Meet the Team

Pastors & Staff

Blake McKinney

Lead Pastor

Blake McKinney has been our pastor since 2010. He has also served churches in Arkansas, Ohio, and Georgia. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, Southern Seminary, and Fuller Seminary. Blake is married to Gayla, and they have 3 kids: Justin, Caleb, and Sarah. You can read some of his work here:

Gary Snowden

Associate Pastor

Gary Snowden has served as the associate pastor of FBCLS since September 2003. Prior to that time, Gary and his family served as missionaries in Argentina and Mexico for 16 years. Gary (originally from Texas) is married to Annetta Marie, a native of Kansas City and they have four sons: Jason, Joel, Joshua, and Jonathan. They are also the proud grandparents of Kelsey, Andrew, Nathan, and Jonah.

Karen Sherman

Church Business Administrator 

Karen Sherman began working as an assistant to Worship and Administration for First Baptist Church since September of 2007. In 2022 she took over the position of Church Business Administrator. She is married to Mark and they have two beautiful daughters: Hannah and Sarah.  They have been members of First Baptist since 1998. 

Lee BArnett

Minister of Worship and Next Steps

Lee Barnett joined the staff of FBCLS as Minister of Worship and Next Steps in January 2022, after a couple of decades of serving in worship ministry in Arkansas. He met his wife, Elizabeth, while both were students at Ouachita Baptist University. They both graduated from OBU as well as Southwestern Seminary. Lee and Elizabeth have two daughters: Cadence, a student at California Baptist University, and Garner, newly married to Eli Schroeder and a recent graduate of OBU.

Matt Parker

Minister to Students

Matt has been Minister to Students since August 2020. When he’s not hanging out with teenagers and student ministry leaders, he is playing games with his 4 remarkable kids, working on projects with his wife, Misha, or running. One of his core values is that parents are the primary spiritual teachers of their kids, and it’s his passion to equip them to fully embody that role. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and Dallas Theological Seminary. 

Kimberley McElroy

Minister to Children

Kimberley McElroy is our Minister to Children. She has a Music Education Degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master's Degree in Christian Ministry, with a concentration in Children's Ministry from East Texas Baptist University. In addition to making puns and quoting random facts about her home state of Texas, Kimberley is passionate about partnering with families to teach children how to have a life-changing relationship with Christ.

Rachel Esely

Director of Preschool Ministries

Rachel Esely is our Director of Preschool Ministry. She has been a Pre-K teacher for 10 years, an assistant preschool director for 2 years, and has served in Preschool and Kid’s ministry for 12 years here at FBCLS. Rachel has a degree in English from the University of Missouri - Columbia. Her passion is early childhood education! Rachel loves teaching little ones and equipping others to share the love of Jesus with preschoolers and their families through hands-on learning, fun, and fellowship. Rachel is married to her best friend, David, and they have two kids: Kendall and Dylan.

Jaron Moots

Contemporary Worship Leader and Minister to Young Adults

Jaron is married to his beautiful wife Madeline. He has lived in Raymore his whole life. He loves people, music, and he has a great passion to lead all people of all ages in worship to God through music. 

Carl gregory

Director of Video Production

Carl Gregory serves as the Director of Video Production.  His mission is to use media to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone.  Carl graduated from Park University for Broadcasting, and has used his audio, video, and graphics skills in commercial and educational roles.  He is a certified drone pilot, and enjoys capturing video from the air.  Carl also takes part in missions work using his media skills to serve the Lord.  He loves being a dad, enjoys playing guitar, and is always ready for a conversation about the Lord.

Tanya Thierry

Office Manager

Tanya Thierry has been attending First Baptist Church since 1961. She has had the privilege of teaching various ages in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School over the years. She began working in the church office on February 25, 2002 and has served in many roles.

Christy Burns

Family Ministry Administrative Assistant

Christy joined the staff earlier this year. She works primarily with the Family Ministry staff.

Madeline moots

Administrative Assistant 

Madeline is a part-time Administrative Assistant and helps with financial duties and provides support for the music ministry.

Katie Rowland

Administrative Assistant 

Katie is a part-time Administrative Assistant creating graphic design and providing support for ministry staff with communication and promotion needs. She went to The Art Institute of Kansas City for graphic design and has taught art classes for all ages for many years. She's incredibly enthusiastic to create, learn, and grow in her skills. Take a look around the church and you might find something she's had a hand in creating.

Ann Grayson

Custodial Supervisor

Ann has been working at FBCLS since 2015 making sure our buildings are clean and spotless. She not only supervises but trains the part time facility staff. Ann worked for Cobb County School District in 2007 to 2010 in Marietta, Georgia.  She is the mother of 9 kids that are now spread throughout the USA from Texas, to Arizona, to Florida, and Atlanta. Ann is a great asset to FBCLS!

Ryan Wagoner

Facilities Manager

Ryan is a Jack-of-All Trades. Graduate of Raytown High, he met his
wife, Nita, in 1989. Enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1999 and became a
submarine nuclear electrician, he accepted Christ after boot camp.
Ryan and Nita got married in 2002, here at FBCLS. He has since retired
from the Navy and moved his family back to KCMO. Ryan provides small
repair work here at FBCLS. "If you can't fix it, IT doesn't need to be fixed". -GW