Introducing Melissa Willis
The Preschool/Children Search Committee is very excited to introduce Melissa Willis. After many months of reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, visiting with candidates and committee discussion, Melissa has our unanimous recommendation to be called as Minister to Preschool and Children for FBC Augusta.
Melissa has spent twenty years creatively ministering with congregations and communities in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. She most recently served at Central Baptist Church Bearden in Knoxville, Tennessee. She believes that the spiritual growth of the church is found in deep relationship with Christ and in fellowship with other believers. She is committed to partnering with parents and leaders to help guide and nurture children as they grow with Jesus Christ and each other in life-changing relationships. Melissa also feels strongly about pastoral care for children and families, and this is very evident in her caring and genuine manner.
The committee has enjoyed getting to know Melissa and her family. Through each step of the search process, the committee has been moved by her compassion, experience, knowledge and wisdom.
We hope you will be able to drop into the Fellowship Hall on Saturday evening, August 26, 5:30 – 7:30, to meet Melissa and her family. She will also join us for worship and Sunday School on Sunday, August 27. In addition, please plan to attend the called Church Conference in the Fellowship Hall at 5:30 Sunday evening, August 27, concerning a vote to call to Melissa into ministry with us. The children will present a musical in the Sanctuary at 6:30 that evening following our meeting.
Thank you for all the love, prayers and support you have provided our committee during this time. We hope you, too, will share in our excitement about Melissa’s future in ministry with us! Alison B. Powell, Chair – Preschool/Children Search Committee
More about Melissa
• Bachelor of Science in Religion and Philosophy, Minor in Psychology, Shorter College, Rome, GA
• Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education, McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, GA
• Doctor of Ministry Candidate (2016-present), McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, GA
• Ordained into the Gospel Ministry May 2000 by Johns Creek Baptist Church, Johns Creek, GA
What others are saying…
I was immediately drawn to Melissa because of her passion for ministering to children and their families and developing their faith in Christ. Her authenticity and relatability to not only parents of young children, but across the generations, will be a blessing to our congregation and our community. Catherine Bloodworth, Committee member
I felt blessed to have the privilege of meeting Melissa during the search for Children’s Minister. I found that she is well educated yet easy to talk to. She gravitates towards children and is very kind, warm, and compassionate to their needs. She has a wealth of knowledge in regards to the role and is very experienced in children’s ministry. I do believe she would be an incredible asset to our church and is the right person for the job. Christopher Everett, Committee member
In our online interview as well as our interview in person, it was obvious to the committee that Melissa Willis was our best candidate. The combination of her education, her work experience, and her devotion to her ministry to families and children led us to select Melissa as the candidate we want to present to the church. Doug Clepper, Committee member
Melissa Willis is that rare minister who brings to the table a passion for ministry to children and families, a holistic vision for that ministry, and a deep and caring heart for people. I’ve known her since her college days and trusted my own children to her care when she was a student. Perhaps the greatest tribute to her is that, some twenty years later, they still remember her fondly and appreciate and love her deeply. I know that the children and families of FBC Augusta will come to love and appreciate her in the same way as she ministers among you. Rob Nash, Associate Dean, McAfee School of Theology
What a pleasure it has been to watch Melissa grow into her calling and blossom into one of the most respected Children’s Ministers.
She had the logistics and know-how in place when she started with me just out of seminary. Then she added experience and motherhood and confidence to become one bright, informed, motivated minister.Now that I’ve retired, I know I can contact Melissa to know answers and resources for current issues in guiding young spiritual lives and inspiring teachers.
Jill Jenkins, Retired Minister of Children, Johns Creek Baptist Church
Melissa and Carl have been married for almost fourteen years. They have two daughters, Mattie Paige (11) and Juliana (7). Their family also includes their dog, Sadie, and their rabbit, Thumper. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and, also, just having fun together with friends.