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Ministerial Staff

Dr. Richard S. Hipps, Pastor

My Story: Patricia and I were born the same day - January 15, 1953. We met in high school, married in 1974, and have been in full-time ministry since 1975. This includes three pastorates in North Carolina and eleven years as missionaries to Brazil. We came to Trinity in June 2002. I am a graduate of Brevard College, Mars Hill College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University. We have three children (our youngest died at age 4 in 1993) and 3 genius grandchildren who live in Atlanta.

Dr. Richard Hipps blogs at:

My Links: (Click Here to See My Links)

Publications: When a Child Dies(1996);
The Focused Life (2010)

Favorite Music: The Moody Blues, Gordon Lightfoot, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Fagner (Brazilian Artist), George Strait, Bob Dylan

Favorite Writers: Henri Nouwen, C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, Charles Dickens

Favorite Movies: Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, The Bourne Trilogy

6-Word Memoir: Life is Tough, God is Good

Dr. Tommy Simons, Associate Pastor

My Story: 

I spend my days..

Supervising pastoral, facility and administrative staff; mining gifts of others; pastoral assistance; education/administration; liaison to several committees, visioning, teaching, problem solving...spending time with Caren, Carson and Colton. 

I received Bachelors Degree in Christianity and History, Houston Baptist University (1981);  Master of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985) and Doctor of Ministry in Theology and the Arts;  Reformation Education:Through Sixteenth Century Art and Contemporary Drama (doctoral project and paper) from Memphis Theological Seminary (Cumberland Presbyterian). I've been graced to serve three exceptional congregations since receiving MDIV from Southwestern:  Minister to Youth, Vestavia Hills Baptist, Birmingham, Alabama; 1985-1994; Associate Pastor, Willow Meadows Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, 1994-2007; Associate Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Memphis; Tennessee, 2007 - present.

Community/Volunteer: Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Coordinating Council, Support Common Ground Memphis,

My Links: (Click Here to See My Links)

Favorite Music:
Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, The Who, Chris Tomlin, Albert King, BB King, Explosions In the Sky, Tim Story, Foo Fighters, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Widespread Panic, Jerry Garcia.

Favorite Authors: History: David McCullough  Brooklyn Bridge; Truman, Thomas Friedman Longitudes and Attitudes 

                                            Simon Schama The Power of Art; Rembrandt's Eyes; Allison Weir The Six Wives of Henry VIII

                             Church History: Diarmaid MacCulloch The Reformation: A History;  Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

                                                        Steve Ozment  The Serpent and the Lamb 

                             Historical Fiction: Erik Larson In The Garden of Beasts; Devil in the White City; Isaac's Storm

                             Fiction: Michael Chabon Wonder Boys; Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay; Richard Russo  Empire Falls                                                                 John Irving  A Prayer for Owen Meany; Adam Johnson  Orphan Master's Son

                                                       Cormac McCarthy The Road , All The Pretty Horses; Colum McCann  Let The Great World Spin

                                                       Junot Diaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies

                             Sports: Lawrence Ritter The Glory of Their Times Bernard Malamud The Natural

                             Theology and Arts: Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty

                                                               Daniel Sidell Who's Afraid of Modern Art? Essays on Modern Art and Theology 

                                                               Kimberly Vrudy (Editor) Arts, Theology and the Church: New Intersection


Faith/Devotion: Henri Nouwen  Life of the Beloved; John Claypool  Tracks of A Fellow Struggle ; James Cone Martin and Malcolm in America: A Dream or a Nightmare; Spirituals and the Blues; Charles Marsh The Beloved Community; Frederick Buechner  Listening to Your Life  Roland H. Bainton  Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther' Parker Palmer,  Let Your Life Speak; James Washington (Editor) The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Education/Administrative: Israel Galindo, Perspectives on Congregational Leadership Edward H. Friedman A Failure of Nerve;     Peter Steinke Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times ; Alice Mann  Holy Conversations ; Diana Butler Bass, The Practicing Congregation; Jeffery Jones,  New Possibilities for Faithful Churches; Simon Sinek Leaders Eat Last; Start With The Why

Favorite Movies: The Third Man, Rushmore, Shawshank Redemption

Six-Word Memoir: Caren Carson Colton I Am Home

Ryan Heritage, Minister of Worship & Music

My story: I was born in Newton Mississippi (home of the Layzboy recliner) but I call home where I spent most of my life which is Anderson, South Carolina. After College I moved to Samford in Birmingham and eventually to Dallas, TX for a residency position at Wilshire Baptist Church. That's where I met the one that would change my life forever. Lindsey and I have been married now for over five years, but have known each other coming up on seven years now. We have two wonderfully-wacky girls; Bella and Randi. I love spending time with my family, going on vacations, hunting/fishing and other outdoor sports. I never expected to live the life I do after I graduated high school and am truly thankful for the many gifts that God has given me and the determination to use them to better the kingdom and share his love with others.


Favorite Music: Not a fair question to a music-guy! I would say everything except rap. While I enjoy 'classical' artists such as Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Holst, Berlioz and many more, I hold a special place in my heart for 80's rock. Sometimes 'I feel the need for speed' and the wind careens through my (now vacant) hair as I'm listening to Def Leppard driving down the road. 


Favorite Writers: Constance Cherry, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Brian McLaren are some of my favorites but I'll be honest with you here, besides the Bible and some particular authors, I don't read much. Not because I'm illiterate, but because I'd rather spend my time listening to music or outdoors learning through experience. 


Favorite Movies: Forrest Gump, Dumb and Dumber, Family Man, Green Mile, Lord of the Ring Trilogy, All of the Star-Trek AND Star Wars movies, Oh so many…


Six-word memoir: Thankful God walks with me everyday

Josh Plant, Minister to Students

My StoryI was born and raised in Austin, Texas.  After high school I attended college at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where I double-majored in History and Christian Studies.  From there, I went on to Truett Seminary at Baylor University. While in college and seminary I helped plant a church in Hewitt, Texas where I served as Youth and Worship pastor for six years. Right after seminary I married my wife, Camille, who everybody likes more than me.  It's not fair.  I love learning new things, exploring possibilities, and being as creative as my mind will allow me to be. The one thing I know for sure is that Christ died so that the world might be set to right and that we might have fellowship with the God of the universe.

My Links: (Click here to see my links)

Favorite Music:

Oh man, so difficult Alison Krauss & Union Station, B.B. King, The Beatles, The Civil Wars, Coldplay, Freddie King, Hank Williams, Sr., Jay-Z, Jimmy Eat World, John Mayer, Jonny Lang, Led Zeppelin, Mat Kearney, Muse, Needtobreathe, Nickel Creek, Onerepublic, Passion Pit, Relient K, U2

Favorite Writers:

Augustine, Abraham Joshua Heschel, C.S. Lewis, Donald Miller, Frederich Buechner, Greg Boyd, J.K. Rowling, John Caputo, John Howard Yoder, Jurgen Moltmann, Peter Rollins, Rob Bell, Roger Olson

Books That Have Changed My Life:

The Experiment Hope by Jurgen Moltmann

The Presence of the Future by George Eldon Ladd

The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

The Fidelity of Betrayal by Peter Rollins

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Favorite Movies: Shawshank Redemption, Independence Day, Lean On Me

Six Word Memoir: No hope but hope in Christ

Rachael Russell, Director of Preschool Ministries

My story: Born in Texas but raised in Memphis, I met my husband, Jeremy, in the first grade and we've built a home in Arlington with our soon-to-be two year old son, Jake. The five years leading up to Jake's birth were spent serving as half of a duo that specialized in assisting pre-k to 1st grade students with speech difficulties at Munford Elementary School. Before that, much of my time has been spent working with preschool children in both daycare and school settings. As seen by my past, I really enjoy working with kids, especially with preschoolers!    

Here are a few books that I love:  Anything by Jane Austen, Little Women- Louisa May Alcott, The Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Williams, What's So Amazing About Grace'- Philip Yancey, One Thousand Gifts- Ann Voskamp, Captivating- John and Stasi Eldredge, The Applause of Heaven-Max Lucado

This is a small taste of what plays the most on my iPod: The Laurie Berkner Band (this is Jakes favorite), U2, Anberlin, Van Morrison, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, OneRepublic, Josh Groban, The Beach Boys, The David Crowder Band and The Muppets. 

Movies I love: There are so many! Anything with Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 1,2 & 3, Mr. Holland's Opus, Little Women, Sense and Sensibility, Enchanted, What's Up Doc' (a great slapstick comedy), and The Princess Bride. There are so many more but I am making myself stop now.

Six word memoir: God's love has overcome my brokenness.

Babette Wisdom, Mother's Day Out Director

My Story: I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona in a Christian home. I graduated from Northern Arizona University in December of 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism. I have worked 15 years as an MDO teacher at Trinity Baptist Church. I am now the Director for the Mother's Day Out program. I am married to Deron Wisdom and have two children, Elizabeth and Mitchell. I enjoy working with and teaching children. I am so very blessed to be able to exhibit God's love to the families and students at MDO.

MDO Facebook:   Trinity Baptist - Mother's Day Out

Favorite Book: The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

Favorite Movies: The Italian Job and Steele Magnolias

Favorite Music: Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Fleetwood Mac

Six-word memoir: Many beautiful reasons to be happy.


Trinity Baptist Church | 8899 Trinity Road | Cordova, TN 38018 | (p) 901.759.5955 | (f) 901.759.9903 |