Pastors • Staff • deacons

mEET OUR Pastors


Dr. thomas e. cabaniss

Senior Pastor

Tom’s dream job would be to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers or coach the men’s basketball team at his beloved alma mater, Duke University. But for now, he serves as our pastor. He is a native of Valdese, North Carolina, the husband of Lara, and the proud father of twins, Christian and Kaitlyn, who are now in college.

Tom earned his Master of Divinity degree from Duke and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading, running, writing, the world of stock and mutual fund investing and following the Dallas Cowboys, the Dodgers and Duke. His heroes are Martin Luther, Dietrick Bonhoeffer, Jack Bogle, Jim Elliot and Mike Krzyzewski. He enjoys traveling and serving in voluntary, short-term missions.  His favorite music is from the best decade ever--the 80s!  He enjoys watching sports, documentaries, classic TV reruns, listening to podcasts and walking his beloved dog, Ollie.  He recently published his first book...The Voice Above The Noise...Pursuing God in Ordinary and Anxious Times.

Rev. Tim Smith

Minister of Music

Tim is a native of Georgia, but he and his wife Kristie have served churches in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.  He is a graduate of Mercer University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis in church music, conducting and drama.  Tim enjoys playing golf, reading and spending time with his family.  He and Kristie love to travel but their real joy is spending quiet nights at home with a good book or a good movie.

Rev. Cindy Stafford

Minister of Senior Adults

Cindy, along with her husband, Daniel, is a long-time member of the First Baptist Church family. She earned the love and trust of the people over many years of faithful service. Part of that service was to the senior adults offering her nursing skills and her seminary training as she worked to earn her Master of Divinity from Hood Theological Seminary. She loves this population and enjoys watching God work in their lives.  

Cindy and Daniel are originally from Maryland and, believe it or not, still like snow! They have two adult children who both love life in Philadelphia.  Cindy officially joined the First Baptist ministerial staff in February 2023 as the Minister of Senior Adults.

Rev. Daniel Parker

Minister of Youth, College & Career

Daniel and his wife Ashleigh along with their three daughters, Rilee (7), Ella (5), & Amelia (2) fell in love with the people of First Baptist Kannapolis from the start, and accepted the call join the staff as the new Minister of Youth, College and Career in February 2023. Daniel received his undergrad in Youth ministry and Bible from Lee University in 2008 and has been in full time ministry ever since.  Daniel has been involved in full time ministry to youth and young adults for 15+ years, and is excited to join the team.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Daniel’s is fluent in Spanish and loves spicy foods, playing soccer, and the Hispanic culture in general.  There are several things that Daniel is passionate about-- his faith, his family, and The Ohio State football.  It is not uncommon to find Daniel and the girls all dressed in scarlet red any given Saturday ready and excited to watch the game. One of Daniel’s dreams this year is to take the entire family to the “Shoe” to watch a game in person!

Ashleigh Parker

Minister of Pre-Schoolers and Children

Ashleigh, and her husband Daniel, moved with their family to Kannapolis in February of 2023. The moment Ashleigh and Daniel stepped into First Baptist, they knew this is where God was calling their family to grow and serve. After serving alongside Daniel within the youth and young adult ministry for the last 12 years, Ashleigh felt a pull at her heart. She began seeking the Lord as to what plans he had next. Much to her delight and surprise, God opened the door for her to serve here at First Baptist Church Kannapolis, ministering to our youngest members. Ashleigh is the proud mother of three beautiful little girls, Rilee (8), Ella (6) and Amelia (3), and a soon to be little brother!

Ashleigh grew up in Stokes County, North Carolina, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With her father as a minister, Ashleigh learned to "Chase the Son" at an early age. Ashleigh attended university at Salem College where she majored in Teaching Schools with Advocacy with a concentration in Elementary Education and Special Education. Ashleigh has been a Special Education teacher for the majority of her adult career, and has taught grades preschool through 12th grade. When she isn't at church, Ashleigh loves chasing her girls, worshipping Jesus, and serving the Lord through missions. Ashleigh has a passion for young people and walking alongside them on their journey to who God has called and ordained them to be.


Krista Simmons

Church Secretary
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Krista began serving FBC-K in 2014. Krista is a native of China Grove and loves spending her free time with her 3 boys, still at home. She also has a daughter and son-in-law in Wilmington. Krista enjoys trips to Gatlinburg and Wilmington, racing of any kind (as long as it's fast!), Gary's BBQ, pizza, and good home cooking.  Krista enjoys being the go-to person at the church and is always willing to help our members out.

Kay Hayworth

Financial Secretary
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Kay moved to Concord in 1987 from the High Point area. Employed for 10 years with Cabarrus County Schools, Kay joined the First Baptist staff in May 2015 from a CPA office after 14 years. She enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren, Jack, and twins Kate and Janie.  She also loves "planting seeds" with children, instilling the love of Christ as she volunteers at Parkwood Baptist where she makes her church home.

Carol Soles

Pianist / Organist
Carol is a woman of many talents, not the least of which is being an accomplished pianist.  We're blessed to have her as part of our music ministry at First Baptist Church.

When she's not playing here, she stays busy as a highly-sought-after accompanist. She is also an attorney and the head of the Cabarrus County Board of Elections.

Kara Drye

Many years ago, when First Baptist had a preschool, Kara came as an assistant teacher.  In 2010, Kara changed roles to began serving as our church custodian, and has been faithfully serving ever since.

Kara enjoys spending time on her farm out in the country with her family and multitude of animals. She also enjoys camping, hiking, and anything outdoors.

Adael Shinn

Adael joined the First Baptist staff in January of 2022.  Adael was called to serve on our maintenance team; however, there is much more to Adael!  She is a Kannapolis native and has lived here most of her life. Her formal education includes certificates in welding and fabrication; her experience includes decades of maintenance and custodial work. She enjoys building and repairing things and understands that those skills are needed for the good of the church and its ministries. Adael also has musical interests as a singer and upright bass player.

Caleb Smith

Live Stream Ministry Coordinator
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Our church began a livestream ministry in 2020 and as the livestream ministry grew, so did the need for a dedicated staff person to manage it.  We were blessed to find Caleb to fill this role! Caleb is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte, with a Bachelors of Computer Science, and is currently enrolled in their Master of Computer Science program.  Caleb has been a member of First Baptist Kannapolis since 2014, but recently joined the staff as of August 2021. He enjoys building computers, coding projects, and going to all-you-can-eat restaurants with family and friends. Caleb plans to combine his passion for computers and love of Christ to help bring FBC-K into its next technological step. 

"Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant...'"  ~Matthew 20:25-26


The word "Deacon" comes from the Greek word diakonos, meaning "servant" or "helper" and that is exactly what a deacon is for the families of First Baptist that he or she serves.  The First Baptist Kannapolis Deacon Ministry’s purpose is to nurture and strengthen families in the Lord. The work of our deacons is an extension of the Pastor’s ministry to love and care for families in our congregation.  Deacons are called to be dedicated servants who use their spiritual gifts in a shared ministry of concern for the total well-being of God’s people. Deacons are to be supportive in times of need as well as rejoiceful in times of celebration.

Frank Hyatt

Deacon Council Chairman

Jane Harris

Bill Lutrick

Frank Plummer

Harvey Gendreau

Danita Rickard

Deacon Council Vice-Chairman

Sue Dodd

Ellen Styers

Mark Whitley

Tim Templeton

Daniel Stafford

Deacon Council Recording Secretary

Jason Pasch

Sherry Wyatt

Patti Miller

Todd Hagler

Tim Beane

Brooke Yorke

Richard Chaney

Reggie Smith

Mark Gurley