Leadership

...

Pastoral Staff

Phil A. Newton

Senior Pastor 

Pastor Phil A. Newton began South Woods Baptist Church in 1987. He served as pastor of three other churches prior to moving to Memphis. He received his education at the University of Mobile (B.A.), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Fuller Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). Both natives of Alabama, he and his wife Karen met in Mobile, AL and married in 1975. They enjoy discussing biblical issues, reading, cooking, traveling, and interacting with their family. They have five children and six grandchildren. He enjoys training young men for the ministry and leading international mission trips. He authored Elders in Congregational Life, Elders in the Life of the Church (with Matt Schmucker), Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals (with Brian Croft), Venture All for God: Piety in the Writings of John Bunyan (with Roger Duke and Drew Harris), 40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry (forthcoming), The Mentoring Church, and The Way of Faith. He has contributed to several journals including The Gospel Coalition and 9Marks e-Journal. He regularly sends his Sunday morning messages via e-mail to people in several countries. Please contact Pastor Phil if you are interested in being placed on his Sermon-a-Week mailing list. There is no charge for this ministry.

Jim Carnes

Pastor of Worship

Jim Carnes has served as Minister of Music at South Woods since 1995. He received his education at Union University (BM) and North Texas State University (MA in Musicology). He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 30+ years and have two daughters: Anna and Mary. In addition to his music responsibilities at South Woods, Jim teaches one of the Adult Sunday school classes and shares in Wednesday evening teaching ministries. He has written articles for various journals and books in the areas of worship, history, theology, and rhetoric. His full time job is at Oak Hall clothing store in Memphis where he is a men’s clothes buyer. 

Matt Sliger

Associate Pastor

Matt began attending South Woods in the fall of 2007. In the years that followed, he received the bulk of his ministry training while serving as an intern here. He eventually earned a PhD in Applied Theology at Southeastern Seminary. Matt serves as an Adjunct Greek Professor for Bethlehem College and Seminary. Matt contributed articles on the Psalms, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and 1 Corinthians to The Jesus Bible. He enjoys playing music, watching baseball, and reading. He and his wife Julie have three children.

 Chris Wilbanks

Pastor of Local Missions and Ministries

Chris has been a member at South Woods since the winter of 2002 and joined the staff in a part-time capacity in 2011. He received his education at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and received his Master of Divinity in pastoral studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Along with his service at South Woods, he is also a part-time employee at an internal medicine facility in Memphis. He enjoys holy hip-hop, NBA basketball, almost all forms of cheese, and Puritan writings . He and his wife Jessica have been joyfully married since 1999 and have three children, two on earth and one at the Savior's side. 

Elders

Phil Newton
Pastor Phil A. Newton began South Woods Baptist Church in 1987. He served as pastor of three other churches prior to moving to Memphis. He received his education at the University of Mobile (B.A.), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Fuller Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). Both natives of Alabama, he and his wife Karen met in Mobile, AL and married in 1975. They enjoy discussing biblical issues, reading, cooking, traveling, and interacting with their family. They have five children and six grandchildren. He enjoys training young men for the ministry and leading international mission trips. He authored Elders in Congregational Life, Elders in the Life of the Church (with Matt Schmucker), Conduct Gospel-Centered Funerals (with Brian Croft), Venture All for God: Piety in the Writings of John Bunyan (with Roger Duke and Drew Harris), 40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry (forthcoming), The Mentoring Church, and The Way of Faith.  He has contributed to several journals including The Gospel Coalition and 9Marks e-Journal. He regularly sends his Sunday morning messages via e-mail to people in several countries.
Matt Sliger
Matt began attending South Woods in the fall of 2007. In the years that followed, he received the bulk of his ministry training while serving as an intern here. He eventually earned a PhD in Applied Theology at Southeastern Seminary. Matt serves as an Adjunct Greek Professor for Bethlehem College and Seminary. Matt contributed articles on the Psalms, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and 1 Corinthians to The Jesus Bible. He enjoys playing music, watching baseball, and reading. He and his wife Julie have three children.
Jim Carnes
Jim Carnes has served as Minister of Music at South Woods since 1995. He received his education at Union University (BM) and North Texas State University (MA in Musicology). He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 30+ years and have two daughters: Anna and Mary. In addition to his music responsibilities at South Woods, Jim teaches one of the Adult Sunday school classes and shares in Wednesday evening teaching ministries. He has written articles for various journals and books in the areas of worship, history, theology, and rhetoric.  His full time job is at Oak Hall clothing store in Memphis where he is a men’s clothes buyer. 
Dan Meadows
Dan and his wife, Amy, have been members of South Woods since 2007. They have three grown daughters, Catherine, Ginny, and Beth. Dan grew up in Memphis, graduating from White Station High School. He earned a B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from U.T. Memphis. He has completed an M.A. in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Dan practices dentistry and is involved at the local and state levels of the Dental Association. He currently co-teaches the men’s Sunday School class and works with the pastoral interns at South Woods. He has participated in several foreign mission trips. He enjoys reading, photography, jogging, and hiking.
Chris Wilbanks
Chris has been a member at South Woods since the winter of 2002 and joined the staff in a part-time capacity in 2011. He received his education at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and received his Master of Divinity in pastoral studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Jessica have been joyfully married since 1999 and have three children. Along with his service at South Woods, he is also a full-time employee at an internal medicine facility in Memphis.
Drew Harris
Drew and his wife, Jenny, have been members of South Woods since 2010. Drew shares teaching responsibilities for the couples Sunday School class. He also has served on the finance committee and as a pastoral intern. He received his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a B.A. in English from the University of Mississippi, and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Memphis. He currently works for an integrated communications agency in marketing and public relations. Drew enjoys reading, fly fishing, golf, and is a certified barbecue judge.
Andy Fortner
Andy and his wife, Beth, have been members of South Woods since the fall of 2013. They have been married since 2000 and have three daughters. He serves the Preschool Ministry, helps teach the couples Sunday school class, and participates as a pastoral intern. He received his Bachelors of Arts from Union University and his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Andy is a third generation masonry contractor, working for his family’s construction company. He enjoys reading, baking, and watching football.

Tommy Campbell
Dr. Tommy Campbell started attending South Woods in August of 1988 in the second year of her existence. He serves our community as a physician. He faithfully leads the Missions Committee at South Woods in planning global trips. He and his wife Betty have been married for over 30 years and have four sons.

Deacons

Russell Pennington
Russell E. Pennington had his eyes and heart opened to saving faith in Jesus Christ at his church home of 16 years, Faith Baptist in Barton, MS. He began visiting South Woods in 2002 at the invitation of his prospective father-in-law to gain insight into the biblical instruction his daughter (whom he was interested in marrying) was sitting under. Here at South Woods Russell was first introduced to the Doctrines of Grace and leadership by elders. After marrying, it was these truths and the atmosphere that they nurture that led him and his new bride Amanda to join the body as a couple in 2004, in spite of the long drive from their home in Byhalia, MS. He was installed as a deacon in 2012. Russell, a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a BA in Business Administration, currently serves as the Technical Services Coordinator of Northcentral Electric Power Association in Olive Branch, MS and a proprietor in home maintenance. Amanda, a graduate of Crichton College, is a homemaker and educates their three sons, James, Silas, and Jonah.
Steven Hockman
Steven has been a member at South Woods since 2004. He and his wife, Kristin, were married in 2005 and they have 2 children. Steven graduated from the University of Alabama in 2001 with a B.S. in Commerce & Business Administration. He is currently working toward his Masters of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and works full time at Pinnacle Medical Solutions in Southaven, MS. He also teaches the 4th-6th grade Sunday School class and is a Pastoral Intern. Steven enjoys playing basketball and reading.
Mark Wiseman
Mark, a former Roman Catholic, was converted to Christ by God’s grace in 1988. God used Mark’s wife Nancy, then recently converted, to both live out the Gospel before him and speak it into his life. Mark and his family began attending South Woods in 1997. During the week he works in the insurance industry specializing in risk management consulting. He enjoys playing tennis when he has time. Mark and Nancy have three children.
Jay Campbell
Jay grew up at South Woods and, with the exception of an interlude between 1999 and 2006 when he attended Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and Grace Community Church in Nashville, TN, has been a member since 1988. He is the son of Tommy and Betty Campbell, and is married to Jennifer, the daughter of Butch and Joy Sharp. Jay received his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Information Systems Technology degrees from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and his Juris Doctor from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, TN. In his professional life, Jay serves as an attorney in the Memphis office of an AmLaw 200 law firm, focusing his practice in the areas of Mergers and Acquisition and Corporate Finance.
Brian Knack
Brian was saved during the summer of 2004 and was encouraged greatly in his faith through involvement with the University of Memphis Baptist Collegiate Ministries from 2008-2013.  Brian has been attending South Woods since the Summer of 2014 after he and his wife Emily's engagement.  Brian and Emily were married in 2014 and had their son Cooper in January of 2019.  Brian and Emily both have hearts for missions and investing in the children of our church.  Professionally, Brian is a CPA in the state of Tennessee working for CCL Label in Collierville.  In his free time, Brian participates in kayak bass fishing tournaments in West Tennessee.
Butch Sharp
Butch has been a member of South Woods since 1992. He received a B.S. degree in Engineering Technology from the University of Tennessee, Martin in 1975. He and his wife Joy were married in 1975 in Jackson, TN. She graduated with an IBM Secretarial Degree from West Tennessee Business College in 1973. Their daughter Jennifer Campbell has a B.S. degree in Interior Design from Mississippi College and she is an Interior Designer with the Crump Firm in Memphis. She is married to Jay Campbell who is an attorney with Adams & Reese Law Firm in Memphis. They have one daughter, Caroline. Jeremy, their son has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is employed by the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers at ERDC in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Jeremy is married to Mary Hunter Arant and she is a fifth grade school teacher in Vicksburg-Warren County School District. Butch works for Palladio LLC in mid-town Memphis. He is the Shop Supervisor for Crafted Classics which designs and builds custom furniture from reclaimed materials.
Garrett Shaw
Garrett and his wife, Sarah, have been members of South Woods since 2017.  They were married in 2015 and look forward to growing their family through adoption.  Garrett studied Business and Electrical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and works as an Account Manager for GE Healthcare.  He participates in the Pastoral Internship, teaches the youth Sunday School class and leads South Woods youth ministry events throughout the year.  Garrett enjoys playing tennis, snowboarding and spending time with Sarah. 
Sam Hughey
Sam has been a member of South Woods Baptist church since 1999. Sam is a Memphis native where he graduated from Overton High School. He attended Guilford College and Greensboro Bible Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina where he lived for 9 years. Sam has taught numerous classes and has been teaching the pre-teen and teen Sunday School for more than 10 years. He is involved with the church's book ministry, website and church security. Sam has been employed in the IT department of a local, major Auto Parts retailer for 29 years.