Leadership - Justice & Mercy International

JMI Leadership

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Mary Katharine Hunt

Executive Director

Email: mkhunt@justiceandmercy.org

Mary Katharine Hunt is the Executive Director 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

Director of Programs & Partnerships

Email: chris.hardy@justiceandmercy.org

Dr. Chris Hardy is the Director of Programs and Partnerships 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

Finance Director

Email: tara.owen@justiceandmercy.org

Tara Owen is the Finance Director 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.

Rachel Edwards

Sponsorship & Program Senior Manager 

Email: rachel.edwards@justiceandmercy.org

Rachel Edwards serves as Sponsorship & Program Senior Manager for JMI. Originally from Fayetteville, Georgia, Rachel grew up in the Atlanta area and went on to earn a Journalism/Advertising degree from The University of Georgia. Prior to JMI, she served on the Student Ministry team at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville and has worked with FUGE Camps in various capacities for 7 years.

There is nothing more exciting to Rachel than seeing Jesus move among people around the globe, and she finds great joy in taking the life-giving news of the Gospel to the Nations. Rachel has participated in and led many mission trips around the world, including Moldova, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, and more. Rachel is humbled to be part of the JMI team and is excited to see how JMI will continue to join the beautiful work the Father is doing around the world.

Kari Bidwell

Mobilization & Events 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.

Alina Magdaliuc

National Director, Justice & Mercy Moldova

Email: alina@justiceandmercy.org

Alina Magdaliuc serves as the National Director for Moldova, and oversees JMI’s ministry in the country.

Alina’s greatest desire has always been to work with children. She graduated from Belts State Teacher’s Training University with a teaching degree in English and French teacher. After working in school for 2 years and receiving her master’s degree, she began working with JMI. Her job with JMI allowed her to use her knowledge of foreign languages and child psychology in order to help abandoned, orphaned and vulnerable children.

Alina is married to Vlad and is blessed with a great family that supports her in this service to God and feels her family now includes all the kids in JMI’s Moldova programs who need her love and support.

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


Scott Pharr

Board Chair

Chris Barton


Jill Gonas


Leanne Horgan


Nate Kelley


Adrienne Lambert


Ben Midgette


Chelsey Stromsness


MJ Wivell


Francie Leslie


Stevan Townsend


Tara Owen

Secretary of the Corporation

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