Phil A. Newton

Pastor Phil A. Newton began South Woods Baptist Church in 1987. He served as a pastor of three other churches prior to moving to Memphis. He received his education at the University of Mobile (B.A.), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Fuller Theological Seminary (D.Min.), and Ph.D. in Applied Theology in Missiology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Both natives of Alabama, he and his wife Karen met in Mobile, AL and married in 1975. They enjoy discussing biblical issues, reading, cooking, traveling, and interacting with their family. They have five children and seven grandchildren. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Pastor Phil serves on the Executive Board of Founders Ministries, and enjoys training young men for the ministry and leading international mission trips. He has published articles in several journals and has authored Elders in Congregational LifeConduct Gospel-Centered Funerals (with Brian Croft),Venture All for God: Piety in the Writings of John Bunyan (with Roger Duke and Drew Harris), and The Way of Faith. He has also contributed essays to Reforming Pastoral MinistryDear TimothyMinistry By His Grace and For His Glory: Essays in Honor of Thomas J. Nettles, andReclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches. He regularly sends his Sunday morning message via e-mail to people in several countries. Please contact Pastor Phil if you are interested in being placed on his Sermon-a-Week mailing list. There is no charge for this ministry.

Jim Carnes

Jim Carnes has served as Minister of Music at South Woods since 1995. He received his education at Union University (BM) and North Texas State University (MA in Musicology). He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 30+ years and have two daughters: Anna and Mary. In addition to his music responsibilities at South Woods, Jim teaches one of the Adult Sunday school classes and shares in Wednesday evening teaching ministries. He has written articles for various journals and books in the areas of worship, history, theology, and rhetoric.  His full time job is at Oak Hall clothing store in Memphis where he is a men’s clothes buyer. One of his real joys is seeing the congregation use his library that is housed at the church.  Contact Pastor Jim

Matt Sliger

Matt began attending South Woods in the fall of 2007. In the years that followed, he received the bulk of his ministry training while serving as an intern here. He eventually earned a PhD in Applied Theology at Southeastern Seminary. Matt contributed articles on the Psalms, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and 1 Corinthians to The Jesus Bible. He enjoys playing music, watching baseball, and reading. He and his wife Julie have two children. You can contact Pastor Matt.


 Chris Wilbanks

Chris has been a member at South Woods since the winter of 2002 and joined the staff in a part-time capacity in 2011. He received his education at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and received his Master of Divinity in pastoral studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Jessica have been joyfully married since 1999 and have three children. Along with his service at South Woods, he is also a full-time employee at an internal medicine facility in Memphis. Contact Pastor Chris