Leadership - Justice & Mercy International

JMI Leadership

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Mary Katharine Hunt

Chief Executive Officer

Email: mkhunt@justiceandmercy.org

Mary Katharine Hunt is the Chief Executive Officer for Justice & Mercy International and has been with the organization since 2013. Previously Mary Katharine spent 20 years investing in the ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Marketing for B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay.

Mary Katharine has a heart for missions and a passion for advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Over the years, Mary Katharine has volunteered for and led dozens of mission trips to Mexico, Moldova, and Brazil. She served on the inaugural Board of Directors for Justice and Mercy International in 2008.

A native of Tennessee, Mary Katharine is a graduate of The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She also attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Chris Hardy

Chief Program Officer

Email: chris.hardy@justiceandmercy.org

Dr. Chris Hardy is the Chief Program Officer for JMI. Before joining JMI, Chris served 29 years as an ordained pastor in the local church. He most recently served 19 years on the pastoral staff at Westover Church in Greensboro, NC where he provided oversight for equipping, life development, and leadership development, and most recently served as Staff Pastor. His heart for missions began after college and since that time he has led multiple teams serving the vulnerable, poor, and least-reached people around the world.

Chris has been married to Traci for over 25 years, and they have two children: Kara-Anne and Will. His family proudly supports JMI and sponsors a child in Moldova and a pastor in the Amazon.

Chris, a native of Georgia, studied psychology at Berry College and counseling at the Church of God Theological Seminary. He also completed his M.Div. and D.Min. at United Theological Seminary.

Tara Owen

Chief Financial Officer

Email: tara.owen@justiceandmercy.org

Tara Owen is the Chief Financial Officer for JMI. She has a CPA and completed her Masters and BBA in Accounting at Baylor University. Previously Tara performed audits with KPMG, served as an Analyst for LifeWay, and managed Accounting and Operations for companies in real estate, health care, and non-profit sectors.

Tara and her husband Jeff have been married for 20 years and have two sons, Caleb and Luke. She and her family love being a part of the ministry God is doing through JMI.

Lucy Mhondera

Communications Director

Email: lucy@justiceandmercy.org

Lucy Mhondera serves as the Communications Director at JMI. She was born and raised in East Sussex, England and now resides in Nashville, TN.

In 2003 Lucy traveled to the Amazon with her family where her eyes were opened to a new world in which she saw worship and justice working hand in hand. Her family committed their lives to serving the people of the Amazon, and she spent her following years traveling and serving on numerous mission trips.

Lucy spent 17 years working in the UK Christian music industry and later went on to receive a Diploma in Counseling. From 2015 to 2017 Lucy moved to Germany with her family, where she worked alongside Kainos, a nonprofit that seeks to intervene and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking.

In 2018 Lucy and her family moved to Nashville, TN to join the JMI team. She has a passion to see freedom for the oppressed, and hope restored to those who feel forgotten, through the Good News of Jesus.

Kari Bidwell

Mobilization & Events Senior Manager

Email: kari.bidwell@justiceandmercy.org

Kari Bidwell serves as Mobilization and Events Manager with JMI. She originally hails from Arlington, Virginia, but did most of her growing up in Denver, Colorado. She moved to Los Angeles to attend Azusa Pacific University, where she earned her degree in Youth Ministry and Business Administration.

Growing up in a ministry family opened Kari’s eyes and heart to missions and other cultures. She has led and participated in numerous mission trips, mostly leading young people to Europe and Israel with Royal Servants International and partnering with her parent’s ministry in several African countries. Kari has a heart for encouraging and empowering people around the world and is so excited to be working with JMI and sharing Christ’s unconditional love.

Kelly Cox

Sponsorship Manager

Email: Kelly.Cox@justiceandmercy.org

Kelly Cox serves as the Sponsorship Manager with JMI. She grew up in Arkansas, where she studied at the University of the Ozarks, and went on to spend time serving with a church in the beautiful mountains of Colorado before moving to Nashville. With her background in Early Childhood Education and Customer Service Management, God paved the way to this role, where she’s privileged to advocate for the vulnerable children in our programs and connect them with our generous partners.

Kelly is blessed to be married to Andrew and to be raising their son, Declan. They have a passion for traveling and sharing God’s love with those around the world.

Sarah Rodrigues

National Director, Justice & Mercy Amazon

Email: sarah.rodrigues@justiceandmercy.org

Sarah was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is married to Magno Rodrigues and lives in Manaus, Amazon. At the age of seventeen, God called her to full-time ministry. Sarah received degrees from the South of Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and the Baptist College of Florida in Missions. Sarah’s greatest joy is to be used in any shape, form, time or place by God. She feels God has blessed her with the privilege of serving Him among the people in the Amazon. Her desire is to bring the lost into a true understanding of Christ and what He has done for us and to mobilize and train God’s people to fulfill the Great Commission.

JMI Board

Jeff Simmons


Nate Kelley

Board Chair

Chris Barton


Jill Gonas


Leanne Horgan


David Shedd


Adrienne Lambert


Ben Midgette


Chelsey Stromsness


MJ Wivell


Francie Leslie


Stevan Townsend


Tara Owen

Secretary of the Corporation

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