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James Harms

James Harms came to Mt. Carmel Baptist in August of 2019 and is actively getting to know the people of the church on a personal level while also reaching out to share God's love with the community. James is married to his wife of 30+ years, Kay. They have two kids, Daniel and Abigail, who have grown and gone.


James has served as the senior pastor in six churches over 30 years of full-time ministry. He preaches directly from the Bible and finishes each message with a challenge to show your faith through action. He also provides rich cultural context, original language insights, historical significance and everyday illustrations to help the text come to life.


James' goal as he preaches is life transformation, not just information gain.


James earned his undergraduate degree in psychology and Bible from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. He then received a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in 1990. Later, while pastoring his second church in Texas, James earned his Doctorate in Ministry (DMin) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana.


An avid reader, amateur photographer, history buff and college sports fan extraordinaire, James considers himself a lifetime student. It's out of his rich experience with learning that he teaches the Bible to his congregation and those he personally disciples. He also previously taught Old and New Testament classes at Wayland University in Sierra Vista, Arizona.


James roots for the Arizona Wildcats (his kids' alma mater)mand the Georgia Bulldogs (his wife's school). He'll talk college basketball or football with you anytime you want.

MInister to Students

Jeff Prince

  Send Email  •  (513)791-7323

Jeff came to Mt. Carmel in November 2010. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.

Prior to becoming a student minister, Jeff worked five summers with Centrifuge camps.  Jeff  reads, watches movies, enjoys live music and plays fantasy hockey. On a sweet note, Jeff's new favorite doughnut shop is Duck Donuts.

Minister of Music

Jamie Holdren

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Jamie received her B.M.E. from Georgetown College in Kentucky and an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

A native of Cincinnati, Jamie has been a member of Mt. Carmel since 1970 and began serving as Minister of Music in 2013.  She taught choral music at the Princeton City Schools for 29 years before coming on staff.   Jamie and her husband Bill, have two sons, Nick and James.  Music, gardening and reading top her list of favorite pastimes.

Minister to Children and Families

Mitch Casson

  Send Email  •  (513)791-7323

A northern Kentucky native, Mitch joined the Mt. Carmel staff in June 2015. His wife Sarah is committed to serving alongside him, and together they have three wonderful children, Carter (9) and Caraline (6) and Charlotte (3). Mitch graduated from the University of the Cumberlands in 2007 with a degree in church religion and followed up with a Master’s of Religion from Liberty University in 2013. In his free time, Mitch loves to hang out with his kids and play sports. He is also an avid Kentucky basketball fan.

Senior Adult Minister

George Staggs


George is from Bracken County, Kentucky. He is a retired Baptist minister, and a retired hospice chaplain. George loves to sing, and he is in the adult choir.  He still preaches occasionally, and he sings whenever and wherever he can.  He is married to Bobbie, and she teaches the 3rd and 4th grade Life Group at Mt. Carmel.  They travel whenever they can, but they have two grown children and six grandchildren, and they take up most of their spare time.  A little known fact about George is that he is a model train collector, and has built a huge display in his basement.



Debbie Phillips

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Debbie Phillips has served as the church secretary since 1995 and has been a member of Mt. Carmel since 1979. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an Associate's Degree in Business Management.  Her husband, Jerry, is a greeter in the preschool/children’s area and she is a Life Group teacher in our children's division. Debbie and Jerry have one son, Tyler, who is currently attending Truett Seminary at Baylor University. Debbie enjoys reading and hiking in her spare time.

Financial Administrator

Jenny McSwain

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Jenny became our Financial Administrator in May 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree of Associate of Applied Business in Accounting Technology. Jenny has been in the accounting field for the past 20 years. Jenny was baptized at Mt. Carmel, and she and her husband James became members of the church in 2005. Their extended family is also very active at Mt. Carmel. She loves watching her daughter play club soccer and her son play basketball and club soccer. She also enjoys reading and listening to music.


Day Care Director

Melissa Ventus

  Send Email  •  (513)984-8066

Melissa started working at Mt. Carmel Day Care mentoring under Myrtle Traughber. She has been at the Day Care for 19 years in the capacity of a teacher and assistant director. Melissa graduated from Mount St. Joseph University of Cincinnati, Ohio in 2016 with her Bachelors in Social Work and went to receive her Masters in Special Education at Ashford University in 2018.

A native of Cincinnati, Melissa enjoys reading and spending time with her son Quentin. An unknown fact about Melissa is that she loves to dance, especially for her church praise and worship dance ensemble.

  October 2020  
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