staff & leadership

The staff and leadership here at Poplar Springs is comprised of men and women who love, care and pray for every single person in the church. if you have any questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them or call our church office to speak with them. You can contact the church office at 706.965.4461 or email us at

  • Jeff Barry

    senior pastor

    Jeff is one who has been struck by the love, grace, and majesty of God. Because of this, he is passionate about studying God's Word, leading people to faith in Jesus, and equipping Christians to actively live out their faith in everyday life. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff and his wife, Hallie, enjoy serving as team at church, on mission trips, in their community, and raising their daughter, Nora, at home. 

  • joel denton

    worship pastor

    Joel is a native of Chattanooga, TN. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education Degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has completed graduate studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Currently, Mr. Denton serves as Director of Bands at Ooltewah High School, a position he has held for the past twenty-nine years. Under his direction, the Ooltewah Band has achieved a national reputation for musical excellence. The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts has twice honored him for outstanding teaching and mentoring. He was an adjunct staff member for the Chattanooga Boys Choir from 1996-2002, working as a music theory instructor, vocal coach, and as an assistant director of the choir. He has served as Music Director at Poplar Springs Baptist Church from 1983 to present. He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant for bands throughout the nation. He is founder of Covenant Consultants, which works with bands, schools, and professional organizations on developing leadership and teambuilding skills. Joel and Kerry, his wife of twenty-six years, have two children, Alex and Caroline.