Dr. William Michael “Mike” Smith has been involved in church ministry and ministry to churches since God saved him and called him to preach through the ministry of Pastor Alvis Bell and First Baptist Church of Bellville, Texas. Since that time, he has been active in every area of Baptist life, from ministry to local churches to service at associational, state, and national levels. He is frequently asked to serve as guest preacher, Bible teacher, and conflict mediator.
Dr. Smith pastored churches for 17 years in Texas at Gatesville, Frost, Valley View, Edom, and Terrell. He has worked with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a church planter in Illinois, and has served as 2nd Vice Chairman of the International Mission Board for the SBC. From 1995 to 2008, Smith was Director of Missions of the Dogwood Trails Baptist Area in Jacksonville. Prior to that, he was Director of Missions at Double Mountain Baptist Area in Stamford, Texas for eight years. He served as Director of the Minister/Church Relations Department for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention for three years before becoming president of Jacksonville College in 2011.
Dr. Smith holds several academic degrees, including an Associate of Arts from Blinn College, a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University, and a Master of Divinity and a Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He has an earned doctorate from Luther Rice Seminary, as well as a Doctor of Ministry degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Dr. Smith has taught courses as Adjunct Professor at the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, and for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He has served on the Jacksonville College Board of Visitors, and has also been a member of the Board of Trustees for the college.
He and his wife, Susan Springer Smith, formerly of Terrell, Texas, have been married since 1974 and have two children and five grandchildren. His son, Lance, is a graduate of Jacksonville College.
Bro. Gary Mason is a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi and moved to Texas in 1976. He worked for Brown & Root for 10 years as a heavy equipment mechanic before being called to the ministry in 1986. He and Cindy have been married almost 40 years and are the proud grandparents of 9 grandchildren. Bro. Gary graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 1993 with a degree in Sacred Music. Having been in the ministry since 1986, he has served as Music Minister, Youth Minister, Senior Adult Minister, Minister of Education and Associate Pastor in a number of churches in Texas.
Cameron Burgess is an East Texas native, born in Tyler. He was saved in Bethel Baptist Church right beside the high school in Chapel Hill. He met his high school sweetheart, Christina Burgess, in that very high school. They have two children a son Cason and daughter Conleigh. Cameron answered his call to ministry at revival in New Harmony Baptist Church. He serves as student minister and his heart is to see students saved and come to a deeper relationship with Christ. Cameron wants to see each student grow in their relationship with the Lord and to love others by teaching them to do the same.
Celesia Autrey, is a Lindale native and a mother of six who has been working in children’s ministry since she was a teenager. Celesia learned to love children at a young age while working alongside her parents who taught children’s church, Sunday school and ran a bus ministry for many years. She has experience in every area of children’s ministry and served as a volunteer at New Harmony for over five years before becoming the Children’s Director in 2012. Her heart is that children come to know Christ and that their commitment to Him would be life-long.
Brady Weaver was born and raised in New Harmony Baptist Church. He was saved on October 7, 2009 at the age of 10 and then, on October 4, 2017, he surrendered his life to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that time, he has filled many pulpits in the East Texas area and loves to preach God’s Word. He currently attends Liberty University and is working towards his B.S. in Biblical and Theological Studies. He loves the Lord and the people of New Harmony Baptist Church.
Since her father was in the U.S. Air Force, Cindy Mason was born Tokyo, Japan. When she was a junior in High School, she moved to Pasadena, Texas where she met her husband, Bro. Gary Mason, at Trinity Baptist Church. They have been married almost 39 years and have two children, Emily and John and nine grandchildren.
Tressa Rudd came to be the Financial Secretary at New Harmony in 2014. She is also a pastor’s wife. She is a faithful member of Mt. Sylvan Baptist Church, where she serves alongside her husband, Pastor Bruce Rudd. They have been happily married since 1996 and have two beautiful daughters, Caitlyn and Madalyn. She came to know Jesus as her personal Savior when she was 10 years old. Her passion is singing and ministering Christ’s love and grace through song. She is so happy to be a part of two of the most loving churches in the Lindale-Tyler area. Her prayer is to not only see New Harmony and Mt. Sylvan grow in the Lord, but for all Christ centered body of believers to grow through salvation’s and faithful committed service through its members.
Andy Slater and his wife Rosie come from England where Andy worked as a specialist in the construction industry and had his own business for several years. In 1989 they followed a long-standing call into missions and joined Mercy Ships, working out of the Garden Valley office for about 10 years. Andy organized and led teams to several countries where the ship was working in Central America and West Africa. In 1999 he became the USA coordinator/administrator for Hope Now, a British-based ministry with operations in Ukraine and South Africa. Having joined NHBC in 1996, Andy became increasingly active in our missions program, and took the chair of the newly formed Missions Committee in 2011. In 2015 he began serving as NHBC Missions Coordinator. In cooperation with our missions committee, he oversees the management of the church missions budget, arranges programs to keep our missions activities in front of the church, and facilitates participation in a variety of outreaches by many NHBC members. Andy and Rosie have two married daughters and 6 grandchildren who live in Tyler and Houston.
Cheryl Gray, Nursery Director
Cheryl grew up in Tyler, but now lives in Lindale with her husband Toby. She became a member of New Harmony in 2004 and started serving as the Nursery/Pre-School Director in June 2013. She has also been the Awana Cubbies Pre-School Coordinator and teacher since 2008. Her greatest joys are her grandchildren. She believes that it is not just the responsibility of the parent to raise a faithful Christian. It also takes every church family member to teach by example.
Cyndi Bazil, Custodian
Gladly serving the Lord & NHBC members with a smile, broom, vacuum cleaner, dust cloth and window cleaner, Cyndi Bazil is blessed to be a ‘doorkeeper’ (Ps 84:10) and is thankful for the opportunity to work at NHBC. She came to faith in Christ in 1977 and she married the love of her life, Paul Bazil, in 1984. They have been in New Harmony for 20 years. Cyndi’s favorite verse of Scripture is Psalm 17:15, which states, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.”
Duane Kring, Building Lock-up
Dwayne Kring was born on October 16, 1936 in Lexington, Nebraska. At an early age, after hearing the Gospel from a traveling preacher, he accepted Christ as his Savior. He moved to Texas in 1957 and met his soon-to-be wife, Stonelle, whom he married in 1960. They joined New Harmony in 1993 and have been active and involved in the activities of the church ever since. Dwayne has been our building lock-up for over decade.