Mike answered the call to Southside Baptist Church in June of 2016. He has been in ministry for 37 years, pastoring churches in Alabama, Texas and Georgia. He has been married to Shirley for 40 years and together they share in the ministry at Southside, in the surrounding community and at various times on mission internationally. Their two children and their spouses have given them six grandchildren in which they enjoy spending time with.
Mike has earned his Bachelor of Ministry degree from the Baptist College of Florida (formerly Baptist Bible Institute); his Master of Theology Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; his Doctor of Theology degree from Covington Seminary.
Mike believes the Bible to be God’s Word and Will to us without error. His commitment is to uphold God’s Word through teaching, preaching and equipping so that every person can know and be empowered by truth. 2 Timothy 1:7-14 and Philippians 3:7-21 continue to transform and direct his service to the Lord in ministry.
Mike’s passion is for the church, with the Holy Spirit’s leading and empowering, to unlock, connect and engage in the biblical values God has determined for His church. Through the church’s engagement of those values, to see People’s Lives Impacted for Eternity in the name of Jesus Christ and to the glory of God.
Minister of Music/Discipleship: Ron Patterson
Ron is a graduate of Samford University with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Church Music. Ron joined the staff of Southside in April 2002. Ron and Fran were married in 1982 and have one daughter, Lydia Thrift.
Merrill is a native of Andalusia, Alabama. He is married to Shanna. They have two children, Corban and Collin. He is a graduate of Faulkner University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Merrill has been on staff at Southside since 2015. Merrill has a passion to see youth develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ as well as each other. Teaching youth who they are in Christ is a central theme to his ministry. Through the Grace of Jesus Christ, Merrill strives to show youth the amazing, abundant life they can have as a child of God (John 10:10).
Camp SONshine Director: Nancy Philyaw
Nancy is a graduate of The University of South Alabama with a Bachelor Degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Administration. She retired from teaching Elementary Physical Education with the Butler County Board of Education after 25 years. Upon retirement from teaching she followed the Lord’s Call to establish the Camp SONshine Children’s Ministry Program at Southside Baptist Church. Nancy has been a part of the Southside family for over 40 years. She has 2 daughters, Tiffany Smith and Lindsey Philyaw, son-in-law Josh Smith, and grandson Ceil.