Brad Bigney is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Free Church of America, and is a graduate of both Columbia Bible College and Columbia Biblical Seminary in South Carolina. He has a B.S. in Bible Teaching along with his Master of Divinity. He’s a certified biblical counselor with ACBC (Assoc. of Certified Biblical Counselors), and is involved in the counseling ministry of the church, as well as teaching in other conferences and training centers across the nation. He’s the author of Gospel Treason – Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols. He’s been serving as the Senior Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church since January 1996. He and his wife, Vicki, have five wonderful children that God’s used to teach him so much. He loves to be with his family, work in the yard, bike with his wife, read great books, watch NFL football, and eat Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream. He also loves leading, serving, equipping, and growing with the Grace Fellowship church family!
Fort Thomas Campus Pastor
Peter LaRuffa is an ordained pastor and has served at Grace since 2006, and serves as the Fort Thomas Campus Pastor. Prior to this, he served as Youth Pastor for over 10 years both at Grace and in his hometown of New York City. Peter also serves on the preaching team, is an Elder, a conference speaker/teacher, and a certified biblical counselor with the Assoc. of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He is an avowed fan of the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds, and whoever is currently playing against the Yankees. He and his wife, Sarah, have four children.
Florence Campus Pastor
Brian Fannin has been a member of Grace Fellowship since 2005. He loves serving as a Small Group leader, in the counseling ministry, and as an Elder. Prior to becoming the Florence Campus Pastor, Brian worked for a large regional homebuilder for seventeen years, filling several roles in his tenure there; from sales counselor to director of sales and marketing, and most recently, corporate trainer. He is an ordained pastor and holds a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a BBA in management from the University of Kentucky. He and Amy were married in 1989 and are blessed with three children. He is a Kentuckian in accent, loves the Wildcats, the Reds, good cooking and the outdoors.
Fort Thomas Associate Campus Pastor
Following his three plus years as a youth volunteer here at Grace Fellowship, Aaron Joined staff full-time in March of 2013 as the Director of Middle School Ministries. Aaron has spent his entire life here in the tri-state area. He graduated from Calvary Christian high school in 2007 and now has a B.A. in Communications from Northern Kentucky University. Aaron and his wife Eliza met in 2010 and got married in January 2012. They are proud parents of their daughters, Rebecca Marie and Kathryn Grace.
Bob joined our staff in 2004 after working in business in the area of marketing and management primarily in the transportation industry. He enjoys working with others to reach their goals and objectives. He believes that God has given us all different gifts and he enjoys the opportunity to help each person use those gifts. Bob has been a member of Grace Fellowship Church since 2000 and has serve in our body as Small Group Leader, Deacon Chairperson, and Elder and also oversees our counseling center. He completed an Under Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies in 2012 from Trinity College of Bible and Trinity Theological Seminary. In 2008 he completed his certification as a biblical counselor with the (ACBC) Association of Certified Biblical Counselors He is a member of (ABC) Association of Biblical Counselors.
Interim Director of Small Groups
David is originally a Buckeye from Springfield, OH, but loved living cross-culturally in Zimbabwe, Africa along with his 3 sisters in a missionary family. He started to see his desperation for God in High School and was fascinated with the depth of God’s character when he attended Cincinnati Christian University and then served in youth ministry for a few years. After 9/11, David was given the opportunity to serve in Afghanistan with a Christian humanitarian organization, returning in 2007 to pursue Biblical Counseling at The Master’s Seminary in CA. He has been at Grace since 2013 where he met Kristina and conned her into marrying him.
Director of Children’s Ministry
Cindy Malott joined the Grace Fellowship staff in November, 2015. She has a passion for Jesus, the gospel, children, and children’s ministry. The Lord prepared and led her to this position at Grace Fellowship through 16 years of service to children. First as she served in her local church as Director of Children’s Ministry then as a writer and Children’s Editor for a para-church ministry where she contributed to the writing and editing of several children’s books, a comprehensive Sunday School curriculum, and a national magazine.
Director of Missions
Todd Richmond joined the Grace Fellowship staff in the summer of 2010 as the Director of Missions. Grace Fellowship’s international missions efforts focus on the unreached people of the Czech Republic, Albania, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as equipping local churches in Romania. Our US focus includes various local and regional ministries who offer counseling and financial help to those in need. Todd also leads Ambassadors of Grace International (AoGI), Grace Fellowship’s own missions sending agency. Todd and Cindy have been married since 1996 and have three sons, Eric, Josh and James. Todd has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and worked as an engineer for Dow Corning for 13 years. Previous to joining as the Director of Missions, he served in various missions roles with AoGI.
Director of Worship
Brad Spence joined our staff in 2005 as a part-time worship leader. In September of 2010 he transitioned to a full-time position of Director of Worship. At Grace Fellowship Church we gather each week to glory in the gospel of Jesus Christ through participatory song, scripture reading, and prayer. Since joining the church in 2000, Brad has served as a Small Group Leader and Deacon and has a B.S. in Music Education from Messiah College. He met his wife, Janelle, in high school and married in May 1997. They now have two daughters, Noelle and Sadie, and enjoy spending time hiking, biking and playing games as a family.
Director of A/V Technology
Lee joined our staff full-time in 2008 after serving a few years with the Audio Visual teams here at Grace. He has a BA in communications from Moody Bible Institute. His work in various positions from producing radio programs to designing and installing audio/video systems, as well as growing up overseas, have prepared him for his current position at Grace. He met his wife, Candace, while in college and they have four daughters.
Director of High School Ministry
Ryan joined our staff in June 2012 as the Director of High School Ministries. Ryan spent 6 years living in Czech Republic and Germany while his parents served with Reach Global as church planters. He has a B.A. in Communications from Northern Kentucky University and is currently pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before joining the GFC Team, he worked as a guidance representative at Fidelity Investments. While attending Black Forest Academy in Germany, Ryan met his wife Tabitha. They were married in July of 2007 and have 5 wonderful children Daniel, Annabelle, Isaiah, Josiah & Caleb.
Interim Director of Middle School Ministry
Micah has been a member of GFC for the past fifteen years and has been married to Emily for just over a year. He is currently a marketing specialist for WILD Flavors & Specialty Ingredients. In his spare time, he loves going to Reds games, drinking coffee and reading.
Shawn joined our staff in June of 2016. Prior to coming to our staff Shawn spent 15 years with an insurance company in the claims department working property claims and leading others later in his career. Shawn has an Associates degree in Business from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelors degree in Organizational Management from Northern Kentucky University. As a family, they enjoy trips to the lake and any beach.
Finance & Office Manager
Rachel proudly reigns from Ludlow, KY. She holds a BS in Accounting from Northern Kentucky University and is also a graduate of the UC Goering Center Leadership Development Institute. She has worked for 12 years in private business and, prior to GFC, most recently served as the Financial and Operations Manager for Centennial. Before accepting her current role, she served for two years as the Missions and Finance Admin for GFC. Her new role now includes ensuring financial accuracy and budgeting, facilitating HR functions, and overseeing the Administrative Staff. Rachel has one beautiful and very precious daughter, Reagan. Aside from spending time with her family and friends, you might find Rachel reading, hiking at Red River Gorge, event planning, hosting, or shopping. Although Reagan would also add napping and not liking bees to that list.
Assistant to Lead Pastor
Kristen is a born and raised Hoosier who moved to Kentucky for love (after some pre-engagement counseling, of course). She married her wonderful husband, Alex, in the spring of 2015. Kristen studied International Studies with a focus in Ministry at Bethel College up in South Bend, Indiana. She loves exploring Cincinnati, digging into some Graeter’s ice cream, trying out new recipes, helping her husband find the best burger in the Tri-state area, hiking, running, and traveling. Kristen’s so thankful the Lord brought her to GFC and she’s excited to see what He has in store for her and Alex in the years ahead!
Lisa Van Berkel
Communications Coordinator | Assistant to Fort Thomas Campus Pastors
Assistant to Small Groups & Florence Campus Pastor
Assistant to Counseling | Database Administrator
Assistant to Children’s Ministry & Finance
Assistant to Florence Front Office & Missions
Assistant to Worship Director
Assistant to Student Ministry
Kristina Wheatley grew up just down the river in Louisville, KY. She moved to the area in 2009 to work for a para-church ministry. After beginning to attend Grace in the spring of 2010, she finally felt NKY becoming home as God blessed her with the community and fellowship of the church body. After several years of volunteering with our High School Ministry, Kristina accepted the role of Student Ministry Admin in December 2014 and accepted a new last name in December 2015 by wedding co-worker David Michael. Some habits are hard to break, though, so you shouldn’t be surprised to hear nicknames like Mama Wheat still floating around. When they’re not working, David and Kristina enjoy serving, traveling and cooking together, as well as spending time with family and friends, old & new!
Resource Center Coordinator
Linda can remember playing library as a kid and grew up reading books. She and her husband, Kevin, have raised four children with a laundry basket as a permanent fixture containing books checked out for the whole family. With shelves full of homeschooling books and enjoying reading to her five grandchildren, Linda has also moved into “book ministry” at the Grace Fellowship Resource Center. She loves connecting people with good resources and prays for them to bear good fruit.