BJ Donahue

Lead Pastor

Born and raised in Lexington, I attended the University of Kentucky. At UK, I earned an undergraduate degree in Secondary Math Education and Masters in Education. During those years I was heavily involved with UK’s Baptist Campus Ministries where I met my wife, Melissa, to whom I have been married since 2002. After initially teaching at Dunbar HS for a couple years after college, we moved to Louisville so that I could pursue an MDiv in Biblical Studies at Southern Seminary.

Since 2006, I have been in full-time ministry off and on, serving in various roles including: student pastor, administrative pastor, senior pastor, and interim pastor. We returned to northern Kentucky in August 2017 when we accepted the position to join Erlanger Baptist Church.

Melissa and I have five kids, ranging from college to middle school: Joshua, Lauren, Jacob. Lily, and Joseph. I love my family and our church and I'm excited about God's ministry through our faith family as we look to the future together.

Eric Thomason

Associate Pastor & Children's Pastor

As a young person I felt a strong leaning to invest in the lives of children.  I graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education & Cognitive Studies fully planning to teach Elementary students for the rest of my life.  

God called me to full-time ministry while I was teaching 1st grade in a public school in Nashville. He confirmed that He wanted me to minister to children and families while I was on staff at a children's camp called Centri-Kid. God further equipped me for His calling during my time at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where I received a Master of Divinity in Christian Education.

I am blessed to have served in full-time vocational ministry for more than 20 years alongside my amazing wife, Kelli, who God has also called to ministry. With God’s help, we are striving to raise our joy-filled daughter, Caroline, and our precious son, Corban, so that they love God and embrace Jesus. Together we seek to walk alongside Jesus as he transforms the hearts of children and their families.

Jimmy Cantwell

Worship Leader/Missions Leader

Jimmy grew up in Erlanger, Kentucky and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior when he was nine years old. At the age of 19, he began going on mission trips and learned how to play the acoustic guitar. It was then that a desire began in him to express his love for Jesus through worship! 

Since that time, he has had the opportunity to learn and grow in his passion for worship, and for worship leading. This growth has come through both personal experiences with God's presence and through ministering His name to people across the nations.

Jimmy has been in ministry since 2013, serving both in multiple worship ministries and through mission efforts in 13 different nations. In 2015, Jimmy met his wife, Naomi, on a mission trip to the Island of Grenada. In 2017, they were married and moved to Dallas, Texas to attend Christ For the Nations Institute where they both received a Bachelors degree in Practical Ministry with a focus in Worship and Missions. 

Jimmy’s heart is to be a man after God's heart. His passion is that both he and others know the true love of God and His desire to dwell with His people. He believes God has commissioned him to steward this desire through musical worship and discipling people to understand His presence, what it means to abide in Him, and all the blessings that come with that intimacy. 

Verses he lives by: 1 John 4, John 15:1-17, Matt 6:9-10, Ps 22:3, Ps 45:1, John 4:23-24, Mark 16:15, 1 Cor 8:2-3, 1 Cor 13

Shane Hufford

Student Leader

EBC is excited to welcome Shane Hufford as our next Student Leader! Shane will begin in January 2024 on a remote part-time basis, until he is able to move from West Virginia to NKY in June with his wife, Meredith, and their six kids. Please be praying for the Huffords as they make this transition and as we ready ourselves to receive him and his family into our EBC faith family.

Learn more about Shane here.

Darla Faris

Administrative Assistant

I grew up at EBC and have been employed here since 1982. I am married to Mark. We have two sons: Eric, wife April, has two sons, Lincoln and Crew; and Brandon, married to Rachel, has a daughter, Elle, and a son, Nash. I love spending time with family, reading, and traveling.

I love to eat at Pompano Joe's in Destin, Florida...I will meet you there, just let me know in advance so I can take off.

Beverly Lucas

Financial Administrative Assistant

I retired from teaching with some thirty plus years. I didn’t like being a “stay-home” person so when this opportunity became available, I applied. I have been in this position since 2010. I have two sons and five grandchildren.

Harry Wessel

Facility Coordinator

As a retired maintenance director for the Kenton County School district and long-time member of Erlanger Baptist, Harry is uniquely equipped to oversee the maintenance and needs of our facility.

If you have any facility concerns, please let him know! The care and upkeep of this facility drives him day in and day out to ready our grounds for ministry.

Pam Rice

SonLight Preschool Director

Pam joined our staff during the summer of 2021. As a retired educator and seemingly life-long preschool ministry volunteer at EBC, Pam is a wonderful fit for SonLight and the ministry we have to the young children and families in the Erlanger community and beyond!

Learn more about our SonLight Preschool here.