Rev. Richard Cox


Pastor Richard is husband to Anne and father to Eleanor (Ellie 13), Charlotte (Charlie 6), and Jude (5). His greatest passion in life is to help people connect with Jesus Christ in a way that is healing and transformative.


Pr. Richard grew up in the Midwest but moved to the East Coast during his high school years. Before entering the ministry fulltime, he studied journalism and picked up many of the associated skills. Today he still loves photography, writing, and all things related to technology. (Pr. Richard designed this website!) 

Pr. Richard has also served the Church in a variety of ways including planting music ministries, small groups, and discipleship programs. He currently plays several instruments and enjoys helping others learn to utilize their gifts to the serve the mission of the Gospel.

Pr. Richard is a “Lutheran transplant” and transferred his pastoral credentials to the LCMS four years ago. Before joining the LCMS, he served the SBC mostly in mission congregations or in a revitalizing capacity. He was educated in the SBC, but during the transition process, completed his LCMS pastoral credentials at Concordia Theological Seminary- St. Louis. Pr. Richard is always reading something and enjoys the challenge of a good theological conversation. He plans to take advantage of opportunities for continuing education throughout his ministry.

Pr. Richard’s family loves the Gulf of Mexico and likes to spend their vacations in the sand or at Disney.  They enjoy boating, hiking, and traveling. Ellie loves to read and is an avid gamer. Charlie, affectionately known as “little miss sunshine”, is excited to try new things and loves Disney princesses. Jude loves Legos, Mario, and swimming. Anne is a Disney “nerd” and loves cinema, comedy, and music.


Gwen Neal

Office Manager

Gwen has been Ascension's  Office Manager for over 20 years . She enjoys cooking, working out at the gym , eating healthy food and singing. 

Florida Tree.jpg

Ken Kepler

Director of Music

Like many of his childhood contemporaries, Mr. Kepler started piano lessons at age 6-- and wished to quit many times! Thankfully, he didn't and eventually took eight years of piano lessons, two years of organ lessons, and then three more years of piano. Along the way, he played cello and violin in school and taught himself the accordion. He did not plan to make of a career of music, and obtained a Bachelor of Theology degree with the intention of pursuing overseas mission work. Time eventually merged music and religion, and he has served continuously since 1983 as a paid musician in seven churches; the theology training led to several years of adjunct teaching in a community college. He operated a music studio during the 1990's.