Hi, my name is Cole Parker and I am very excited to be joining the Riverbend Team as the Pastor of Worship and Facilities. At the tender age of 5, I gave my life to Jesus during a Wednesday night service in a small church outside of Lexington, KY. I realized for the first time that God’s love was greater than my sin and learned that through accepting His son’s sacrifice on a cross, Jesus had made a way for me to spend forever with Him in heaven. I accepted that free gift and have never looked back. I am a 1998 graduate of Toccoa Falls College with a B.S. in Music Education (with a Choral Concentration). While attending Toccoa Falls College, I met my wife of 16 years, Debbie. We are now blessed with three wonderful children; Luke, Lena and Levi. In the 17 years following college, I have served in the local church through both bi-vocational and full time ministry positions. Whether leading worship, broadening my musical talents, developing worship leaders and musicians, pastoring students or serving in various ministry capacities, I believe the purpose of the local church is this; To share the hope of Jesus and help people grow in their relationship with Him. I firmly believe worship is not just a song we sing, but more importantly the life we live! Great things God has promised, great things He has done. The best is yet to come!
Maxey Ladd is Associate Pastor at Riverbend Baptist Church. Maxey is married to his wife Sue and has two children, Shannon and Benji, as well as five grandchildren, Luke, Lydia, Emery & Jesse and Hadley. Maxey attended Gainesville State and Lanier Technical College for Business and Data Processing as well as the Center for Biblical Counseling. Maxey began in career at Baker and Taylor Publishing Company in Commerce, Georgia in Data Processing and later became the Materials and Inventory Control Manager at Rockwell Automation. After 26 years, Maxey left the business world to become the Children’s Pastor in November of 2000. Over the years, Maxey has been very active in the community and in servitude for Christ. Maxey has served as a volunteer for a number of non-profit and Christian ventures including: Membership Board of NE Georgia Medical Center Chaplains Staff Chaplains Staff for NE Georgia Medical Center Chairperson for the Chattahoochee Baptist Association Committee on Committees 4 years on the Board of Directors for NE Georgia AWANA 4 years as Camp Coordinator for The Dixie Mountain AWANA Scholarship Camp 2009 Committe on Nominations for the Georgia Baptist Convention Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Favorite Song: “I Know a Man Who Can” Favorite Food: “I like it all.” Least Favorite Food: Turnips and Dumplings Favorite Desserts: Strawberry Cake and Sour Cream Pound Cake Favorite Sports Team: “I’m a Georgia boy – Go Dawgs!” Hobbies: “I need one.”
Danny Rice is the Youth Pastor at Riverbend Baptist Church. When asked to describe himself in one word Danny will tell you he is “blessed!” He’s blessed to have grown up with a loving mom, dad, and an older sister. Danny grew up in Houston County which is located in middle Georgia. He says some may be familiar with that part of the state because of the large Air Force base in Warner Robins, or the Georgia National Fair in located in Perry. Danny spent most of his life at Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, GA where he had attended since Pre-K. It was during their time at SBC Warner Robins that Danny, his parents, and his sister gave their lives to Christ. It was also at SBC that Danny answered God’s call on his life for the ministry. Danny is 22 years old and a recent graduate of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA with a Bachelors Degree in World Missions. Danny says he is excited to be a part of what God is doing here at RBBC and cannot wait to see what He has in store for this beautiful body of believers!
Laurel Morgan is a North Georgia native growing up in Dahlonega where she attended Dahlonega Baptist Church. She is the daughter of Ronald and Beth Fortner. She has one sister, Courtney. She accepted Jesus as her savior when she was 10 years old at VBS. She graduated from Lumpkin County High School in 2010 and furthered her education at Truett McConnell University where she received a Bachelors degree in business marketing. This is where she met her husband, Trey. During her time at Truett McConnell she worked for the Athletic Director at White County YMCA. This is when Laurel learned how much she loved working with children. Her heart for children comes into play with River Babies. Laurel believes that children no matter how small should learn about Jesus and His love for them. This is her mission for River Babies and staff, to instill in children of how great God’s love is and the way He instructs us to live our lives. “Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him.” Psalms 127:3 After graduating Laurel and her husband Trey were married and moved to Warner Robins, Trey’s hometown. Later that year on November 13th they welcomed their daughter, Ella Pearl. Shortly after Ella was born the family relocated to Gainesville and excitedly joined Riverbend. Laurel’s loves include Jesus, her family, Georgia Bulldogs, and coffee.
Mike Dorough is a native of Cordele, GA and a graduate of Crisp County High School. He graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens, where he was a member of the UGA Concert Band. In 1986, he was selected to participate in the Governor’s Intern Program and served in the State Capitol during the Georgia General Assembly. He received his Masters degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA. After serving almost seven years as a Youth Pastor in Virginia, he returned to his home state and began serving as Student Pastor at Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins in 1996. He has led mission trips to Russia, Germany, Poland, and Brazil, in addition to mission trips throughout the eastern United States. In November 2011, Mike co-led a Conference for pastors in Brazil with Dr. Jim Perdue. Pastor Mike has been married to his bride Julie for over 20 years (1988). They have two children. John Michael was a Pre-Vet student at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA for three years, where Mike has served as a Trustee and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. John Michael played on the TMC baseball team before transferring to the University of North GA. Holly is a graduate of Covenant Christian Academy in Macon, GA where she enjoyed playing on the softball team and cheer-leading. She is now a pre-med student at the University of North Georgia. The Dorough family loves the beach and UGA football, but most of all, they love serving Jesus together at Riverbend Baptist Church!