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Church Leadership

GROWING disciples who MAKE disciples.

Pastors & Support Staff

Bro. Ricky Cunningham

Senior Pastor

I was born and raised in Calloway County in the small town of Dexter.  In 1980, I married Celisa and we have two children; Kalista and Kory.  Kory is married to our daughter-in-law, Katie (whom we consider our daughter, too!), and they have blessed us with four grandchildren; Crider Wayne, Finley Knox, Garnett Levi and Evie Kate.

I graduated from Mid-Continent University and have been the pastor of Hardin Baptist Church since May 1983.  For the past several years, I have been the instructor of the RBBI (River Bank Bible Institute) in Parintins, Brazil, where I get to teach and train pastors of the Amazon River Valley Region of Brazil.

I enjoy spending time with my wife, my family and taking care of our small farm.  We raise registered Angus cattle and I work with my dad farming 850 acres of corn and soybeans.

Dr. Kory Cunningham

Associate Pastor

My first Sunday at Hardin was in 1983. I was three months old and my dad was just beginning his new job as the Senior Pastor. Although I grew up hearing the gospel, I spent my youth living for myself and pursuing my dream of becoming a professional motocross superstar. As my dream eventually crashed and burned, God replaced my dream with His. During my Freshman Year at Murray State, God rescued me through the gospel, called me into His service, and I have chased Him ever since.

In 2005, I married Katie (my favorite person on the planet), and God blessed us with four incredible children; Crider, Finley, Garnett, and Evie Kate.

Education: Doctor of Ministry, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Master of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Bachelor of Science, Murray State University.

I love coffee, camping, hiking, and anything outside. I do a weekly podcast to help people love the Bible more.

Chris Lawrence

College Pastor

I am originally from Vienna, Illinois and came to Murray State in the Fall of 1998. I started to attend Hardin Baptist Church and became a member of Hardin in 2001 during my junior year at Murray State University. Two things that really drew me to this church was the biblical teaching and the great leadership of Bro. Ricky and other members of the church.

After graduating Murray State I went to get my Masters of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. During my seminary time I continued to be involved at Hardin by ministering to college students at Murray State. I had a deep burden for the college students which eventually led to my position at Hardin Baptist as College Pastor starting in 2008. College students are entering a more independent stage and are at a time in their lives where they really figure out what they believe. My desires for college students are to engage them in sound theology, help them grow to think for themselves, and emphasize the great importance of being involved in the local church. I want them to graduate college understanding how to pick a biblical church and be an active member where ever they go.

While I have a passion for college students, I love my family. I have a wife of four years, Brandy Lawrence, and four children Graham, Braxton, Hannah, and Titus!  I also enjoy sports (Go RACERS!), reading and spending time with family and friends.

Chase Bright

Youth Pastor

It’s an incredible privilege to serve Christ and his people at Hardin Baptist Church. God saved me as a junior at Murray State University in the fall of 2017. He rescued me from my sin, called me out of darkness into his marvelous light, and forever changed my life. He called me to ministry soon after that, and opened the door for me to serve in the youth ministry at HBC beginning in August 2019, and I have been here ever since. I love preaching and teaching the Bible, and pastoring teens and their families.

The coolest part about me is (easily) my wife, Kaitlyn, who I married in January 2019, and our four children, Maddux, Baylor, Charlie, and Boston. I love watching sports and staying active. Drinking coffee, reading books, and listening to podcasts are just a few of my favorite hobbies.

I graduated from Murray State in May 2019 with a BS in political science/legal studies. In August 2019 I began pursuing my M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and, Lord willing, will graduate from SEBTS in May 2024.

Matt Sullivan

Worship Leader

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”-Romans 12:1

I’m the worship leader here at Hardin Baptist. I’ve had the honor of leading the body of Christ here at Hardin to a place of honest, intimate worship that pleases the heart of God.  Serving since 2005, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to lead others to the throne of God and to lead a wonderful team of volunteers.  Married to my wife Stephanie since 1990, We have wonderful children and grandchildren. I am happy we all attend and serve at Hardin Baptist!

Shelley Crowell

Children's Director

I remember a time in high school when I felt the Lord calling me to commit my life and my future to serving Him. I assumed that meant missions. Since I enjoyed working with kids and teaching, I studied Elementary Education at Murray State University and planned on teaching English as a second language to children overseas. Little did I know that the Lord had a completely different and wonderful path for me to follow.  God brought me and my amazing husband together in college. We both attended Hardin Baptist so after we graduated and got married, we stayed in the area and continued to come here to church.  My husband had a job at a local police department, I got a job at a local school, and I taught the 3rd-5th grade girls Bible Study on Wednesday nights (and loved it!). The Lord opened the door for me as the Children’s Director here in 2006, and I believe I have the best job in the world! I love working with the kiddos and families at Hardin and helping them learn and follow Jesus. My husband and I have also been blessed with three awesome kids – Jacey, Caleb, and Hudson. I love hanging with my family, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Abbey Kelly

Preschool Director

I am so thankful to serve as the preschool director at HBC. I was raised on a farm with two great parents who were faithful in their walk with Christ. But it wasn’t until 5th grade that God set me apart for his kingdom. I struggled with what God wanted me to do with this life He had given me. In 2001 I married my husband and together we started down a new path for God’s direction for our lives. I graduated from MSU in 2002 but still didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. So I followed in my husband’s footsteps in working at a bank, then he moved on to work in pharmeuticals and I followed him again working as a pharmeutical rep. But it wasn’t until 2004 that God showed me the direction for my life. He clearly moved in my heart to serve families as the preschool director at HBC. God has been faithful to provide everything that I need and I am so thankful for what He continues to do. But my life doesn’t stop there, it is full of adventure with my three children Anney, Asher, and Aggey. We love being together as a family. We enjoy family camping trips, boating, riding bikes, and hanging out with our family. God has blessed my life and I am looking forward to what He has in store.

Tyler Whitt

Youth Ministry Intern

I went to Hardin Baptist church on my first Sunday at Murray State and I have never left! I am currently a senior at Murray State University, and thankful for the opportunity to serve at Hardin Baptist. I came to Christ in middle school and pushed greatly into discipleship in college. The Lord began to lead me towards ministry in college, so I started serving in the youth on Wednesday Nights, and this opened the door for me to work at Hardin Baptist.  I love seeing students come to know the Lord, and to watch them grow from a new believer to a disciple of Christ.

I enjoy pretty much any activities outside, specifically hiking, and disc golf. I am a Big Manchester United fan, and love spending time with my wife Alyee.

Maggie Grant

Youth Ministry Intern

Mattison Sullivan

Youth Worship Intern

Audrey Frizzell

Youth Ministry Intern

Ellen Robinson

College Women's Director

I began attending Hardin as a sophomore in high school. A friend and her family got me involved in the youth group and I immediately fell in love with everything about Hardin. I came to Christ as an eighth grader but didn’t know what it was like to daily walk with God. Youth leaders began investing in my life. They taught me how to read the Bible and pray. I began to be satisfied in Jesus and the gospel! God began to stir my desire for ministry; He gave me a heart to share the gospel on the college campus and to the nations.

I graduated from Murray State University in 2014 with a Social Work degree. God graciously opened an opportunity for me to stay in Murray and fulfill my calling to make disciples. I am pursuing a degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary  MA Ministry to Women.

I love being with friends and family, exploring new cities, and developing new friendships wherever I go!

Tyler Hardin

Campus Minister, Harvest Campus Ministry

In 2013, I stepped onto the campus to pursue a degree and baseball career.  Little did I know, God would use those pivotal years to bring me into a relationship with him, and reveal to me my God-given purpose of being a disciple maker.  My freshman year, through the college ministry of Hardin Baptist Church (Hardin, KY), a team mate on the baseball team, and a weekly Bible study that I was attending on campus, God showed me that I had a great need to repent and be forgiven of my sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:23) In putting my faith in Christ for the first time, God began a journey in my life to know him more and make him known to others who were still lost and searching for forgiveness and their life purpose.  In those years, I saw God faithfully save other friends and peers of mine and took notice that what God was doing on the campus never stopped there, but was reaching the World through these same students as they graduated and were sent out on mission to Glorify God with their lives wherever they go.  Over the last few years, and as many as God calls us to, we (my beautiful wife Ashlee & our children Brady, Hayes, and Eden) are helping lead this ministry to fulfill the Great Commission and as our ministry name insists, raise up many Christ-like Laborers for the Harvest of the Lost World. (Matthew 9:35-38)

Cait Viers

Campus Minister, Harvest Campus Ministry

Even from a young age, I would have considered myself a Christian. I never doubted that God existed or that Jesus died on the cross. Though I knew these truths in my head, I was not actively clinging to them in my heart. When I started college in the fall of 2015, I continued to look for acceptance and purpose in everything I did and every relationship I had. However, over and over I was let down and continued to feel empty. Through my sorority sister, I was introduced to the college ministry of Hardin Baptist Church (Hardin, KY), and began to hear and understand the Gospel for the first time. After several conversations, I discovered that though I had attended church multiple times throughout my life, I did not have a personal relationship with God. I realized I had a heart of stone and I desired to have a heart of flesh from our Lord. (Ezekiel 36:26) During my junior year of college, I surrendered my heart and life to Christ and made him Lord. The impact of being a part of a college ministry and getting connected with Hardin Baptist Church, was evident in my life and the people around me. It furthered my desire to share the Gospel and make disciples on the college campus! The last two years I have had the privilege of raising up Christ-like Laborers for the Harvest of the Lost World by working for Harvest Campus Ministry. (Matthew 9:35-38)

Zach Shipley


From an early age I can remember going to church every Sunday and hearing the preaching of God’s word, but it was not until my freshman year at Murray State in 2013 where I finally surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and received His glorious grace. I had come to Murray State simply to live out my dream of playing college football. It was on that team that I came to know men who were truly living out the Gospel in their life and I was able to attend bible studies led by our team chaplain that God would ultimately use to show me my sin and my desperate need for a Savior. Through repentance and faith, my walk with God began. I was incredibly privileged right away with amazing men around me who discipled me and Hardin Baptist Church for laying a biblical foundation for my life. It was through growing in my walk with God personally, growing in community on campus and at church, and through seeing the great needs of the World that upon graduation I said yes to an opportunity to be a full-time evangelist and discipler on the college campus. My wife and I, and now our beautiful Emaline, get to be part of the Harvest Campus Ministry team that pursues college students daily with the hope of the Gospel and the plan to mobilize them as Christ-like laborers who are ready to labor in the Harvest field of the Lost World!

Trevor Grant

Pastoral Intern

I started attending Hardin Baptist in 2022, during my freshman year of college, God saved me and called me to ministry!  At Hardin Baptist, I enjoy teaching others God’s word, serving the community of Hardin, and being mentored by our Pastors. Also, I can work in Ministry alongside my wife, Maggie Grant, who is a youth intern.

I graduated from Murray State in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree, and I am currently a Southern University student pursuing a Master of Divinity.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, watching basketball, and cheering on Newcastle United!


Jon Kyle Allred

Connections Minister

Sydney Rogers

Office Administrator

I grew up going to church and hearing the Word of God, but not until my freshman year at Murray State, did I surrender myself to Christ. At the time I was studying Zoology and wanted to be the next crocodile Hunter… Safari Syd. While I still have a love for science, my heart just was not in that program, so I switched to Organizational Communications and minored in Sports Communications. I then began working at Murray State Athletics in the Ticketing Office and the Marketing department. I enjoyed every minute of it, but during my 5th year in the Athletic department, I just knew that this was not the path for me. On the day I had that realization, I received an email from Hardin Baptist about my current position. I began working for HBC in 2021, and could not imagine doing anything else!! I am thankful every day to be able to work in ministry and for HBC!

I graduated from Murray State with a Bachelor of Science in 2020, and a Masters of Science in 2022. I am currently a member of the Baptist Ministry Assistants of Kentucky Association and the National Association of Ministry Assistants.

During those years I met and married my amazing husband, Jonathan, and welcomed our 2 kiddos into the world, Millie and Jax! In my free time, I enjoy traveling to new places, watching/ attending any type of sporting event, and thrifting some goodies at the nearby consignment shop!

Sandi King

Financial/Clerical Secretary

Scott Bidwell

Director of Special Projects

Jan Johnston

Secretary of Compassion Ministries

My family began attending Hardin Baptist in the fall of 2012 and became members soon after. For a year or two I rested in the Lord and soaked in all that I could from Bro. Ricky and Pastor Kory’s awesome teaching & preaching. But it wasn’t long until the Lord began nudging me to again get involved in church work. I volunteered in several different ministries at HBC and eventually became the leader of HBC’s compassion ministry in January 2017. After the sudden death of our beloved church secretary, Casey, I volunteered in the church office and took on more responsibilities.

I became an employee of HBC in July 2021 as secretary of compassion ministries. I’ve had the privilege of seeing our compassion ministry grow and thrive as we lovingly serve the widows, shut-ins, and those needing extended care. This ministry of the heart works closely with our pastors in seeing to the needs of the church family. I’m blessed to lead a group of awesome volunteers who are the hands & feet of Jesus in serving others. My dad battled health issues for many years; my mother became a widow. I learned firsthand how important it is for those we serve to be reminded that they are still needed and loved by their church family. It is my desire to keep our precious folks connected to our church, to our pastors, and to each other.

About me:  After graduating from Marshall Co High School, I attended Paducah Community College. I graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Business & Office Administration in 1979. My work history is mostly in office administration, although I have worked in accounting offices, as well. I married my husband, Jim, in 1983 and we currently reside in the Sharpe community. We enjoy being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with our daughter, Lauren, and son-in-law Anthony.

Nick Calhoon

Missionary/ Church Planter

If you were to ask me years ago what I wanted to do, I never would have said “be a pastor”. I spent the majority of my life focusing on me. It was all about my reputation, my dreams, and my desires. Thankfully when I was 19 years old, God showed me that I could have life and life abundantly and it was found in his Son, Jesus Christ. My eyes are no longer on myself, but now they are set on Jesus Christ and glorifying Him with my life.

In 2012, I was able to marry my best friend, Bethany, and the Lord has been so gracious in giving us four amazing children (Brooks, Ellis, Atticus, and Collins). I graduated from Murray State University in 2013 and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2018.

After years of serving as the HBC Youth Pastor, our family has always felt the Lord leading us to overseas missions. In May 2022, we were sent to the beautiful country of Nicaragua in May of 2022.


The Deacons of Hardin Baptist Church are: