Our Team

Matt Thistle

Lead Pastor

Matt grew up in Maine where his father was a pastor and their family planted a church in the late 80’s. Matt and his wife, Denise, have been married for 14 years and have a beautiful daughter, Jocelyn. They moved to the Fishers community in 2015 to be part of the Hamilton Hills family. Matt has been in pastoral ministry for over 13 years and has a heart for reaching people for Jesus.

The Thistle’s love serving and doing life in Hamilton County. Matt is a 90’s music enthusiast and loves traveling, going to sporting events, and spending time with his family.

Claire Ray

HH Kids Director

Claire Ray was born and raised right here in Fishers, Indiana. She and her husband, Kyle, are high school sweethearts and have been married for 10 years. They have three amazing kids: Ella, Kase, and Kolly. Claire graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with an elementary education degree. She taught third grade for three years before staying home with her kids. Claire felt God calling her into a new season of life and she is so excited to be using her love for children and Jesus in this new role. Claire is passionate about helping kids feel safe, loved, and cultivating their love for Jesus.

As a former college athlete, Claire has a passion for basketball and mentoring high school girls through the sport. She loves March Madness, oreo extreme cheesecake, and watching movies with her family.

Cody Connor

HH Students Director

Cody Connor was born in Longview, Texas, and lived there until he was nine years old. His life then took a wild turn when his parents decided to take the family to China and serve as missionaries. Cody then spent the next ten years of his life there, and eventually moved back to the States for college in Arkansas, where he played college basketball, and most importantly, met his future wife Breanna. Together, they have a son, Dax.

Cody loves to spend his free time playing golf, sand volleyball, and basketball. He is also a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, so take it easy on him!

Kendra Hays

Director of Operations

Kendra is a Kentucky girl whose parents took her and her brother to church every time the doors were open…and lots of times when they weren’t open since her dad worked there. Her family also really loved music and Kentucky basketball. Though she took a non-traditional path to working in the church, Kendra would love to tell you the story of God’s faithfulness in calling her to staff at Hamilton Hills.

She and her husband Blake love anything outdoors from camping in the mountains to fishing at the beach. You’ll also find them doing home renovation projects.

Scott Mercer

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Scott was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. He and his wife, Kristi, have four children: Khloe, Kelsey, Kara, and Max. Scott did his undergraduate in Pastoral Theology and his Master’s in Theological Studies. From a young age, Scott felt God calling him into the ministry. He and Kristi were missionaries in Thailand for five years, and then served at a church in Arkansas for five years. Scott has taught theology at a collegiate level for four years.

His passions are teaching, hermeneutics, apologetics, and missions. When Scott is not serving, he likes to watch The Office, follow the Cubs, or play Pickleball.

Mary Griffey

Office Administrator

Mary is from Indiana and has lived in Fishers for over 25 years. Mary serves on staff as the Office Administrator. She has served in various ministries within the church including Children’s Ministry, First Impressions Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. Mary is happily married to her husband, Dave, and between them, they have six grown children. They enjoy camping, kayaking, and hiking.

Brad Thuerbach

Worship Pastor

Brad grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He and his wife, Taylor, have been married for five years and have two kids together: Judah and Selah. Over the course of their relationship, the Thuerbachs have lived in San Diego, Maui, and Montana, but are hoping to set down permanent roots here in Hamilton County. Brad graduated from San Diego Christian (where he and Taylor met) with a degree in music. He loves all things sports and music, and is not-so-secretly a huge nerd.

He and Taylor are passionate about loving Christ and loving others, and are excited to serve here at Hamilton Hills! Coffee and/or food meetups are heavily encouraged with this family!

Denise Thistle


Denise is from California and was raised by her Godly mother, a first generation Christian and immigrant from Mexico. Denise came to know the Lord at a young age, and has a heart for reaching people of all nationalities for Jesus. In college, she met her husband, Matt, while volunteering for a ministry that reached inner city children. They’ve been married for 14 years, and have a beautiful daughter, Jocelyn.

The Thistles moved to Fishers in 2015 to join the Hamilton Hills family. They love this community and are passionate about living life on mission. Denise loves the Dodgers, a good brunch, Spanish music, and spending time with her family.

Our Elders

Matt Davis

Tom Salsbury

Dave Smyth

Seth Wilson

Wayne Yocum