Craig A. Sherouse, Ph.D., Senior Pastor
Rev. Craig A. Sherouse, Ph.D. has been our pastor since March, 2008. Craig’s personal mission statement is: “To joyfully and faithfully live with integrity, honoring God and leading others to Christ.” Craig finds the missional history and passions of Second Baptist to be a great fit. Previous pastorates included: First Baptist, Griffin, GA (2003 – 2008); Lakeside Baptist, Lakeland, FL (1990 – 2003); Seminole First Baptist, Seminole, FL (1982 – 1990); and Rock Haven Baptist, Meade County, KY (1976 – 1981). Craig is also active in the Baptist World Alliance, and currently serves as the Chair of its Heritage and Identity Commission. He has announced his retirement plans and a Sr. Pastor Search Committee has been formed.”
Craig is a native of Florida and graduated from Stetson University (B.A.) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. and Ph.D.). His graduate fields of study were Christian Ethics and Baptist Studies. He is married to Beverly, who has taught elementary school music and has been a church organist/pianist. Their son, Alan, is pastor of First Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC. He is married to Jenny and they are the parents of Jack, Della, Warner and Bea. Craig and Beverly’s daughter, Susan, is a professional violinist and violin instructor, married to Jeff, and they are the parents of Harrison and Ruby. Among Craig’s hobbies are: motorcycling; sailing; fishing; classical guitar; learning golf; and FSU football.
Raymond L. Spence, Jr., D.D., Pastor Emeritus
Raymond L. Spence, Jr. was called as the twentieth Pastor of Second Baptist Church on November 1, 1962. Dr. Spence graduated from Louisiana State University in 1958 and continued his education at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, earning a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1961. He has held offices on numerous religious, educational, and medical boards.
During his tenure, he led the congregation to relocate from the Franklin & Adams location and to purchase land at River and Gaskins. He broke ground in 1966, and the church still resides at this location to this day. He also led the congregation in a series of building programs to accommodate a growing membership. On November 4, 2007, Second held a retirement celebration for Dr. Spence and his wife, Ann, honoring their 45 years of ministry. He has the longest tenure of any Pastor in the history of the church.
Dr. Spence enjoys helping others, traveling with wife, Ann, hunting with sons, Lee and Walter, fishing, reading, and family get-togethers.
Reverend William L. Miller, Jr., Minister of Music
Bill Miller, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, has served as Minister of Music at Second Baptist Church since 1986, having previously served in the same capacity for ten years at First Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Kentucky. Bill is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in voice – Music Education. He then attended the University of Louisville, before earning the degree of Master of Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1983 in Shelbyville.
He is married to Debbie, Head of the Lower School at Collegiate School, has two sons, Brent and Alan. Brent and his wife Elizabeth and their children, Annie and Henry live in Richmond, where Brent is Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions for Collegiate School and Elizabeth works in our CLC. Alan and his wife Mary Beth and their children, Sarah Embry, Holton and Elliott live in Orange, Virginia, where he is Pastor of Orange Baptist Church.
Here at Second Baptist, Bill stays busy in ministry, and in music, directs the Sanctuary Choir, Youth Choir, VESPE, SECOND and Chapel handbell choirs, and several ensembles. In addition, he works in worship planning and prepares seasonal programming. In time away from the office, Bill has a workshop and enjoys time with family. He also sings in the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale and the Richmond Symphony Chorus.
Reverend Kathi Traficanti, Minister of Adult Education
Kathi Traficanti was called to Second to serve as Minister of Adult Education in 2009. She serves alongside many talented and gifted lay leaders to develop and implement transforming ministries and programs to assist God’s people as they explore who Christ is, to grow in Christ and become Christ centered in a life that is being transformed.
The opportunities to become involved in transforming life experiences at Second range from Sunday School, to small groups and discipleship classes, to missions involvement and leadership development. Kathi works with other ministers and lay leaders to help new members and guests become active participants in the life of the church through the equipping ministries and programs that are available. “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity.” Eph.4:12-13.
As a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary of Christian Education in 2002 with a Masters in Christian Education, she has served the local church and Second Baptist as a lay person and a minister. Kathi is a native of Nebraska, graduated from University of North Dakota, and loves to be in God’s great outdoors with her family and friends.
Reverend Katie Vance Lucas, Minister of Children
Katie Vance Lucas has been the Minister of Children at Second Baptist since October 2015. She is originally from Roanoke, Virginia but has called many places home including Tennessee, West Africa, North Carolina and South Carolina. Katie attended Carson Newman College (now University) and Gardner-Webb School of Divinity.
She previously served as Minister of Children at Adaville Baptist Church in Spindale, North Carolina; Crosspoint Church Bluffton in Bluffton, South Carolina and St. Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Katie works to create ways for families to deepen their relationship with God and each other while they are at church, in the community, and at home. She enjoys seeing faith come alive in children as they explore the Bible, learn spiritual practices, serve others in missions and ministry, and engage fully in the life of the church.
Katie is married to Jared. They are excited to raise their two daughters, Emerson and Everleigh, alongside other young families here at Second.
Reverend Ben Brown, Minister of Students
Ben Brown is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He has two degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University: a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and a Masters in Patient Counseling.
Ben is a graduate of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) where he served in many roles including Community Life Repre-sentative and Associate Moderator for the Student Leadership Council. Ben has served as a Chaplain Intern at VCU Health System earning 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and was ordained into Gospel Ministry at Derbyshire Baptist Church in 2014.
Ben is married to Courtney Brown. Courtney and Ben enjoy cooking to-gether, watching college basketball, drinking coffee, distance running, and going to concerts.
At Second, Ben guides youth and their families in the sacred space that is spiritual formation and student ministry. He believes that God calls all students, and God has a plan for each of them. Ben is passionate about developing student leaders and giving students new opportunities to see God working in their everyday lives.
Louis Orsatti, Pastor, Spanish Language Ministry
Louis Orsatti has been the Minister of the Spanish Language Ministry since the autumn of 2010.
He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He attended the Baptist Theological Seminary of Mexico, where he started new groups, missions and churches since 1981.
He arrived with his family in 2003 and started to work with the Baptist Churches here as a pastor and missionary.
Louis enjoys the ministry with his wife, Rebeca, and his 5 children.
Agayby Shehata, Pastor, Life Church, Arabic Language Ministry
Born in El Mina, Egypt, Agayby attended Middle East Theological Seminary, received his Bachelors in Theology and was authorized and ordained into ministry on July 12, 1996 by the Egyptian Assemblies of God denomination. Agayby has ministered to areas all over the globe including Jordan, Iraq, USE, Canada, Australia, and now the United States. From 2011 onward he has been the Senior Pastor of Life Church that meets here at Second Baptist.
Valter Sorrentino, Pastor, Portuguese Language Ministry
Valter Sorrentino was born in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro Brazil. He is the grandchild of an immigrant family and is fluent in both Portuguese and Italian languages. Valter received his Master Divinity from The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and also has a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Patient Counseling. Valter is married with his beautiful wife Sandra Sorrentino who is his best friend and partner in his ministry. Valter is gladly serving as the Pastor of the Portuguese Language Ministry for one year and nine months and loves what he is doing. Valter and his wife love traveling, exercising, cooking, and making new friends.
Forrest White, Interim Minister of Missions
Forrest White serves as Interim Minister of Missions, after having served Sec-ond Baptist as Interim Minister of Students in the fall of 2017.
Forrest served as Director of Serve Ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church Richmond from July 2012-October 2014, coordinating all local, national, and international mission opportunities. In addition, he led Trinity’s ministry presence in the city of Richmond, specifically in the area of Hillside Court Public Housing, which residents referred to as “Killside” Court because of the violence in the community. Previously at Trinity, Forrest served as Director of Student Ministry for 14 years, in-creasing the local service component from 3-4 opportunities for students each year upon his arrival to 65 annually, while building and nurturing strong relationships with two dozen ministries in Central Virginia.
More recently, Forrest coordinated long-term recovery efforts for 18 months in areas of Virginia affected by the tornado outbreak of February 2016 and flooding from Hur-ricane Matthew in October 2016. Since the fall of 2011, Forrest has been the lead trainer for United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) in the Virginia Confer-ence of the UMC. He has conducted nearly 60 training events around the state for short-term mission team leaders and six events for early (disaster) responders.
Forrest has led 50 short-term mission teams, both domestically and abroad.
Forrest is a 1987 graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. He spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter at two South Carolina newspapers before moving to Rich-mond to work at Trinity. He and his wife, Desda, have three children — Haley, 25; Austin, 22; and Kerrigan, 16.
Doctor Mary Beth Bennett, Organist
Dr. Mary Beth Bennett, Organist at Second Baptist, is a nationally recognized performer, composer and improviser who also serves on the music faculty of the University of Richmond. Having held various positions in Washington, D.C., including at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and as Ceremonial Organist for the United States Department of Defense, she holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Stetson University, the Staatliche Hochschüle für Musik (Cologne, Germany), and the University of Southern California. Her organ teachers have included David Craighead, Paul Jenkins, Paul Manz, Michael Schneider, Ladd Thomas and Cherry Rhodes, and her primary composition teacher has been James F. Hopkins. The winner of nine national and regional prizes in performance and composition, she is a frequent recitalist and clinician. This year she won the American Guild of Organists AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition. Bennett’s performances and compositions have been featured multiple times on APM’s Pipe Dreams radio program with Michael Barone. Her compositions are published by E. C. Schirmer, Augsburg-Fortress, Concordia, Broadman, National, Hope, World Library, G. I. A., Selah, and Oxford University Press publishing companies. At Second, she enjoys playing for Sunday worship services, Wednesday choir rehearsals, and other services. Mary Beth lives in Midlothian with her husband Mark Bowersox, and their exceptional dog, Roxy.
Judy Mawyer, Children's Choir Coordinator
Susan Hill, Director of Creative Learning Center
Susan was born in Richmond, VA, the daughter of Helen and Straughan Richardson, and grew up in Second Baptist Church. She is married to Jerry and has three beautiful daughters.
Susan has a BS from VCU’s School of Education, and completed her Master of Arts in Christian Education (2002) at Union Theological Seminary, specializing in early childhood development.
Susan worked as a social worker with the City of Richmond, at the Windsor Nursing Home, and as a Divisional Manager for Dun and Bradstreet Corporation for 10 years, prior to starting her family.
Susan began as a teacher at CLC in 1988, and became director in 1993.
She has served on the Richmond Early Childhood Association’s Board of Directors since 2006 and a Virginia Baptist Mission Board Weekday Conference committee member and conference teacher.
Ainsleigh Gaskins, Assistant Director of Creative Learning Center
Ainsleigh started attending Second Baptist when she met her husband Thomas in 2006, and is active in many areas of church life including Sunday School, Bible Study and Children’s Ministry in addition to her role at CLC. She and Thomas have two children, Kate and Jameson.
Ainsleigh holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) and an M.Ed. in Reading from Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked as a preschool teacher in Hanover County and as a Literacy Coach for several early literacy grants through VCU before joining CLC as Assistant Director in the summer of 2014. She is thankful to have a job that combines her faith and a desire to provide an excellent preschool experience for young children and their families.
Hilliary Larsen, Music Associate
Ginne Moore, Director of Recreation Ministry
Ginnie joined our staff in the summer 2015 as our Director of Recreation Ministry. She has been actively involved in the church for over 10 years and even met her husband, Bill Moore, here at the church, and was later married here. Ginnie has 3 sons, Sam and Tate who are 9 and Jack who is 6 years old. When not involved in planning recreational activities for various groups, Ginnie is actively involved in the Prayer Ministry Team at Second and sings and plays piano in the Well Praise Band. Ginnie has two degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, Sport and Recreation Management and a degree in Health and Physical Education.
Kathy Driver, Office Manager
Kathy is a graduate of Park Ridge High School, in Park Ridge, NJ. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and majored in Theatre Arts. She has lived in Richmond over 40 years. Kathy is married to Graham and they have four sons. She joined the staff at Second Baptist on August 1, 2006.
Patty Dimowski, Administrative Secretary
Griendora "G" McDowell, Financial Administrator
Griendora McDowell joined our staff February 2012. “G” as friends call her, is an associate minister at her church. Her background comes with 20+ years accounting and bookkeeping and she’s a Virginia native. G looks to further God’s kingdom, here at SBC, through her gift of finance.
Christina Taylor, Administrative Assistant
Christina studied Communications, Marketing and Advertising at Radford University and Practical Theology at Regent University. Her love for Jesus, scripture, and people keep her in study and serving through missions and ministry. She provides financial and administrative support to the office of Second Baptist.
Olivia Freeman, Communications Administrative Assistant
Olivia, a Richmond local, joined our staff August 2017.
She obtained her undergrad from Roanonoke College, where she studied Fine Arts, and Communications. In 2015, Olivia obtained her M.F.A. in Photo Media from University of New South Wales Art & Design in Australia.
While living abroad, she worked for a Catholic church as a Pastoral Assistant and brings these skills to her role here at Second Baptist. She serves as the Communications Administrative Assistant, creates and manages special print projects and online media for Second Baptist.