Leaders

Pastoral Leaders

Introduction to our Pastor, Rev. Kevin Ritter

Pastor Kevin began serving Centerville Baptist on July 26, 2009.

Pastor Kevin’s thoughts on the church: I believe the church is to be an intergenerational community of people journeying together, seeking to learn from and follow the life and teachings of Jesus in relevant ways for everyday living.  As we open our lives to the mission and message of Jesus, we find that we are compelled to befriend and serve one another, our local neighbors, and neighbors around the world.  On our journey, it is very important that we celebrate God and worship as a community.  To build community as followers of Jesus, we understand that we are all sinful and incomplete, and that when we share our beauty, struggles, and shortcomings in authentic ways, we actually provide a key component of true spiritual transformation.

Maybe More Information Than You Want to Know (about Pastor Kevin)

Married:     Lynnette on Nov. 25, 1989.

Children:    Maisie married to Ryan Baldwin and teaches at Jenkins Elementary School in 

             Newport News, VA

Kindsey attends Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA

Education:    Masters of Divinity 1994 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

    BS in Agriculture Business, minor in Agronomy from Missouri Western State College, St. Joseph, MO

    Kearney High School, Kearney, MO

Hometown:    Holt, MO

Moved from:    First Baptist Church, Hamilton, MO where he pastored for 14 years.

Background:   

Kevin grew up on a tobacco and cattle farm where his parents lived until 2017. The farm

had been in his mother’s family for over 115 years. He has one younger brother, Darin, who lives in Kearney with his wife and children.  Even though Kevin’s family did not go to church much while he was growing up, he always had a recognition of God and remembers praying on his own to a very real God as early as 4 years old and was baptized at 13 years old.

His call into ministry started while attending Benedictine college, Atchison, KS, to play football.  His freshman religion teacher, Sister Mary Sweet, was one of the first people to suggest that he might be called into ministry after reading one of his exegesis papers on Luke 11:24-26. He left Benedictine and started his sophomore year of college at Missouri Western, where he met Lynnette and was introduced to the Baptist Student Union. His call to ministry became sure at the end of his junior year of college. After college, he managed a farm for over a year and was married. Lynnette and Kevin moved to Louisville, KY in July of 1990 and he began Seminary.  Kevin became the Minister of Education and Youth at FBC Taylorsville, KY, in April of 1991.

Interests: Regenerative farming, raising grass-fed beef, playing basketball, football (KC Chiefs and Mizzou Tigers), NCAA basketball (MU and Kentucky), hunting, movies, playing games, Bruce Springsteen music

Favorite Books: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brenning Manning, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Interesting? 

Kevin is a relative of Elijah Craig of Spotsylvania County Virginia, the Baptist preacher that started Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY, and was the first person to make Kentucky bourbon.   

-Elijah’s great-nephew, W.R. Cave, gave land for a town called Centerville, MO (Later Kearney).  There he worked with Jesse James’ father to start Mt. Olivet Baptist Church (Later FBC of Kearney) where Kevin (and Jesse) was baptized.


Introduction to our Equipping Pastor, Brian Harfst

Brian—along with wife, Zipper, and boys, Isaac and Elijah —have been at Centerville since the fall of 2011.  Previously, Brian was a pastor in Orange County, Virginia for nine years.

Brian’s calling is to help others seek God’s activity in and around them in order to embrace meaningful, authentic, and effective “abundant life” (as Jesus calls it).  He believes that underneath the constant busyness of everyday existence, most people yearn for a richer and more purposeful way of being (whether they recognize it or not).  He desires to support others as they discover God’s transforming power and develop their unique gifts, talents, passions, and personalities so that they may join Christ in his mission of serving and saving the world.

As Equipping Pastor, Brian works to empower individuals and groups to seek and serve God’s kingdom both at Centerville Baptist Church and in their everyday lives. He shares Pastor Kevin’s vision that the ministry of the church belongs to the people of the church and not just paid staff.  His roles vary depending on the type of support an individual or groups needs to grow in ministry.  In one instance, he may simply offer an occasional encouraging word or bit of pastoral care.  In another instance, he may partner as a coach or mentor.  And in yet another, he may serve as a temporary leader of a particular ministry.

Brian is a third-generation pastor and a native to Virginia. About half of his life has been spent in various locations around Central and Northern, Virginia, and the other half in the Tidewater region. He graduated from Surry High School (across the James River from Jamestown and Williamsburg) and the College of Willliam & Mary with a BA in Psychology. Brian received his ministerial training from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, from which he obtained a Masters of Divinity degree.