Ben Banks | Peru
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!
Stephan and Georgia Caldwell | South Dakota
Stephan and Georgia Caldwell have been married for 25 years and moved to Atlanta in 1996. Before joining FBA in 2018, Stephan and Georgia served at Hopewell Missionary Baptist in Norcross, GA in the mission's ministry and as teachers in the adult discipleship ministry. They continue to grow in their faith in allowing the Lord to order their footsteps to honor and glorify Jesus Christ. One highlight in serving in local missions for Hopewell allowed Stephan and Georgia to organize a Cross Walk service that led a team of worshipers, prayer warriors and servants to reenact Jesus' walk with the Cross to Calvary. The believers walked from Hopewell into the surrounding neighborhoods and through downtown Norcross reacting Jesus' last walk then assembled in the central park to minister the Word to the unchurched and to simply share the love of God.
After the 2019 FBA Mission Luncheon, they both heard the call to serve in South Dakota together. Stephan and Georgia are ready to step out on faith to serve as co-leaders for the team. We are humbled to have been chosen by the Lord to share in his love, mercy and grace to the Lakota people. May God's will be done and His name be glorified in all the earth.
Daniella Carter | Italy
Daniella is a native of Dallas, Texas who came to Atlanta in August 2010. She started attending FBA in August 2011 and promptly joined the choir where she has been a member since. She's had a heart for global missions since middle school and has served on FBA short-term mission teams to Nicaragua in 2013, Haiti in 2015, Lebanon in 2017, and Italy in 2018.
She married her wonderful husband Ernest, in 2016, and he also actively participates in missions at FBA. This will be Daniella's first mission as a team leader, but she will be returning to the same location and working with the same people as her mission to Italy in 2018. She firmly believes in the application of the Great Commission and that when believers participate in global missions, they will bless and be blessed! Missions is a great opportunity to serve others, share the Gospel, and grow and be stretched in one's faith. She looks forward to serving in Italy again and seeing God work in the people there. Proverbs 3:4-5.
Roland and Kathy David | Honduras
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 fifth 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."
Tim Goist | Wyoming and Lebanon
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.
Joe and Cheyenne Hazellief | Czech Republic
Joe and Cheyenne Hazellief have been married for 14 years, have 4 children together and an adult son and grandson. They moved to Atlanta in 2012 on faith. As new believers they have been transformed by God's word and work of the Holy Spirit. Their goal is to show others the love of Christ and to honor and glorify Him. They are continuing to step out in faith as the Lord calls them. Cheyenne has served for five years in multiple areas of the children's and preschool ministries. Joe has served at FBA for six years. He has taught adult and children's Sunday school classes, as well as a speaker for children's and a part of the usher team. Both Cheyenne and Joe have served for multiple Vacation Bible Schools as well as serving on the 2019 missions' trip to Guatemala. Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven
Anthony and Ashley Keeton | Thailand
Anthony and Ashley Keeton have been married for 12 years. In their time together Anthony and Ashley enjoy being outdoors, running and hiking. They share a love for missions, and have served on two FBA short term trips- to China in 2009 and Thailand in 2019. Sharing the love of Christ with people in Asia is something God placed on both of their hearts many years ago. It is a blessing to see His plan unfold in the opportunities for short term service through FBA. They are excited for the adventure God has planned in leading the team to Thailand this year.
Simone Kelly | Greece
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. Simone returned to Greece again in 2018 this time as a leader of a team to help with the Polish kids camp at the Cosmovision Center. It was during this trip that she was exposed to the far-reaching efforts being made through AMG to minister to the refugees fleeing from war-torn areas. Simone has maintained relationships with the missionaries in the area and was challenged to pray each day at 10:02 for missionaries all over the world based on the scripture Luke 10:2 NIV "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Simone will once again 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 work alongside as they share the good news of the gospel.
Deborah Lareau | Romania
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 second time leading the FBA team to Romania. After her experience in 2019, Deborah felt called to return and continue to participate in seeing children and families in great poverty experience the love of Christ in tangible ways through the ongoing camp ministry. In a country where 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. Moore, MD | Dominican Republic
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 Olorunfemi | Colombia
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 five times on trips to Haiti, El Salvador and Colombia with FBA in the past three years. Babatunde received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Clayton State University Morrow, Georgia. He has been married to Olawumi Olorunfemi for 17 years. They are blessed with three children, DivineFavour, David and Eniola.
Pat and Traci Ragan | Canada (Pat) //Czech Republic (Traci)
Pat and his wife, Traci, have been married for 33 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, Judah and Asher and one beautiful grand-daughter, Lily! 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."
Joseph and Harriet Scott | Uganda
Joseph and Harriet Scott are leaders with the international Sunday School Class at First Baptist Atlanta where they first meet 11 years ago. They've been married for 8 years and currently live in Chamblee, GA.
Their shared passion for impacting people across the world with the love of Jesus Christ has led them to engage in 14 different short-term missions journeys combined since 1993. Along with involvement with local mission in the USA, their missions' engagements to date have taken them to the following countries: Grenada, Uganda, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, England, Spain, Greece and Italy.
Joseph came to faith in Jesus Christ over 42 years ago through the ministry work of a short-term missions team conducting Vacation Bible School in his native country Grenada. It seems almost natural that God would give him a passion to engage and lead others similarly in VBS and Camp style missions ministry. After many years of serving alongside other leaders, Joseph led his first FBA short-term missions team to Athens Greece in 2015. He continues to serve as a longtime member of the FBA Choir, as a Sunday school teacher with the International Ministry and recently helping with the High School Students Ministry.
Harriet was born in Uganda and came to faith in Jesus Christ in her mid-teens. Almost immediately she began to share the Gospel with whoever would listen to her. She was greatly influenced by the faithful example of her grandparents' unswerving devotion to Jesus Christ and their proclaiming His message of Salvation to others.
Two key verses that God has used to impact Joseph and Harriet along with their ministry work is: 2 Corinthians 5:18 (ESV) "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.." (Harriet); and Philippians 2:13 (ESV) "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Joseph).
By profession Joseph works as an independent Insurance broker and financial consultant; Harriet is a Supply Chain IT Professional.
"We are truly excited and grateful for the privilege of leading a short-term missions team this year to Uganda! We look forward to seeing and sharing in all the God has in store for us to do and experience together for His glory" - Joseph & Harriet Scott.
Miranda Thomas | France
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.