Forest Hills Staff


Mark White, Senior Pastor


Mark’s call to ministry began during my college years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He worked in business for a year before committing to a life of ministry. From that point forward, he threw myself completely into ministry and began formal seminary training. He holds two master’s degrees- a Master of Divinity degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and a Master of Theology degree from Duke University. He also has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Colombia Theological Seminary.


Paul Taulman, Associate Pastor of Worship and Discipleship


Paul accepted a call to serve as the Associate Pastor for Serving Christ at Forest Hills on June 8, 2014. He is a Kentucky native and holds degrees from Georgetown College and Southern Seminary. He loves the local church, and has served churches in both Kentucky and the Raleigh area. Paul also has a passion for international missions, having led multiple trips overseas.


Tyler Ward, Minister of Missions and Young Adults


Tyler is a graduate of Campbell University, with both a Bachelor of Arts in Government (2009) and a Master of Divinity, focusing on preaching and pastoral care (2013). During his time at Campbell, Tyler was very active in the University’s campus ministry, serving on staff there from 2010 to 2013. Over the past several years, he has also worked for Camp Dixie and the Governor’s School of North Carolina.


Andrew Garnett, Minister of Children and Seniors


A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical History and Languages from Samford University and a Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University; he is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree from Campbell University Divinity School. Before coming to Forest Hills, he served at a Christian peace and reconciliation center in Northern Ireland. He is passionate about exploring the meaning of the Bible for our lives, learning about the history of the church, involving others in God’s work in the world, and observing the many different ways that faith can grow and flourish across the lifespan.


Jason Payne, Director of International Programs


Humbled and honored, Jason was called to serve the Lord at Forest Hills as Minister to Internationals in our community. Following a degree from N.C. State in Social Work and International Studies, his professional experience includes 10 years in Refugee Resettlement on the local level in Raleigh and as Chairperson of the State Refugee Advisory Council of NC, three years as a US/C-2 Missionary in Philadelphia, and as a Port Chaplain Intern with Global Maritime Ministries in New Orleans. Jason counts it a privilege to have walked beside hundreds of refugees and immigrants as they find new life - both domestically and eternally through Salvation in Jesus Christ!


Ashlee Hilburn, Contemporary Worship Director


From the small farm town of Cerro Gordo, NC to the capital city of Raleigh, Ashlee's southern accent is almost as strong as her heart for new places and people. Ashlee is a graduate of NC State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She is now working to complete a Master of Divinity focusing in Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, to prepare for her calling to the international mission field.


Jamie Boswell, Director of Operations

Jamie Boswell was born and raised in Johnston County NC in the tiny town of Micro.  Jamie met her husband Kevin as just a teenager and they have been married for 19 years.  Jamie and Kevin have 3 amazing teenage sons. Christopher, Evan, and Cody are the light of Jamie’s life.  Jamie has a background in healthcare and healthcare administration where she has spent the last 10 years. She has a passion for people affected with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. Jamie often spends time visiting and assisting with activities for these special people. 


Kate Amesbury, Communications Coordinator


Kate is a recent resident to North Carolina, having lived in Florida for most of her life. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Business Management and Art History. She loves using her creativity to further God's kingdom, either through designing bulletins or baking cakes. She has really enjoyed her short time at Forest Hills, and has felt extremely loved and welcomed by the Forest Hills family. Her pastimes include anything outside, sports, crafting, volunteering with Middle School Ministry, and spending time with friends.


Carla Smith, Connections Preschool Director


Carla graduated from NC State with BS in Biology in 1988.  She received a Masters Degree in Genetic Counseling from Sarah Lawrence College and worked as a prenatal genetic counselor at UNC-Chapel Hill from 1991-1998. She started at Connections Preschool in 2008 teaching the 3 year old class.  In January 2014, Carla became assistant director. For the next year and a half, Carla was both a teacher and assistant director of the preschool. In August 2015, she stepped away from teaching and continued in her capacity as assistant director before being named director in August 2016.  She enjoys working with young children because of the excitement that they bring to learning and their natural ability to make new friends. 


Steve Komnath, Maintenance


Steve has been working at Forest Hills since 2016. He has 30 years of masonry experience. He and his wife came down from the frozen north because of the lack of snow and they love North Carolina. If there is a problem, Steve can fix it!


Terry Person, Housekeeping

Terry has been working at Forest Hills for about 10 years. She loves the Christian environment and a loving family that Forest Hills provides. She has a son that lives in Ohio and a grandbaby. Come stop by to say hello while Terry keeps our campus clean!

Partner Church Pastors


Jane Pan, Pastor of the Chinese Baptist Church

Jane graduated from Southeastern Seminary at Wake Forest, NC with a doctorate degree specializing in ''Marriage and Family Enrichment.'' She with her late husband Reverend Robert Pan founded the Chinese Baptist Church in Raleigh. She has twenty years of counseling experience and is fluent in three languages (Chinese, English, and Japanese.) She engages as a workshop speaker for Marriage Enrichment both here in the United States and overseas. She is proud grandmother to two grandsons and one granddaughter.


Ngoma Masiala, Pastor of the African Baptist Church


Ngoma  is the Pastor of the United African Baptist Church. He is a charter member of the congregation and has stood strongly with the church through its good and tough years. Pastor Ngoma is a teacher by profession. He teaches French at Garner High School in Garner. He is currently working on his Ph.D degree in Education Administration. He and his wife, the former Ms. Celestine Khonde, are from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Until the end of 2005, Mr. Masiala was the president of the Congolese Community of the Triangle Area of North Carolina, USA. He is both a strong leader in the church as well as very respected in the Congolese Community. Mr. and Mrs. Ngoma are the proud parents of four children—Allen, Nancy, Jerry and Chris.


Asad Hashemi, Pastor of Farsi Fellowship


Asad  graduated from Tehran University in Iran with a Ph.D. in Psychology and worked as a family counselor. After coming to the United States and converting to Christianity, Asad graduated from Heritage Bible College in Dunn, North Carolina. Prior to coming to Forest Hills, Asad worked with the International Ministry at Northhaven Church in Raleigh. He served on the mission board of PFWB churches. He and his wife Pat have 3 daughters, Tracy, Leila and Sahra. He enjoys history and learning about different cultures. Asad joined the langauge ministry staff of Forest Hills in April of 2000. Asad is Minister to Farsi Speakers with responsibilities for leading Forest Hills' Farsi Speakers Fellowship. This fellowship holds weekly worship services, Bible studies, and gatherings for Farsi-speaking Senior citizens as well as reaching out to refugees in the area.


Alex Rodriguez, Pastor of Iglesia Bautista La Roca

Alex Rodriguez was born in El Salvador and raised in NYC, married with Diana Carolina mas have with 3 Daughters. He studied in CanZion Institute Ministry/Music Degree and Duke Divinity Hermeneutics Certificate and is currently pursuing Masters in theology in asbury theological Seminary.