Retreat Speakers

Rev. Emily Hull McGee

Rev. Emily Hull McGee serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church on Fifth, a delightful community of saints practicing bold love and boundless compassion in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Emily has become a trusted speaker and guide for churches seeking to flourish amidst challenges to their sacred space or deep institutional change within their congregation. Prior to her calling to Winston-Salem in July 2015 to serve as First on Fifth’s 12th pastor and first female senior pastor in the church’s 150-year history, Emily served for six years as Minister to Young Adults at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a third-generation Baptist pastor in her family, following both her parents, her aunt, and grandfather into the ‘family business.’ (Her brother remains resolutely committed to life outside the ministry!) 

In her past life, Emily was training to be an opera singer, with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance from Furman University and Northwestern University, respectively. And it was there, far from the church life of her childhood, then among artists and creatives hungry for God’s story of justice and weary from the church’s narrative of exclusion, that she felt called by God to this sacred work of liberation, reconciliation, and love above all else. Among other commitments in Baptist life and leadership roles in the broader community, Emily enjoys being close to her alma mater of Wake Forest University School of Divinity and serving with The Baptist Commons, mentoring first-time pastors through Baptist Women in Ministry, and serving on the Executive Committee and Board of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty.  Many days, you can find her hiking the trails of North Carolina’s state parks, gathering around the table with friends from all over, and running around after her three precious (and precocious) young kids. Emily is married to Josh (owner and “sauce boss” of the Y’all Company, makers of small-batch Southern sauces and storytellers through meal and table), and their children are Liam, Annabelle, and Silas.

Rev. Sarah Jackson Shelton

Rev. Sarah Shelton is a graduate of The University of Alabama and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  She has served churches in Birmingham for over 40 years, the longest tenure being as Senior Pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant. In retirement, Sarah has been working through The Center for Congregational Resources (located on Samford University's campus, Birmingham, Alabama, and funded by the Lilly Foundation) as a strategist with female clergy. She is married to Lloyd and they have two grown children:  David (34) and Dannelly (29).

Retreat Worship Leader

Rev. David Warren

Rev. David Warren serves as Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Roswell, just North of Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Memphis, TN, David is a native of Richmond, VA. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman University with a degree in Church Music, concentrating in Voice and Tuba, and a graduate of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University with a Master of Divinity focusing in Church Music. Before coming to Roswell, David served churches on staff in Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama and served for five summers through PASSPORT Camps. David maintains an active schedule as a guest worship leader at youth, college, and adult group gatherings and retreats across the country. He holds memberships in the American Choral Directors Association, the Choristers Guild, the American Guild of Organists, The Hymn Society, and Polyphony Music Resources. Most importantly, David is married to Katie, an Elementary School Music Teacher and the Children’s Music Coordinator at First Baptist Roswell, and together, they care for their dog Hank, a redbone coonhound.

Interested in attending Oasis 2024? Register for the retreat here.

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