Steven H. Meriwether became the pastor of Immanuel on May 1, 2008. Steven came to Immanuel from St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he served as senior pastor for 15 years.
A native Nashvillian, Steven grew up in the farming community of Una near Percy Priest Lake. After graduating from McGavock High School, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. In 1985 he received his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Prior to pastoring St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, Steven served at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - first as minister for youth and families, then as associate pastor. During his years in seminary he also served at Hiseville Baptist Church in Hiseville, Kentucky, and Boulevard Baptist Church of Anderson, South Carolina.
Steven has long been a mission-minded pastor, having led his St. Charles Avenue congregation through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Shortly before leaving New Orleans to come to Immanuel, he led a group of volunteers in building a house for a Katrina survivor in the 9th Ward.
Pastor Steven serves on the board of directors of Insight Counseling Centers. In his spare time, he enjoys farming, gardening, and walking.
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Tambi Swiney began her ministry as associate pastor of Immanuel on November 9, 2009. She was ordained by the congregation on May 30, 2010.
Although she has resided in all three grand divisions of the state, Tambi has lived the majority of her days in the Nashville area. A graduate of Franklin High School, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After spending years as an active layperson and community volunteer, Tambi responded to God's call and began commuting to attend classes at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree in May 2004.
As a freelance writer, Tambi has authored over 200 Bible studies, commentaries, devotions, and articles. Her credits include: Student Life, Life Bible Study, Baptists Today, Missions Mosaic, Lectionary Homiletics, Living with Teenagers, and d365. She served as a Leadership Development Specialist for Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship from 2007- 2010.
Tambi met her husband, Paul, at the University of Tennessee, and they married in 1985. Their son, Chaney, and his wife, Kathryn, live in Bend, Oregon. Tambi and Paul share their Nashville home with two cats, Kinnakeet and Denali.
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Minister of Music
Caroline Talbert began serving as Minister of Music at Immanuel Baptist in July 2018. Caroline and her husband, Ryan, have been members of Immanuel since November 2017. Prior to serving at Immanuel, Caroline was the Director of Music Ministry at First Baptist Church in West Jefferson, North Carolina. She has also previously served in musical capacities at First Baptist Church in Boone, North Carolina, and First Baptist Church in Lincolnton, North Carolina.
Caroline attended the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in sacred music, as well as a Master of Music in choral conducting. She is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University with dual concentrations in Pastoral and Prophetic Congregational Leadership, as well as Chaplaincy.
Aside from church and school, Caroline enjoys singing with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, where she is currently alto section leader.
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Associate Minister of Music
Marilyn Shadinger serves Immanuel as our Associate Minister of Music. She has been actively involved in Immanuel's music program for many years, officially joining the staff as Music Associate in 2004. As a long-time member of this congregation, Marilyn finds great value in the intentionality, questioning intellect, and creativity of Immanuel's people.
Marilyn grew up in Rogersville, Tennessee. She completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Carson-Newman College and a Master of Music at Florida State University. In addition to her work at Immanuel, Marilyn has had a successful career as an educator, teaching music at schools in Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Marilyn and her husband, Dr. Richard Shadinger, are the parents of Dr. Sylvia Bridges (married to Ben) and James Shadinger (married to Cameron). They have four grandchildren: Wilson and Henry Bridges and Elise and Cade Shadinger.
When not directing or teaching, Marilyn can be found collecting (she loves china), working crossword and Sudoku puzzles, or planning her next trip.
Contact Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Shadinger has been a member of Immanuel since 1974 and organist since 1981.
A native of Carrollton, Georgia, Richard earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Shorter College and the M.C.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music. He retired from Belmont University in 2018, having served as Professor of Music in the School of Music since 1974.
An accomplished musician in the Nashville community, Richard is often heard in concerts playing organ, piano, and harpsichord, and he also plays Belmont's 43-bell carillon. He is an active member of Nashville's chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
At Immanuel, Richard has served as a deacon, deacon chair, preschool Sunday School teacher, committee member, and coordinator of the Immanuel Book Club. He especially appreciates the supportive family of faith and the meaningful worship tradition he has experienced at Immanuel.
Richard is married to Marilyn and together they have two married children. Sylvia and her husband, Ben Bridges, live in Macon, Georgia, with their two sons, Wilson and Henry. James and Cameron Shadinger live nearby in Nashville with their daughter, Elise, and their son, Cade.
Richard enjoys hiking, travel, and reading /collecting books. He has a special interest in congregational song; his collection of hymnals numbers more than 2000 items.
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Debbie Maxwell is Immanuel's Editor and Financial Secretary. She is also a committed Immanuel volunteer, helping each year with the Boulevard Bolt.
A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Debbie earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. She was a copywriter for the Baptist Sunday School Board and director of Immanuel's Parents' Day Out program before starting in her current role in 1986.
Debbie and her spouse, Larry, are parents to Todd (married to Holly), Adam, and Emily (married to Brandon) and grandparents to Claire, Ellie, Campbell, and Lyla. Debbie loves being a grandmother ("one of the few things in life that can't be overrated!").
Debbie and Larry are active Immanuel members. Whether she's working in the office, singing in the choir, playing handbells, teaching preschoolers in Sunday School, or organizing for the BOLT, Debbie loves the family atmosphere she's found at Immanuel.
Outside of Immanuel, she enjoys golf, gardening, exercise, playing with her dogs, Lolly and Vande, and being at the beach!
Contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Jenny at email@example.com.
Ann Conn is our Thursday secretary. She has grown up in Nashville and now resides in Williamson County with her husband, Jimmy. Ann was born into the fellowship of Immanuel Baptist Church and has been a member of the church her entire life.
Ann is a retired teacher from Williamson County schools, having taught first grade at Scales Elementary School for 26 years. She now enjoys sharing her love for children with her 7 grandchildren: Melissa, Lauren, Edmond, Bennett, Ian, Greyson, and Brooks. Two of her children, Katy (married to Troy) and Lissa (married to Brandon), are also members of Immanuel. Her son (married to Allison) lives in Orlando, Florida.
Ann loves the feel of family at Immanuel, not only of having her own family around her, but of her church family as well. She feels the warmth and support is exceptional.
Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University, where she met her husband, Jimmy, and she received her Certificate of Elementary Education from Peabody College, now a part of Vanderbilt University.
Ann is enjoying her days of retirement. When she is not working on Thursday, she enjoys gardening, helping with her grandchildren, reading, travelling to baseball games, the mountains, and the beach.
Contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becky Atkinson serves as the Director of the Immanuel Parents’ Day Out Program. In 2011, her children were grown, and while she enjoyed time with her golden retriever and watching Kentucky basketball, she had the sense that there was more to offer. Becky began the work of director and believes strongly that the timing of this opportunity was an answer to prayers guided by God’s hand.
Becky earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi College. After teaching first grade in rural Mississippi for five years, she “retired” to begin a family.
After moving to Nashville, Becky joined Immanuel in 1991. She has many precious memories of raising her three children, Jennifer, Matthew and Lindsey Kathryn, in the Immanuel family. In addition to serving as the PDO director, Becky finds special meaning in helping with baptisms and serving on the Bereavement Committee, and she will soon step in as the church’s Wedding Coordinator.
Nurturing children, building bonds of trust, developing relationships, and walking beside young families is what Becky enjoys most about this work. She finds it quite humbling to realize that she has the responsibility to shepherd a program that has been a part of Immanuel’s community outreach for 38 years.
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David George served as Pastor of Immanuel from 1976 until 2006. Upon retirement, he was named Pastor Emeritus.
Born in Louisiana, David grew up in Texas. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard Payne University and the Bachelor of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. David served churches in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas before coming to Immanuel.
David is married to Peggy, who retired from teaching kindergarten at Julia Green Elementary School. They have three children, Jennifer, Andrew, and Michael, and three grandchildren. David and Peggy enjoyed spending a month in Oxford, England, on two occasions in recent years. They took a cruise to Alaska following retirement and look forward to more travel.
Since retiring from Immanuel, David has served as interim pastor of the Signal Mountain Baptist Church in Chattanooga and The Sanctuary in Austin, Texas. He enjoys reading and collects books, especially interesting editions of The Pilgrim's Progress.
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Minister of Music Emeritus
Beryl Vick, Jr. served Immanuel as Minister of Music from 1968 until 2002. Upon retirement, Beryl was named Minister of Music Emeritus.
A native of Oklahoma and Texas, Beryl earned a Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Master of Sacred Music from New Orleans Seminary. Prior to his tenure at Immanuel, Beryl served churches in Florida and Alabama. Throughout his career, Beryl has served as an adjunct professor, denominational leader, and prolific composer of church music, with compositions and arrangements published by numerous companies.
Beryl is married to Pat. They have two grown children, Mark and Jennifer, and love to spend time with their grandkids. Beryl and Pat remain active in leadership at Immanuel. After many years, their love for Immanuel endures. Beryl directs the Brass Ensemble. Beryl and Pat coordinate Immanuel's Senior Adult Ministry.
Beryl fills up his retirement with regular tee times, good books, fishing, and Vanderbilt Commodore home games.
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