Christopher (Chris) & Karen Harbin


Chris grew up in Brazil as a missionary kid. He graduated with a B. A. in modern languages from Mississippi College. During his college days, he served as minister of music at New Zion Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, MS, where he was licensed to preach and then ordained to the gospel ministry.

Karen grew up in Camden, SC and finished high school in Aiken, SC. She graduated with a B.A. in music from Meredith College.

At the end of college, Chris went back to the interior of the state of São Paulo as a BSU summer missionary, working with a Baptist boys' home at a farm. He then returned to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he and Karen met. They both received their Master of Divinity degrees in 1992. Upon graduation, Chris and Karen were appointed by the Foreign Mission Board to Xalapa, Mexico as Church Planter Apprentices. After the two-year assignment, they returned to Aiken, SC to do a one-year feasibility study for beginning an Hispanic church. After four months, Iglesia Bautista "Cristo te Ama" was holding regular worship services and home Bible studies in the area. At the close of their ministry there, Chris and Karen were appointed to Porto Alegre, Brazil, as career missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board.

Chris and Karen served for seven years in theological education. They both taught at the seminary in Porto Alegre, and Chris coordinated and taught in the seminary extension program. During their last year in Brazil, they were working with Traditionalist Gaúchos, a group of 4.2 million with little to no evangelical witness.

Upon leaving Brazil, Chris accepted a call to Rocks Baptist Church, Pamplin, VA. Along with ministry at Rocks, Chris and Karen worked with the Appomattox Baptist Association: Chris chaired the Partnership Missions Committee, and Karen served on the Missions Development Council. In 2004, Karen coordinated the association's On Mission Celebration. Chris participated in the Virginia Baptist Young Leaders Program and with the Appomattox County Ministerial Association. He enjoyed preaching revivals and teaching in Vacation Bible School at several churches. Karen worked with the Ministers' Wives Fellowship and as the local Operation Christmas Child Relay Center Coordinator.

In October of 2006, Chris and Karen went to Central Baptist Church—Lowesville to serve together as co-pastors. Chris did the majority of the preaching and visitation, while Karen focused on education, children's ministry, and special events.

Chris and Karen and their two sons born in Brasil enjoyed their rural setting of Central virginia, growing weeds in their garden and caring for an assortment of chickens.

In November 2009, Chris accepted a call to First Baptist Church of Huntersville, NC to serve as Associate Pastor for Latino Ministries. We are enjoying our ministry among Latinos in the Huntersville-Charlotte area, along with the challenge of ministering to peoples of so many Spanish-speaking cultures. It is good to be back in an urban and multi-ethnic setting. We are looking forward to what God would have us accomplish as we serve in this new context.