Tonya Ainsworth has worked in church ministry most of her life. She surrendered to the call of ministry at the age of twelve, after spending a great deal of time on the road with her family, which included singing with her two sisters, Tiffany and Tara. She learned harmony at a very young age.
She began playing the cello at the age of ten and never stopped. She eventually would go to Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she pursued more cello than she would in a public school. “I would sit in the hallway of the performing arts school and play Bach Cello Suites and no one thought anything about it. It was the best!”
Tonya played with the Dallas Youth Symphony at the age of 14 and went on to study cello performance at the University of North Texas under the great Carter Enyeart. She played for the UNT Symphony. However, she would change majors and graduate with a degree in Radio-TV-Film, working in News Radio for over twelve years. Working in radio allowed her to travel with her sisters singing gospel at churches across the nation. She and her sisters (The Haynes Sisters) grew up singing and playing their stringed instruments at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, where they developed as worship leaders and musicians. God worked on their hearts in service to Him. They would make four albums that would be used for His glory! Gospel and even Big Band.
Tonya served as the Contemporary Worship Director at the First Baptist Church of Denton from 2009 to 2016.
She has travelled as a singer and worship cellist for over thirty years.
When she is not singing or playing worship cello, she spends time with her two amazing children, Chelsea and Brady. Both children are currently in college.
Favorite verse of the Bible: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean into your own understanding, but in all things, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
To God be ALL the glory and honor!
Houston received his undergraduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing an Advanced MDiv. there as well. He serves as Southmont’s Minister to College Students. He regularly writes poetry and is passionate about reaching the culture and the next generation with the hope of the Gospel. Before starting at Southmont Houston served as an intern to several churches throughout his time in college, and he was licensed to the ministry by Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington. He was saved at First Baptist Church of Livingston and was sent to college to prepare for ministry by First Baptist Church of Crockett.
A nerd in all things from listening to music, to superhero movies, and especially the writings of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Houston loves a good story. He is excited to continue working with college students and helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus, as God’s story continues to unfold.
Brad Cockrell is a skilled communicator and ardent Bible teacher. Brad has served as senior pastor of Southmont Baptist Church since June of 2016. Brad is passionate about his calling as pastor and about shepherding well those whom God has entrusted to him at Southmont. His desire is to be a Bible based shepherd and wants to lead Southmont in full accordance with the will of God as revealed from His divinely inspired word.
Pastor Brad received his Masters of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Brad has been married to his wife Cari since May 22, 1993. They have 5 children. Chance and wife Jordan, Chandler and wife Stephanie, Cameron, Chaina, and Phawensky. They have one grandson, Callan McCoy Cockrell.
Kristi has a passion for the next generation and helping them to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Her goal is to help parents raise kids who retain their desire to walk with the Lord and mature in their faith.
Kristi has been married to Aaron Colton for 26 years and they have three adult children: Sarah, Matthew, and Hailey. Aaron and Kristi chose to homeschool their children, during which time Kristi was a stay-at-home mom. She has served in preschool and children’s ministry in some capacity for the past 21 years. In her free time, Kristi loves to read, watch Hallmark movies, and spend time outdoors with her family.
A native of East Texas, Jerald has served five churches as a minister of music during his 47 years of ministry experience, over 16 years of which have been at Southmont. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Baylor University, a master’s in church music education (with a vocal performance concentration) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a master’s in religion from the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. Jerald also served 20 years as a chaplain in the Texas State Guard (retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel), nine years as a full-time hospice chaplain (recently retiring from VNA Hospice), and still works part-time as a chaplain with the Baylor Scott and White Healthcare System.
Jerald leads the 9:30 traditional worship service and oversees the graded choir program. He directs the Adult Choir, Youth Choir, Older Children’s Choir, Handbell Choir, and Orchestra. These groups present a total of five major musical productions each year.
Jerald met his wife Andrea while they were students at Baylor. The couple have been married since July, 1975 and enjoy staying physically active by walking together and by frequenting a local gym. They have three married adult children (two daughters in Carrollton and a son in Ft. Worth), and have four of the smartest, most talented grandchildren in the whole world!
I grew up in Tarrant County my whole life until moving to Denton in 2019. I met my wife, Sarah, while in college at the College at Southwestern in Fort Worth and we have one son named Keller. I felt a calling to go into Student Ministry in 2009 and started at Southwestern Seminary for my Undergrad in 2010. In 2014 I started working in ministry at Wedgwood Baptist church in Fort Worth as their Recreation Coordinator. In 2017 I was promoted to Youth and Recreation Associate. I came to Southmont in call of the Student Ministry role in June of 2019. I completed my Master of Arts in Christian Education with a concentration in Student Ministry from Southwestern in 2020. I have a heart for students. I want to see them grow closer to the Lord. I want them to be leaders in their schools, in their families, and in this church.
I am a big fan of all sports. My favorite sport to play would be baseball, and my favorite sport to watch is football. I enjoy rock climbing and reading. I am a huge movie and television buff. When it comes to food, I am a lover of sweet tea, tacos, and barbeque. I love talking to people, so if you ever see me in the halls, I would love to talk sometime. My family and I are so blessed to be here at Southmont, and we absolutely this church.
Michael is getting ready to begin his fourth year as the Business Administrator at Southmont. Prior to joining the Southmont family Michael served as the Financial Administrator at Trinity United Methodist Church in Denton. Before being drawn to serving the church Michael was the founder and CEO of Postaledge, LLC, a global company specializing in manufacturing supplies for the postal industry. His time as a business owner allowed Michael the opportunity for world travel to such far reaching places as South Africa, Vietnam and Dubai, instilling a life-long love of travelling and learning about new and different cultures. He received his commission as a second lieutenant at Northeast Louisiana University where he majored in Music and spent 14 years in the Army and Army reserve leaving in the rank of Captain.
Michael lives in Denton with his wife of 30 years Margette Reid. His son Charles is currently serving on active duty with the National Guard, being recently promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and his daughter Elizabeth attends McMath Middle School where she proudly plays the tuba in the McMath Symphonic Band (go Tigers!). His wife Margette is the Music Teacher at E.P. Rayzor Elementary in Lantana and both Michael and his wife are avid amateur musicians and can frequently be found performing around Denton with various groups.
Sarah was born in Fort Worth Texas and has grown up in that area her whole life. In high school Sarah felt a calling into international Children’s Ministry. When she graduated, she attended the College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southwestern she was an Administrative Assistant in the School of Theology for seven years. She eventually became the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Theology. Through this the Lord showed her the talents she has for administration and gave her a passion to want to serve the church in this manner. While at Seminary Sarah met her husband Jordan of 10 years and they have one son named Keller. Some of Sarah’s hobbies include, plants, coffee, sewing, baking, and going to the movies!
Sarah moved to Denton in 2019 and started attending Southmont when she arrived. She serves as a volunteer in the Children, Youth, and Women’s Ministry. Sarah has a gift for organization and administrative skills. She enjoys getting to minister to Southmont through the talents the Lord has given her. Sarah’s responsibilities include managing the church calendar, church communication, and assisting the ministers at Southmont. She is at the front desk at the church office and would love to meet you and help you with whatever you need.