Pastors & Directors
Jim has had the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church since 2012. He loves to preach, watch football, hang out with his family, and lead people into a deeper relationship with Jesus. His passion is to lead the church to impact our neighbors and the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Executive and Senior Adult Pastor
Gary Morton joined the staff of Second Baptist Church on June 1, 1988. For 30 years Gary served as our Worship Pastor. Gary now serves as our Executive and Senior Adult Pastor.
A native Georgian, Gary grew up in Stone Mountain. Gary loves family time and God’s great outdoors, especially deer hunting. He and his wife Jan have two grown sons and five delightful grandchildren. Jan is involved in the ministries here at Second, supporting Gary as she serves alongside him in the Second Family Senior Adult Ministry. She also leads Tasting Grace, a mentoring ministry, and is co-author of a book by the same name. Jan serves on the Board for The Broom Tree, a faith-based residential home for women. Their oldest son Jeremy and his wife Carrie, live in Canton, Georgia, where Jeremy serves as Pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock. Jonathan and his wife Erin are members here at Second Baptist where Jonathan is a deacon, and together they serve in our Children’s Ministry.
James has been a been a part of the Second Family for quite a while. He and his parents joined Second Baptist in the early 70’s and he graduated from Warner Robins High in 1982. He attended Brewton-Parker College and ended his college career in Memphis at Crichton College. He graduated with a double Major in Music Education and Bible Theology. James married the love of his life, Harriet, in 1987 and they have 4 grown children, two son-in-laws and 4 grandkids.
James and Harriet have been in full time ministry for 30 years and have had the opportunity to be involved in many different ministry areas. They love leading and investing in People and preparing the next generation of Worshippers. They also Love being actively involved in Missions, domestically and internationally. Leading people to Worship the Father in Spirit and Truth is a Passion and drives the ministry focus James wants to have at SBC.
James and Harriet joined the Second Family March 1st 2019 as Worship Pastor.
Adult Education and Evangelism Pastor
Matthew Gibbs is Minister of Adult Education and Evangelism here at Second Baptist. Before coming to Second, he served for five years as Minister of Education and Senior Adults, at Calvary Baptist Church in Greenwood, Indiana. He has also served on staff in churches in Florida and North Carolina. He has served in various ministry roles including Student Ministry, Music, Education, Senior Adults and Christian School leadership. Matthew graduated from the University of Georgia in 1991 with a degree in Advertising and Marketing. After serving for several years in the business world, he surrendered to God’s call to ministry and attended and graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Matthew is married to Kathy and they have three children: Mary Beth, Daniel, and Aaron.
Recreation & Activities Pastor
Jimmy Moneypenny graduated from Warner Robins High School in 1986. He attended Mercer University on a baseball scholarship, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary History Education in 1990. From 1990-2001, he taught and coached at Tabor Middle School here in Houston County and was named 1998 Teacher of the Year. He was also recognized by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 1998, 1999, and 2000. He has been a member of Second Baptist Church since 1990, where he served as a Sunday School teacher and deacon. He was called as Minister of Education and Evangelism in June, 2001, and licensed to the Gospel Ministry by Second Baptist Church in January, 2002. He is working toward a Masters of Administration degree from Georgia College and State University . He is married to the former Joy Stewart of Warner Robins and has two children, Lindsay and Katy.
Clark Whitney is passionate about reaching the next generation for Christ. By the grace of God, Clark was saved at age six in his backyard. He grew up in Texas before moving to Searcy, Arkansas. Clark attended Ouachita Baptist University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies and Political Science. While at Ouachita, two “God-things” happened: Clark met the love of his life, Aaryn, and he was called into the ministry. After graduating from Ouachita, Clark attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tennessee, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in Pastoral Ministry. Prior to coming to Second, Clark served in student ministry at churches in Tennessee and Arkansas. Clark and Aaryn are passionate about encouraging students to follow Jesus for a lifetime and equipping them to live on mission at home and around the world.
Ben Hunley is a native of Warner Robins, GA. He graduated from Houston County High School, then attended Darton College and Georgia College and State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. He has served in various roles in ministry since 2006 including youth pastor, children’s pastor, and worship leader. He joined the staff of Second Baptist in 2010 as Student Ministry Associate and in 2013 accepted the position of Children’s Pastor. He and his wife Leia have five beautiful children, Maddie, Emma, Luke, Kate, and Will. Ben and Leia enjoy being physically active. Leia is a fitness instructor and Ben enjoys weight lifting and volleyball.
Manuel Tábora was born and raised in Honduras. He moved to the states to further his education in violin performance. He did his university training at Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas, followed by graduate work at the University of Iowa, where he has been conferred the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. While in Iowa he was very involved with his church’s praise band as well as taught violin lessons. He is an active soloist and chamber musician, specializing in new music, and frequently collaborates with composers. He is a founding teacher of “In the Plains” Chamber Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas. Manuel shares a musical home with his wife Joanna and their beautiful daughters Miriam and Sarah. Manuel is the administrator of our School of the Arts program, and is the director of instrumental music.
First Impressions Director
Debbie Vartenisian was born in Hawkinsville, Georgia and raised in Warner Robins, Georgia. She graduated from Warner Robins High School. She worked at Robins Air Force Base for ten years. On an Easter Sunday, in 1987, Debbie came to know Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. She began to serve soon after in various areas at Second Baptist such as a 6th grade Sunday school teacher and soon after that as the nursery director. In 1992 Debbie moved with her family to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for her husband, Michael Vartenisian’s job. Three years later Debbie and her family returned to Warner Robins and to Second Baptist where she continued serving. She joined the Second Baptist staff and became the Director of Children’s Ministries for roughly eight years before moving to Saudi Arabia again, but this time to the capitol, Riyadh. She moved back in January of 2015 and took her current position as Director of First Impression Ministries. Debbie has three daughters Kristina, Brooke, and Michaela. Kristina is living in Tampa, Florida with her husband Drew Hilton. Brooke is her second eldest and is currently living in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Lee Hering and their son Finn. Her youngest daughter Michaela is attending a local college.
Community Outreach Director
Chris Lones joined the staff of Second Baptist Church on October 1, 2014. He is a native Georgian having grown up in Lizella. Chris often talks about his Damascus Road experience that occurred on February 22, 2008. Jesus in a miraculous way, set Chris free from 23 years of hard drug addiction. His passion is helping others find their freedom offered through a personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the ONEWAY Ministry.
Chris and his wife Sheila just celebrated 27 years of marriage. They have three beautiful daughters and three amazing grandchildren. Sheila is actively involved in the ministries here at Second by leading 2nd Talk in our ONEWAY Ministry and teaching an 8th grade girls Life Group. Their oldest daughter Amanda and her husband Casey live in Macon, Georgia. Allison is a member of Second and her future husband Ron Griffin also attends Second Baptist. Anslee still lives at home and is a member of Second Baptist.
Chris will tell you that the ONEWAY Ministry is for the entire family from the youngest child to the oldest adult. It addresses anything and everything that hinders our walk with Jesus and prevents us from loving others like He does. If you’re interested in serving or attending, contact Chris by phone or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports and Recreation Director
Jason grew up in the middle Georgia area and graduated from Warner Robins High School in 1994. Jason was drafted in the 1994 MLB baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round. He enjoyed that experience greatly. After his baseball career Jason was saved on May 23rd, 1999 at Second Baptist Church. A few years later Jason was called into ministry.
Jason graduated from Truett McConnel College with an Associate’s degree in Christian Studies in July 2005 and later received a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Leavell College of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Jason loves sports and is very excited to help serve in our Victory Sports ministry as the Director of Sports and Recreation. He cannot wait to see what God is going to do through our “Greater Things” campaign. Jason is married to Kelli and they have two awesome children Eli and Brynley.