our ministry leadership


  • Dr. Steven 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 an adjunct professor of ethics at Lee University and Grand Canyon University, has been a visiting professor at the Kiev Theological Seminary in Kiev, Ukraine, and is a hospital chaplain for Tennova Healthcare.  He and his wife Cheryl have four adult children, three daughters-in-law, and five 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 currently working on his MBA in Ministry at Bryan College while completing additional graduate studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Paul and his wife Connie have two canine sidekicks named Spencer and Baxter.

  • Dr. Shane Brown

    assistant pastor  (family ministries)

    sbrown@westwoodlife.org

    Shane has served as the Minister to Families 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.  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.

  • Eric Ferguson

    pastoral associate  (college and community)

    eferguson@westwoodlife.org

    Eric and his family have been members of Westwood since 2011.  After serving in various areas of the church as a member, he joined our ministry staff in 2017 as a pastoral associate for College and Community.   His ministry experience includes over fifteen years as a worship leader and student pastor, and ten years of leadership in construction ministries with World Changers.  He is entering his tenth year as an adjunct professor for public speaking at Lee University.

    Eric completed his Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies from Liberty University in December 2015.  In addition to his theological studies, he has earned a bachelors and a masters degree in theatre performance from Auburn University and Southern Methodist University respectively.  His passion is helping college age young adults grow in their relationship with Christ through the study of Scripture and preparing them as leaders in the church.

    He and his wife Abbey have been residents of Cleveland, TN since 2004 and have two children who are college students themselves.  He loves fly fishing, camping, canoeing and pretty much anything else outdoors.   

  • Wayne Finnell

    assistant pastor  (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 (missions and young adults)

    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 is in the process of completing 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 lead the missions and young adult ministries at Westwood in September 2015.  He and his wife Jennifer have three children, Arabella, Corban and Ali Beth

  • Neil Harper

    pastoral associate (median adults and church revitalization)

    nharper@westwoodlife.org

    Neil joined the Westwood staff as a Pastoral Associate in 2017 and serves as a part-time Hospital Chaplain.  He holds a Master of Divinity from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Public Administration in Criminal Justice with a Graduate Certificate from Missouri S&T in Explosives Technology.  Neil grew up in Florence, SC and began following Christ at a young age.  He relocated to Cleveland in 1999 to continue his career in law enforcement and retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 2016 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Neil and his wife, Laura, have two teenage children, Ashley and Riley, both of whom attend Walker Valley High School.  He enjoys reading, shooting, hiking and spending time with his family. 

  • Bruce Hill

    assistant pastor  (music and worship)

    bhill@westwoodlife.org

    Bruce has served Westwood in worship ministry since 2011. He is a music major graduate of Gadsden State Community College (AS), Samford University (BM), and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MM). He has served churches as Worship Pastor in TN, AL, NC ,and TX and taught worship and music courses at Tennessee Temple University and Bryan College. His worship ministry has included worship conferences, evangelism conferences, revivals and crusades, and leadership at the AL and TN Baptist Conventions. He and his wife, Teri, have two adult children, Brad (wife Alex) and Kaley. His favorite hobby is horseback riding, and his favorite verse is Jn. 12:32 "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

  • Nolan Phillips

    assistant pastor  (senior adults)

    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.

  • Curtis Strange

    assistant pastor  (students)

    cstrange@westwoodlife.org

    Curtis has served as pastor for students at Westwood since 2013. He is a graduate of Boyce College of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Bachelors Degree in Student Ministry. He began serving in Student Ministry in 2002 and has served at churches in KY, FL, GA and TN. He has been married to Elizabeth, also a graduate of Boyce College in student ministry, since 2002 and they have two daughters, Ava Claire and Nora Kate.

  • Abby Bianucci

    ministry assistant  (administration)

    abianucci@westwoodlife.org

    Abby graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2014 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice.  She spent most of her childhood at Westwood, and although she became a member of a church in nearby Chattanooga, she still considers Westwood to be home.  She currently serves as a receptionist and ministry assistant for several of the ministries here.  In her spare time, she volunteers at The Caring Place in Cleveland and enjoys reading and taking long walks with her dog. 

  • 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

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  • Bill Derrick

    facilities manager (buildings)

    bderrick@westwoodlife.org


  • Ethan Evors

    ministry director  (audio and visual)

    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. 

  • 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 director  (westwood day school)

    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 joined our team as the ministry assistant for our Ministry to Children and Young Families and now serves as Director of the Westwood Day School.  Dena has a grown son in Louisville, KY and a daughter and son-in-law who worship and serve here at Westwood.