Pastors & Staff

Joel Richardson

Senior Pastor

Joel has served as the Senior Pastor since September of 2022. He has been on staff since 2013 where he served as the Young Adults and Groups Pastor before transitioning to the Senior Pastor role. He graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Divinity from Liberty Theological Seminary. In his free time Joel loves spending time with family, playing golf, and watching the Braves. Joel and his wife Elizabeth live in Madison with their 2 kids: Hayes and Brooks.

Bill Hawks

Executive Pastor

Bill has served on staff at Highland Colony Baptist Since July 2004. He works closely with the Senior Pastor to help implement the vision of the church coordinating all the ministries and efforts of the church. Bill has Bachelors and Masters degrees focused on biblical studies and church ministry and a Doctorate degree in leadership and administration. Bill and his wife, Leigh Ann, have been married since 1990 and have raised four children who are out on their own now. They entered the grandparents phase just a few years ago and found a new joy. Bill loves to spend time outdoors hunting, hiking and camping, or kayaking.

Jason Easley

Worship Pastor

Jason has served as Music and Worship Pastor at Highland Colony since July of 2010. He has been in vocational ministry for 28 years. He graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Music Degree. Jason loves to hunt and fish, sing in the trio Promised, and spend time with his wife Amy. They have three daughters: Emery, Claire and Lauren. And two grandsons; Azariah and Zephaniah.

Lauren Hudson

Children's Minister

Lauren has been on staff since 2016. Prior to working in ministry, she worked as a speech pathologist. Lauren has her degrees from Ole Miss, University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is passionate about equipping the next generation to be able to stand up for their faith. Lauren is married to Kelly, who serves in the military. Kelly had four boys when they got married and then they had Sophia together.

Drew Whaley

Student Pastor
Drew has served as the Student Pastor since February of 2020. He graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and has a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Drew is a Georgia boy and loves all things Atlanta sports! In his free time Drew loves spending time with wife Olivia, their dog Bo, and travelling to visit their extended family. Drew and Olivia are expecting their first child in May of 2024.