Reverend Chris Wondree serves as the Minister to Students and Families. He is passionate about following the example of the Holy Spirit, through walking alongside students and their families as they celebrate, grieve, grow, run, and sometimes crawl through all that life can bring. At Richmond’s First Baptist, you will find Chris looking to laugh with and listen to folks of all ages. He is excited to see all the ways the members at First Baptist work to build bridges so that everyone’s voice is heard and valued as a person who was made in God’s image.
Chris is the husband of Lacey and the father of Bennett, Ella Cate & Micah (twins). He was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA (which is NOT considered NOVA), earned a B.S. in Biology from Shenandoah University, and a Masters of Divinity from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Prior to joining the staff at Richmond’s First Baptist, he served on church staffs, as campus minister at James Madison University, and as a coach to several travel & high school soccer teams. He is convinced that “futbal” is the only real “football” and when he isn’t trying to convince people why, he loves rooting for Arsenal, the Orioles, Duke Basketball, the Commanders, and the Dolphins.
Alex Hamp serves as the Week Day Preschool Director. She is passionate about nurturing children, helping parents navigate early childhood, and supporting the teaching staff.
A Richmond native, Alex graduated from James Madison University and taught kindergarten at William Fox Elementary. The Fan connection brought her to First Baptist Preschool in 2003, first as a mother and then as a teacher. In 2014 she became Director of the Week Day program. Alex is wife to Dave and mother to four: Madeline, Ellie, Brooke, and Scott. She enjoys traveling, reading, attending her son’s sporting events, and dining out at the many fabulous Richmond restaurants.
Eunice Kim has served for 22 years at First Baptist, and she says, “it’s been an amazing honor and blessing for me to be a pianist at FBC. My husband John and I have two sons, Jonathan and Joshua. I run Pink Belle Cake House and Eunice’s Piano store. I love to bake and decorate cakes, and of course teaching piano as well.”
Emma Tilley serves as Compassion Ministry Associate. At First Baptist, you will find Emma serving in weekly Community Missions, coordinating the Charlotte Acres farm team, and leading young adult small group. She sees the Church as a powerful force for uniting people together to work towards the flourishing of the community and a space for being formed in Jesus’ vision for the kingdom. Emma grew up at First Baptist Church and is honored to serve on staff and give back to the community that encouraged her to start her ministry journey. She studied Religious Studies and Art at William and Mary and received a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in 2020 with a certificate in Baptist Studies and Theology & Art. Emma loves ceramics, trying new art mediums, and soup recipes, taking photos of plants, and spending time with her sisters.
Tim is a Richmond native having grown up in the Derbyshire congregational family. He graduated from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in 2011, and in 2013, he married his college sweetheart, Mary Margaret. Their children are Anna Beth, Teddy, Virginia, and a few who are with the Lord. He joins the First Baptist Church staff after spending seven years as a chef at Rockbridge Alum Springs, a Young Life camp near Lexington, VA, having previously been a Kitchen Manager for Chick-fil-a in the greater Charlotte, NC area. They are excited to be in Richmond where they can experience everything the city has to offer and be close to Tim‘s family.
Michael Lacy was born in Savannah, GA, but because of his parent’s military career, he spent most of his youth and early adulthood living in various states and countries. He spent four years in the United States Marine Corp and then worked for the government as a civilian, as a youth counselor, a department store manager and most recently for a small family owned business. He is married to Shawnae, and they have two boys, Darius and Justin and are in the process of adopting two more children, Tia and Leo. Michael was ordained as a deacon at First Baptist in January 2015 and has volunteered with the Youth Ministry as a teacher and a leader since joining the church in 2010. During football season, you will find him and little Leo cheering on their favorite team, the Washington Redskins.
Ruth joined First Baptist in 1987 and began singing in the church choir, playing bells in the bell choir, and helping in children’s choirs. Ruth joined the staff in 2000 coordinating and directing the children’s choirs, the handbell choirs, and assisting with the girl’s ensemble, youth choir, church choir and One Accord. She leads the music in worship in the absence of the Associate Pastor for Christian Worship. Ruth has just recently joined the preschool staff as the music teacher.
Ruth received the Choristers Guild Institute Certification in 2013.
Ruth is a native of Charlottesville, VA. She graduated from James Madison University in 1985 with a BS, double majoring in Learning Disabled and Emotionally Disturbed Education with a minor in music. Ruth taught school in Chesterfield County for eight years.
Ruth is married to Richard Szucs and they have two children, Alexandra and Matthew.
Leigh Farmer serves as the Communications Coordinator for the church. She is passionate about the church’s mission of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to RVA. There are endless stories to tell about the impact of the church on the Richmond community and Leigh looks forward to telling each one. At First Baptist, you will find her with a notebook and cell phone in hand, ready to capture the best moments of fellowship and worship. If you ever have a story to share about how the church has impacted your life, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Leigh is responsible for managing all our church communication including the weekly newsletter, social media, press releases, and church website. She has extensive communication experience in news media, non-profit communication, and public relations. Leigh is married to Josh and is a mom to Evelyn. A proud graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, she is happy to be working back in the neighborhood where she studied and lived during her collegiate years.
Amanda has a passion for helping children grow to love God and follow Jesus on all the days, not just the “church days.” She cares very much about all the pieces of forming a child’s faith: the grown ups who spend the most time with their children (parents, grandparents, chosen family), the spaces outside church (school, extracurricular activities), the church curriculum (worship, formal learning spaces like Sunday School or Music and Missions, informal learning spaces like the playground and mission on the go and the gym, and activities like VBS and camp), and the people who share the joy of forming (teachers, other worshipers, and the people in the hallway!).
Reverend Matthew Hensley serves as Associate Pastor of Christian Invitation. He is passionate about connecting everyone to a Christian community so that their relationship with God and their service to others finds purpose. At Richmond’s First Baptist, you will find Matthew eager to know you, whether you are brand new to church, anxious about getting involved in a new community, or are one of our neighbors in Richmond’s Museum District. Matthew loves how the members of First Baptist really seek out ways for everyone to get a taste of God’s kingdom here on earth.
Matthew is the husband of Beth and father of Jack, Reese, and Haley. He was born and raised in South Carolina, is an alumnus of the University of South Carolina, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and is currently working toward a Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to joining the staff at First Baptist, he served on church staffs in northern Virginia and Richmond. Matthew loves running, reading, cooking, and is certain that when people say Carolina, they are referring to the Gamecocks.