Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2
 

Our Pastors

Ken Whitten

Ken Whitten

Senior Pastor (813-264-8722)


Pastor Whitten has been privileged to serve in various local, state, and national capacities including the SBC International Mission Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Florida State Board of Missions, Florida Baptist Witness Board and others.  He loves Pastors and has served as President of the Florida Baptist Convention, on the Conservative Resurgence Task Force, as Chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business, President of the SBC Pastors’ Conference, and as Moderator of the Tampa Bay Baptist Association. 

 

Pastor Whitten has been privileged to preach many times at SBC Conventions, State Conventions, Pastors’ Conferences, Bible Conferences, Men’s Conferences, and others.

 

What marks and motivates Pastor Whitten the most is the high honor of being Idlewild’s Senior Pastor these past 25 years and being on mission with God in West Africa, China, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Romania, England, Paraguay, Panama, and Guatemala.

 

From 1982-1989, Whitten was privileged to serve at Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, under the leadership of Dr. Adrian Rogers, whom he considers his spiritual father.

 

Ken Whitten is married to his bride Ginny.  They’ve been blessed with 4 children and 10 grandchildren.

Barry Chesney

Barry Chesney

Minister – Local Missions (813-264-1515)


Barry was saved as a college student at Mississippi State University through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Barry prepared for ministry by earning a Master’s Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Barry married his beautiful wife, Courtney, in 2005 and they have four children; Broc, Asa, Audrey and Cole. God has given Barry a burden for the nations of the world and a passion to serve God through local missions. Prior to serving at Idlewild, Barry served at churches in Kentucky, Georgia and Plant City, FL.

Chris Dotson

Chris Dotson

Ministry Associate – High School Students (813-264-1515)


A native of Dayton, OH Chris moved to Tampa with his family in 2006. When Chris was in 9th grade, the Dotson family settled at Idlewild and, in 2010, Chris gave his life to Jesus. Following high school, Chris accepted a scholarship to run cross country and track at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Chris joined the Student ministry staff of First Baptist Church of Cleveland in August of 2012 after suffering multiple injuries that ended his competitive running career. It was also at this time that Chris fell in love with an adorable Southern Belle by the name of Rachel. Following his sophomore year of college, Chris transferred to Liberty University Online where he finished up his Undergraduate Degree in Religion and Biblical Studies. In May of 2014, Chris was blessed with the opportunity to join the pastoral staff at Idlewild Baptist Church and in September 2014, God granted Chris the privilege of marrying his best friend, Rachel. In his free time Chris enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and watching college football. Above all, Chris loves Jesus. He’s a nobody trying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.

Paul Enns

Paul Enns

Minister – Biblical Training (813-264-8758)


Dr. Paul Enns serves as Minister of Biblical Training and Leadership Development. He teaches the Spiritual Builders Bible Fellowship class and he also oversees LifeChange University which offers over 40 courses each semester. He teaches four different courses in LCU over a two year period. He serves as Professor for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is Director of the Tampa Extension. Dr. Enns has written 12 books, most recently Heaven Revealed after the sudden homegoing of His Beloved wife Helen. He recently completed the third edition of The Moody Handbook of Theology which has now been in print for 25 years.

Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans

Minister – Middle School Students (813-264-8718)


Andrew is a product of the investment of his church, its pastors, and its people. Andrew’s testimony boasts only of a God that was able to take a once broken and hopeless middle school student and make him a minister to middle school students. Andrew has a passion to see students be made alive in Christ through the power of the Gospel, and through that gospel to recognize that their lives have significant, kingdom building purpose. Andrew believes that more important than where we go, is what we carry – and he teaches students that we carry the name of Jesus Christ. Andrew has been on staff at Idlewild since 2007, and looks forward to the privilege of many more years of serving his Lord and his church.

Wade Griffin

Wade Griffin

Minister – Young Adults & Connections (813-264-8752)


Wade took the long path to full-time ministry. After a full career as a banker; he joined the staff at Idlewild in February, 2014. Wade and Kim, his wife of 32 years, have spent their adult lives focused on reaching the Next Generation. Their passion for over 30 years has been reaching and equipping young people for Kingdom work. They have served in many capacities here at Idlewild since 1997. They are blessed to have four children who are serving the Lord and four wonderful grandchildren. One of Wade’s favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 3:18 which spotlights the way Jesus is transforming our lives into His image as we truly see Him. This is the key to true success in life, marriage and all endeavors.

Phillip Hanes

Phillip Hanes

Minister – Biblical Guidance & Senior Adults (813-264-8794)


Pastor Phillip Hanes serves in three areas of ministry here at Idlewild – Biblical Guidance, Life Discovery, and Senior Adults. Phillip and Mary came to Tampa in 2011 and they love being a part of this church family! Pastor Phillip has been in ministry for over 35 years. Counseling, helping, serving, teaching, and encouraging are the ministry gifts he enjoys most! Jeremiah 29: 11-13 are some of his favorite verses of Scripture.

Steve Kirby

Steve Kirby

Minister – Instrumental Music (813-264-8714)


Steve is one of the pioneers of instrumental music ministries in Southern Baptist work, leading instrumental ministries since 1981. He was appointed the instrumental director for the Florida Baptist Worship Orchestra in 1995. Steve is an accomplished arranger/orchestrator with many published titles to his credit. He has also orchestrated for a myriad of custom recording projects. He is also a nationally recognized instrumental clinician, leading numerous workshops and conferences in churches and universities. He has authored numerous instrumental articles for nationally published periodicals such as Church Music Workshop and The Chorister. Steve is also a “musicianary”, having led or participated in music mission trips to Finland, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Australia, Malaysia, Guatemala and Greece. Steve resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife of 38 years, Bonnie, and their daughter Erin. Their two sons, Daniel and Joel, are both married and live in the Tampa Bay area. He also has three grandchildren: Aden (7), Jackson (4) and Ryleigh (3).

Kelly Knouse

Kelly Knouse

Minister – Students (813-264-8797)


For the last 12 years, Kelly Knouse has served in the student ministry of Idlewild Baptist Church. While playing college baseball at Liberty University, God called Kelly to devote his life to preaching the gospel. His passion is to see students fall deeply in love with Jesus and His word. Kelly and his wife Tara live in Tampa, Florida, with their children Cade, Ellason, McKenna, Presley, Tyce, and Paxton.

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Chip Luter

Campus Pastor – Idlewild Sulphur Springs


Fred “CHIP” Luter III is a native of New Orleans, LA. Home of the 2010 SUPERBOWL CHAMPION SAINTS! WHO DAT! In August of 2001, he accepted his calling to be a minister of the gospel of Christ. In the fall of 2002, Luter began his journey at Dallas Baptist University in preparation of fulfilling the call. While at DBU, Chip served in a number of capacities such as a Resident Assistant, President of the Black Student Union, and Vice President of the Student Government Association. He has also had the privilege of being the main speaker for some of DBU’s special events such as Black Heritage Chapel and Spring Commencement (May 2007). In December 2006, Chip graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
In January 2010, Chip started serving as the Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church where his Dad, Fred Luter, Jr. is the pastor. While there, he was responsible for rebuilding a ministry that had no full time leader since Hurricane Katrina (August 2005). December 11, 2010, he married the love of his life Jasmine. They are now the proud parents of two children, and they reside in Lutz, FL. In March of 2015, he answered the call to become the Campus Pastor at Idlewild Sulphur Springs.
Chip has a strong passion for people, teaching the word of God, and bowls of his Momma’s GUMBO!

Brian McDougall

Brian McDougall

Executive Pastor (813-264-8706)


Brian is a native of Tampa and has been an Idlewild Member since he was 11 years old. Brian accepted Jesus and was baptized at age 9 at the then Trinity Baptist Church in Sulphur Spring which became Idlewild Sulphur Springs in 2014. Although Brian knew God had called him to ministry at age 21 he spent the next 21 years in Corporate America. At Idlewild, Brian was ordained as a Deacon at age 23 and as a Pastor at age 46. Brian has Finance Undergraduate and MBA degrees from the University of South Florida. Brian’s first date with his wife, Diana, was on an Idlewild Student Hayride back in High School. Brian and Diana have two Children, Logan and Lauren. Brian loves to spend time with his family, serving at Idlewild, running and playing tennis.

Jimmy Moore

Jimmy Moore

Minister – Technical Ministries (813-264-8786)


Jimmy is a Florida native, saved at 14, called to ministry at 17. A Church Music Major, his first 15 years he served as Minister of Music. Following God’s leading to transition from Music Ministry to Media/Technical Ministry. Jimmy and his wife Joy have three children Sherry (Chris), Timmy (Ashley) and Mackenzie. Jimmy has the privilege of working with some of the most insane(ly) talented people in Tampa on the technical ministries team.

Greg Murphy

Greg Murphy

Minister – Family Care (813-264-8749)


Pastor Greg loves to see people encounter the presence and power of the Lord. One way he is pursuing this is by developing the prayer ministry at Idlewild. He is blessed, as well, to assist those individuals who are taking early steps in their faith as he guides the baptism ministry, the Starting Point class and the counseling that follows the worship services. Pastor Greg’s sweet wife is Lynn. Their daughters are Rebecca, who is married to Robert McCoy, and Isabella, who is high school aged. Pastor Greg attended high school in Stuttgart, Germany. He received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC and a Master of Divinities degree at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. In the last 30 plus years, Pastor Greg has served in various ministry roles in churches. Among them are Senior Pastor, Musical Worship Leader, Biblical Counseling and Recovery Pastor, Educator, Student and College Pastor and sports chaplain. He enjoys reading and teaching, playing musical instruments and various sports and spending time with his family.

Patrick Newbill

Patrick Newbill

Minister – Children (813-264-8798)


Patrick was born in Nashville, TN where he grew up loving church from childhood. Then, at 17, He chose to love the Savior. The Lord took him through inductive Bible studies and then to Southeastern Seminary on His way to making him a Children’s Pastor. Patrick has been a Children’s Pastor in both Chattanooga and New Mexico prior to coming to Idlewild in 2013.

Scott Nieman

Scott Nieman

Minister – Recreation Outreach (813-264-8759)


A Tampa native, Scott accepted Christ at the age of 7. He was saved at Northside Baptist Church VBS here in north Tampa. Scott was called to full time ministry in 2008 after a career in Parks and Recreation with the City of Tampa. His interests include Golf, SportsCenter, The Golf Channel, Church activities, and spending time with Family. Scott and his wife Robin have been married for 30 years, and together they have two sons Kyle 24 and Robbie 22.

Jordan Richmond

Jordan Richmond

Minister – Music & Worship (813-264-8742)


Jordan loves to worship and to help churches develop dynamic and exciting worship ministries. Before coming to Idlewild he also served local churches in the Cayman Islands, Kentucky, and South Florida.  Jordan studied music at The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and received a Master’s of Arts in Religion and Worship from Liberty. Jordan enjoys tennis, science documentaries, and all things music and tech. But his greatest joy is his wife Heather and their four children: Kal, Rees, Zann, and Evyn Anthem.

Eloy Rodriguez

Eloy Rodriguez

Minister – Hispanic Church (813-264-8739)


Eloy Rodriguez has been a Pastor for over 20 years, prior to coming to Idlewild to plant a Hispanic Church “Idlewild en Español”, planted two churches in Orlando, fl. He volunteered as a chaplain with Good news Ministry and Orange County Jail Ministry before being the co-founder of the Spanish Jail Ministry in Orlando. He is currently the Hispanic chaplain for New York Yankees Minor league team. He has served in our convention nationally as the secretary of CNIHB part of the SBC , FBC nominating committee and the local Associations GOBA and TBBA as president of the Hispanic fellowship and as moderator. He also has been a conference speaker for NAMB and the FBC language departments in the area of Evangelism and Discipleship. Before coming to Tampa He was a contract worker in the Church Planting Department of our Convention. Eloy has a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Rice Seminary. His greatest joy other than Jesus Christ being His Savior and Lord are his wife of 31 years Sol and his six children; Gabriel, Joel, Esther, Samuel, Daniel and Analise (now in Glory). He enjoys playing basketball other sports and spending time with his family.

Ray Sanabria

Ray Sanabria

Minister – Missions (813-264-8787)


Ray was saved in 1994 and called to the ministry in 2005 at Idlewild Baptist Church when it was located on Bears Avenue. After completing his Masters Degree from the Southeastern Baptist Seminary in 2004, Pastor Ken Whitten invited him to come on board as the Local Missions Pastor. Six months later he was given the responsibility of the Local to Global Missions Ministry. He is blessed to be married to his beautiful wife Lourdes, who is an Occupational Therapist at St Joseph’s Hospital. Ray loves traveling, sharing a good Café Con Leche with friends and is passionate about teaching the Word.

Brendon Schlappi

Brendon Schlappi

Ministry Associate – Singles and First Impressions (813-865-9207)


Brendon grew up in a small town outside Albany, NY. After receiving his undergrad in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, Brendon moved down to Florida to open up some quick-service franchises. In 2011, he came to know the Lord and has made Idlewild his home ever since. A year later, Brendon recognized God’s calling on his life to enter full-time ministry and began attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity degree. Brendon and his wonderful wife, Ally, have been married since March, 2015. Brendon is thrilled to be serving the Singles Ministry at the church in which he came to know Jesus.

Ken Smith

Ken Smith

Minister – Administration (813-264-8753)


Ken and his wife Jeanne have been members of Idlewild since 1985 and he has been a member of the Pastoral staff since 1987. Jeanne and Ken were married in 1972. They have a son and daughter who are both married. They have blessed Ken and Jeanne with six grandchildren. All are active at Idlewild. “Date Day” for Ken and Jeanne is playing golf. In fact, they went on a golfing honeymoon. They both enjoy the simple life of family, friends, and serving in various ministries through their church. His favorite place to dine is “his wife’s kitchen”. Ken’s life verse is Ph 3:10 and his Life Purpose statement is “Living life in such a way that brings glory and honor to God”.

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Rob Taylor

Minister – Stewardship (813-264-8784)


Rob was saved at the age of 6 through the influence of his parents and the children’s ministry at the local church he attended in Dayton, Ohio. Rob currently serves as the Pastor of Financial Stewardship and Men’s ministry at Idlewild Baptist Church and also serves as the Executive Director of The Idlewild Foundation. His goal is to equip God’s people to learn and apply God’s financial principles and to create a culture of generosity within the Idlewild family. Rob teaches a variety of financial classes to all age groups and also coordinates the Budget Coaching and Benevolence Ministries at Idlewild. Prior to serving at Idlewild, Rob owned and operated Taylor and Williams, Inc., along with his business partner, a practice that specializes in financial planning and investment management. He also played football professionally for 11 years as an offensive tackle where he spent his last 8 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rob also attended Northwestern University where he received his BS degree in electrical engineering. The titles that Rob cherishes the most are Christ-Follower, Susan’s husband and Kelby, Kelley, Kent and Kyle’s dad.

Ron Upton

Ron Upton

Lead Minister – Music & Worship (813-264-8799)


Born into a Christian home in Memphis Tennessee, Ron Upton gave his heart to Jesus Christ as a Junior in High School. God called him into ministry upon graduation from Memphis State University and subsequently received his Master’s from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctorate from Luther Rice Seminary. He is married to Miska Delaney and has three children, Ethan, Mare’t, and Nathan. He has served Idlewild Baptist Church 30 years as of August 18, 2016. Ron summarizes, “My Personal Life Statement is to love God, love others and lead family and others to do the same; My Calling is a Minister; My Leading is Music in Worship; My Message is The Sword and Song (Psalm 149.6); and My Mission in Ministry is to prompt a multi-generational, multi-cultural, body of believer’s to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in unity, spirit and truth.”

Reno Zunz

Reno Zunz

Minister – Family Life (813-264-8730)


Reno has been a pastor on Staff at Idlewild for over 30 years. He is married to Sherri & together raised their three boys here at the church. Jonathan is married to Megan. David(serving on Staff here) is married to Janell. And Andy is married to Jenna. Reno enjoys teaching the Bible, hanging with the family, listening to worship music, sports & running.

David Zunz

David Zunz

Minister – Music & Worship (813-264-8755)


David Zunz, born and raised in Tampa, Florida, has been a part of the Idlewild church family his entire life. After receiving his Bachelor degree in Music Business at Jacksonville University, God called him to ministry. He is currently working on his Master of Arts in Worship Studies through Liberty University Online. Proficient in guitar and electric bass, David teaches lessons for Idlewild’s Centre for Music and Arts. He leads worship in Wired middle school ministry, directs the student led bands in Axis and directs the middle school choir in WILD student worship ministry. David and his wife Janell, who met through Idlewild’s College age ministry, were married on September 7, 2013. His hobbies include playing frisbee, going to the movies, collecting retro video games and comic books, watching football, and everything related to coffee.