Our Team


Darrell Gwaltney

Committed to local congregations and the preparation of the next generation of church leadership, he has served for seventeen years as the Dean of the College of Theology and Christian Ministry at Belmont University as well as in lead pastor, intentional interim, and leadership development roles in multiple churches for over forty years. Dr. Gwaltney believes the local congregation provides the best way to live out the gospel and remains focused on supporting it. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Moench Center for Church Leadership, Executive Director of the Academy of Preachers, and the Co-Director of the Project Thrive initiative. He has a Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a M.A. in English from the U. of Missouri-Kansas City, and B.A. in English from Missouri Baptist University. 

Jon Roebuck

“I believe in the life and mission of the local church believing that it has been ordained of God for advancing the work of His Kingdom, equipping believers, and offering hope to both the community and world.”

Dr. Roebuck has previously served for 32 years as a pastor in 5 churches located in Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee.  Most recently, he served for 17 years as the Senior Pastor of Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville. He serves as the Executive Director of Belmont University’s Rev. Charlie Curb Center for Faith Leadership and as an adjunct for the College of Theology and Christian Ministry at Belmont University. He is the author of four devotional books, Christmas – Then and Now, Morning Conversations, Creating Space, and soon to be released The Conversations Continue. Dr. Roebuck holds a B.A. from Samford University in Birmingham, along with an M.Div. and an D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. 

Program Manager

Nick Baird-Chrisohon

Nick joined the Project Thrive team in January 2022 after having pastored churches in Middle Tennessee followed by a brief stint working in disaster recovery. An ordained Elder in the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church, Nick also serves as Vice Chair at the United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT), a denomination-wide ecumenical training network. Nick’s interests lie in understanding the social and demographic factors that contribute to church growth, exploring the intersection between religion and cultural identity, and envisioning future models of ministry that adapt to evolving trends in church membership and attendance.

He has contributed to The Upper Room’s Disciplines devotion book and Discipleship Ministries’ blog. Nick holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and an M.Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Congregational Coaches

Bill Wilson

With a deep passion for the local church, as well as a commitment to the health and success of both clergy and congregations, Dr. William “Bill” Wilson founded The Center for Healthy Churches in 2014. This followed his service as President of the Center for Congregational Health. He brings over 33 years of local church ministry experience to the Center, having served as pastor in churches located in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

He has taught adjunctively at Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, McAfee School of Divinity, and Central Theological Seminary. He is currently a member of the Board for Baptist News Global. Dr. Wilson is a certified coach and facilitator, and has experience as a consultant in numerous settings including organizations, faith communities, and churches.

He received his M.Div. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his D.Min. at the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. He co-authored Weaving Strong Leaders: How Leaders Grow Down, Grow Up and Grow Together.

Matt Cook

Dr. Matt Cook served local congregations for more than 25 years with nearly 20 years as Senior Pastor in churches in Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

In his work, Dr. Cook combines research and scholarly insight with an emphasis on strategic focus and missional awareness. He has training and experience in strategic planning, staff reorganization and leadership development, as well as in assisting congregations in pastoral transitions.

He has been involved in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship on the state and national level, having served on the Coordinating Councils of both Texas and Arkansas, as well as having served as the Moderator of CBF National. Dr. Cook was also the founding convenor of Current, CBF’s young leaders network.

He completed his undergraduate degree at Samford and his M.Div and Ph.D. at Baylor University. 

Bill Owen

Dr. Bill Owen is a congregational consultant and coach for Center for Healthy Churches after a 32-year pastorate at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cross Plains, Tennessee. An experienced leadership coach, he also has worked as a cognitive coach among educators, particularly secondary school teachers, with a focus on innovation and personalized learning.

Dr. Owen brings these skills and experiences to his work with and love for congregations and ministry staff development. He works extensively with the STEP—the Strategic Transition Education Program designed specifically for churches and their leaders during interim periods in a church’s life. He also teaches at Belmont University as an Adjunct Professor in Biblical Studies and Ethics.  He has post graduate degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min).