Richard was born in Sparta, Georgia. While an infant his family moved to Athens where he spent his formative years. During this time, Richard responded to the invitation for salvation at East Athens Baptist Church, but after years of doubts and questions he confirmed his salvation as a teenager. As an adolescent his family then moved to Sandersville where they were active members of Sisters Baptist Church and where he graduated from Washington County High School. During this time, Richard received his call to the gospel ministry.
Upon graduating high school, Richard attended Georgia College (now Georgia College and State University) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics. Following completion for his degree, he enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He attended Sagamore Hills Baptist Church where he gained valuable ministry insights. He graduated with a Master of Church Music Degree with a concentration in piano.
Richard's calling has been affirmed in several churches, the first being Southside Baptist Church in Fort Pierce, Florida. It was at this church Richard would meet the love of his life, Donna Finger. They were wed on January 21, 1983 and celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary before her untimely death on October 1, 2008. As they dealt with the joys and trials of life, their marriage was always filled a with deep love for each other.
Before coming to FBC Jefferson, Richard served at FBC Trion, Georgia and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Lavonia, GA, as well as an interim position at Sisters Baptist Church, Sandersville, GA and a part-time ministry at Hill Street Baptist Church, Toccoa, GA Richard is an active member of the Sons of Jubal, the men's choral group affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. He spends much of his free time reading, and occasional visit with his parents, and with his "daughter" (the variety with a wagging, though bobbed tail). Her name is Abby.