Pastors & Staff

At Redemption, we are "find a better way" people. Our staff exists to "find a better way" to help the people of Kirkwood and the surrounding areas to meet, know, and live for Jesus. Our roles and responsibilities vary, but our mission is the same. Each of the faces below represents many unseen volunteers doing the behind-the-scenes work to make your experience at Redemption excellent.

Cory Ball

Lead Pastor

Just like you, I have an origin story. I grew up in a family that was passionate about Ohio State football, Jesus, and the Church. In some ways, it was the default “Ohioian American” experience. At a Christian music festival just before turning thirteen, I made the decision to follow Jesus. In the years after accepting Jesus, I went on to pursue an undergrad degree in Student Ministry, and I am close to completing a Master of Arts in Theology. 
When I was at that music festival as a teenager, standing in the midst of 15,000 people, I never dreamt I would one day start a church in Kirkwood, Missouri for... you. Redemption is a church that exists to welcome those who have struggled to feel welcomed in a church. If you have ever felt that, then Redemption is for you. Welcome, we’re glad you’re here.

Graham Behnke

Redemption Kids Director

This is my dream job.  I love Children's ministry, Church Planting and Kirkwood and this job gives me the opportunity to do my favorite job in my favorite place.  What could be better?  
  • I describe myself as: determined, curious, problem solver 
  • My family describes me as: creative, nurturing, overcomer 
  • Educational Background
    • Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary
    • Bachelor of Music from Florida State University (that's the Noles not the Gators) 
  • Hometown: Ormond Beach, FL
  • Favorite Kirkwood Hangout: Oh...I can't pick just one...Amigos Cantina with friends or on a date, Kirkwood Library with my kids, YMCA by myself, Kaldis to study or meet a friend for coffee.  
  • Fun Fact: I lived in Bangkok for 2 years and one day an elephant walked into my office and peed on the floor.  I also love to cook Thai food. 

Marisa Lairsey

Ministries Administrator

I thrive on routines, lists & organization. I truly don't know how to function in chaos! Turns out those qualities are usually what teams are looking for in an administrative role. I have been doing this job, in some capacity, for over a decade now and I am so thankful for this new opportunity with the Redemption crew!

My most important roles and titles though are wife & mama. I married my best friend on January 1, 2022 and we welcomed our baby girl on December 29, 2022. Life is currently crazy, but the sweetest it's ever been.

I am so excited to be a part of this amazing team and community of Redemption Community Church!