Our Staff

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Nate Wagner

Senior Pastor

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Married to Karla since August, 1997. They have three children; Brienna, Gabriel, and Kylee. Nate started at SBC as the interim youth director in January, 1998. He served as our Student Ministries Pastor and Pastor of Family Life until 2011 when he transitioned into the role of Senior Pastor. Nate serves as the lead teaching elder, overseas leadership development, and works collaboratively with our Staff Leadership Team and Elder Board in the shepherding and care of our SBC community. Nate enjoys spending time with family, sports, relaxing at the beach, and serving church leaders in cross-cultural environments.

Nate’s thoughts on ministry at SBC: “I love our church and am privileged to serve together with people that are better at serving than I will ever be. We have worked hard to create a grace-based culture that allows us to invite people into the hope and truth that Jesus offers.”

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Ben Taylor

Associate Pastor

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Married to Joanna Taylor since August, 2001.

Ben began leading the College aged ministry at SBC in 2001. He continued serving at SBC while completing his Bachelor’s degree at Cornerstone University, then went on to get both a Master of Divinity and M.A in Counseling at GRTS. In 2008, he was hired on as a full-time pastor.

In his spare time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, traveling, the beach, and spending time with family and friends. Ben also works as a part-time therapist at New Point Counseling, and serves on the Board of Directors at North Kent Connect.

Ben's thoughts on Ministry at SBC: "I love the culture of grace we have created at Sparta Baptist. One of our common sayings around is, 'God loves you just as you are, but loves you too much to leave you there.' I love that we preach the good news of Jesus Christ every Sunday. And I love how focused SBC is on outreach."

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Dakota Straub

Director of Family Life

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Married to Caitlin since August, 2016. Their son Ezra was born in April, 2019.

Dakota graduated from Cornerstone University in 2018 with a BA in the Art of Ministry. He came on staff at SBC in November of 2019. Dakota’s responsibilities include oversight of birth through twelfth grade, with primary emphasis on middle and high school teaching, partnering with parents as they seek to disciple their children and successfully navigate their adolescent years. Dakota enjoys connecting with people through coffee and board games that help create a fun, inviting space.

Dakota's thoughts on ministry at SBC: "I love the environment SBC has been able to cultivate over their many years of service to this community. This church is very outreach driven and the people surrounding those ministries have such a passion to see the hurting helped."

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Amanda Thomas

Office Manager

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Married to Dave Thomas since December 2002.

Amanda, Dave and their family began attending SBC in 2009. Amanda began working as the office manager in 2012. She and Dave have raised five children together and are currently experiencing the joys of grandparenthood. Amanda enjoys a good book, nature when it is warm outside, and is known to be quite the competitor at board games and enjoys spending time in great conversations with friends.

Amanda's thoughts on ministry at SBC: "Dave and I are proud to call SBC home. SBC is a community church that believes that we are best able to accomplish our mission when we strive to help our community flourish." #ForSparta

Jared Tuinstra

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