Blake McKinney has been the pastor of First Baptist Church since January of 2010. He has previously served churches in Ohio, Arkansas, and Georgia. He is a native of Arkansas who was excited to move to Lee’s Summit just in time for all the snow! Blake is married to Gayla, and they have three wonderful kids: Justin (age 14), Caleb (age 12), and Sarah (4).
Blake graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1991. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. His interests include sports, the outdoors, guitar, and reading. His passion is to help people take the next step in their journey with God.
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.
Gary graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and remains a staunch Longhorn fan as his burnt-orange office walls attest. He did his theological studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary—receiving an M.Div. in 1979 and a Ph.D. in 1986. Gary enjoys fishing, watching the Chiefs and the Royals, and two of the three “R’s”: reading and ’riting—but not so much the ’rithmetic. His passion is teaching the Bible and equipping leaders.
Allen Baker has served as the Minister of Discipleship at First Baptist since July 1, 1987. He was born and raised in Independence, Missouri. He accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and was baptized at the age of 13.
Allen met his wife, Brenda, while they both attended the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. They married in 1972 and now have three married children -- Aaron, Jennifer, and Gregory. Brenda is a native of Kansas City and is co-owner/human resources director of Metro Rehab Billing in Lee’s Summit.
Allen graduated from the University of Missouri--Kansas City in 1974 and has been a full-time minister since 1975. He has served in four different churches, all in the state of Missouri.
Allen says his very best friend is Brenda. They enjoy traveling together, both overseas and in the United States; going to movies and estate sales; and reading. They are also very proud grandparents of four wonderful grandsons AND one wonderful granddaughter!!
Randy Buffington has been the Minster of Worship/Arts since 1993. He has served several other churches in Missouri since being called to the Music Ministry in 1977. Randy is a native of Missouri and received his undergraduate and graduate music degrees from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO and Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.
Randy is married to Deanna and they have four children, Lindsey (28), Amy (22), Jacob (16), and Shae (13). He also has 2 wonderful granddaughters, Hadley & Nolan. Randy’s interests include tennis, running, bicycling and motorcycling. His greatest joy, in the ministry, is developing relationships with people through music and watching them use those talents for God’s glory. He LOVES youth choir!
Aaron Smith has served in the music ministry at FBCLS since childhood and began leading the Contemporary worship service in 2011. He gained experience through several local bands, and by leading the Student ministry's music. He was also the worship leader at the Baptist Student Union in for 2 years during his education at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri, where he graduated from in 2010.
Aaron married Elizabeth in 2011. They have recently bought a house and are enjoying life together. One of their biggest passions is the serve the church, and to equip others to do the same.
Aaron Huffman has been the Minister of Students since May 2013. He has previously served at First Baptist Church Del Rio, Texas. He was born and raised in Texas, but is so excited to be in Missouri where there are actually four distinct seasons a year! He met his wife, Andrea, while they both were attending Howard Payne University in Brownwood, TX. They married in August 2006 and welcomed their first child, Zoe Grace, on February 2nd.
Aaron graduated from Howard Payne University in 2006. He received his Master of Cross Cultural Studies degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. His interests include movies, sports, gaming, and spending time with his family. His passion is to see students become fully devoted to God and become Kingdom changers to the world around them!
Beth Garner became FBC’s first Church Administrator in February 2004. Although still learning new things as the years go by, she gained valuable experience for the administrator position with previous employment with the accounting departments of the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Missouri Bankers Association. She was raised on a farm near Mexico, Missouri, that has been in her family for almost one hundred years, and became a Christian at a small country Baptist church under the prayers, discipline, and influence of scores of relatives. She graduated from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in Warrensburg with a degree in Music Education.
Along with taking care of the business of the church, Beth has been called to help members find a place to serve whether in the church or in the community. In 2008 she received the designation of Certified Church Administrator through the National Association of Church Business Administration. Beth and her husband, Allen, have two grown children and two wild grandchildren.
Mike Eaton has been a member for 15 yrs. and is in his 8th yr. as facility manager. He lived his first 20 yrs. in KCMO and the next 26 yrs. in Southern California. He and his family moved to Lee’s Summit in 1995. He is married to Nancy, 40 yrs., and they have 2 married daughters. Laura and husband (Olathe KS) have graciously provided 3 granddaughters Isabella (6), Emmerson (4) and Katelynn (2). Michelle and husband (Hesperia Calif.) have graciously provided a grandson RJ (10).
Mike graduated from Northeast High School (KCMO) , spent 1 yr. at Southwest Baptist College and 4 yrs. in the Navy. He enjoys family, friends, neighbors, sports, fishing, outdoors, music (favorite So. Gospel quartet , country), duets with Nancy and kids from church, exercising and running.
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, currently currently serving with the Youth and Young Adult ministries. She began working in the church office on February 25, 2002 as ministry assistant to the Senior Adult and Music Ministers. She now serves as assistant to the Pastor and the Minister of Students & Recreation. Tanya is married and has 3 sons and a daughter-in-law.
Tanya loves being outdoors, and her favorite indoor activity is reading. Her passion is to lead youth and young adults into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Joni Notestein is Ministry Assistant for the Associate Pastor, Minister of Discipleship and Minister of Children. She has been here at FBCLS almost 3 years and loves being here! Before this position, she was a preschool teacher for four years and then worked five years for the Lee’s Summit School District as a special education paraprofessional. She is married to John and has 3 children, Jaclyn(30), Christopher(28) and Amy(20). Her interests include gardening, scrapbooking, cooking, and playing with her dog, Millie and two cats, Charlie & Lizzie. Her greatest joy in serving here at FBCLS is getting to know our members better and helping them with any church needs they may have.
Karen Sherman has been working as a music associate for First Baptist Church since September of 2007. She is married to Mark and they have two beautiful girls: Hannah (12), and Sarah (10). They have been members of First Baptist for 12 years.
Karen graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1992 with a Bachelors in Nursing. She then worked as a nurse for ten years, before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Her interests include reading, sewing, and music. She loves playing in the church orchestra, in handbells, and singing in the choir. When not at church, you can find Karen enjoying her girls’ sporting events and musical performances.
Ginger Birch has been a member of First Baptist Church dating back to her teenage years. She was employed as the Worship Arts Associate in October 2007; however her involvement in music & drama ministries has been a lifetime affair. Ginger graduated in 2001 from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO with a degree in Vocal Music. Ginger really enjoys directing the First Acts Creative Arts ministry, which fits her well since her mom has always said she was a drama queen.
Ginger met her husband Michael here at FBCLS in the youth group. After 11 years of friendship, they tied the knot in 2005. They enjoy spending summer weekends at the lake and playing golf & tennis. Ginger is an avid local community theatre participant and sings with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus.
Trish Frevert is our Interim Minister of Children. She was raised in a loving Christian home in Raytown, MO with one sister and two brothers. She received a BS in Business from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in May, 1981.
Trish met her husband, Larry, in high school. They married in 1980 and God blessed them with four children-- Wesley, Thomas, Warren, and Lilly (and two daughters-in-law, Ashley and Lindsey).
I love being a grandma!
Along with exercising and reading, Trish enjoys volunteering and teaching preschoolers.