Micah Fries - Senior Pastor
Micah serves as our Senior Pastor. Before serving at Brainerd, he was the Vice President of LifeWay Research. He served as a Senior Pastor in Missouri and an international church planter in Burkina Faso, West Africa. He holds a Master of Divinity and the Bachelor of Arts in Theology. Micah is currently a Ph.D. student, studying North American Missiology at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Micah is married to Tracy, and they have two daughters, Grace and Kessed, and a son, Haddon.
Micah is the author of a commentary on Haggai and Zephaniah in the Christ-Centered Commentary Series. Micah, along with Dr. Keith Whitfield, is also contributing to & co-editing a book on reaching North American Muslims with the gospel for B&H Academic. Micah is a Guest Lecturer in the Doctoral program at Anderson University. Micah is also a Fellow at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.
Paul Laso - Preaching Pastor
Paul Laso serves on staff at Brainerd as the Preaching Pastor. Paul was born and raised in Miami, FL. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a BA in Bible, a Master’s in Ministry, and M.A. in Christian Education. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Expository Preaching from SEBTS. Formerly, Paul served at Tennessee Temple University as the Dean of Men and Adjunct Instructor of Christian Life and Evangelism.
He and his wife, Kaye, married in 2014 and welcomed their first child, Isabella, in 2016. Paul and Kaye enjoy the outdoor activities that Chattanooga has to offer along with all of the local restaurants they have grown to love. Paul loves to play sports and is a fan of the Miami Heat, Miami Hurricanes, and helps pull for his wife’s team – Alabama.
Jeremy Maxfield - Discipleship Pastor
Jeremy met and married his wife at the University of Georgia. After graduating, they moved to Birmingham, AL and joined a church plant so that he could attend seminary at Beeson Divinity School. As a young couple in a new city, they had life-changing experiences with the church community, small groups, and discipleship. This set their family on a faith journey that led to ordination and pastoral ministry in 2005. Since then, Jeremy has served as a student pastor, college pastor, and life groups pastor.
Jeremy holds a Master of Theological Studies from Beeson Divinity School, a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and has done a Cross-Cultural Ministry Practicum from the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree from MBTS.
God also opened doors for Jeremy to serve ministries through publishing as a writer, editor, and director of church resources. After three years with LifeWay in Nashville, the Maxfield family followed God’s call to Brainerd Baptist Church.
Jeremy, Amanda, and their three daughters: Adalyn, Ella, and Katy Jane love Chattanooga. They enjoy rock climbing, paddling, camping, fishing, and hiking to waterfalls with Lucy their chocolate lab.
Barry Wilks - Missions Pastor
Barry grew up in Alabama. He is married to Scarlett, and they have five children: Emily, Jared, Sarah, Anna and Abigail. Barry came to Brainerd in 2000. In 2005-2007 his family served in East Africa with the IMB doing a two-year church planting assignment. He came back to Brainerd in 2007 and is currently working and leading Brainerd in international work and strategy.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management From Athens State University, a Master’s of Arts in Christian Education from NOBTS, and an MDiv Equiv. from NOBTS. Barry has been privileged to serve for 30 years in Ministry.
Barry and his family enjoy camping and outdoor activities.
Michael Dickerson - Executive Pastor
Michael was born and raised in the Charlotte area of North Carolina. He earned a B.S. degree in Accounting from UNCC in 1992 and an MDiv in Advanced Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014.
A CPA with over 20 years of experience, Michael spent the first five years of his career in public accounting before joining a Fortune 500 automotive retailer, where he spent the next twelve years, eventually becoming a financial executive. While endeavoring to climb the corporate ladder, he sensed God calling him to full-time ministry and resigned his career to pursue an MDiv. While a seminary student, he served in part-time roles at two churches, using his corporate experience to manage various administrative areas, including accounting, finance, budgeting, human resources, and risk management as well as managing processes in assimilation, connections, and outreach. Most recently, he has served for the past three years as Controller/Pastor of Financial Stewardship for Park Community Church in Chicago, where he provides leadership over all financial operations, including finance, accounting, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, analysis, compliance, etc.
Michael has a passion for international missions and teaching. In addition to his various church staff roles, he has served in non-staff capacities in global missions, small group ministry (as a teacher/leader and coach) and deacon ministry and has taught various classes on systematic theology, church history and bible survey.
Michael has been married to his wife Tiffany for eight years and just celebrated the birth of their first child, Asher Joshua, this past May. Michael and Tiffany both love to read and enjoy restaurants, the theater and boutique coffee shops. Michael also enjoys running and playing the guitar, while Tiffany enjoys cooking and baking (she graduated with honors in 2015 from the French Pastry School in Chicago with a certificate in cake decorating!). Since moving to Chicago, they have also become ardent Cubs fans (yes, even before the Cubs won the World Series!).