Ministerial Staff

Dr. Gil McKee, Senior PastorMcKee,Gil_4430

Gil McKee began his ministry as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa in March 2000. He surrendered to the call of God into vocational ministry in 1978. “God changed the direction of my call from music to preaching in 1983. Next to salvation, the call of God to serve him in full-time vocational ministry is the most humbling privilege of my life.”

He earned a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas;  a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.


Kris Sullivan, Executive Pastor

After 24 years in the business world, Kris Sullivan was called to First Baptist Church in 2007 following what Kris refers to as “a season of earnest prayer and surrender to the Lord asking Him to show me His will for my life. When I look over my shoulder, I clearly see the reasons He has called me here and I know He is preparing me for things to come.”
Kris earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama in 1983. He earned the SPHR credential in the field of Human Resources in 2003 and was recertified in 2006.

Joe Ziegler, Worship PastorZiegler,Joe_8906

Joe Ziegler began serving as Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist August 5, 2012.  In addition to leading worship and directing the Worship Choir, Joe also leads the Prime Time Singers (senior adult choir) and the Revelation Student Choir. A native of Decatur, Joe has served churches in Alabama and Tennessee.  He completed his undergraduate degree from Samford University in 1995 and graduate degree from Southwestern Seminary in 1998.


Jerry Lake, Senior Adult Pastor

Jerry Lake has served as the Minister to Senior Adults at First Baptist since 2009. He has been a member of First Baptist since 1990 and has served in various roles such as deacon, Men’s Ministry Chairman and Sunday School Coordinator. Jerry retired from the insurance industry as a District Sales Manager in 1999 after 32 years of service. He then served as a certified insurance instructor and as a consultant with the Character First! Institute. He was appointed Executive Director of the Character Council of Tuscaloosa in 2002 and served in that capacity until joining the staff at First Baptist Church. Jerry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Alabama. He was licensed into the Gospel Ministry by First Baptist Church in 2015.

Joe Armour, Adult PastorArmour,Joe_4537

Since the fall of 1987 Joe Armour has served on church staffs in the ministry areas of adult education, administration, and outreach in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.  He began his ministry as the Minister to Adults and Outreach at First Baptist Church – Tuscaloosa, AL, in the summer of 2006.  His primary responsibilities at First Baptist Church include the Sunday School Ministry for adults and small group Bible studies for adults on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.  Other responsibilities include the First Impressions Ministry and Outreach. He earned a BS and an MS degree in Agronomy from Mississippi State University, and also holds two degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Master of Arts in Religious Education and Master of Divinity.

Beth Yates, Minister to WomenYates,Beth_4472

Beth Yates joined the staff of First Baptist Church in 2004. She is responsible for our ministry to and with women.

She earned a Masters of Music in Church Music from Ouachita Baptist University in 1985 and a Masters of Education in Childhood Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988. After graduation from seminary, she spent 25 years in preschool and children’s ministry, the last 10 of those years at First Baptist Tuscaloosa. In 2014 Beth transitioned to leading First Baptist’s Women’s Ministry.

RJ Voorhees, College Pastor

RJ Voorhees began his ministry as College Pastor at First Baptist in August 2016.  He previously served as College Minister at First Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

 RJ has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Florida State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.


Jody Gambrell, Student Pastorgambrell

Jody Gambrell began his ministry as Minister to Students at First Baptist in February 2014 after serving churches in Birmingham, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. Jody’s area of ministry includes middle school and high school students.

Jody has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.