Staff

Tom Harder

Tom Harder

Pastor
pastor@fmchillsboro.com

Tom Harder has significant historical connections with Hillsboro. His great-great-grandfather Johann Harder was one of the original settlers of the Gnadenau village just south of Hillsboro, having come from the Ukraine by ship in 1874. Johann is buried in the Gnadenau cemetery two miles south on Indigo Road (as are both Tom’s parents, Leland and Bertha). Tom’s great-grandfather David Harder was one of the early faculty members at Tabor College (and is buried in the cemetery on D Street). Tom’s grandfather Menno also taught at Tabor, while his grandmother Katherine had a beauty shop in town.

Tom grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, where both of his parents taught at the Mennonite seminary. He attended Bethel College (as did his parents and older brother John), majoring in music. His plan was to teach music at a major university, and to that end earned a master’s and doctorate in classical guitar performance. But God had other plans.

Tom and Lois met at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan (a very important place in both of their lives), had their wedding there, and two of their three daughters were born there. After serving six years as coprogram directors of the camp, they moved to Wichita in the fall of 1996, where they began serving as copastors at the Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church. During that time, they both earned their Master of Divinity degrees from AMBS (2006). They resigned just this past August after twenty-two years at the church.

Tom and Lois continue to perform together as a duo, but unfortunately their family band (“Five Times Harder”) is at least three times harder to get together, as all three daughters have now left home. Meanwhile, Tom feels very much at home in pastoral ministry.

Kara Unruh

Kara Unruh

Secretary
secretary@fmchillsboro.com

Kara (Schlotthauer) Unruh is an Oklahoma girl who found Kansas by way of Tabor College, which recently became her alma mater. Her passions for both the Word of God and writing led her to obtain majors in Biblical Studies and Communications. While at Tabor, Kara met Hillsboro native Avery, who kindly gave her a shorter last name in October 2020, smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to serving at FMC, Kara can be found most weekdays and Saturdays serving coffee as a barista at Rhubarb Market just down the street. She loves working alongside her husband and inlaws to craft not only a great cup of joe, but also a cozy atmosphere for community.