Our Staff

Pastoral Team

Emily Hull McGee, Pastor

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Rev. Emily Hull McGee serves as senior pastor of First Baptist Church on Fifth, a delightful community of saints practicing bold love and boundless compassion in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The beloved community of First on Fifth has modeled courageous leadership over the past few years, as they addressed familiar challenges among historic churches with aging facilities by tearing down two-thirds of their existing buildings and realigning their landscape of ministry with a renewed sense of vision for the community. 

First on Fifth’s historic work on their facilities has drawn national interest among other churches and organizations grappling with their sacred space in light of changing resources. Emily has become a trusted speaker and guide for these communities in transition, speaking and writing about these vital expressions of faithfulness in the midst of cultural and ecclesial transition.  Most recently, Emily tells the story of First on Fifth in an essay entitled “Bricks and Mortals: Sacred Space and the Faithfulness of Letting Go” as a contributing author to Crisis and Care: Meditations on Faith and Philanthropy (published July 2021). 

Prior to her calling to Winston-Salem in July 2015 to serve as First on Fifth’s 12th pastor and first female senior pastor in the church’s 150-year history, Emily served for six years as Minister to Young Adults at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a third-generation Baptist pastor in her family, following both her parents, her aunt, and grandfather into the ‘family business.’ (Her brother remains resolutely committed to life outside the ministry!) In her past life, Emily was training to be an opera singer, with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance from Furman University and Northwestern University, respectively. And it was there, far from the church life of her childhood, then among artists and creatives hungry for God’s story of justice and weary from the church’s narrative of exclusion, that she felt called by God to this sacred work of liberation, reconciliation, and love above all else.

Among other commitments in Baptist life and leadership roles in the broader community, Emily enjoys being close to her alma mater of Wake Forest University School of Divinity and serving with The Baptist Commons, mentoring first-time pastors through Baptist Women in Ministry, and serving on the Executive Committee and Board of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty.  Many days, you can find her hiking the trails of North Carolina’s state parks, gathering around the table with friends from all over, and running around after her three precious (and precocious) young kids. Emily is married to Josh (owner and “sauce boss” of the Y’all Company, makers of small-batch Southern sauces and storytellers through meal and table), and their children are Liam, Annabelle, and Silas.

You can follow Emily on Facebook (@emilyhullmcgee) and Twitter (@emilyhullmcgee).



  • Contributing author, “Bricks and Mortals: Sacred Space and the Faithfulness of Letting Go,” Crisis and Care: Mediations on Faith and Philanthropy, eds. Dustin D. Benac and Erin Weber-Johnson. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2021. 
  • Contributing author, “Home By Another Way,” Call Stories: Hearing and Responding to God’s Call, ed. Barry Howard. Macon, GA: Nurturing Faith, 2019.  
  • Contributing author, “The Innkeeper,” Preaching for the Missional Journey, ed. Charles B. Bugg. Atlanta: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Press, 2010.


Articles, Podcasts, and Speaking Engagements 

David Williamson, Associate Pastor Worship, Arts, Administration

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The Reverend David Williamson has been Minister of Worship and the Arts at First Baptist Church on Fifth since 1998. One of David’s best loved Scriptures among many favorites is Psalm 139 which reminds us of God’s intimate presence in our lives. David’s ministry focus, Worship and the Arts, grew out of his desire to use art as a tool for spiritual formation and worship. His leadership has helped bring about special arts related programming like the Open Doors Art Classes and exhibits featuring photography, sculpting, and oil painting. During his ministry at FBC, David has conducted numerous special musical performances such as the annual “Feast of Carols” Christmas concert. For the past ten years David has served as the Chorus Master of the Messiah Community Chorus for Winston-Salem’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah performed at Reynolds Auditorium.

David earned a Bachelor of Music from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and a Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Learn more about the Arts Ministry at First on Fifth.

Amy McClure, Associate Pastor Children, Senior Adults, Pastoral Care

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The Reverend Amy McClure has served as one of the Associate Pastors since March 2015. One of Amy’s favorite passages of scripture is Isaiah 43, which reminds us of God’s redeeming power in our lives and that God calls us by name. In her role as an Associate Pastor, Amy provides leadership in the areas of Pastoral Care, Senior Adult Ministry, and Children’s Ministry. One of Amy’s passions is inter-generational ministry, where people of all ages partner together to be the Church and share the Gospel.

Amy holds a Master of Divinity from Campbell University Divinity School and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys connecting with people from all over and loves being part of the beloved community at First Baptist Church on Fifth.

Jake Hill, Music Associate / Organist


A graduate of Appalachian State University, Jake Hill holds baccalaureate degrees in both organ performance and sacred music and master of music degrees in organ performance and choral conducting. Currently, Jake serves as the Principal Organist & Music Associate at First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has previously held positions at other churches throughout the state including First Baptist Church of Elkin, Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem and Baltimore United Methodist Church in East Bend.

In addition to his duties as a church musician, Jake has also appeared as a guest organist, performing in solo and collaborative capacities throughout the country in notable venues such as the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Aeolian Manner in Houston, Texas and St. Mary of the Hills in Blowing Rock, North Carolina to name a few. Other performances include collaborating with several academic music programs throughout the state as an accompanist for choirs and musical productions as well as various ceremonies and services throughout the year.

Jake now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina where he holds principal responsibilities with Cornel Zimmer Organs focused in sales and proposal design, working alongside an exceptional group of talented craftsmen to design and build the best instruments possible.


Support Staff

Sally Barbour
Church Accountant
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John Young
Facilities Supervisor
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