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Our Staff


Dr. J. Marcus Merritt

Lead Pastor

Pastor Marcus joined the Noonday staff on Jan 7, 2024. He also serves as the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Luther Rice College and Seminary. Previously, he served the Georgia Baptist Mission Board as the Director of Church Minister Relations. 


Merritt has also served as state missionary in Aabama, serving concurrently with the North American Mission Board. Prior to that, he served as senior pastor of churches in GA and AL. He has also served more than a dozen churches as Transitional Pastor. 


Pastor Marcus holds a doctor of ministry degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children and five grandchildren. 


Ryan Cox

Worship Experience Pastor

Ryan joined Noonday in the summer of 2021. He has brought over a decade of music and worship experience to our Noonday Music Ministry and blessed us with his profound love of worship in all forms. He believes that music is a vehicle that connects us to the heart of God, allowing us to experience a little bit of Heaven through praising the Father. Ryan leads the Noonday Baptist Church Worship Team, Choir, and Tech Team each Sunday morning in an effort to enhance the experience of all  members both in-person and virtually. 

Contact Ryan at

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David Moore

Next Generation Pastor

David serves our middle school, high school, and college students. In his teen years, David was called to vocational ministry, before attending Liberty University to receive a Christ-centered education. David graduated Liberty University with a Master of Divinity degree and is an ordained Minister of the Gospel. He brings nearly a decade of experience working with youth and his passion for student ministry has only grown in that time. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies, playing games, experiencing the great outdoors and
hopelessly cheering for his beloved Dallas Cowboys.
“I hope to inspire the next generation to be leaders NOW!”

Contact David at


David Mahaffey

Senior Adult Pastor

Brother David promotes training discipleship and growth among our Senior Adults. He ministers to the homebound and helps coordinate and promote fellowship outings.  David graduated from Mississippi College before attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Before coming to Noonday, David pastored churches in Mississippi and Alabama and is retired from full-time ministry after 16 1/2 years as pastor of Union Baptist Church in Bessemer, Alabama.  David is married to Marilyn and together they have three children and four grandchildren.


Contact David at


Bud Blissitt


Bud is our Administrator over finance and business operations at Noonday. Bud worked for UPS for 34 years in Industrial Engineering and Transportation Business Management. After retiring from UPS, Bud joined the staff at Noonday as Administrator in 2011. In his spare time, he plays golf, loves working with cars, and enjoys working in the yard. He is a widowed father of two daughters and has two granddaughters and two grandsons. 

Contact Bud at


Judy Ferguson


Judy joined Noonday in September 2021 as one of the admins. She comes to us with 40 years of experience in finance and banking. Before coming to Noonday, she managed a payroll office for a tech company in Silicon Valley. After she retired in 2018, she moved to Georgia. Judy has two beautiful daughters Lindsay in Georgia and Angela in California. Judy also has three grandchildren Matthew, Riley, and Kaleb. In her free time, Judy enjoys reading, puzzles, painting and spending time with her grandkids.  

Contact Judy at


Starla Chester

Director of Noonday Academy


Contact Starla at

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