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Biographical Information



            Present Address:                   490 High Ridge Road

                                                             Cleveland, Georgia 30528-2432



            Cell Phone:                             (404) 409-5021



            Date of Birth:                         March 16, 1949, Atlanta, Georgia


            Married:                                 The former Diana Henry of Gainesville, Ga.,                                                                                                                                                            September 7, 1969

                                                            Active in Church life, Certified as an SBC Disaster Relief Worker,

                                                            Mission Volunteer, bible study teacher, conference leader



            Children:                                Christina LaFont-November 29, 1970,

                                                            1989-90 attended Truett McConnell Junior                                                                                                                                                              College, 1993 graduate of The University of                                                                                                                                                              Georgia, Married Stephen LaFont-November 4, 2006

                                                            Children: Bailey and Charleigh


                                                            Joseph Yarbrough-June 30, 1974

                                                            Graduate of Southeastern Theological Seminary, 1999

                                                            Computer Tech, Gainesville, Georgia                       

                                                            Children: Kalen and Tanner


            Parents:                                 Joseph O. & Dorothy D. Yarbrough,

                                                           (Father deceased, 1965 ~ Mother deceased, 2007)



            Received Christ:                        April 1958, Orchard Knob Baptist Church, Atlanta

            Licensed to the Ministry:         December 18, 1966, Orchard Knob Baptist, Atlanta

            Ordained to the Ministry:        June 7, 1970, First Baptist Chattahoochee, Atlanta



            Walter F. George High School, Atlanta, Georgia 1967

            Truett McConnell Junior College, Cleveland, Georgia, Associates in Arts, 1969

            Mercer University of Atlanta, Bachelor of Arts, 1973

            The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, Master of Divinity, 1976




            Summer Youth Director - Central Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia, 1968

            Associate Pastor - The First Baptist Church of Chattahoochee, Atlanta, 1969-72

            Minister of Outreach and Youth - Northeast Baptist Church, Atlanta, 1972-73



            Chaplain's Assistant - Hazelwood Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky, 1973 (volunteer)

            Pastor - Westview Baptist Church, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1973-74

            Pastor - New Hope Baptist Church, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, 1974-76


            SINCE SEMINARY:

            Pastor - The First Baptist Church of Buena Vista, Georgia, 1976-79

            Pastor - Tattnall Square Baptist Church, Macon, Georgia, 1979-81

            Pastor - East Lake Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1981-85

            Pastor - Tabernacle Baptist Church, Cartersville, Georgia, 1985-93

            Pastor - The First Baptist Church, Perry, Georgia, 1993-1997

            Vice President for Evangelization - The North American Mission Board, SBC, 1997-2006

            Pastor – Mt Yonah Baptist Church, Cleveland, Georgia, 2007 – 2013

            Dir. of Alumni & Public Policy, Assoc. Professor of Christian Studies  – Truett-McConnell University,

                        Cleveland, Georgia 2013 - 2019  (retired June 30, 2019, continues to serve the University as an adjunct professor                                  and part-time Director of Public Policy


            INTERIM PASTOR:  

            First Baptist Church of Roanoke, Virginia; First Baptist Church of Snellville, Georgia; First Baptist Church of Blairsville,              

            Georgia; Zebulon Baptist Church (twice) of Toccoa, Georgia; Mt Yonah Baptist Church of Cleveland, Georgia; Pickett's Mill     

            Baptist Church of Dallas, Georgia; Annistown Road Baptist Church of Snellville, Georgia; New Canaan Baptist Church of

            Dallas, Georgia; Hopewell Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia; Antioch Baptist Church of Blairsville, Georgia; Tamo Baptist

            Church, Martin Baptist Church, Sardis Baptist Church




            Chairman Camp Committee, 1976

            Chairman Order of Business Committee, 1977-78

            Vacation Bible School Director, 1977-78

            Chairman of Single Adult Committee, 1980

            Church Training Director, 1977

            President Ministers Conference, 1979

            President Ministers Conference, 1981

            Chairman New Missions Committee, 1981

            Chairman Finance Committee, 1981

            Chairman Missions Committee, 1983-84

            Chairman Director of Missions Search Committee, 1983

            Nominating Committee, 1987

            Member of ACTS Board, 1984

            Chairman Missions Committee, 1988

            Moderator, 1989-90

            Chairman of the Jay Strack Crusade, 1981

            Chairman of the Bailey Smith Crusade, 1987

            Pastoral Ministries Director, 1991-92

            Vice-Chairman of the Jay Strack Crusade, 1995

            Audit Committee, 1993-94

            Long Range Planning Committee, 2007

            Chairman Missions Committee, 2008-09

            Vice-Moderator, 2011

            Chairman of the Compassion Week Taskforce, 2012



            Teacher for the Georgia Baptist Extension, 1981

            Chairman of the Radio and Television Committee, 1990

            Executive Committee of The Georgia Baptist Convention, 1989-93, 2012-13

            1st vice-president of The Georgia Baptist Convention, 1990-91

            The alternate preacher for the 1991 Doctrinal Message, Georgia Baptist Convention

            The preacher for the Doctrinal Message at the 1992 meeting of, the Georgia Baptist Convention

            GBC State Missions Budget Committee, 1993

            Chairman of the GBC Nominating Committee, 1993

            Member Special Committee to Study Participation Criteria in GBC, 1994

            President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, 1994-96

            Writer for the Sunday School lessons for The Christian Index, 1995, 2015, 2018

            Member Program Structure Study Committee, 1995-97

            Member GBC & Mercer Relationship Committee, 1996-97

            Member GBC Health Care Trustee, 1998-2007

            Board of Trustees of Truett McConnell College, 2007-2011, Chairman 2008-09

            Public Affairs Committee, 2012 - present 

            Peace Committee - 2018



            Conference Leader in Church Administration for the Sunday School Board (now LifeWay) SBC, 1976-94

            Credentials Committee SBC, 1986

            Hall Moderator for SBC President for overflow attendance, 1988, 1989

            Preaching Missions for Home Mission Board to Alaska and Ohio

            On Program the Convention from 1989 - 2005 Southern Baptist Convention

            Executive Committee of SBC 1992-97 

            Officer of 1993 SBC Pastor's Conference   

            Chairman of Convention Arrangements Workgroup 1994/95

            Member/Chairman of the Implementation Task Force for SBC "Covenant for a New Century" that restructured the SBC,


            Member of the Incorporators Group for the North American Mission Board SBC, 1996/97



            Conference speaker and/or crusades for more than 200 Associations and 38 State Conventions, hundreds of 

            churches in 48 states across The Southern Baptist Convention and in 7 countries outside the United States.


            Special opportunities include:  Speaking occasions before the Georgia State Senate, the Georgia House of Representatives,                Preacher for the Real Evangelism, Conference for Dr. Bailey Smith, Preacher for Annual  Association Messages, "M" Night

            Preacher for numerous Associations, Youth and State Evangelism Conferences, Chapel Speaker for several Colleges, Chapel

            Speaker for 7 Seminaries, guest lectures for 3 seminaries, Key Note Speaker for the American Hymnal Society,

            Commencement speaker for Colleges and High Schools, Atlanta Hawks (NBA Team) chapel speaker, Keynote speaker for

            State Conventions and conferences, Teacher for the Billy Graham International Conference for Evangelism in Amsterdam

            Holland, Southern Baptist Convention, and Pastor Conference program speaker.


            Three terms on The Board of Trustees for The Georgia Council for Moral and Civil Concerns

            1990-2003. (Served as Vice-Chairman)


            Co-Founder and Executive Committee member of the Thomas Holmes House, Inc. (A home that is provided to help Baptist               Clergy who experience forced termination.) 1988-94



            While at Truett McConnell College: President of The Ministerial Association, The   Executive Committee of the Baptist

            Student Union, Student Government Executive  Committee, Revival team leader, and Pulpit Supply for the President of

            Truett McConnell

            While at Mercer University: Dean's List

            Since Graduation: Executive Committee Mercer University Alumni Association 1980-

            87, Vice-president of the Truett McConnell Alumni Association 1989, President of the

            National Alumni Association of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1996-97

            2007-2008 Member of the Presidential Search Committee for Truett McConnell College


            Community Involvement:

            Board of Directors for The Butler Street YMCA, 1971

            Chairman Cystic Fibrosis Campaign, 1976

            Chairman Heart Fund, 1978

            Chairman Leukemia Campaign, 1977

            Member Mayor's Committee for Beautification, 1977

            Chairman of the Instructional Planning Committee for Tri-County School System, 1977-79

            Chaplain for High School football teams in Buena Vista, Macon, and Cartersville

            Executive Board of the Chattanooga Area Literacy Movement, 1982-84

            Board of Directors for the Cartersville United Way, 1986-88

            Executive Board for The Christian League for Battered Women, 1988-91

            Crisis Committee Chairman for the Interfaith Alliance, 1987

            Chaplain for the Bartow County Board of Realtors, 1989

            Worship Chairman for the Interfaith Alliance, 1989

            Advisory Board for Autumn Terrace Personal Care Home, 1993-95

            Spiritual Life Committee Chairman for Kiwanis, 1994-95

            Board of Directors, White County YMCA, 2010

            White County 20/20 Planning taskforce, 2010 - present

            Board of Directors, Cleveland Care Center 2013 – 2014

            White County Planning Commission 2016-present

            Board of Directors White County Chamber of Commerce 2018 - 2021

            White County Advisory Planning Committee 2021


            Master Leader for Master Life Program of Discipleship

            CWT Pastor Leader and Advanced CWT Leader

            The Coaching Leader for Next Level Leadership

            Intentional Interim Pastor leadership

            Registered Lobbyist with the Georgia Ethics Commission 



            Contributing-Author, "Visionary Leadership for Church Growth", published by Convention Press, 1991 and “Know Peace in

            Troubled Times,” published by NAMB, 2003, Author for the web-based Sermon City, numerous sermons published in

            periodicals and on the web, numerous articles in periodicals, papers, and resources (topics: evangelism, church growth,

            leadership, care, and pastoral ministry), Three series of Bible Study articles for The Christian Index of The Georgia Baptist



            Resources developed while serving at the North American Mission Board from the area of my leadership:  The NET

            (evangelism for the 21st Century),  God’s Special Plan for Children, His Heart Our Hands, Next Level Leadership, Building

            Powerful Ministry Teams, Taking Prayer to the Streets, Praying for your Friends to Christ, Lighthouses of Prayer, Family to

            Family, Heart Call, The Evangelism Response Center, and a number of smaller resources for unique audiences.



            AWARDED THE DOCTOR OF DIVINITY DEGREE by The Southern California Theological Seminary, June 1987

            TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH was listed in Church Growth Today, as one of the 200 fastest-growing churches in America

           and one of the 15 fastest-growing churches in Georgia in 1987.  This listing included churches of all denominations.

            Dr. John N. Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Church Growth at Southwestern Baptist University, conducted research for

            this listing


            Listed in the 1996/97 Edition of Who’s Who Among American Executives and Professionals



            Computers, reading, fishing, hunting (very little)




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