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The Directors of the Auxiliary Advisory Board (AAB) are given the responsibility for establishment, guidance, and spiritual headship in the operation of the Academy. The AAB is the policy-setting body of the Academy. There is only one official line of authority which will flow from the AAB, through the Chairman or his designate, to the Headmaster who is charged with the responsibility for properly conveying the decisions and actions of the AAB to the staff, faculty, students, and parents as is appropriate. First Baptist Academy AAB Directors shall be active members at First Baptist Church Opelika.

Board Chairman

Kate D. Simmons, Ph.D.

Dr. Kate D. Simmons is a Professor of Special Education with an appointment of Counselor, Leadership, and Special Education in the College of Education at Auburn University at Montgomery. She was appointed to the faculty following five years of teaching in the public school system. 

Dr. Simmons has been an active member of First Baptist Church Opelika since 2011 and serves as the Chair of the Ad Hoc Academy Advisory Committee.

Board Directors

Earvin Comer

Mr. Comer is an Opelika native and graduate of Opelika High School. He is a 2014 Auburn University graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education. He is currently a Choir Director at Opelika High School.

Thomas P. Crowley, CPA

Mr. Crowley is an Opelika native and a graduate of both Opelika High School and Auburn University. He has been a deacon at First Baptist Church Opelika since 1976, and has served as the church treasurer. Mr. Crowley has owned and operated his own accounting firm since 1981.

Dr. Rod Herring

Dr. Herring earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Florida State University, along with his Bachelor's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Doctor of Chiropractic from Life College. He is the owner of a multi-doctor clinic providing healthcare for musculoskeletal injuries and spinal disorders. 

Carol Pridgen

Mrs. Pridgen graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and taught first grade at Jeter Primary School (Opelika City Schools) for 20 years. Since retiring, she is a private tutor and homeschool teacher. 

Dennis Hasty

Mr. Hasty is an Atlanta native with a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University, and a Certificate in Public Management from the University of Southern California. Following his 30 years serving with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he was employed another 8 years by Corrections Corporation of America and the Department of Homeland Security. 



FBCO Education Pastor

Paul Spargo, Ph.D.

Dr. Paul Spargo has an undergraduate degree in labor relations from Cornell University, an M.Div. from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Th.D. from Covington Theological Seminary. He is a faculty member at the Biblical Theological Seminary of Amman, Jordan, and the Sixth Degree Initiative Bible College in Togo, Africa, as well as a faculty mentor at Sioux Falls Seminary. 

After 25 years in full-time ministry, including 16 years in the senior pastorate, Dr. Spargo accepted the call as FBCO’s Education Pastor in 2018. His responsibilities include adult Sunday School, small group Bible studies, and FBCO’s discipleship and mentoring ministries.  Dr. Spargo is married to Cathy, his childhood sweetheart since the 7th grade.  They have 2 boys, 2 daughters-in-law, and 5 grandchildren.