Meet Our Pastor and Ministry Team

We have a great leadership team and staff to serve you at First Baptist Athens.  Please join us!  We’re waiting for your visit!




Dr. Carroll || Golden Interim Pastor

Carroll and Mitzi Golden are both originally from Texas, but haven’t lived there for over 47 years and now consider Knoxville, Tennessee as home. They have two daughters who live in the Knoxville area and one son, who is deceased.
Before entering the ministry, he worked in the secular business world approximately 10 years.Dr. Golden attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Reformed Theological Seminary.

He served as a pastor for 25 years and with the International Mission Board for 10 years. He was a pastor in Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. While with the IMB, he worked in Mexico and Costa Rica. After returning from the mission field in 2007, he has served as interim pastor for six churches (one twice) in Knoxville.



Rev. Tim Ellis || Minister of Music

Pastor Tim is our leader in all musical worship. He leads us in Sunday morning musical worship, our choirs, and our multimedia ministries. Tim is married to Karen and they have two children and six  grandchildren.
Tim graduated from Mars Hill University with a Bachelor’s Degree in music and from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master’s Degree in Church Music. Tim has served in full time ministry for almost 45 years and was called as our Minister of Music in 2009.

Drew Byers  || Minister to Youth

Pastor Drew leads our youth and college ministries. From Sunday mornings to Wednesday nights to weekday Bible Studies, he is meeting with and ministering to youth and college students in our church and community.
Drew graduated from Bryan College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music. He also holds a Master of Divinity in Biblical and Theological Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 
Drew is an active member of Vol Nation (despite their shortcomings), is the best ping pong player on staff, and keeps the local Zaxby’s in business. 


Karen Ellis  || Children’s Ministry Director

Karen serves as our children’s ministry director. She oversees the children’s Sunday School Groups, our AWANA program, the weekday Mother’s Day Out, and our weekday Pre-School. Karen is married to Tim (our Minister of Music) and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Karen earned her degree from Mars Hill University in Psychology. She has served alongside Tim since they were married..