Our Staff

Dr. Kay Bennett, Director
Kay grew up on a dairy farm in Kokomo, MS and received a B.S. degree in Counseling Psychology from University of Southern Mississippi. In 1989, Kay graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. While in seminary, she worked at Brantley Baptist Center in New Orleans. In January 1990, she was appointed as a missionary with the Home Mission Board at the Brantley Center. In 1997 she moved to the Baptist Friendship House as Director as a missionary with the North American Mission Board. Kay's training is in the areas of† counseling, life skills counseling, vocational evaluation, and literacy. Kay is also certified to begin and lead a Christian Woman's Job Corps program. Kay received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Counseling Psychology from NOBTS in 2008. The title of her project in ministry was Equipping Staff Members of Baptist Friendship House to Minister to Abused Women Post-Hurricane Katrina.

Michelle Bruss, LMSW
Michelle grew up in Summit, Mississippi. She has served as a Summer Missionary in 2003 in Arizona and BFH in 2004. She received her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in 2006 and her Master of Social Work (MSW) in 2007 both from the University of Alabama. She began as a US/C2 Missionary at Baptist Friendship House in 2007. She obtained her license to practice social work in 2009. She is attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters in Christian Education as she serves at BFH.

DeShannan Paddock, BA
DeShannan grew up in a small town in western Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Murray State University in 1998 in Child Development. She was a US/C2 missionary at Carver Baptist Center from 2004-2006 before becoming a US/C2 missionary at Baptist Friendship House in 2007. She is currently serving at BFH as Seminary Intern while attending New Orleans Theological Baptist Seminary.

Kendall Wolz
Kendall became a member of our staff in May 2010 as a summer missionary.  She was a group leader for our camp Up2HOPE.  Over the course of the summer, she felt Godís calling and chose to extend her time in New Orleans. She grew up in North Carolina. Kendall has a younger sister and brother, Kelly and Gunnar.  She attended UNC-Chapel Hill, but is currently attending the University of New Orleans. She is pursuing a psychology degree.

Jessica Dawson, BA
Jessica is from Oklahoma. She is serving at Baptist Friendship House as a US/C2 Missionary. She earned her undergraduate in Family and Community Services from Oklahoma Baptist University. After her time here, she plans to pursue a master's degree in Social Work.