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.
Bro. 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 been chasing Him ever since.
In 2005, I married Katie (my favorite person on the planet), and God has blessed us with four incredible children; Crider, Finley, Garnett, and Evie Kate. In addition, I received a bachelor degree from Murray State University (Go Racers!) and a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
I love coffee, could live outdoors, and use any excuse to spend time with my family. I also try to help people connect to God through my blog koryWcunningham.com.
My name is Matt Sullivan and I am the worship leader at Hardin Baptist. God has allowed me to serve here since 2005. I received Christ when I was 21 years old and have been following Him ever since. I thank God daily for his grace and mercy, and I am constantly amazed that He would use someone as goofy as me to be a worship leader and not a pastor! Clearly, God has a sense of humor.
My wife Stephanie and I have been married since 1990 and we have three beautiful children; Courtney, Mattison, & Canaan. I enjoy songwriting, napping, spending time on the beach, and keeping up with my kiddos and their many activities. Romans 8:1-2
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.
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.
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.
My name is Casey and because of God’s calling on my life, I get to serve Him and the people of HBC every day. To quote my favorite pastor, “Wow!”
I married Jason in 1999 and ten years later, we were blessed with our son, Jace. My parents, Jeff & Lori Jaco, are also members of Hardin. We can all be found on the back row at the 7:50 service on Sundays. And I have the privilege of teaching 4 year old Sunday school at First Fruits Farm during the 9:15 hour. I have been on staff at Hardin since 2006.
I love Jesus, treasure my family, and believe laughter truly is the best medicine. I also love cats, sweet tea, my hairdresser, football (Go Eagles!), and corny jokes. And TV. And Diet Coke. And I am mostly thankful for God’s grace…free and undeserved grace. (Romans 11:6)
“When God gives us a home, He doesn’t just give us a place – He gives us people.” Sophie Hudson
The Deacons of Hardin Baptist Church are: