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.

Beth Garner

Minister of Administration and Mobilization

Beth became FBC’s first Church Administrator in February 2004 and the first Minister of Administration and Mobilization in January, 2015. A farm girl at heart, she grew up on land that has been in her family for almost one hundred years, and became a Christian at a white country church on a hill. She and husband, Allen, have two grown children and several wild grandchildren.

Phil Morgan

Interim Worship Coordinator 

Phil Morgan is no stranger to the Christian music world. A professional musician and singer/songwriter for over 35 years, his lovely wife, Pam, joined him in 1996 to travel the country sharing their music and love for Jesus.  The couple have released 18 CDs, 2 videos, and 3 books, along with performing over 2,500 concerts.  Phil's original songs have been recorded by numerous artists and his weekly devotions are widely read.  Phil is eager to bring his years of experience, passion for music and devotion to Jesus to the wonderful worship program here at First Baptist. 
“In this life you can be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. For years I was smart, I recommend pleasant.” Elwood P. Dowd

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

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. He leads our contemporary worship service.

Carl gregory

Director of Video Production

Carl Gregory serves as the Director of Video Production at FBCLS.  His passion is to use media to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone.  Carl graduated from Park University for Broadcasting.  He is an FAA certified drone pilot, and enjoys flying.  Someone can often catch Carl talking at length about camera sensors, lenses, and the like.  Carl also loves to take part in missions work using his media skills to serve the Lord.  He plays guitar, and puts jalapeños on everything.  Carl is married to his faith-filled wife, Caitlin, and together they have three wonderful, ornery children.

Paul Morales

First Arts Director

Paul Morales is the director of First Arts Academy, an arts program for
Kindergarten through Sixth grade. The Academy runs on Sunday evenings
through the school year. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education
from William Jewell College and a Master of Music from in Music
Education/Conducting from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort
Worth, Texas.

Tanya Thierry

Ministry Assistant

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 is the ministry assistant to the Pastor and the Minister to Students & Young Adults.

Karen Sherman

Ministry Assistant

Karen Sherman has been working as an assistant to Worship and Administration for First Baptist Church since September of 2007. She is married to Mark and they have two beautiful teenage girls: Hannah and Sarah.  They have been members of First Baptist for 18 years. 

Debbie Whitford

Administrative Assistant 

Debbie is a part-time Administrative Assistant performing financial duties and providing support for ministry staff with communications needs.

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.

Seth Valet

Emeritus Facilities Manager

Seth is the head of our Facility and Safety Program here at FBC Lee’s Summit and has been serving since 2018.  Born and raised in the Kansas City area, he is married to an extremely patient wife and has 4 mildly-pleasant children.
With a giant shift in careers, he originally began serving at FBC by establishing the Church’s safety team and later invited surrounding congregations to join in safety/security oriented courses taught by himself and other specialists hosted by First Baptist.
Outside of FBC, Seth has been serving as a police officer for a department in North Kansas City and still runs the training program for them.  He loves to sing, enjoys mashing around on the pipe organ, hunts ducks and dabbles in almost anything mechanical.
As a former heathen, Seth recently gave up his wandering ways (although he still fails regularly) and now, is a mildly-pleasant addition to our staff.

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!

"It is NOT a clip!  It is a magazine"

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