Pastor & Staff

Rev. Matthew McDaniel


Matthew came to First Baptist Church in April of 2010. He was born in 1982 and is a native of this area. He was saved in Vacation Bible School at the age of 11 and surrendered to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ at the age of 21. Matthew Graduated from Kennesaw State University, in December, 2003, with a BBA Degree in Management. He earned his Master of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009. His prior experience includes serving as Pastor of Kingtown Baptist Church in McCasyville and as Associate Pastor of Students in Hayesville, NC. He and his childhood best friend, Miranda Long, were married on December 21, 2002. They have two sons, Mason Isaac, born November 27, 2006 and Marshall Evan, born September 30, 2009. Matthew enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing the piano, watching sports, and camping.

Ryan Norton

Minister of Music and Students

Ryan came to First Baptist Church in June 2012. He was born and raised in Fannin County and graduated from Fannin County High School in 1996. At the age of 8, Ryan accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He has previously served as choir director at Coletown Baptist Church and Kingtown Baptist Church. During both of these ministries, he also worked closely with student and children’s ministries. Ryan and his wife, Holly, were married on January 1, 2002. They have two sons, Bradley and Landon. Ryan’s sweet wife Holly and his two handsome boys are his pride and joy. Ryan and his family consider it an honor and a privilege to be on staff at First Baptist Church and look forward to seeing God work in and through the lives of all our students.

Sally Morris

Children's Director

Sally came to First Baptist in September of 2011. She was born in 1978 in Newport, TN and has a degree in Biology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Sally and her husband Philip have been married since June 26, 2004 and served in youth ministry at 2 churches in Chattanooga before moving to Murphy, NC in 2011. They have 5 children, 4 living, that Sally homeschools. Their children are Matthew, born June 8, 2005, Abigail, born August 26, 2009, Naomi, born sleeping September 1, 2012, Isaac, born July 31, 2014, and Miriam, born July 13, 2016. Philip and Sally have served as directors of First Baptist’s AWANA program since 2014. Sally is excited and honored to serve God in this capacity by helping equip other parents to raise their children in the Lord and guiding children to see their place in the Body of Christ. Her prayer is not just to teach children about God so that they may one day serve Him but to help them find all the ways that they can serve God now.

Bridget Proffitt

Ministry Assistant

Bridget came to First Baptist in September 2015. She was born and lived in Cape Town, South Africa up until emigrating to the United States in 2009. At the age of 8, Bridget accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and served in the worship and prayer ministry at her local church for many years. She is married to Chris Proffitt and together they have a blended family of five children. On July 13, 2016 she obtained her American Citizenship and is honored to be part of this beautiful nation and serve on staff at First Baptist Church McCaysville/Copperhill.

Clarence Burlingame

Financial Accountant & Organist

Clarence came to First Baptist Church in September 1988.  Born in Mississippi he was raised in Lake Worth, Florida.  He was saved at an early age in Vacation Bible School.  A 1970 graduate of Florida State University with a BS degree in Accounting, Clarence worked as a CPA in a regional CPA firm prior to opening his own office.  He is now retired. It was at Florida State that he met his wife Sandy on a blind date to a Sunday School party.  They were married December 29, 1970. He has previously served as organist at Forest Heights Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL, First Presbyterian Church in Lake Worth, FL, and 25 years at First Baptist Church in Lake Worth, Florida. He was ordained as a deacon in 1986. Clarence has been organist at First Baptist Church of McCaysville/Copperhill since 1988.

Journey Dent


Journey was born in Maryland and grew up in Delaware.  She moved to Blue Ridge in December of 2015.  She was saved at the age of 10 and has continued to serve the Lord with her life and talents ever since.  She joined the FBC Staff as Pianist in 2017.  She graduated from high school in May of 2019.  Journey loves playing the piano, spending time with her family, and loving on her furry animals.

Carol Kovsky


Carol has lived in McCaysville all of her life. She grew up in this church and has many memories of Sunday School, Training Union, Youth Choir and Vacation Bible School. She graduated from Fannin County High School in 1978. During high school and a period thereafter, she worked in her father’s convenience store. She later worked as a pharmacy tech for seventeen years. Wanting a change and to be outdoors in beautiful mountains, she began work for Escape to Blue Ridge, cleaning cabins. Her experience there led to the opportunity to work here at the church where she has been housekeeper since 2011.