Meet the staff. 


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Dr. Tommy Hood

Senior Pastor

Dr. Tommy Hood has had the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church since September 2015.  Originally from Oklahoma, Dr. Hood spent more than two decades as a senior pastor in Texas before coming to Central.  He holds a B.A. in religion from Oklahoma Baptist University and both the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  Dr. Hood has done mission work in Ukraine, Kenya, Thailand, and Guatemala as well as various places within the United States.  He and his wife, Paula, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, have been married since February 1982 (they tell everyone they married as children).  They are rearing one child, Andrew, who is currently a college sophomore.  At various times in his life Dr. Hood has been a national champion livestock judge, a prize-winning team roper, an avid SCUBA diver, an instrument-rated private pilot, a proficient leather carver, and a lead guitarist in an oldies rock band.  If asked to identify a single Bible verse that most serves as his “life verse,” it would be Galatians 2:20:  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NIV).

Contact Dr. Tommy Hood


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Gene Elliott

Executive Pastor

Gene Elliott has been serving on Pastoral Staff at Central Baptist Church since January, 1991.  Gene began serving as the Youth Minister of Central Baptist Church in January 1991, transitioning to Adults and Outreach in 1999 and then transitioning to Executive Pastor/Senior Adults in 2014. He holds a B.S. from University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina and the M.Div. in Religious Education from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Gene has served in mission work in Scotland, Portugal, Prince Edward Island, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and many areas in the United States.  He and his wife, Anne, an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Music at Milligan College and a private piano instructor have been married since June 3, 1977. The Bible verse that brought him to a personal relationship with Jesus is 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (NIV).  Gene enjoys to play golf; therefore, the promise of his “life verse” is activated often.

Contact Gene


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Daniel McKenzie

Next Generation Pastor

Daniel McKenzie began serving as Minister of Youth at Central Baptist Church in June 2000.  In 2013, he expanded his role to serve as Next Generation Pastor, overseeing ministries from Preschool, Children, Youth, to College.  In addition to his Youth and Next Gen roles, Daniel has served in contemporary worship leadership roles for our original Bridge Worship service (2001-2008) and now helps coordinate the Gathering worship service in addition to playing in the Gathering Praise Band.  Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Daniel earned his B.A. from the University of Alabama and a M.Div. degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.  Daniel married DeAnne, who also serves as our Preschool Ministry Associate.  They have three boys – Clayton (b. 2001), Carter (b. 2005), and Davis (b. 2008).  Daniel is active in the community coaching and cheering on his boys in soccer, basketball, and baseball.  Daniel plays several instruments and has recorded two Christmas albums Christmas Grace (2010) and Let Us Adore Him (2013).  Other interests include cooking, video games, and cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.  One of Daniel’s favorite Bible verses is Matthew 5:16 “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Contact Daniel


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Tony Martin

Worship Pastor

Tony and Michael Martin came to Central from Kannapolis, NC in 1997. Tony grew up there and Michael is from Charlotte. Tony has his undergraduate degree in history and organ from Davidson College and his Master’s in Church Music from Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX. He and Michael love East Tennessee and quickly felt at home in Johnson City and at Central Baptist. They love sailing, gardening, singing, and traveling.

Contact Tony


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Carla Kidd

Pastor of Faith Formation

Carla and her husband, Clyde joined Central in 1986 with their two young children, Daniel and Andrew. They began very quickly to lead MasterLife classes and Carla accepted the volunteer position of Discipleship Coordinator. After a three-year period in Florence SC, where Carla served as Minister of Education at Mizpah Baptist Church, the family returned to Johnson City and to Central. In 1998, Carla became the Children’s Minister at Central and served in that capacity for 16 years, before moving to her current role, as Pastor of Faith Formation. Carla has a BS degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Carson-Newman College and 2 years of Seminary Extension Training through the Holston Baptist Convention. She has also in recent years, become Board Certified as a Christian Life Coach. As empty nesters, she and Clyde are enjoying relationships with family and friends, lake living, bicycling, and cheering on various football teams. From very early in life, Carla has had a heart for discipleship and enjoys seeing people grow in their faith walk. Her life goal comes from Ephesians 4:1 “to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” so God would be glorified and people would be drawn to faith in Jesus Christ.

Contact Carla


Ministry Assistants

Kirsten Borger

Senior Pastor/Congregational Care

Contact Kirsten

Paula HickS

Financial/Executive Pastor

Contact Paula

Tammy Hammitt

Senior Adults

Contact Tammy

Christina Sturgill

Faith Formations, Worship, Music

Contact Christina


Other Staff

Jennifer Arbo

Weekday Preschool & Kindergarten Director

Contact Jennifer

Aaron Seneker

Gathering Worship Leader & Youth/Communications Associate

Contact Aaron

Library Staff

Central Baptist Library Team