Ministerial Staff

Phillip Cannon
Phillip Cannon
Executive Pastor

A native of Albany, GA, Phillip is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia. In 1983, he graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky with a Master of Divinity in Religious Education. His experience includes Minister of Education in Tuscumbia, Alabama before he joined First Baptist Dalton in 1986. Phillip has continued to accept increasing responsibilities at F.B.C.D. including serving as Executive Director of First Foundation, Inc.

Phillip's wife, Patti, is a graduate of Shorter College. Patti also serves on our staff as Music Associate/Church Pianist. Phillip and Patti have three children, Caroline, Rebekah and Chandler. They also have three grandchildren, Gabe, Harper, and Brodie.

You may contact Phillip at
Susan Deal
Susan Deal
Minister of Music and Worship

A native of Texas, Susan grew up in Alabama. She is a graduate of Samford University with a Bachelor of Music Education and the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she earned a Master of Music Degree in Church Music, with a concentration in conducting. Susan has served churches in Virginia and Florida. She joined First Baptist in 2011.

Susan's husband, Tommy, is a hospice chaplain with Hamilton Health Care Home Division. They have two grown sons. Ragan is pursuing an elementary education degree at East Carolina University; and William is a Minister of Youth and Young Adults at Derbyshire Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. William and his wife, Mary Kate have two beautiful twin daughters. Born January 3, 2016, they are named after their great grandmothers - Adeline Charlotte and Dorothy Hope.

You may contact Susan at
Bridgette Flanagan Poag
Bridgette Flanagan Poag
Minister to Children and Their Families

Bridgette is a native of Dalton, Georgia and a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also a 2016 graduate of McAfee School of Theology, where she earned a Master of Christian Ministry degree. She has served as a Children's Minister at Manly Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, Virginia prior to moving back to Dalton. Bridgette began working as Minister to Children and Their Families in February 2010. Bridgette and her husband, Preston, have three children, Alexis, Pressley, and Preston Jr. 

You may contact Bridgette at
Derrell Grantham
Derrell Grantham
Minister of Activities and Senior Adults

Derrell is a native of Mississippi and a graduate of Columbus (GA) College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Masters in Religious Education. His experience includes work with the Boy's Clubs of America in Georgia and Louisiana and he has served on staff at First Baptist in Mandeville, Louisiana and First Baptist in Ruston, Louisiana. Derrell came to First Baptist Dalton in 1988.
Derrell is married to the former Susan Rogers. He has one daughter, Susanna, who is an elementary school teacher in the Atlanta area.

You may contact Derrell at



Andrew Shaffer
Minister of Missions and Community Ministry

Andrew was born in Wichita Fall, Texas, and was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He grew up in Shades Crest Baptist Church where his grandfather served as Minister of Music. He has a true passion for youth ministry and a very sincere approach to ministry.  Andrew received a Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Missions and World Christianity, from Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. After graduating from Truett, Andrew became the Student Ministry Resident at First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama.

You may contact Andrew at