The Center for Teaching Churches supplies each McAfee graduate with a personal coach.  These coaches are trained ministers who commit to partnering alongside a McAfee alumni for two full years.  Below is the list of certified coaches. 


John AdamsJohn Adams

John is a graduate of Mercer University and Midwestern Seminary.  He served as a Business Resource Center Representative for fifteen years at the Pastoral Institute working with business, industry, and local educational institutions of the region. He is an experienced corporate educator, having led seminars and workshops including strategic planning, conflict resolution and work/life balance. For the past six years, John has served the Ministry Resource Center applying those same skills working with regional congregations and denominations/judicatories. John has served as pastor of small rural congregations and on staff in large urban congregations. He just retired as Coordinator of the Leadership Coaching training at the Pastoral Institute and as a clergy coach. This annual, four module program meets the benchmarks of the International Coaching Federation model and utilizes numbers certified coaches (ICF) as teaching facilitators as faculty.  He is the husband of Mary Beth Adams, former public school administrator and father of two adult children and Grand-pop to three grand-children.


Dr. Benjamin (Ben) Barnett, Jr.Ben Barnett

Dr. Ben Barnett, Jr., is a 2007 graduate of McAfee School of Theology and is certified in ministry coaching through the Pastoral Institute, Columbus, GA.  He serves as a member of the Board of Visitors of McAfee, and also serves on McAfee’s African-American Task Force which seeks to promote diversity and inclusion of African-American students in the field of theology.  He is senior pastor of Bridge Pointe Church, Atlanta.  

Melissa Clodfelter

staff_melissa Melissa Clodfelter, PCC, holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees with a focus in education and is currently working on a PhD in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations   at UNC-Greensboro.  Prior to her work with the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest University where she was Director of Career Services and Vocational Coaching at the WFU School of Divinity and Coordinator of Coaching for The Center for Congregational Health, Inc. In both of these organizations, her focus was in the area of development either with an individual or an entire organization, leading retreats, facilitating dialogue, providing workshops, one on one or team coaching and coach training. She has recently been named Associate Director of Professional and Leadership Development at Wake Forest University. Her responsibilities in this role include coaching faculty and staff, providing workshops and facilitation.  Clodfelter is a trained Corporate Coach and carries the certification of PCC with the International Coach Federation, Inc.


Beth Kennett

Reverend Beth Kennett is an ordained United Church of Christ minister.  Beth is an International Coach Federation accredited coach.  She has experience as pastor, coach, educator, denomination staff, conflict management facilitator, church consultant, and has worked in the areas of Faith and Vocation and leadership development training.  Beth has served on various committees and boards in the local and national setting of the United Church of Christ.  Beth serves as the Network Coordinator for Healthy Faith Communities with the Center for Congregational Health


Jamie MackeyJ Mackey

Jamie has been in ministry coaching since 2010 and in student ministry since 1994.  His ministry consists of experience on the college campus and in three different churches.  Jamie is the Minister to Students at First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama, where he has been on staff since 2007. Jamie is married to Hope Prather and has two children Cade and Story Grace.





Don DurhamDon Durham

Don is the father of two absolutely wonderful daughters who are 11 and 15 going on 25.  He has served the Church for 19 years in institutional ministry as a  fundraiser, or chief executive at:

  • Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs, NC)
  • Albright Care Foundation (Lewisburg, PA)
  • United Methodist Family Services (Richmond, VA)
  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation (Atlanta, GA).

He's led CBF Foundation to double its assets under his management and has worked with the board of CBF Foundation to provide Churches a way to invest in entrepreneurs from poor parts of the world through microfinance.  He manages a farm which grows food to give away to community feeding ministries, and is starting a church in central NC.  He currently works as a consultant with churches for missional/strategic visioning, conflict resolution, and capital fund raising through The Columbia Partnership and The Center for Congregational Health.  Don is also a trained professional coach for individuals seeking to focus their skills and abilities in more productive, creative, and fulfilling ways.


Ruth Perkins-Leeruth perkins lee

Ruth serves as the Congregational Services Manager for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Decatur, GA. Formerly the Minister of Students at Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, AL, Perkins-Lee has been coaching since 2010. A graduate of the McAfee School of Theology, Ruth believes it is her calling to help others discover their callings and to help them to succeed.Ruth and her husband, Scott, have two beautiful, precocious daughters.In addition to enjoying time with her family, Ruth says she enjoys a good rocking chair, a well-written book, delicious meals, and laughing.


Larry McSwainlarry

Larry McSwain is a retired Professor of Leadership at the McAfee School of Theology where he held the Watkins Christian Foundation Endowed Chair in Ministry. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological where he received the Doctor of Sacred Theology degree. He taught at Southern Seminary twenty three years as Professor of Church and Community and was Dean of the School of Theology and Provost. From 1993-2000, he was President of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia. He is editor of Twentieth Century Shapers of Baptist Social Ethics (MUP, 2008), author of Loving Beyond Your Theology: The Life and Ministry of Jimmy Raymond Allen (MUP, 2010), co-author of four books and author of numerous articles and research reports. He is married to Rebecca Sue, a retired CPA, father of two adult children, and proud grandfather of five grandchildren.


Bill ShiellShiell-Headshot

Dr. William D. Shiell is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee.  He has published three books: Reading Acts: the Lector and the Early Christian Audience, (E. J. Brill in 2004); Sessions with Matthew, (Smyth and Helwys) in 2007; and Delivering from Memory: the Effect of Performance on the Early Christian Audience (Wipf and Stock) forthcoming in 2011. He and his wife Kelly have two sons, Parker and Drake.  Dr. Shiell is a native of Pensacola, Florida, and received his B.A. in religion from Samford University (1994), M.Div. in theology from Baylor University's Truett Seminary (1997), and his Ph.D. in religion from Baylor University (2003).  He was named Outstanding Student of Truett Seminary's first graduating class.  Dr. Shiell serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Religion Department of Carson-Newman College and on the Board of Directors for Associated Baptist Press. He is a member of Leadership Knoxville's 2009 class and serves on the curriculum committee. When not playing with his boys, he enjoys golf, reading, and music.



Joel SniderSnider Joel

Joel Snider has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia, since 1995.   He has mentored and coached ministers for more than twenty years.  In addition to coaching  ministers, his clients include professionals in financial planning, health care, and higher education.


Jim Walls

Jim Walls photoJim has been involved in the leadership of youth ministry at some level for more than 20 years.  His ministry experience includes everything from working as a summer youth and children's ministry intern to serving as a youth minister for small, medium, and large congregations.  A native of Greenville, SC, Jim has earned degrees from the University of South Carolina (BS), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDIV), and Beeson Divinity School (DMIN).  Having completed doctoral work in the field of spiritual leadership, Jim continues to be passionate about youth ministry as well as a new found interest in what it means to be an effective minister of the gospel.  And to assist youth minister to become more effective in ministry, Jim is pursuing certification as a ministry coach.  Jim and his wife, Susan, have two sons, Allen and Bryan.  Jim enjoys playing the guitar, gardening, and stamp collecting.  His favorite event each year is taking his family to a college football game at a new stadium.  Thus far, his family has seen a college game at South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, and Georgia.  Jim has been on staff at Johns Creek Baptist Church since September, 2001.