Church Leaders and Staff

  • Dr. Ken Parker

    Senior Pastor

    President of the Missouri Baptist Convention

    Dr. Ken Parker became the senior pastor of First Baptist in January of 2006. Prior to coming to Kearney, he served as the founding pastor of Southpointe Family Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He also served as pastor of Fianna Hills Baptist Church in Fort Smith and First Baptist Church in Union, Missouri. Before becoming a senior pastor, Ken served churches in his home state of Illinois and Missouri as an associate pastor with responsibilities in music and youth ministry.

    Ken is a 1983 graduate of Cahokia Senior High School in Cahokia, Illinois, a 1988 graduate of Missouri Baptist College (University) in St. Louis, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts degree in church music and vocal performance, and earned a Master of Divinity (1995), Doctor of Ministry (2002) and Master of Arts in Counseling (2013) from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. 

    Pastor Ken currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and adjunct professor at Midwestern Seminary and served as the President of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Pastor Ken and his wife Lori (married since 1988) are the parents of two sons: Zach and Luke.

  • Don Hamlin


    Don and his wife, Jody, moved from Indiana to Missouri in 1997. In 2002, First Baptist called him to serve as associate pastor/education & outreach. He has served various ministry positions in local churches in Kentucky and Indiana, as well as for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Don also has a diverse background in several non-church related work fields.

    Don graduated from Campbellsville University in Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education & Church Music with post-graduate studies in evangelism. Other post-graduate studies include Indiana University (Master of Science in Recreation) as well as at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.  

    The Hamlins have two children, Kyle married to Tess, and Emily married to Dusty.  They also enjoy grandchildren Isla and Ari (by Emily & Dusty), and Remy (by Kyle & Tess).  In addition to church ministries, he enjoys outdoor activities and mentoring others.  Don writes devotional Bible studies (currently, three books) and is a contributing author for daily online Bible devotions.

    Don's favorite verse is John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease."


  • Tyson Branizor


    Tyson is originally from Andover, Kansas and is a 2006 graduate of Andover High School. He then attended Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas where he graduated with an Associate of Arts in Religion. Tyson completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Pastoral Concentration in May of 2011.

    Tyson and his wife, Gina, have known each other since 4th Grade. They were married in 2011 and have one child together. Gina is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies as well as a graduate of the University of Missouri - Kansas City with a teaching certificate to teach Spanish. 

    Tyson has been serving as Associate Pastor of Youth & Recreation at First Baptist Church of Kearney since 2011. 

    A small peek into Tyson’s ministry experience:

    •Internship at Aviator Church Plant in Derby, Kansas consisting of coordinating block parties, leading mission teams, and door to door evangelism.

    •Worship Leader at Grace Harbor Church in Derby, Kansas.

    •Student FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students) Leader for 3 years; Summer Missionary for Kids Camp at the Webster Conference Center in Salina, Kansas (2 years)

    •Played and sang in Youth Contemporary Praise Band “Fidelity.”

    •Involved in College Ministry for two years as a NAMB (North American Mission Board) Semester Missionary.

    •Participated in mission trips to the inner city of Omaha, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Louisville, Kansas City, and to Juarez, Mexico.

    Tyson's favorite verse is Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

  • Travis Black

    Associate Pastor/Worship & Young Adults

    Travis began his ministry at First Baptist Church in January, 2018. He has previously served and learned as a worship intern at Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, Missouri and at Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas. Travis and his wife, Clara, met at Hannibal-LaGrange University where they were both music majors. Travis graduated with his Bachelor of Music in 2016 and Clara graduated with the same degree in 2015. Travis and Clara moved to Kansas City for Travis to pursue a Master of Divinity in Worship Ministries.


    Travis relies on the whole Word of God, but two verses that have helped define his ministry have been Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and 1 Kings 12:7, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”

  • Teresa Keeler


    Teresa was born and raised in Missouri. She is a 1997 graduate of Warrensburg High School. Upon graduation, she continued her studies in Warrensburg at the University of Central Missouri, formerly Central Missouri State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2001. She is a 2011 Graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary earning a Master of Arts in Christian Education and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

    Teresa began ministry at First Baptist Church, as the Director of Children and Missions Ministries, in March of 2012. Prior to serving at First Baptist, she was a preschool teacher and a tent maker missionary in New York City. She has participated in and lead mission trips in America, Mexico, Peru, France and Haiti. 

    Teresa has been married to her husband, Isaac, since 2008 and they have three beautiful, wonderful, intelligent children: Phoebe, Levi and Benjamin.

  • Diane McGuire


    Diane began her position as ministry assistant in October 2008. She counts it a privilege to serve in the church she grew up in and where she surrendered her life to Christ in December 1983.

    Diane, and her husband Pat, were married at First Baptist in December 1989 and have served in various ministries of the church since that time. 

    They have two daughters, MacKenzie and Lexi, and love spending time together as a family, especially at Diane’s parents’ lake home at Beaver Lake in Arkansas. 

    A favorite verse of Diane’s for many years has been Psalm 28:7 (NIV), “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped.”

  • Jessica Stephenson


    Jessica and her husband, Dave grew up in Liberty but moved to Kearney shortly after being married and joining the church in 2012.


    Jessica graduated from Liberty Senior High in 2010. She is a 2013 graduate of DeVry University earning her Bachelor of Science in Multi-Media Design and Development.

    Shortly after joining the church Jessica and her husband quickly became involved in many areas of church service such as Hospitality, Joyful Giveaway, Women's Ministry and teaching The Forge Sunday School class.



    Carlene's ancestors were founding members of First Baptist Church. She has been a member since childhood and has served as Financial Secretary since 1999. 

    Her career is banking with over 42 years' experience, currently serving as Vice President of Operations. 

    She and husband David have one daughter, Kate. In her spare time Carlene enjoys cooking and sewing projects for First Baptist Church's Lydia's Sew-ers group. 

    One of her favorite verses: "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:1-2

  • Ron and Mary Pruett


    Ron and Mary joined First Baptist in March of 2007. They have been serving the church as custodian/maintenance personnel since October 2011. 

    Ron and Mary have five children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 

    Ron loves to fish any chance he gets and Mary loves cleaning, gardening and growing flowers.