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

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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.

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Dr. Edgar Aponte

Minister - Global Missions (813-264-1515)

Dr. Edgar Aponte is responsible to lead and oversees the global outreach of the church, that includes local ministries, national church planting, and international missions. Before he was called to serve Idlewild, he served as vice president of mobilization at the International Mission Board. Previous to IMB, Dr. Aponte served as director of Hispanic leadership development and professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he taught Christian theology and biblical hermeneutics. Prior to SEBTS, Dr. Aponte served as Minister Counselor at the ministry of foreign affairs in Washington, D.C., on behalf of his home nation, the Dominican Republic. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, he earned a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Theological Studies from SEBTS. He loves the church, the nations, and teaching the Word of God. He is married to his bride Sara, and is the father of three children, and he loves spending time and playing with them.

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Brandon Arnold

Minister - Music & Worship (813-264-1515)

Brandon was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up in a home where both his parents loved Jesus, and taught him the truths of God’s Word. At a young age, he came to understand his sin and his need for a Savior, and it was then that he personally placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. During his JR year in high school, Brandon felt a very distinct call from the Lord on his life, and from that point forward based every life decision on that call. Through the Lord’s leading, Brandon attended the Word of Life Bible Institute, and then eventually came on staff with Word of Life International ministries for 17 years, working primarily with music, drama, and preaching. In November of 2019, Brandon left Word of Life to accept a full-time position on the Idlewild staff. Brandon has a passion for Jesus, authentic Christianity, and challenging unhealthy Church culture. He also has a deep love for music, children, evangelism, and encouraging God’s people to a deeper and more intimate walk with the Lord.

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.

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Andrew Evans

Minister - Middle School (813-264-8718)

Andrew is a product of the investment of his church, its pastors, and its people. Andrew has a passion to see young 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 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.

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Wade Griffin

Minister - Families (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.

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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.

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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 - Next Gen (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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Eloy Rodriguez

Campus Pastor - 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.

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Brendon Schlappi

Minister – 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.

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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 - Men, 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.

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Ron Upton

Minister - Worship & Creative Arts (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.”

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Reno Zunz

Minister - Caring Ministry (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.

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David Zunz

Minister - Student Worship (813-264-8755)

David Zunz was born and raised in Tampa, Florida.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Business from Jacksonville University and his Master of Arts in Worship Studies from Liberty University.  David and his wife Janell met through Idlewild’s College-age ministry and married on September 7, 2013.  He was ordained to the Gospel ministry in November 2015.  They have two children, Adele, born March 2016, and Ezra, born March 2018.  He currently serves as Middle School worship leader in Wired on Wednesday nights, co-directs the Student Worship ministry, and teaches guitar and bass in Idlewild’s Centre for Music and Arts. His hobbies include playing guitar, collecting comic books, drinking coffee, visiting Disney World and spending time with his family.