Pastors & Support Staff
Bro. Ricky Cunningham
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
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.
“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 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.
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.
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, gave me a new identity, 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 have been here ever since. I love ministering to teens and preteens. I believe they are capable of so much more than what the world thinks they’re capable of. That’s why my ministry to them is centered on teaching and preaching God’s Word, challenging them to know God’s Word, love God’s Word, and live God’s Word with boldness.
The coolest part about me is (easily) my wife, Kaitlyn, whom I married in January 2019, and our three children, Maddux, Baylor, and Charlie. 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.
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 three children Graham, Braxton, and one expected to arrive in October 2015. I also enjoy sports (Go RACERS!), reading and spending time with family and friends.
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 until youth leaders began pouring into my life. They taught me how to read the Bible and pray. For the first time I began to be satisfied in Jesus and the gospel! God began to stir my desire for ministry; He gave me a heart for those around me and a passion to share the gospel.
I graduated from Murray State University in 2014 with a Social Work degree. My only desire prior to graduation was for ministry and to encourage people in their relationship with God. God graciously opened an opportunity for me to stay in Murray and do what I love here at Hardin, which is working with college students.
I also enjoy watching movies, going to St. Louis Cardinals games with my family, and spending time laughing with my best friends.
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.
If you were to ask me 7 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 three amazing children (Brooks, Ellis & Atticus). I graduated from Murray State University in 2013 and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2018.
When I’m not spending time with family, in the office, planning an event or hanging out with youth students, you can probably find me in a local coffee shop or gym.
The Deacons of Hardin Baptist Church are: