About Us

Ministry Team

Dr. Michael A. Smith

Senior Pastor

As a graduate of Belmont University with a Master of Divinity and PhD degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Smith’s resume covers a long list of experiences and positions in both the Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  He is a well-published author and has served as Chief Editor of Broadman Press (now B&H Publishing Group) in Nashville.  Dr. Smith has also served as an adjunct professor of religion at Belmont University.

When asked to describe his passions, Dr. Smith uses phrases like “helping people make progress with God.”

Mike and his wife, Grace, have two children: Kelly and Chris.  Kelly and her husband Aaron have one child, Henry.

Dr. Smith was called as Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Fountain City on Sunday, July 10, 2011.  He and Grace previously served at First Baptist, Murfreesboro (2002-2011).  Prior to that time, he had pastorates in Memphis, Hermitage, and Nashville.

Rev. Jeff Cockerham

Associate Pastor of Discipleship

Jeff grew up in Waco, Texas, and graduated from Baylor University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.  He later went on to receive a Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

He and his wife, Laura, have four children: Mallory, Will, Charlie and Mary.  When Jeff is not working, he loves to spend time with his family.  He also loves sports (especially basketball), watching movies, and traveling.

Jeff was called as Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Central Baptist Fountain City on Sunday, July 24, 2011.  Previous to that, he served as Minister to College Students at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco.

Rev. Bob Robinson

Associate Pastor of Music and Worship

Since 2003, Bob has led all ages of choirs at Central Baptist, most of the time with his wife, Martha, accompanying on the piano.  Bob also plays the cello and can oftentimes be spotted filling in as needed with the Adult Handbell Choir.

Bob is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and received a Master of Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He enjoys singing with The Tennessee Men’s Chorale as well as The CenturyMen and currently serves on their board as a Member-At-Large.

Prior to Central Baptist, he served as Minister of Music at churches in Tupelo, Mississippi, Louisville, Kentucky, and Alcoa and Maryville, Tennessee.  He has served as Associational Music Director for the Knox County Baptist Association in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Lee County Baptist Association in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Bob and Martha have four children: Ellen (married to Geoff Price), Bradley (married to Francesca Guerrieri), Elizabeth, and Grant.

Rev. Joshua Beeler

Associate Pastor for Youth and College

Josh is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Sociology.  He received his Master of Divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

He and his wonderful wife, Sherry, grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia, and have just recently traded in their beaches for mountain life.  Josh enjoys singing, playing guitar, hiking, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, hiking, traveling, laughing with friends, playing and watching sports, and finding creative ways to never stop being a kid.

Josh was called as Associate Pastor of Youth and College on Sunday, August 25, 2013. He comes having previously served as the Minister of Youth and Outreach at Port Norfolk Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, and as the Mission Intern at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia.

Rev. Fran Mitchell

Associate Pastor to Senior Adults

In January 2008, Fran retired from Knox County Schools after serving 31½ years as a speech/language specialist, special education teacher of preschool students, preschool evaluator for Child Find, and as a special education specialist.  One week after her retirement, she took on the role of Family Life Center Coordinator at Central Baptist.

As FLC coordinator, Fran is responsible for the day-to-day operations of our Family Life Center.  She is passionate about the youth program at Central Baptist and, together with her husband Ed, assists with the Wednesday night program for middle and high school students, retreats, and camps.

“I would like to see us truly become a church that helps people transform their lives through Jesus Christ.”

Fran and Ed have three daughters.  Kelly and Lauren live here in Knoxville.  Kate and her husband, Jeff, live in New York.

Bill E. McConnell

Church Administrator

A native of Fountain City, Bill has served as Business Administrator for Central Baptist since June 2006.  Bill received a Bachelor Science Degree from the University of Tennessee in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting, and has a vast array of experience, from banking to dry cleaning.  Bill and his wife, Susan, are the parents of two daughters, Emily and Sarah, and are members of Christus Victor Lutheran Church.

David Harrell

Worship Leader

David has been a member of Central Baptist for almost 22 years and has served as the Catalyst Worship Leader since October of 2007.  David has been involved in church music ministry in some capacity for over 30 years.  He feels that music helps connect people with God in a real and intimate way and that genuine worship should bring a smile to God’s face and lead to a change in the heart of the worshiper.

He and his wife, Betsy, have been married for 25 years, and their son, Matthew, is currently an engineering major at the University of Tennessee.

Support Staff

Office Staff: (865) 688-2421

Karen Fecco – Director of Publications (ext. 105)
Debbie Golden – Receptionist
Robin Rosser – Business Assistant (ext. 106)

Music Ministry:

Carol James – Children’s Choir Coordinator
Diana Nixon – Music Assistant (ext. 116)
Angelique Thomas – Music Assistant (ext. 116)

Media Center:

Judy Buhl – Media Center Director (ext. 123)

Weekday Education Program:

Misty LaRue – Weekday Education Program Administrator (ext. 126)

Family Life Center Assistants:

Steve Johnson


Dan Sexton – Facilities Coordinator (ext. 128)
Randy Baker – Custodian
Jim Light – Custodian
Ronnie Nicley – Custodian
Ron Spears – Custodian