meet our pastors...

  • Travis Farris

    Senior Pastor

    Pastor Travis became the Senior Pastor of Walnut Memorial in May of 2015. He received Christ as Savior when he was nine years old in an old-fashioned church revival. From that moment, he knew that God had a calling on his life.

    At the age of 20, while studying to be a pharmacist, he felt the call of God leading him into Gospel ministry. He was ordained in December 2002, six months after his initial call. It was at this same time that he accepted his first pastorate.

    Pastor Travis has prepared for ministry with studies at several renowned institutions. He is a graduate from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College with a BA in Pastoral Studies. He is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master’s Degree. In addition, he has studied at Liberty University and is presently studying to earn his doctorate at Andersonville Theological Seminary.

    Travis is married to his high school sweetheart, Jessica. They have been married for thirteen years and have three beautiful children, JaiCee, Silas and Titus. Jessica has studied at Morehead State University and Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. She presently homeschools their three children. As a family they desire to let their light shine!  

  • Eugene Howard

    Senior Adult & Pastoral Care Pastor

    Bro. Eugene Howard is the Pastor of Pastoral Care and Senior Adults. He has been involved in a variety of ministry positions in the Owensboro area since 1982. These include Pastor, Associate Pastor, Minister of Education and Youth Director. Bro. Eugene has been a member of Walnut Memorial since May 1993 and a staff minister since January 1995. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and a Master of Religious Education degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    He is married to Tonya (Stovall) Howard, who is a hairstylist. They are both natives of the Owensboro area. They have two children and two granddaughters.

    As Pastoral Care Pastor, Bro. Eugene has developed Care Ministries in the areas of Grief, Hospital Visitation and Follow-up and Nursing Homes/Shut-ins. The guiding scripture for the Care Ministry is Matthew 25:40 “...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

    In the area of Senior Adult Ministry, the focus is not only ministry and fellowship with our senior adults, but also leading them to minister to others. Bro. Eugene invites you to join in this journey of service to the Lord through these ministries.

  • Brian Elliott

    Worship Pastor

    Bro. Brian Elliott has served as the Worship Pastor at WMBC since June of 2010. He is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee but has lived in the great state of Kentucky for nine years. In 1997, Brian graduated from Carson-Newman University, a small Baptist college in East Tennessee with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He taught high school choral music for five years while serving in the church bi-vocationally. In 2003, he surrendered to full-time ministry and served as Minister of Music in the East Tennessee area. In 2007, Bro. Brian felt the calling to attend Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2011, he graduated from SBTS with a Master of Church Music degree.

    Brian met his lovely wife and ministry partner, Candace, while attending Carson-Newman and they have been married since 1998. Candace enjoys being a mom, organizing, scrapbooking, teaching the preschool choir, singing in the Worship Ministry, and teaching and encouraging other women.

    Brian and Candace have been incredibly blessed with five children: Trevor (2000), Chase (2004), Emily (2006), Sarah Kathryn (2008), and Brady (2010). As a family, the Elliotts choose each day for their house to serve the Lord! (Joshua 24:15)

    Isaiah 40:28-31 are Bro. Brian’s favorite verses in scripture. Eternal hope and strength for every part of life, in every circumstance, comes from trusting, waiting, and resting in the Lord. One of Bro. Brian’s favorite chapters concerning worship is Psalm 150. These verses challenge believers to praise God for who HE is and what HE has done. The last verse commands, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”

  • Donald Rice

    Student Pastor

    Donald and his wife Shelby serve together in the leading the teenagers here at Walnut Memorial. They have been members of Walnut since 1997. They have been serving in the Student Ministry for many years as High School Bible Study Teachers, Youth Leaders, and Small Group Leaders. Donald and Shelby previously served in Children’s Ministry for 5 years teaching Children’s Bible study, Missions, and as T & T Directors in Awana.

    Donald was ordained into the Deacon Ministry in 1999; he held the position of Chairman from 2007-2011. In 2011 Donald was ordained into the Gospel Ministry. Donald has an Associate’s Degree as an Electronics Technician and works full time for Johnson Controls since March 1993. 

    Donald and Shelby were married on September 3, 1993. They have 3 daughters, Corie Paige, Averie Danielle and Mallorie Cierra.

  • Scott Seiber

    Children & Family Pastor

    Bro. Scott Seiber joined Walnut Memorial Baptist Church as the Children and Family Pastor in November of 2016. He has served the Lord in ministry since 2005. In 2007 he followed the Lord to Ewing, VA where he served as youth pastor for five years at Ewing First Baptist Church. In September of 2012 he became Student and Family Pastor at Whitley City First Baptist Church and served there for four years.

    Bro. Scott and his wife, Stephanie, are 2012 graduates of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College with BAs in Pastoral, Missions and Evangelism, and Church Ministries, respectively.

    Scott and Stephanie were born and raised in Bell County, Kentucky. They were married in 2006 and shortly after, God began to grow their family. They are blessed with seven children: Samuel, Stella, Asa, Timothy, Maewyn, Gale and Arrow. They have served as foster parents, and surrogate parents for many other children and youth. God has given them a passion for children and for family. Their family verses are the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and Psalm 127.

  • Shane Kahkola

    Connections Pastor

    Shane is a newcomer to the Walnut Memorial staff. He and his wife Lynn have four children and have been married for twenty-six years. They have served along side of each other as they ministered to adults, college students, youth, and young children.


    Lynn earned a B.A. in Christian Ministries from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a M.S. in Library Information Science from Indiana University. She has spent most of their married life as a stay-at-home Mom homeschooling all four children. She has also served as Library Director for Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.


    Shane was licensed in 2003 and ordained in 2012. His ministry passion is discipleship and training. Shane is a 2010 graduate of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College where he earned a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry. In 2016 he earned his M.A. in Christian Studies from the University of the Cumberlands. Shane has served as children’s ministry leader, youth pastor, and senior pastor for various churches of varying sizes. His most recent position was Director of Information Technologies at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.