Steven W. Smith is a fourth generation pastor. After being a pastor for many years, Dr. Smith most recently served as Vice President for Student Services and Professor of Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also served on the preaching team at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX. Dr. Smith is passionate about preaching and teaching preaching in the classroom. He is the author of two books on preaching: Dying to Preach, and Recapturing the Voice of God, as well as related academic articles and chapters in books. He is currently busy with three other book projects. Most importantly he is married to his best friend Ashley and they have three children, Jewell, Sidney, and Shepherd.
Kasey Earl joined the Immanuel staff in 2015. He met his wife, Amanda, while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Music – Percussion Performance from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Kasey grew up in East Texas. He has been involved in leading worship since age 12, playing for his home church, area youth camps and events, and his youth group. He led worship for the UAM MBSF campus ministry throughout college. After graduating, Kasey served on staff at New Life Fellowship in DeWitt, AR, and then First Baptist Church in Newport, AR. As Worship Associate, Kasey leads worship at the Highpoint service and directs the Student Worship Team. Kasey continues to travel leading worship and playing in different bands.
Pastor for Discipleship & Missions
Mark Carter was born and raised here at Immanuel. He and his wife, Laura, have quadruplets, Michael, Katherine, Leslie and Ashley. Mark received a B.A. in Business Administration from Baylor University. As Associate Pastor for Business Administration, Mark manages our church operations and finances and also provides leadership for the church’s discipleship process. God has given Mark a passion for missional business, making reproducible disciples, marketplace ministry, and cross-cultural missions.
Director of Women’s Ministry
Traci Hogue joined Immanuel in 1994, and joined the staff in 2004. She and her husband, Michael, have three daughters, Katelyn, Caroline, and Kennedy. Traci received a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas in 1992. Traci wants to meet ladies right where they are and come alongside them – encouraging, supporting, praying and equipping them in their journey with God. She encourages women to grow in their relationship with Christ and one another through small groups, prayer meetings, fellowships, mentoring, and service opportunities.
Lead Student Pastor
Matt joined our Immanuel staff in 2012. He and his wife, Cassie, are native Arkansans and have a son named Jackson. Matt received a B.A. in Marketing from Southern Arkansas University and a M.A. in Christian Education (Student Ministry) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff at Immanuel, he served churches in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas including the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. Matt desires to come alongside parents in developing students, and everyone they are connected to; to help students know and own their faith and equip them to make reproducing disciples of Jesus locally, nationally, and globally.
Pastor for Adults 55+, Men’s Ministry & Pastoral Care
Rick Jaggars joined Immanuel in 1992. He and his wife, Bonnie, have two sons, Jonathan and Christopher. Rick received a B.S. from Tarleton State University in 1975 and a Masters in Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1980. As Associate Pastor for Adults 55+ and Men’s Ministry, Rick assists the pastor in fulfilling God’s mission and purpose in the community and implements a process to accomplish it. Rick strongly believes that each church is ordained by God to fulfill His purpose in ministering to the church body and surrounding community. As a staff member, he helps equip others to reach their highest level of God-given potential. He is passionate about building “big people” for God and not “big programs” for people.
Lead Worship Pastor
Eric Jones joined our staff in 2000. He and his wife, Missy, have one son and two daughters. Eric received an A.S. from Nashville State Technical Institute in 1985, a B.M. from Belmont University in 1996, and an M.M. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999. As Associate Pastor for Music & Worship, Eric directs and oversees the music and worship ministry at Immanuel. Eric uses his gifts to lead people in worshipping the Lord through music, and better equips them to use music as a method of worship.
Director of Preschool Ministry
Susan McClanahan joined Immanuel in 1968. She and her husband, Bill, have a daughter, Tracy, two sons, Steven and Michael, and seven grandchildren. As Director of Preschool Ministry, Susan ministers to preschoolers and their parents through relationships, programs and activities designed to reveal the love of Jesus and impact their lives for eternity. She is called to aid in laying a spiritual foundation in children’s hearts beginning in infancy so when they reach the age of accountability, they will accept Jesus into their lives. She aims to build relationships, love children as Jesus loves us, and exemplify Christ in all she does.
Pastor for Ministry & Leadership
Phil Spigner joined Immanuel in 1990. He and his wife, Wanda, have two sons, Brian (wife Kristen) and Ross (wife Caroline). Phil received a B.S. in church ministry from Mississippi College and a Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As Associate Pastor for Ministry and Leadership, Phil, along with our members, seeks the Lord’s direction for the various ministries of Immanuel and helps our members grow and fulfill their call to serve Jesus Christ. The desire of Phil’s heart is to be God’s man no matter what task the day may bring, big or small, to be able to do it for the Lord.
Pastor of Recreation
Brian Spigner joined Immanuel in 1990 and has been on staff since 2005. He and his wife, Kristen, have two sons, Slayton and Weston, and one daughter, Harper. Brian received a B.A. in Health, Physical Education & Recreation from Ouachita Baptist University as well as an M.A. in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As Associate Pastor of Recreation, Brian oversees all ministry and programming for Immanuel’s Recreation Center. Brian has always enjoyed sports and playing all kinds of games. In the Rec Center he uses his gifting for sports and recreation as a tool for evangelism.
Middle School Pastor
Ross Spigner and his wife Caroline joined Immanuel in November 2012. Ross serves as the pastor over our middle school ministry. He received a B.A. in Christian Studies from Ouachita Baptist University as well as a Masters of Divinity from Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the staff at Immanuel, Ross was the student pastor for Second Baptist in Arkadelphia. Ross has a heart to see middle school students develop real impacting relationships with mature believers and develop God-honoring friendships with their peers.
Student Ministries Associate for Girl’s Ministry
Melissa Sponer joined Immanuel in 2006. She received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and an M.A. in Multi-media Journalism from Arkansas Tech University in 2004. As Student Ministry Associate for Girls Ministry, Melissa assists in the planning and vision of the overall Student Ministry and plans ministry opportunities for girls to be exposed, equipped, and engaged with the Gospel. Melissa’s passion is to grow girls into godly young women through one-on-one discipleship and equip them in God’s word. She understands the struggles with self-image and self-esteem in today’s culture and desires to help girls define themselves in Christ and not by the world.
Director of Children's Ministry
Lindsay Venters joined the Immanuel staff in December 2016. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Leavell College and a Masters in Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Adam, have the privilege of raising two sons, Beau and Rigby. She has served in various ministries in church including college, youth and missions ministries. She became a Christian at age 8, and one of her biggest influences was growing up with her father in Campus Ministry at LSU where her heart for the Lord, missions and people grew. As Director of Children’s Ministry she oversees all aspects of ministry to children in 1st-5th grades. She considers it a privilege and a joy to help children and families at Immanuel serve and grow in the Lord.
Young Adults & College Pastor
Brandon and his wife, Claire, have two daughters, Alex and Allison. Brandon received a B.F.A in Radio/Television/Film from Sam Houston State University, Teacher’s Certification from University of Texas at Tyler, M.A. in Biblical Studies and M.A. in Religious Education from Southern California Seminary. He also is a certified facilitator for Prepare-Enrich Marriage Assessments. He has served as a pastor in Texas and Colorado and was on staff at First Baptist Church Dallas before joining the team at Immanuel. Brandon is passionate about being gospel-centric, missional living, discipleship and building relationships. He loves leading young adults, coffeehouses, live music, all things mac, and sports (especially golf)!