Our Pastors

In Scripture, the term pastor is interchangeable with overseer, elder, and shepherd. The significance of this office emerges from God’s heart for his church.  God has set the standard as the definitive shepherd, one who leads with truth and grace, justice and love. In God’s gracious provision of pastors, he extends his love and care to his people. Likewise, pastors are sheep under God’s care. They are called and gifted by God to lead and teach the church. In fact, the pastor’s primary responsibility is to faithfully and effectively teach God’s word to His people. Equally important, pastors must possess high moral character and live lives that commend the gospel and set an example for others. Such men are recognized and affirmed by the church. Through their example and teaching, pastors extend the Lord’s compassionate disposition towards his church. The following men serve as pastors of SGCL:

CJC.J. Mahaney 

C.J. serves as the Senior Pastor for Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has authored several books, some of which you'll find on our resources page. C.J. and his wife, Carolyn, have three married daughters, one married son, and twelve grandchildren. C.J. cheers for The Washington Football Team, Washington Nationals, and University of Maryland basketball, and he cheers against the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Duke basketball.


Brian Chesemore

Brian has served in pastoral ministry since 2003, and serves currently as a full-time pastor for Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, overseeing many of the day to day activities of the church. He is married to Kristin and they have three sons and one daughter.


Chad headshot
Chad Hester

Chad primarily oversees the Singles Ministry of SGCL while also looking to serve the church in a variety of other ways. He and his wife Casey moved to Louisville in 2013 and have four daughters. He graduated from the Sovereign Grace Pastors College in 2016 and earned a M.Div. from Southern Seminary in 2016. Chad was ordained as a pastor in 2021.

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Bob Kauflin 

Bob oversees the music of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville and helps provide pastoral care. His full time job is serving as the Director of Sovereign Grace Music. Bob and his wife, Julie, have four married daughters, two married sons, and an ever growing number of grandchildren.

Jeff Purswell 

Jeff serves the church through preaching and helping C.J. oversee the teaching diet of the church, along with pastoral care. Jeff is the Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. He and his wife, Julie, have two sons.


GaryGary Ricucci

Drawing on almost 45 years of experience, Gary serves SGCL primarily through pastoral care, teaching, counseling, and training. He is married to Betsy and they have two daughters, two sons and six grandchildren. This is the second church Gary has planted with C.J. Gary & Betsy are Colonial Williamsburg and Walt Disney World enthusiasts (but not exactly in that order!).


SteveSteve Whitacre

Steve serves Sovereign Grace Church by overseeing the G2 youth ministry, Sunday classes, and leadership development. He pastored in Virginia for ten years before moving his family to Louisville to continue his theological education. He is currently working on a PhD in biblical theology and joined this pastoral team in 2018. Steve and his wife Nicole have four children.  


TysonTyson Ziegler

Tyson is passionate about seeing people live in the good of the gospel. So it gives him incredible joy to serve primarily with counseling  and discipleship ministries in our church.  After having served as a pastor in Northern Kentucky for four years, he along with his wife Debbie, and their four children moved to Louisville in 2015. He graduated with his M.Div. from Southern Seminary in 2017 and was ordained as a Pastor in 2018.