First Lady Candace Cunningham is the loving and devoted wife to the pastor of the Hear The Word Bible Church, Pastor Thomas E. Cunningham.

She accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior in 1970 at Wells Cathedral Church of God in Christ where she served on several ministries for a number of years and she rededicated her life to Christ while in college in 1982. A distinguished woman in her own right, First Lady Candace received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 1984 and her Master's degree in Special Education from Trinity College in 1995. Her love for the Lord, His people and ministry has inspired her to further pursue certification in Christian Counseling through AACC.

First Lady Candace's greatest desire is to walk in excellence before the Lord, serve others and to be a woman who is yielded to God in every area of her life. She relishes her various leadership roles in ministry at Hear The Word Bible Church. She serves as the leader of the Women's Ministry where her desire is to reach and touch the heart's of other women, so that they can experience the depth of God's love for them and fulfill the destiny He has designed for their lives. First Lady Candace also serves as the leader of "Real Talk Wednesdays" ministry where she strives to teach, encourage and equip teenage ladies to become disciplined young women of Christ. She has a heart for people and is humbled to serve as a helpmate to her husband in the several other ministries that God has birthed at Hear The Word Bible Church.

When she is not serving in ministry, First Lady Candace spends her time working in her profession and passion as an Autism Specialist and working with children with special needs, maintaining the Cunningham's home and spending quality time with family and friends.


To develop a multi-generational, inter-generational congregation in which people joyfully experience expressions of faith and declaration of victory in Christ Jesus. To educate and empower all on the relationship, character and commission needed to become effective servants of the Lord to others.

HTWBC will move in the spirit of excellence, becoming a proactive people in our local area and abroad in reaching the hurting and the lost by teaching them and being a Christ-like model of faith, passionately leading persons in powerful praise and intimate worship of the Almighty.

Our First Lady

Our Family

Our Pastor

Born in Washington, D.C., Pastor Thomas Cunningham was raised in a God-fearing home with two brothers and four sisters.  At the age of 13, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  Later in his life, he strayed away from the Christian faith.  In 1990 he rededicated his life to Christ and began serving in his local church.  He became a Deacon in 1992 and soon recognized God’s call on his life and his call to the ministry in 1994.  Pastor Cunningham was licensed as a minister at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Charles E. Cato, Sr. and was ordained a Pastor in 2000.

In August 2001, Pastor Cunningham held Bible Study classes at the rental office of an apartment complex in Lanham, MD.  For two years he and a handful of faithful believers met every Wednesday night to hear him teach and expound on the word of God.  Being led by the Holy Spirit to know and fulfill God’s purpose for his life God began to speak to his heart about establishing Hear The Word Bible Church. 

In 2004, Pastor Cunningham founded Hear The Word Bible Church, a non-denominational house of worship where he preaches, teaches, and ministers the love of God.  The church opened its doors with a membership of 15 believers, and two active ministries.  Today, the church has a membership base of over 250 followers and more than 15 active ministries.

Pastor Cunningham is also the founder of T.C. Community Development Services, Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to increase unity in the community through educating and promoting awareness of resources available within the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas.  Pastor Cunningham is a man that knows God, seeks God, labors before God, and preaches the Word of God.  He has a passion for the souls of the people and the church, and preaches God’s word with love and conviction.

Pastor Cunningham studied religion at Washington Bible College, Howard University and Omega Bible Institute and Seminary.  He has Master’s degree in Theology and will be completing his Doctorate in Christian Education in the summer of 2018.  Pastor Cunningham is married to the lovely First Lady Candace and has two daughters, Daria and Jasmine and one son, Jared.

Pastor Cunningham’s Favorite Scripture:  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners whom I am chief.  However, for this reason, I obtained mercy that in me first, Jesus might show long suffering as a pattern to those who are going to believe on him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Our Strength