Chris Cook

Senior Pastor

Chris has resided in Columbia since 1996. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three teenage sons. After completing his undergraduate studies in Religion at William Jewell College, Chris graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Parkade, Chris pastored two other churches in Missouri. Chris has served as the senior pastor of Parkade Baptist Church since 2001.

Aaron Kruse

Associate Pastor of Education and Ministry

Aaron and his wife, Angel, are natives of St. Louis, Missouri. They are proud parents of three children, Austin, Abby and Anna. Aaron graduated from Missouri Baptist University and received his Masters from Covenant Theological Seminary. After serving 11 years in Battlefield, Missouri, Aaron joined the Parkade staff to serve by overseeing the religious education and various ministries of the church as our Associate Pastor.

Leah Cox

Worship Leader

Leah grew up in rural southeast Missouri.  Before coming to Parkade in 2016, she completed her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music and education and taught elementary music for 12 years.  While teaching, she always stayed active in her church’s music ministry.  Her responsibilities at Parkade include leading the music worship during our services each week, directing the adult and children’s choirs, and assisting with the music in other areas of our church’s ministries. She and her husband, Jeff, have two sons and have lived in Columbia since 2008.

Cody Gregory


Youth Director

Cody is originally from Hannibal Missouri.  Cody has a BA in History and Religion from the University of Missouri.  Cody joined our staff in February 2017.  He is also currently serving as an associate campus minister at the Baptist Student Union at MU.  

Jim Russell

Facilities Manager

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Jim is a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and lived in Eldon, Missouri, before moving to Columbia. He is the husband of Dianna and the father of Jason. After 35 years of working for 3M, Jim retired and joined our staff to serve as our Facilities Manager.

Maria Rafa


Maria and her husband, Tudor, escaped from the Communist rule of Romania in 1985. After they established their residency in America, their two children, Ramona and Calin, followed and eventually all four became U.S. citizens. Maria and Tudor are now the proud grandparents of four grandchildren. Mariase served 10+ years with the Missouri Baptist Convention in Jefferson City holding various clerical and accounting positions. She now serves as our custodian and does a wonderful job in keeping our facilities clean.

Chelssie Kerr

Office Manager

Chelssie began as our Office Manager in December 2016. She grew up near Portland Maine. Her family and her moved to Missouri in 2010. She and her husband were married in 2013. They have an amazing little girl Lilly. She was a stay at home mom for two years. 

Joni Johnson

Administrative Assistant

Joni is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, and has lived in Columbia since she and her husband, Ryan, were married in 1998. They have three amazing children; Cj, Alex, and Marcy, all who are active in Parkade 3D Youth. Joni has home-schooled her children since 2007 and has volunteered in a variety of ways both in the church and community. Joni worked as our Interim Youth Director from August 2015 to January 2017. She is now the  Administrative Assistant, a position to help our ministerial staff with their duties and overseeing the all aspects of church communications.