About Our Church Staff

Get to know our church leaders and staff.

Pastor Tim Hight

Senior Pastor

Dr. Timothy Hight began his ministry at GraceLife, formerly Main Street Baptist Church, in the spring of 1996. His passion is to faithfully proclaim the truth of the Scripture in a way that is relevant and applicable to everyday life and to see God’s people reach new places of spiritual growth in their walk with Christ.

Pastor Tim and his wife Dawn have served the Lord together for more than 35 years and have been blessed with five children: Whitney, Lindsey, Timothy, Valory and Courtney. Prior to GraceLife, he served as pastor of two churches in Arkansas: First Baptist Church, Newport, and First Baptist Church, Lepanto. His first ministry role was as a Youth Pastor at the Labelle Place Baptist Church of Memphis, TN. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Memphis and the M.Div. and Ph.D. From the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN.

In his role as Senior Pastor, Dr. Hight has extensive experience in counselling, preaching, teaching and missions. He has led international mission teams to Russia, Guatemala, Thailand, New Zealand, Macau, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe. He has held positions of leadership on state and national levels within the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and has served two terms as President of the SBC of Virginia. He has served as a guest revivalist and family seminar leader with Life Action Ministries and as an Adjunct Professor and course developer in the department of Homiletics at Liberty University School of Divinity.

Click here to connect with Pastor Tim.

Pastor Sean Simonton

Associate Pastor

Pastor Sean came to GraceLife in October of 2016, after 17 years of ministry in New England. He served as a church planter, and in a variety of church planting and equipping roles with the denomination, most recently as a Church Planting Catalyst with the North American Mission Board, SBC.

Sean holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Education degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He is passionate about discipleship, evangelism, and missions. Sean wants to see every believer living out an active faith that impacts their family and community for the cause of Christ.

Pastor Sean came to GraceLife in OctSean and his wife, Michelle, have served the Lord together for over 30 years. They have four children, Jenna, Jacob, Joy, and John Michael.

Click here to connect with Pastor Sean.

Pastor Jonathan Couch

Minister to Students

As Minister to Students, Jonathan Couch oversees the Youth and College ministries including Sunday Morning Life Groups, AXIS youth worship on Sunday nights, our Youth Worship Band, and many other activities throughout the year. Jonathan is a native of Christiansburg, graduating from Christiansburg High School in 1996. He received a degree in business management from Radford University in 1999.

Jonathan and his wife Erin have been married since 1999 and have three children, Cara, Chloe, and Trey.

Click here to connect with Pastor Jonathan.

Pastor Dave Widgeon

Children’s Minister

Pastor Dave came to us from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he graduated Spring, 2001. After growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia, Dave attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) where he received a degree in computer engineering. While a student at VT, God called him into the ministry to be used in reaching/teaching children. As our Children’s Pastor, Dave coordinates and supervises the children’s ministries of Life Groups, AWANA, Upward Basketball, and numerous activities throughout the year.

Dave was married in the summer of 2008 to his wife, Angela, and they have two children, Benjamin and Evelyn.

Click here to connect with Pastor Dave.

Pastor Justin Smith

Pastor of Worship and Communications

Pastor Justin has been a worship leader since 2009. While he was in middle school, he knew he was called by God to be in full time ministry. Justin loves seeing all generations worshipping Jesus and encountering Him during corporate worship. 

Justin is married to Aimee, and together they have three fun and rowdy boys, Graham, Kyle, and Hudson.

Click here to connect with Pastor Justin.

Support Staff

Heather Shaffer

Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor

Heather is the Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor along with overseeing the office of GraceLife. She enjoys interacting with the members of GraceLife and serving the Lord faithfully. Heather grew up in Pulaski where she came to know the Lord at an early age. She now lives in Pilot with her husband, Andy and their son, Brennan.

Amy Yelton

Finance Coordinator

Amy is our finance coordinator and takes care of all of the church billing and monetary donations. Amy and her husband, Lance, have two beautiful children, Mattie and Caleb.

Jacklyn Phillips

Graphic Design and Media Specialist

Jacklyn leads and helps facilitate graphics needed for the ministries of GraceLife along with branding specific packages for the pastors to utilize. Jacklyn went to Shepherd University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design. She married her husband, Austin, in 2009 and moved back to the area shortly after to start a family in the New River Valley. Austin was a former member of Main Street Baptist with his family throughout childhood and Jacklyn became an official member of GraceLife in 2013. They are raising three beautiful children; Miles, Molly, and Mia. And have the most darling puppy, Ruby.

Rhonda Hudson

Assistant to Discipleship and GraceLife Kids Ministries

Rhonda is the Assistant to Discipleship and GraceLife Kids Ministries here at GraceLife. Rhonda is a hard-working and kind individual making this position the perfect fit for her. She loves working behind the scenes in this ministry to ensure they run smoothly. She is married to Harry, also known as Butch to many in the church, and they live a quiet life on a farm in Pulaski. She has many kids and grandkids that she adores!

Building Maintenance

Shantel Mason

Head Custodian

Shantel has been a key member of GraceLife for most of her life. Not only does she serve on staff to help keep the building in order she also serves in numerous volunteer roles throughout our GraceLife ministries. Shantel is married to Matt and has two beautiful children, Aliza and Wade. 

Jesse Hudnall


Jesse grew up attending GraceLife his whole life and continues to attend here while working on his degree from Virginia Tech. Jesse is hardworking and never hesitates to lend a hand when someone needs it. We are extremely grateful for his upbeat attitude and help to keep the church clean throughout the week.

Austin Phillips


Austin grew up locally in Blacksburg and resides in Fairlawn with his family. He is married to Jacklyn and they are raising three children; Miles, Molly, and Mia. He has a passion to help others and serve the church body. Austin serves in Awana weekly, leads the Care Portal Ministry, and helps keep the building maintained. 

Bob Taylor

Building Gatekeeper

Bob is a faithful church member of GraceLife and volunteers to keep up with our building maintenance. He is married to his wife, Kathy, and has several children and grandchildren that keep him busy when we don’t. He is a fix-it all kind of guy and we are extremely grateful for his time and talents to help keep the building maintained behind the scenes. 

Pray For Our Pastors!

To be faithful in spending personal time alone with Jesus and grow in their love for Him.

(Matthew 6:33)

To love and lead their wives and children well.

(Ephesians 5:25; 6:4)

That God would guard them and their families against the attacks of Satan.

(1 Peter 5:8)

That God would give them a clear vision of His will for our church and His grace and power to lead well.

(Proverbs 29:18; 1 Peter 5:2)

That they will make wise choices managing their time.

(Ephesians 5:15-16)

That they will teach the truth of God’s Word with courage, boldness, humility and wisdom.

(Colossians 1:28; 4:3)

That they would have a good witness and influence among unbelievers.

(1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

That they would be free from the discouragement that comes with ministry demands.

(Hebrews 13:17)

That they would be examples to the church body in unity and servanthood.

(Romans 12:10-18)

That they would live lives that are “above reproach”.

(Titus 1:7-9)