Ministry Staff

  • Doug Axtell

    Lead Pastor

    Doug has been serving as pastor at MHBC since 2002. He is married to LaDean and they have two grown children, Josh and Charis. He earned his BA in sociology from Texas State University, his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Bethel Seminary. He loves spending time with his family, reading books, playing golf, and watching the NFL. His passion is to see the local church fulfill its God given potential to impact the world in its current reality.

  • Jay Stuckey, III

    Associate pastor

    Jay and his wife, Erin, are parents to Emily and James (Jay IV). He works with youth and preaches occasionally at Murray Hill. He also works as a specialist with Duval County Schools. His key focus at Murray Hill is getting the church involved in improving the community. He is a graduate of the University of North Florida and is a lifelong Georgia Bulldog fan.

  • Stacie Ponton

    Minister to Children

    Stacie has been children's minister at Murray Hill since 2003. She has been actively involved in Murray Hill's adoption of our neighborhood school: Ruth N. Upson Elementary. She volunteers in the PTA and school with a great deal of her time. She and her husband Mark have two grown kids, Will and Kenny. Stacie enjoys camping, gardening and cooking in her spare time. Most importantly, she enjoys being a grandma!


  • Joel Miller

    Worship Leader

    Joel has been on staff at Murray Hill since 2008, but he was born into the Murray Hill family. He and his wife, Julie, have been married since 2010 and have a little boy, Evan. In addition to his role at MHBC, he teaches Financial and Statistics at the High School level. Piano is his instrument of choice, and he also sings and plays guitar. In his free time, he likes cooking and geeking with technology, as well as watching any FSU or Jaguar game. Joel graduated from the University of North Florida with a BBA in Real Estate Finance in 2004.

  • Doug Cooley

    Community Life Director

    Doug and his wife, Carrie, have two young sons: Larsen and Westin. In addition to working here, he works full-time for Interline Brands. His primary focus at the church is overseeing Groups, connecting people to various spiritual growth opportunities, and enhancing the guest experience. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing the drums and watching sports. He has a Bachelors Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University. 

  • Katy Axtell

    minister to students

    Katy is passionate about building character in young people. She has worked with middle and high school students since 2005 and has been with the Murray Hill youth group since 2009. She hopes to create a warm and safe environment for youth to experience God’s love, explore faith, and learn to love well. Katy also works for Wounded Warrior Project, is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a MA in Human Services Counseling from Liberty University. She enjoys vanilla lattes, spending time with her family, reading, and Gilmore Gilmores.

Elders

While the ministry staff are paid and have specific roles within the church, the elders oversee the church and work as spiritual shepherds to ensure that we are seeking God's purposes in all we do. In addition to our lead pastor, the following people are active elders. Feel free to email the group at elders@mhbc.net.

  • Barbara leads a ladies Group and is an integral part of the Helping Hands Thrift Shop team and the Pacesetters ministry. Where there is a service ministry, you'll find Barbara. While she is now retired, she owned and operated a towing company for several decades.

  • Richard leads a young/median adults Group and a men's Group. He also takes people on kayaking and camping trips. He has also served as chairman of deacons and is very active in service ministries. For his day job, Richard owns and manages a paint and body shop.

  • Donnie  served as chairman of deacons before becoming an elder, and has been an integral part of the church's many service based ministries, including the Feeding Northeast Florida food distribution and a number of individual service projects. Donnie is also experienced as a corporate sales manager, project manager, a plumber and general handy-man. He brings a variety of experience to the group!

  • Gary leads a median adults Group and is an active part of the worship team. He has also been chairman of deacons and has worked in several other volunteer capacities in the church for many years. Gary has also worked as a manager with a large company and now owns and operates a real estate appraisal business.

  • Beverly has been involved in TeamKID and the music ministry at Murray Hill for a very long time. She has also served in a great number of service ministries and helped get a new young adults program launched in 2004 by volunteering her house. While Beverly is retired, she was a computer programmer for several decades.

  • Mike leads a men's senior adult Group. He has also been the chairman of deacons and has been an integral part of TeamKID on Wednesday nights. He has also  been a regular contributor to numerous service ministries at the church. Mike also has considerable management experience in his day job and brings a strong sense of servant-oriented leadership to the elders.