I am the pastor of Baldwin First United Methodist Church and beginning work at Baldwin First United Methodist Church in the summer of 2011 was a rich blessing. This is a great community and church, with lots of caring, concerned, loving people. It is good to be in a church that knows its role in the community and seeks to fulfill that. I grew up in Kansas City, KS, earned a B.S. in Speech Communication at Baker University, and received a Master of Divinity at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO. I have been in ministry for 35 years. I have been the pastor at several churches in Kansas including Fort Scott First United Methodist Church, Holton First United Methodist Church, Heritage United Methodist Church in Overland Park, Riley and Keats United Methodist Churches in Riley County, and Buffalo and High Prairie United Methodist Churches in Wilson County. As a minister, I have also served on the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church. My wife, Debbie, and I have been married for 30 years and have a daughter and son.
- Office Manager:
I am the Office Manager and Assistant to the Pastor at Baldwin First, and have been here for over 20 years. I especially enjoy greeting and visiting with those who come into the office. My husband, Tom, and I have three grown children.
- Director of Worship Arts:
I am the Worship Arts Director at Baldwin First. My job is to coordinate artistic elements of each service, whether it be artwork, dance, music or multimedia presentations. My main focus is music—I conduct the Adult Choir and Worship Band. Services are blended, meaning that depending on the Sunday, one might hear contemporary Christian favorites, traditional hymns, gospel hymns or occasionally bluegrass arrangements of hymns. I love all styles of music and try to incorporate as much diversity as possible.
- Organist and Pianist:
I am the organist and pianist for Baldwin First, and I'm so delighted to be a part of this amazing ministry staff and family. It is such a privilege to be able to collaborate with such hard working and dedicated staff to serve in ministry here at the church. My musical experiences hopefully match the diversity and musical needs of the church and community in our worship celebrations. I am presently the accompanist at Perry Lecompton High School and enjoy working and nurturing music development for all ages. I enjoy singing as well as keyboard playing and love the opportunity to share my talents. Baldwin First, what a great place to be!
- Director of Youth Ministries:
Since the fall of 2004, I have had the most amazing job -- I get to experience our awesome God working through the teenagers in our community! I work with quite an eclectic group of young people and our Youth Group is always growing, stretching, and making room for more -- God's house is never full. I love teaching the teens about God's Word and helping them to develop and strengthen their personal relationships with Christ! Serving beside, worshipping with, and caring for our teens are some of my favorite activities. The youth have taught me so much! Making my work possible is my wonderfully supportive husband Russ and our two terrific kids Peyton and Alyson.
- Director of Children's Ministries:
I am the Director of Children's Ministries at Baldwin First. I have been blessed to be a part of the church staff since September 2004. What I love most about being a part of Children's Ministries is experiencing the excitement of children as they worship Jesus. I love how they dance, sing, and shout their praises to God without holding back whatsoever. They remind me that I too, am a child of God and I should praise Him with all that I have in me! In addition to my work at Baldwin First, I teach elementary music in Ottawa, Kansas. I am married to Mike Todd, and we are blessed with three children: Michaela, Ryan, and Olivia.
- Youth Minister Intern: Hannah Schaake
I am the Assistant to the Youth Director, the lovely Eva Durand. I am currently a senior at Baker University studying Secondary Education and History. As a member of Calvary UMC in Wichita, KS I have been involved in local, district, and conference levels. God has blessed me in so many ways and this job allows me to share the love of Christ with the youth of Baldwin. It is my constant prayer that these youth will get to know God on personal level and experience is love daily!
- Custodian: Dexter Gratts
I am the one usually working behind the scenes at Baldwin First. It has been a joy and a blessing to have worked here for almost a decade now. That wasn't really my plan when I first moved back to Baldwin, but you have to be ready to go where God leads you.
Other volunteers who give their time and effort to our many ministries:
Church Council Chairperson: Chris Lawrenz
Lay Leader: Carolyn Groves
Pastor-Parish Relations Chairperson:
Committee on Finance Chairperson: Mike Curran
Board of Trustees Chairperson: Darren Lawrenz