Pastor Eric Kennedy and his family began serving Ringgold First Baptist in 2014 and are thrilled to now call Ringgold home. Eric was born and raised in Laurens, SC and gave his life to Christ as a child. After studying finance at Florida State University, Eric spent ten years working as a stockbroker and operations manager in the financial industry before accepting God’s call to vocational ministry. He served on staff with Central Baptist Church of Miami, FL for two years before attending seminary at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, and then served as senior pastor of Community Baptist Fellowship church in Bedford, IN for seven years. In his free time, Eric enjoys time outdoors fishing, hiking, and kayaking, and spending time with his family. Eric is married to Dallas, TX native Lori, who is a speech pathologist with the Catoosa County school system. Lori spent several years as a full-time missionary working in inner city Miami, FL and is a graduate of Texas Tech University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eric and Lori are the proud parents of James (11) and Ellie (7).
Pastor Brant Olivarri and his family moved to Ringgold First Baptist in 2009 where he begin serving as the minister to families. Brant spent his childhood in Columbia, SC and though he is a USC Gamecock fan, his true college team is the University of Texas. Brant received a Physical Education degree from Carson-Newman, where he played soccer for the Eagles. Carson-Newman is also where he met his wife Kristy when he was supposed to be studying. After college Brant received a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Brant and Kristy have served churches in NC and SC before coming to Ringgold. Brant and Kristy have been married since 1999 and have three wonderful kids, Sawyer (10), Cohen (5), and Piper (2).
Pastor Eric Purser accepted the call to serve as a minister of the gospel through music at Ringgold First Baptist in 2017. He was born and raised in Macon, GA, where he developed his love of music as he sang in church, school, and community choirs and instrumental groups. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Music in music education at the University of Georgia, where he marched with the Redcoat Band for 4 years, Eric pursued a band teaching career. This career included teaching elementary or middle school bands in Fort Valley (GA), Folkston (GA), and Jackson (GA) and earning his Master of Music degree from Columbus State University. While in Jackson, Eric discovered his calling to lead music in church while attending Towaliga Baptist Church, where he was later ordained for ministry. After two years of musical leadership at Towaliga, Eric accepted a call to be the Associate Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Blairsville, GA, where he served for seven years. During these years, Eric earned his Master of Theological Studies degree from Midwestern Baptist Seminary.
During his free time, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife, Laura Purser, who is a pianist and music teacher, and their two boys, Ethan and Evan. He enjoys being outdoors camping, kayaking, hiking, biking or otherwise playing with the family. He also enjoys watching UGA sports and all Atlanta area professional sports teams.
Ken Robbins is our financial administrator and so much more. Ken came on board at Ringgold First Baptist in 2003 and oversees all of the financial and accounting functions of the church and our church-run Pre-K program. He also oversees building and operational needs day to day and is indispensable to the everyday health and function of our church. Ken was born and raised in Ringgold and attended Dalton Jr. College and West Georgia College. He spent 25 years working in accounting with Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company prior to joining our staff. Ken enjoys yard work (seriously) along with walking, running, and Georgia football (most years). He and his wife Myra are proud parents of adult son Ben, who lives and works in the Washington, DC area.
Emily Lancaster has been serving Ringgold First Baptist as church secretary and administrative assistant since 2002. A native of Newnan, GA, Emily skillfully serves our church through the daily oversight of our church calendar & scheduling, preparation & mailing of weekly and monthly printed materials, maintenance of church records and database information, and a multitude of other tasks that keep our church organized and on task. Before coming to our church, Emily worked as a legal secretary in Atlanta and a word processing operator with the University of Georgia Griffin campus. Emily holds a degree in office administration from the University of West Georgia. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travelling, and spending time with her family. Emily and her husband Charles’ daughter Lauren is a teacher with Catoosa County, and their son John is a student at Carson-Newman University.
Sharron Amis serves part-time as receptionist at Ringgold First Baptist and is often the first smiling face you’ll see if you stop by. She has been serving our church since 2004 and is a Ringgold native and graduate of Ringgold High. Sharron has an important role serving as liaison for services from Christ Chapel, a local collaborative ministry that provides assistance to Ringgold residents through area churches. In addition to assisting Christ Chapel clients, Sharron also answers phones, handles church mailings, maintains church attendance records, and much more. Before serving our church Sharron spent 10 years with Provident Life & Accident and 19 years working as a stay-at-home mom with her two now-grown kids. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her sweet granddaughter Katherine, reading, listening to music, and sewing. Sharron is married to Jim, who is an active member and deacon at Ringgold First Baptist.