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Jay Powell - Senior Pastor

Jay Powell became senior pastor of The Church at the Beach on February 1, 2021. Pastor Jay comes to TCATB after pastoring at First Baptist Church Bayou George for four years. Before leaving to pastor at FBCBG in 2017, Jay and his family were long-time members at TCATB. He taught youth classes, adult classes, was the deacon chairman, and would fill the pulpit when Dr. George was absent. He is not shy about telling people the opportunity to return and pastor the church he served for a long time is a great honor. He and his family love this church!

 Pastor Jay and his wife, Kara have been married for 17 years and have two adopted children: Gannon 22 and Jaelynn 17. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Murray State University. His master’s degree in Athletic Administration is from Concordia University-Irvine. He earned post-baccalaureate credit in biblical studies at the Baptist College of Florida, and is currently completing a second master’s degree in pastoral ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

 Pastor Jay would love to hear from you. His email address is or you may call him at 850-234-8892.


“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. 

Put away the gods that your fathers serviced beyond the River and in

Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord,

choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served

in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land

you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will service the Lord” – Joshua

24: 14-15

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Rudie Guta - Associate Pastor

Rudie’s relationship with The Church at the Beach began in February 1979. He served as deacon, deacon chairman, Sunday school teacher, Pre-school director and on several committees until receiving a call to full-time ministry in October 1989. 


He serves as chaplain for the Florida Highway Patrol (1995) and recently retired as chaplain for the Panama City Police Department after 17 years. 

He has a special interest in Jewish history and customs. He has traveled to Israel six times and would like to return again. 


He and Sandy have eight children and twelve grandchildren. Rudie has received extensive training in both grief and financial counseling and is available by appointment.

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Jon Gers - Student Pastor

Jon's relationship with "The Church at the Beach" began in September 2017. Jon has long worked with students and children in some capacity since 2002. His deep love of scripture and students motivates him to reach the unreachable. Jon has a bachelors degree from The Baptist College of Florida. He has completed his  Masters in Christian Apologetics from Liberty University. He and Brittney have two daughters.

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Susan Hughie - Children Director

Susan says she was “born a teacher”. She taught in public schools in Georgia for 28 years, retiring in 2013 to care for her husband who was battling cancer. After his passing and moving to Panama City Beach, Susan joined Gulf Beach Baptist Church. She began working with our children as an AWANA leader and teaching during VBS. When asked to serve the church as Children’s Director, she saw an opportunity to teach again while sharing the love of Jesus. Susan has an Elementary Education degree from North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia) and a Master’s Degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University.

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Barry Fish - Worship Pastor

Barry Fish has lived a lifetime of music. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has been singing and performing since he was a child. Always active in church, Barry found his love for music only deepened as his love for God grew. He has performed across the country in many different musical styles and presentations. Always grateful for a living in the field of music; it is God’s calling upon his life here in Panama City Beach that has him the most excited. “Using the talent that God has given me for the church is the greatest joy and very humbling.”

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Bob Kastle - Evangelism and Visitation

Bob is the Pastor of Visitation and Evangelism at Gulf Beach Baptist Church. He graduated from Atlanta Christian College in 1979. Bob is passionate and gifted in the area of evangelism and preaching. His ministry started at Gulf Beach Baptist Church in September of 2011. Bob also teaches a Sunday school class every weekand preaches in a nursing home weekly. He regularly ministers to the homeless . He has served as Chaplain at Gulf Coast Medical Center for 6 yrs. Bob has served as pastor in several Churches over the past 36 yrs of ministry.

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Shea Johnson

Shea’s love for children is evident from the moment you meet her. Shea studied Elementary Education at Florida State University. After joining Gulf Beach Baptist Church in 1999, Shea felt God leading her to use her background in education as Preschool Director in 2002. Since that time the weekday preschool program has flourished serving 65 families each year. The school maintains a warm and nurturing environment offering the students educational skills, an art program and a biblical foundation as they begin their young lives. Shea has two adult sons and enjoys spending time with her family. Her love of crafts and her creative personality can be seen anytime you visit the preschool area!

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Rita Chambers - Ministry Assistant

Rita takes care of all of our office and administrative needs. She's the glue that keeps us on track and the steady hand that guides our office operations.

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Mike Lawhorn - Facilities Manager

Mike Lawhorn is the motor behind our 11 acre campus and 29,000 sf building space. He keeps the air running, the grounds looking good and the buildings in tip top shape. Mike ensures our members & guests are comfortable and undistracted so they can focus on worship when they are here.