our ministry leadership


  • Steve Smartt

    senior pastor

    ssmartt@westwoodlife.org

    Pastor Steve has served as the senior pastor of Westwood since 2010.  A graduate of Lee University, he completed both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  After ten years in banking and management, he entered pastoral ministry to serve churches in TN, FL, KY, and GA.  In addition to serving in ministry to the local church, he serves as the board chair for The Caring Place, is a part-time professor and advisor at Lee University and Grand Canyon University, has been a visiting professor at the Kyiv Theological Seminary in Kyiv, Ukraine, and is a hospital chaplain for Tennova Healthcare.  He and his wife Cheryl have four adult children, three daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

  • Paul Davis

    associate pastor

    pdavis@westwoodlife.org

    Paul was born and raised in Cleveland.  He and his family have attended Westwood since he was five years old. After 17 years of working in a corporate job in the paper & packaging industry and in real estate, he was called to join the ministry team at Westwood in 2004. After serving as Minister of Education for four years, he moved into an executive pastor’s role with responsibilities in administration and educational ministries.  He now continues in this role as the Associate Pastor. 

    He is a graduate of Lee University and is in the final semester of his MBA in Ministry at Bryan College.  He will begin his doctoral studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary this fall.  Paul and his wife Connie have two canine sidekicks named Spencer and Baxter.

  • Dr. Shane Brown

    assistant pastor  (children and families)

    sbrown@westwoodlife.org

    Shane has ministered to our families here at Westwood since 2012.  A graduate of the Lee University College of Education K-8, he holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from Lee University and an Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University. After eleven years as a public school teacher in the Bradley County School system, he entered full-time ministry to serve here at Westwood. He now serves on our pastoral staff giving oversight to our ministry for families with children.  In addition to his ministry here,  Shane is an assistant professor of education in the Lee University Helen DeVos College of Education where he trains pre-service teachers for classroom teaching.  He and his wife Sarah have two daughters and one son, and serve as foster parents for children who find themselves in need of a home for love and support until reunification with their birth families can occur.

  • Josh Cross

    assistant pastor  (students and families)

    jcross@westwoodlife.org

    Josh serves as assistant pastor giving oversight to our ministry for students and their families.  Born and raised in Cleveland and serving as a leader for our students, Josh has a long history here in our Westwood family.  He is a graduate of Chattanooga State and Bryan College, and completed his M.Div. at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Josh is passionate about serving families and students in order to see them grow in their relationship with Christ.  He and his wife Leslie, who also grew up through our church family, have 3 children, Chandler, Aniston, and Hannah. 

  • Neil Harper

    assistant pastor (educational ministries)

    nharper@westwoodlife.org

    Neil joined the Westwood staff in 2017 and currently serves as Assistant Pastor giving oversight to our educational ministries.  He serves as a hospital chaplain at Tennova Healthcare, as well as, part-time faculty at Lee University and UTC.  Neil is pursuing a Doctor of Education at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he anticipates graduating in December 2022.  He completed his M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds a M.S. from Missouri S&T, a MPA from City University, and a Graduate Certificate from Oklahoma State University.  Neil grew up in Florence, SC and began following Christ at a young age.  He relocated to Cleveland in 1999 and retired from a career in law enforcement in 2019.  He also retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 2016 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Neil and his wife, Laura, have two teenage children; Ashley who is a sophomore at Lee University and Riley who attends Walker Valley High School.

  • Nolan Phillips

    assistant pastor  (senior adults and pastoral care)

    nphillips@westwoodlife.org

    Nolan has served Westwood as pastor to senior adults since 2014.  He is a graduate of Furman University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary having earned Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Divinity degrees.  He has served as a church planter in Ohio, and as a pastor in SBC churches for 56 years.  His longest tenure as pastor was 40 years at University Baptist Church in Middletown, Ohio.  He and his wife, Anne, are parents to 5 children and 7 grandchildren.

  • Wayne Finnell

    pastoral associate  (care and counseling)

    wfinnell@westwoodlife.org

    Wayne and his wife, Linda, became members of Westwood in 1981 after being regular attenders for 2 years.  Wayne graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1969 with a B.S. in Education and from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1974 with a M.Ed. in Administration and School Counseling.   He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1979 with an Ed.S. in Educational Psychology and Counseling.   While working as a school counselor at Northwest High School in Tunnel Hill, GA, where he worked for 23 years, he began doing pastoral counseling at Westwood and started teaching Sunday School.  Wayne joined the church staff when he retired from education in 2003.  Ordained at Westwood as a deacon in 1988, he was licensed as a minister in 2009 and ordained as a pastor in 2015.   Wayne serves the Westwood family and surrounding community in pastoral care and biblical counseling.  He and his wife Linda have 3 adult sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and are patiently waiting for grandchildren.

  • Adam Hammond

    pastoral associate

    ahammond@westwoodlife.org

    Adam is a Cleveland native and a lifelong member of the Westwood family. He graduated from Carson Newman University with a BA in Biology & Chemistry and followed up with seminary studies toward a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He served more than ten years as a church planter, strategy trainer and regional strategy leader over the Central American & Caribbean countries of Latin America.  He is passionate about teaching, creating disciples, and church planting.  After being gone from Cleveland for 18 years, Adam returned to serve in our pastoral ministry in September 2015 giving direction to our missions ministry.  He and his wife Jennifer have three children, Arabella, Corban and Ali Beth

  • Chad Haun

    pastoral associate

    chaun@westwoodlife.org

    Chad made a public profession of faith at an early age but didn't truly begin to follow Christ until he was 18 years old.  It was at this point in his life that he began to understand the cost of discipleship and was led to begin leading others to serving Christ as well.  He and his wife Lauren have been married for 17 years and have grown a wonderful family of 7 children as they have served the local church in many areas of ministry.  Chad is a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a firefighter for the Cleveland Fire Department, and a small business owner.

  • Andrew Slay

    pastoral associate

    aslay@westwoodlife.org

    Andrew serves as a pastoral associate and is a graduate of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies.  Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he earned his bachelor’s degree in RTVF and a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University. Andrew is passionate about discipleship, biblical fellowship, evangelism, and world missions seeking to help spur the body of Christ to walk in obedience to Jesus’ command to fulfill the Great Commission. Along with serving at Westwood, Andrew is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and part-time professor at Lee University where he seeks to help student-athletes grow physically, mentally, and spiritually through the medium of athletic performance. He and his wife, Ashley, have been members at Westwood since 2019 and have one child, Graysen Elyse.

  • Adam Stroud

    pastoral associate

    astroud@westwoodlife.org

    Adam serves as a pastoral associate working with the educational ministries. He was born and raised here in Cleveland before moving to Cookeville to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tennessee Technological University. Since returning to Cleveland, he has held a position with the TN Department of Health as an Environmental Health Specialist (Health Inspector). Currently, Adam is pursuing a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Adam is passionate about the Word of God being accurately taught that the church may be sanctified and God glorified. He and his wife, Sandy, joined Westwood in 2019. They have two sons, Justus and Cole, and are expecting their first daughter, Noelle, this December.

  • Kathy Clark

    office manager

    kclark@westwoodlife.org

    Kathy has been at Westwood since 1986 and has served in various ministries as a member of the church. Kathy worked for several years in the banking industry before choosing to be a work-at-home mom. She joined Westwood's administrative ministry in 1999 after spending twelve years at home with her young children. Kathy currently serves as the Church Administrator and Office Manager. She and her husband, John, have two adult children and a son-in-law, and one very precious grandson.  They enjoy traveling and hunting for antiques.

  • Debra Cook

    ministry assistant  (pastoral ministries)

    dcook@westwoodlife.org

    Debra has been a member of Westwood since 1996 and joined the staff in 2003.  Prior to joining our ministry staff, Debra worked in the corporate world as an executive assistant followed by several years as a stay-at-home mom.  She is passionate about building relationships with members of the church.  Debra and her husband, Mike, have one son, a daughter-in-law, and two sweet granddaughters ... and six dogs.  In her spare time, Debra enjoys playing with her granddaughters and her dogs.

  • Terry Cross

    facilities manager (grounds)

    tcross@westwoodlife.org


  • Bill Derrick

    facilities manager (buildings)

    bderrick@westwoodlife.org


  • Ethan Evors

    media director

    eevors@westwoodlife.org

    Ethan has worked as sound and media director at Westwood since 2013.  He graduated from Lee University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Media with an emphasis in Studio Production.  Since becoming a a member of Westwood, he has served in various capacities with the music and youth ministries and now gives oversight to all areas of media presentation, audio, visual, and online.

  • Laura Harper

    ministry director  (preschool ministry)

    lharper@westwoodlife.org

    Laura joined the Westwood staff as the Pre-school Ministry Director in 2017.  She holds a Bachelor of Science from Lees McCrae College with a double major in Communications and English.  She has used her education to serve in the area of child care administration for a total of more than (15) years in various settings, including day care, a Christian school and a local church staff.  Laura moved to Cleveland in 1999 with her husband, Neil.  She and Neil have two children, Ashley (17) and Riley (14).  Laura enjoys reading, making crafts and spending time with her family.

  • Terry Johnson

    ministry director/event coordinator  (women's ministries)

    tjohnson@westwoodlife.org

    Terry has served the women of Westwood as the Women’s Ministry Director since 2009. She is passionate about encouraging and supporting women in their spiritual growth and building vital relationships among women within the church body. In addition to Women’s Ministry, Her responsibilities also include working as the staff liaison between Westwood and the surrounding community to assist in organizing community events held on the church campus. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from Carson-Newman University. She and her husband, Kevin, enjoy spending time with their son, Levi, and their extended families. She enjoys gardening, reading and having lunch with friends.

  • Danette McDonald

    ministry assistant  (administration)

    dmcdonald@westwoodlife.org

    Danette joined the Westwood Staff in 2014 as a receptionist and ministry assistant to our administrative ministries.  Before rejoining the workforce six years ago as a church secretary for two other local churches, she was a stay-at-home mom for twenty years.  She and her husband, Barry, have a two adult children, Katie & Ben, a son-in-law, Brandon, and two little grandsons.  She loves to spend time with her family and meet new people as she comes in contact with guests visiting or calling the church. 

  • Melissa Ross

    ministry assistant  (worship and music)

    mross@westwoodlife.org

    Melissa has been a member of Westwood for twenty-four years and has served as the Worship Ministry Assistant for the last eight years. Prior to coming on staff at Westwood, She was a medical practice manager for many years here in Cleveland. Her lifelong passion for music is evident in her service to the Westwood church family.

  • Dena Thomas

    ministry assistant (children and families) 

    dthomas@westwoodlife.org

    Dena graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester in Rochester, NY with a BS in Music Therapy. She and her late husband served as worship leaders and in bi-vocational music ministry in Southern Baptist churches in the Rochester, NY area for 5 years.  After returning to Alabama, Dena was a stay at home, homeschooling mom, and served her church in Birmingham as its children’s choir director, sunday school teacher, and music assistant.  In 1997 Dena’s family moved to the Atlanta area where she continued to serve as a sunday school teacher, and spent 14 years in the classroom as a middle school teacher and director.  Now at Westwood, she serves as the ministry assistant for our Ministry to Children and Young Families. Dena has a grown son in Louisville, KY and a daughter and son-in-law who worship and serve here at Westwood.

  • Michaela Andersen

    ministry assistant  (student ministry)

    mandersen@westwoodlife.org