to Alaska that Ingrid will lead in 2018 will be with co-leader Ruben Rowell, a member of the Alaska team for the past three years. The honor of being called to serve in this capacity is an assignment that Ingrid considers a tremendous blessing and she anticipates the change in her walk with Christ that will result.

Ruben RowellRuben Rowell | Alaska 2018
Ruben Rowell has been a member of FBA for 8 years. He has been active in Sunday School and as a volunteer within the community. Three years ago he started participating on short-term mission team in Alaska. This work opened his eyes to sharing the gospel more. Ruben learned that it was easy to help someone with a need for something they did not have, but sharing the need for Christ with strangers was not always easy, and was an act of faith and obedience. The missionary and family in Alaska set the example of being intentional about sharing the gospel as they prepared the evangelism program in the parks they worked in daily throughout the summer. This year will be Ruben's first year in a leadership role. He has been blessed to follow great leadership with a long history of work on short term mission assignments. He will co-lead the Alaska 2018 team and is looking forward to seeing familiar and new faces as we prepare to return to Anchorage in 2018. Ruben is eager to see what God has planned for him and the team this year, and prayerfully, they will impact the community for Christ.

Miranda ThomasMiranda Thomas | Lanzarote 2019
Miranda accepted the Lord as a young adult and has made it her mission to tell others about the Savior since that day. She and her husband have been in full time Christian service almost since the day they married. Miranda`s first mission trip was to Ukraine in 2006 teaching Vacation Bible school. Then God called her to China for 4 years in a row on short term trips teaching English to middle schoolup to young adults. In 2011 she traveled to Hungary to teach English to children at Word of Life Hungary youth camp. She returned twice more leading the team in 2013. She led a mission trip to Honduras, Then traveled to France, Switzerland and Italy leading the music missions group ReJoys. While home preparing for the trip they sing in churches, drug rehab facilities, battered women shelters and prisons. Miranda is a long time member of FBA choir, and helps missionaries with glasses and eye exams during our annual missions conference.She has 6 grandkids she sees whenever she possibly can.

Trevor and Renee WolfeTrevor and Renee Wolfe | Hungary 2018
Trevor and his wife, Renee, have been active members of First Baptist Atlanta since the late 1970's. Both served in the Atlanta Passion Play for over 15 years. Renee sang in the choir, taught children's choir and preschool Sunday School while Trevor taught fifth grade Sunday School. For the last ten years they have served as directors of their adult Sunday School class. Trevor and Renee's first short-term mission trip together was to Botswana, followed by a trip to Alaska. They will make their fourth trip to teach English at Word of Life Hungary summer camp at the end of June, 2018. This will be their third trip as team leaders. They are looking forward to seeing how the Lord will provide the team members, financing and all that is needed to fulfill the mission.

Romans 10:14-15 -- "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! "