Four new members join Sunrise board of directors

Sunrise Children’s Services, Kentucky’s largest private child services provider, announces the addition of four individuals to its board of directors as the nonprofit grows and adapts to the changing demands of caring for children in crisis.

Sunrise’s newest board members as of Jan. 2017 include:

Michael Edwards is currently the senior pastor at Adairville Baptist Church in Adairville, Ky. He previously served as the pastor for local impact, missions and evangelism at Living Hope Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky., where he oversaw a number of ministries to local citizens, as well as a ministry to orphans, and children in foster care. Mr. Edwards has served on the Citizen Foster Care Review Board, and attended the Commonwealth’s foster care training. He has been married to Stacy for 14 years and they have five children.

“Sunrise Children’s Services is the Commonwealth’s best and most effective way to care for the children of Kentucky,” Edwards said. “Having ministered to many inmates and former inmates, I’ve seen what happens when care for kids goes wrong, as it so often does. For children who don’t have competent parents, I know from experience there is hope for them through faith-based organizations like Sunrise. I intend to contribute to the care of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens by holding the organization accountable to the theological and teleological convictions of Kentucky Baptists.”

O’Neil Harrell, a native of Leitchfield, Ky., is founder and president of South State Contractors Inc., a metal siding contractor located in Oakland, Ky.  He is a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, where he currently serves as a Sunday school teacher and deacon.

“In raising two sons and being a grandfather to five grandchildren, I’ve garnered a heart for children, especially for those who have been neglected and abused,” Harrell said. “I have been a financial supporter of Sunrise for many years and sought to broaden my commitment to their Christ-centered ministries of providing care and hope to hurting children.”


Joe A. Owen, of Brentwood, Tenn., and Calvert City, Ky., is a graduate of Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a J.D. degree from the University of Louisville Law School. Since 2001, he has been the owner, CEO and president of Brentwood-based Guardian Group, which has operations in numerous states and countries. For 35 years, he has been actively involved in ownership, development and management of real estate projects in Kentucky, Tennessee and other areas of the Southeast. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Murray State University Foundation and past president and board member of the American Association of International Healthcare Recruiters.

“Serving on the Sunrise board of directors is an opportunity to participate in an organization that is providing desperately needed care to the neglected and abused children in the state,” Owen said.

Leigh Ann Siener lives in Paducah, Ky. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Murray State University. She has experience in both the public schools and early intervention healthcare. Ms. Siener is currently a homemaker and serves on both local and statewide mission teams through her church, Heartland Worship Center. She and her husband Jason are founders of Parents with Hope, a fund that provides lodging, gas and childcare for families who have children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Miss.

“As a Christian, I am called to serve people in need. I want those individuals to know they are loved and beautifully made with a special purpose on this earth,” Siener said. “Although they may be broken from a painful past, it is important they know their future can be full of hope, peace and joy. Sunrise represents the heart of this mission. I am so thankful and blessed to be part of a ministry that is empowering and changing lives one child at a time.”

Sunrise Children’s Services would like to sincerely thank outgoing board members James Gary, Jenny Oldham and Alice Pepper for their leadership and continued support in advancing the organization and its mission. A full list of Sunrise board members is available here:

Sunrise Children’s Services offers Kentucky’s hurting children and families a continuum of Christ-centered care, including therapeutic, residential and foster care programs for abused, abandoned, and victimized children throughout the state. Sunrise’s nonprofit ministry began in 1869 — today, it is a fully licensed behavioral health service organization helping change the lives of at-risk children throughout the Commonwealth. For more information or to learn how you can help a child in crisis, call 1.800.456.1386.

Written by Melissa Bailey, Sunrise Associate Director of Communications.

Jake Pelfrey