Rev. Dr. Brian Henderson, DMin

Executive Director | Denver, CO

Rev. Dr. Brian Henderson is an ordained American Baptist minister who has served three congregations over 25 years. Brian worked with AWAB’s Board and Staff since 2019 before beginning as full-time Executive Director in 2024.

Outside of his ministry responsibilities, Brian loves traveling and spending time with his three young adult (nearly) children.

Natalie Aho

Development Director | Durham, NC

Natalie Aho has spent over twenty-four years as a professional in communications, program development, fundraising, and as an educator. She was most recently employed at Wake Forest University School of Divinity as the Program Manager for the Baptist Commons and as program director for three Lilly Endowment grants. Previously, she was the Director of Engagement and Annual Giving at Baptist News Global and spent over a decade as a communications consultant. She obtained her Master of Science in Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University in 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University (1999).

She is married to Rev. Dr. Chris Aho who has been in pastoral work for over 24 years. He is the Director of Thriving Congregations for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. They live in Durham, North Carolina, with their two sons and are members at Watts Street Baptist Church. 

Janet Cole

Administrative Coordinator | Louisville, KY

Janet Cole joined the AWAB staff in February 2017 to assist in communication and management of member records. She lives in Louisville, where she is a member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church and had served as their Administrative Assistant since 1992 until her retirement in November of 2021.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, her home church was Ruhama Baptist Church. Janet is a graduate of Auburn University (WAR EAGLE!!). She is married to Pat Cole and has one adult daughter, Hilary Jones, who has graced the family with a beautiful granddaughter, Amelia. Her hobbies are reading, sewing, watching Law & Order (all versions), Longaberger baskets — and being Gran!

James Rice III 

Communications Coordinator | Austin, TX

James Rice III is a minister, life coach, and seasoned communications professional. He holds his B.A. in Communication from Queens University of Charlotte and has been active in his local queer community since 2013. Before joining AWAB, James spent six years working with LGBTQ Youth at Time Out Youth Center in Charlotte, NC.  A self-described “Son of a preacher man,” James has been in church his whole life. He was baptized as a child at the historic Rock Hill Baptist Church (Ridgeway, SC), was ordained in his family’s outreach ministry at age thirteen, and currently serves on the media ministry team at AWAB member church, St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church (Charlotte, NC). James is known for his infectious charisma, captivating speaking, and unapologetic authenticity. “I am the sum of all my parts,” James said. “I am Black, I am Gay, I am a Minister, and I’ve learned I never have to choose between them.” James lives in Austin, Texas, and outside of work, he loves binge-watching House Hunters and enjoys being the favorite “Guncle” in the world to his nine nieces and nephews.