Meet the Staff

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  • Dr. Juston Gates, sr. Pastor

    Dr. Juston Gates has been married to his wife Amanda for 20 years. They are the proud parents of three children: Elizabeth Klaire “Lizzie”, Caleb, and Leah Madelyn. Juston has been a pastor of churches in Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and now Missouri. Prior to entering vocational ministry, Juston was employed in the realm of law enforcement with police departments in Memphis, TN, Tupelo, MS, and Allen, TX, while also serving as a Federal Agent with the United States Border Patrol.

    Juston earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Luther Rice Seminary in Georgia. He was called to full time ministry in May of 2000. He is an adjunct online instructor for Itawamba Community College, where he instructs World Religions I and Old Testament Survey. In addition, Juston serves as an adjunct instructor for College of Ozarks, where he instructs Police Field Services, a part of the Criminal Justice program.


  • Jeff Shaffer, Assoc. Pastor Students

    Jeff  has been married to his wife, Megan since May of 2010. They have 2 daughters Jackie (2012) & Ellie (2014). Jeff grew up in Crestview, FL & attended the University of West Florida earning a B.A.. During college Jeff felt a call to the ministry as a Student Minister. Jeff earned his Master of Arts in Family Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Jeff served as the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries at First Baptist Kershaw, South Carolina from 2011 to 2017. Jeff has been serving First Baptist Forsyth since 2017. 

  • Shad Clarkson, Worship Leader

  • Megan Shaffer

    Megan has a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Counseling from Boyce College, and has been serving with her husband, Jeff, in ministry for the past eight years.  She is passionate about helping families flourish, and is excited to work with the rest of the FBC Forsyth staff to glorify Christ by strengthening His Church.


  • Amy Wilhoit, Children's Director

    Amy has been married to her husband, Jeff since March 7th 1998.  They have two sons, Graham (2005), Briggs (2007). Amy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development from Missouri State University.  She studied Curriculum & Instruction during Graduate School at University of Missouri - Kansas City.  Amy began serving as Reflections Women’s Ministry Director in 2010.  In 2011, she felt called to implement a Fine Arts Ministry for students by lifting up the name of Jesus through Classical Ballet Arts and Creative Movement which is how Ballet Yahweh came to fruition.  She currently serves on staff as the Director of Children’s Ministries.  Amy truly loves serving her local church and considers it a special privilege to walk alongside families,  in children’s ministry doing life together on this faith journey at FBC Forsyth.

  • Barbara Jernigan, Adminstrative Assistant

  • Martha Stanley, Administrative Assistant

  • Renea Martin, Custodial Services

  • Dave Yeager, Maintenance Services