Elders, together with pastors, exercise leadership, government, and spiritual discernment for the life of Second Presbyterian Church. Meet your current Elders.
Meet Your Elders
Class of 2019
Sarah became a member of Second in the late 1990s when she graduated from the University of Missouri and moved to Kansas City from St. Louis. She is a lifelong Presbyterian. In high school, she took her first mission trip to Mexico with the church youth group. In 2015, she accompanied a few high school girls from Second on the mission trip to Thailand, and in 2016 she traveled with Heartland Presbytery to Guatemala. She is a Senior Compliance Administrator at a local bank. Sarah enjoys volunteering in the community.
David has been a member of Second since autumn 2008. He and his wife, Sondra, live in Westwood, Kansas. David is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in electrical engineering. Presently, he is retired after working 30+ years in the commercial nuclear industry. He enjoys volunteering at Harvesters, participating in Be the Church Sunday and playing bridge in the Parlor on Wednesdays. Also, he is a greeter and communion clean-up helper. David’s interests include traveling, taking day trips to historical sites and spending time with family.
Jeff has previously served as a Deacon, and has been involved as a guide in Journey to Bethlehem, as a participant in the Dinners for Eight program, and as a coffee server. He and his wife, Irene, have a son, Sam, who lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Jeff is a business owner. He has a degree from Longview Community College which he attained while working nights at the Hallmark Distribution Center in Liberty, Missouri. He also enjoys running and has participated in many road races around Kansas City.
Ellen was raised in northeastern Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University. She has been a lifelong Presbyterian and Wildcat fan. Ellen said, “Most of my career was as director of communications for various Illinois state officials. I moved to Kansas City in 2005, and worked in the non-profit sector before retiring in 2015. My first retirement project is to become a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I also enjoy spending time in Kansas’ beautiful Flint Hills.” Ellen joined Second as a member in 2005 and previously served as a Deacon.
John joined Second in 2012 after moving to Kansas City after graduate school. He previously served on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee and helped with audio. John and his wife, Samantha, have a son, Winston, and a daughter, Wren, who were both baptized at Second. He is a professor of Civil Engineering at UMKC where he is referred to as “Dr. Concrete.” He is currently a committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences and has been named one of the top five most influential people in the concrete industry. His research provides the opportunity to benefit the local and global community. Some current activities include water treatment in Kurdistan and beneficiating agricultural waste in Ghana. John enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, gardening, and working on their canned ham camper.
Tom said, “My family has been active here at Second for what will soon be a decade. We came in search of fellowship in Christ and found a welcoming home. I have previously served a term as Deacon and my wife, Jennifer, has served as an Elder, so rest assured we are aware of the honor of this responsibility and the commitment it demands and deserves. In addition to my service as a Deacon, I also was a member of the GPS Committee, have served on the Congregational Life, Worship, and Outreach and Hospitality Committees, and joyfully have been Chief Cook for our regular Sunday Lunches. Let’s go!”
Jason is originally from Denver, Colorado and attended Benedictine College. Over the course of his career, Jason has worked with large brands and agencies to develop dynamic interactive marketing solutions. He is currently Vice President Social Solutions at SMG – Service Management Group. Jason and his wife, Kat, were married in 2013 and together they have four children: Fischer, Jacob, Tyler and Olivia. At Second, Jason serves on the Family Ministries Committee.
Class of 2020
Mary’s Dad, a Presbyterian minister, baptized her when she was only one week old — and it took. In 1973, she moved from Brooklyn to the Hyde Park neighborhood with her husband, Donald. They have two married daughters. Mary has volunteered with the Presbyterian Church, Kansas City Public Schools and public libraries. She is delighted to be a part of the Second family, whose members shine in their dedication to Christ and their service for God in this community and beyond.
Joanne teaches French and World Languages at Indian Hills Middle School. She has three children — Micah, Nathan and Genevieve — who keep her very busy. Born and raised in Michigan, she has also lived in Liberia, Canada, France, Boston and upstate New York. When she has free time, she enjoys a good read, Red Sox baseball and siestas.
Marge has been a member of Second since 1993, and this is her third time serving as an Elder. She has been involved in many ways at Second, including Journey to Bethlehem, Second Friends Group, serving as an office volunteer, as a counting team member, confirmation mentor, and has served on the Worship, Christian Education and Nominating Committees. In addition to church activities, she is a wife, mother and grandmother. She stays busy as the President of her Delta Kappa Gamma Chapter for women educators (she taught in the Kansas City Public Schools for 15 years as well as other places around the world), as a tutor at Troost Elementary School, as a traveler with her husband, Bill, and quilting and reading. In addition, she regularly attends sports and school events for her grandchildren.
Martin and his wife, JB, have been members at Second for over ten years. He has previously served as a Deacon and this is his second time serving as an Elder. He currently serves on the Mission Committee and the Outreach and Hospitality Committee, where he coordinates ushers, greeters and coffee servers. He is the father of Nathan and Jason Orr, and grandfather of Madeleine, Helen, Declan and Rowan. Before retiring, he was the Director of Small Business Administration loan servicing centers and was Executive Vice President of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. He has served on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations. He also enjoys good wine and craft beer.
Rosemary is a lifelong Presbyterian who has been attending Second since the 1990s. She joined the Church in 2010, and served as a Deacon from 2014-16. She also serves on the Personnel Committee. In addition, she has served for six years as a board member in various capacities for reStart, one of Second’s mission partners. She is now retired after a 40 year career in human resources, and enjoys her time doing volunteer work.
Kristie has been a member of Second for nearly five years. She and her husband, Eric, were married at Second in 2003. A native of Pella, Iowa, Kristie graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Food Science and from Northwestern University with an MBA, has worked in food product development, marketing and strategy and is currently the North America Food & Agribusiness leader for FleishmanHillard. She volunteers with several women’s service and food philanthropic organizations. She collects cookbooks and is an avid college football fan.
Class of 2021
Born and raised in Kenya to a family of pastors, Grace’s upbringing was in the church. At the age of 12, she made the personal decision to be a follower of Christ. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s in biological anthropology from KU (go Jayhawks!). Grace is a doula and a certified Community Healthworker at a local non-profit organization that focuses on decreasing health inequities in Kansas City’s underserved minorities and migrant families. Grace and her family have been attending Second for over six years and recently became members. She serves on the Mission Committee. Last summer, Grace and her husband, Andrew Lee, celebrated their 20th year of marriage. They have three teenagers, Daniel, Michael and Elianna, and live in Brookside.
Janet has been a member of Second since 2002. She has served as a Deacon and as a member of the Stewardship 2.0 and Nominating Committees. Outside of Second, Janet volunteers at Ronald McDonald House weekly, and enjoys traveling and playing golf with her husband, Phil.
Nick is an activist, musician and performer in Kansas City. He is the founding pastor and curator of The Open Table, and is heavily involved with Stand Up KC, the Poor People’s Campaign, and Cherith Brook Catholic Worker. He has led numerous workshops on nonviolence and de-escalation, and has ten years experience utilizing these skills. He is married to Sarah Dunne Pickrell and is the proud parent of two terriers, Socks and Rocky.
Kite has been a member of Second for over 76 years, during which time he has served as an Elder and a Deacon. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture at Princeton University and his architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He served internships in New York City, Stuttgart, Germany and Ahmedabad, India, where he met his wife, Marty, an Irish midwife, who later became the mother of their three daughters and four grandchildren. Kite’s daughter is a Deacon at Second. In Kansas City since 1965, Kite was a partner at Abend Singleton Associates Architects from 1970-95. He lives in midtown Kansas City with his wife, Barbara Stevenin. In his free time, he enjoys golf and riding his recumbent tricycle up to 14 miles at a time.
Janelle has been a member of Second for five years. During that time, she has enjoyed helping in Godly Play and attending family events. Janelle was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska (go Huskers!) where she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. She moved to Kansas City over 20 years ago. She was lucky enough to meet her husband of 18 years, Brad, at a Reverend Horton Heat show in the City Market. Janelle and Brad have four little nippers: Nora, Finn, Duhn and Ivan. Janelle loves to play board games and cards; travel, near and far; and spend time with the kiddos.
Phil returned to Second five years ago after a 20-year absence. Since then, he has served as a Deacon, co-chair of Second’s recent capital campaign, “Creating Space for All People,” and on the Mission Committee. Phil is a lawyer who enjoys smoked meat, time outdoors and good tailing action on a fastball. He lives in Brookside with his wife, Katie, and their son, Michael.