Welcome New Senior Pastor Gary Long!

Background and Education:

Gary Long was born and raised in Whiteville, NC, and completed high school in Sanford, NC. He graduated from Campbell University (‘95) with an undergraduate degree in Religion and Philosophy. He then attended Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, VA (‘99), earning a Master of Divinity degree.


Gary was licensed and ordained to the ministry by Liberty Baptist Church in 1996. He has impressive experience in ministry having served as Associate Pastor and Senior Pastor at several churches around the country. He is also an experienced pastoral writer; he was a regular contributor to the Houston Chronicle Religion Blogs and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship column Long Story Short, in addition to writing curriculum for BaptistWay Bible Study Series. Gary served with our very own Tracie Jernigan at Willow Meadows Baptist Church in Houston, TX, from 2004 – 2009, where they had great fun providing creative worship experiences.


He married Traci Butler Long of Lexington, KY, in 1989. She has degrees from Campbell University and George Washington University. Traci currently practices as a Physician’s Assistant at Current Dermatology in Sylva. Gary and Traci have three children: Audrey (26, film producer in Austin, TX), Caleb (19, attending SCC), and Maci (16, rising SMHS junior). The Long family moved to Cullowhee in 2012.