John Cook – Senior Pastor
John became the senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in June 2009 after retiring from the Army as a chaplain with 26 years on active duty. His last assignment was as senior chaplain of the United States Military Academy at West Point. John is a graduate of West Point (1979) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1987). He first came to Snyder in 1980 as a young lieutenant assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and received his call to ministry while a member of this church. After seminary and serving as pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, John re-entered active duty and was reassigned to Fort Bragg as a chaplain. He and his wife, Gaye, joined Snyder and kept their church membership here for the next 20 years as they served in numerous locations around the world with the Army, not knowing God would eventually call them back to Snyder to serve as pastor and wife. Their daughter, Allison, lives in Charlotte and works with Young Life. Twin sons, Jonathan and Joshua, graduated from West Point in May 2010 and are currently assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC.
Larry G. Dickens came to Snyder in 1999 after having served in churches in Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Larry was born in Roanoke Rapids, but moved around in Virginia and North Carolina as his Dad was a Pastor. Larry graduated from Northern Nash High School in Rocky Mount, NC, Campbell University and Southeastern Seminary. His wife Gail grew up in Fayetteville and graduated from Pine Forest High School. She is a consultant for the Academically Gifted with Cumberland County Schools. She teaches Sunday School and is involved in all aspects of the music ministry here at Snyder. Their daughter Faith, was born in Roanoke, VA and is part time music teacher and a graduate student at Campbell University Divinity School focusing on Urban Ministry.
Larry sees his greatest achievement as finding a wife like Gail and having a daughter like Faith. He is most passionate about using music to impact lives and that is evident in what Larry has accomplished with the music ministry here at Snyder.
Larry’s favorite restaurant is Outback Steak House (Larry is known as the picky eater on the staff). But Larry does have a “Secret Spaghetti Sauce” recipe which he loves to make. Preparing this secret spaghetti sauce recipe is what Larry believes is his secret skill. Larry’s favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 which says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” His favorite book is Seeds of Greatness by Dennis Waitley.
Susie Reeder was born the youngest of five children to James and Gwen Reeder in Henderson, Kentucky. She became a rabid Wildcat fan while attending the University of Kentucky and graduated in 1984 with an Art Education degree. While attending a BSU conference her Junior year of college, she heard Keith Parks speak and felt God’s call into ministry, so upon graduation she entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. She graduated with a MDiv in Christian Education in 1988. Having served churches in Memphis and Murfreesboro, TN, Susie served as the Minister of Youth for 11 years, Minister of Missions and Senior Adults for 4 years and is now serving as Minister of Missions.
In the summer of 2001, Susie felt God calling her to adopt a child and felt confirmation when she took the youth to Passport camp that summer. The mission offering for Passport was to go to an agency called Dillon International to do humanitarian work at an orphanage in Vietnam.
Although Susie was led to China first, God showed her that her child was in that very orphanage where the youth had given their mission offering that summer. After 2 trips to Vietnam, Hannah HaLe and Susie became a forever family on July 3rd. Hannah was 13 months when she came to the States and is now 12 and enjoys singing her own songs and loves taking ballet. In 2005, Susie began the process again to bring home a baby sister for Hannah. Ella was also adopted from Vietnam arrived in the US on September 27 at the age of 21 months. Ella is now 8 and full of energy. Ella is the strong-willed child of the two. Ella loves playing soccer and loves all boy things!
Susie sees her greatest achievement is being the mom to two beautiful children. Her favorite restaurant is the Thai Pepper which is where you’ll usually find her and the girls on Friday nights. Susie loves to read and cheer on her Kentucky wildcats during basketball season. Her secret skills include drawing and painting. She also loves cooking and trying new recipes! Her passion is seeing justice and mercy in the world around us. Missions minister fits right where she’s at. A new passion of Susie’s is being an adoption advocate and helping children become a part of forever families. She has two favorite books which includes a old one by Charles Sheldon, What Would Jesus Do? and a book by Becky Tirabassi entitled, Let Prayer Change Your Life, that literally did change Susie’s life. Her favorite scripture is a verse that was the text of the sermon on the Sunday she rededicated her life her freshman year of college after seeing Amy Grant in concert. The verse is from Jeremiah 33:3, Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not. KJV.
Geron Gambill – Church Administrator
Geron joined the staff as Church Administrator in January 2004. He was born and grew up in Harrisonburg, VA, and attended Trevecca Nazarene University, graduating in 1978 with a major in Multiple Staff Ministry. He has served on church staff in TN, NC and PA in various capacities since 1977, and is a past Director of CONTACT of Fayetteville.
Geron and Kathy have been married since 1992, and have raised their 4 children together. Three are now married, and Geron and Kathy are proud grandparents to four grandchildren.
A few out-of-the box things you might not know about Geron: He earned his private pilot’s license in 1986, but hasn’t flown in some years. He has owned and ridden several motorcycles over the years; his present ride is a Honda VFR Interceptor. He enjoys target shooting, hunting and reloading, yard work and tinkering with tools and fixing things. He loves music, especially sacred, classical and big band music, and plays trumpet in the Snyder Orchestra, and several local ensembles.
He has helped start several Sunday School classes and discipleship groups over the years. His favorite scripture is Psalm 37. He loves to read both non-fiction and fiction. Some favorite or memorable books are: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Blackhawk Down, and The Perfect Storm. Favorite writers include C.S. Lewis, Oswald Chambers, Patrick Lencioni, and fiction writers Michael Connelly, Tom Clancy, Jonathan Kellerman, and Stephen Hunter.
Born and raised in Martinsville, VA, cutting his musical teeth in church and school choirs, and an unashamed and self-proclaimed band geek, Giles tried his hand at writing his first songs at 16. Thankfully, many of those first songs are still buried on various cassette tapes – yes, cassette tapes – in the back of the kitchen junk drawer at his parent’s house. But they’ve not all been relegated to the junk drawer, five albums later, Giles is now excited about his latest release, The Day Is Dawning, a collection of songs about grief and hope, loss and finding solid ground as a community. Giles and his family currently reside in Fayetteville, NC, where he serves as worship pastor with Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, loves being a husband and dad, uses Crest toothpaste, enjoys frozen blended coffee beverages, and periodically takes slow walks in the park.
Craig has enjoyed serving on the servant-hearted ministry team at Snyder since 2006. He’s been blessed with many opportunities to communicate God’s Word at conferences, retreats, camps, revivals and worship services all across North Carolina,Virginia and West Virginia. Craig is a passionate communicator and leader that is committed to helping others find their true identity in Christ alone.
Craig met the love of his life, Laurie, while attending Mars Hill College, and they have been married for 14 years. After Mars Hill and marriage, Craig entered Campbell University Divinity School and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2003. During this time Laurie and Craig moved from Burgaw to Greenville and served in youth ministry at The Memorial Baptist Church for 5 years.They have two growing and active sons who love to play soccer, basketball, baseball and more soccer.
Craig enjoys coaching his sons’ soccer teams, hanging out with friends, creating videos, reading about leadership and grabbing a cup of coffee.
Cathy Hopkins – Minister of Children
Cathy Hopkins joined the staff as Minister of Children on February 1, 2011.
Cathy grew up in Salisbury, N.C. and attended Gardner-Webb College and graduated from Campbell College in 1976 (both now universities) with a degree in Religious Education. She received her Masters of Religious Education with a concentration in Preschool and Children’s Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX.
She has served in Virginia and North Carolina as a Minister of Education, as a Home Missionary (now NAMB) in Eastern Baptist Association, and on staff as a Senior Consultant at the Baptist State Convention of NC in a variety of leadership positions for more than 17 years in the areas of Sunday School and Discipleship, but always in Preschool and Children’s Ministry!
She also served as interim Children’s Minister at FBC, Raleigh and Pilot Baptist Church, Zebulon and as the Director of The Children’s Place of Macedonia Baptist Church, Raleigh. All these experiences deepened her love for ministry with children and their families.
Cathy and her husband, Mike, have known each other since their early teens, having met while their respective churches joined together for youth ministry activities. They were married in 1974. They are blessed with two adult sons, James and Michael. Mike has been in Christian ministry all of his life also. He has served on local church staff, has been a NAMB Missionary serving as World Changers first National Missionary, then directed his own mission’s organization, MissionsConnect, Int.
Cathy loves traveling- especially with Mike, shopping, visiting with her dad and family, her friends, music and CHILDREN- all of them. Mike has always feared she would bring them all home with her someday!!
Luke 2:52- Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. We teach the ‘Whole’ child!!!
Bruce Herrmann was called to Snyder in 2013. He grew up in Fayetteville and after graduating from Campbell University worked in the insurance industry in Winston-Salem, Kinston and Charlotte. In 2000 he answered God’s call to ministry and entered Campbell Divinity School, graduating in 2004. Bruce has served the Lord in North Carolina Baptist churches as Minister to Families, Minister of Education, Minister of Music, Minister of Recreation and as Pastor.
Bruce’s wife Becky is employed locally as a Physician’s Assistant. God’s blessed their marriage with three daughters; Erin, like her Mom, is a PA working as a instructor and administrator in Wingate University’s PA Program; Jami is employed as promotions coordinator for her husband Michael’s Chick-f-la store in Florida; Abbey and her husband David work with RUF Ministries at College of Charleston.
Bruce enjoys spending time with Becky and the family, singing, playing the guitar and an occasional round of golf with his brothers. He’s passionate about caring for God’s people, strengthening our families and enjoying time with our Primetimes. He likes to cook and enjoys doing what it takes to put a smile on your face!
Look for Bruce at Outback or Chick-f-la (supporting his son-in law) when the cupboard gets low.
Recognizing all we are able to accomplish is through Christ, Bruce’s favorite scripture is John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”