Class of 2021 Elders & Deacons

10-31-2018

Elder Nominees (three-year term)

Bert-Denny.jpgBert Denny
I grew up in the Wichita area and was baptized at a young age in the Baptist
Church where my father was a deacon and taught adult Sunday school. My wife, Linda, and I have been active in church together since we were married, including teaching children’s Sunday school classes together for many years. We began attending Eastminster in 1991. We were introduced to Eastminster by friends and drawn by the strong biblical preaching and teaching, and the children’s program. Linda and I recently celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary, and we have two daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom live on the west coast. All of our grandchildren were baptized at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the Bay Area. Linda, a retired teacher, currently teaches in the first grade Sunday class and I often serve with her as a substitute teacher. I currently serve on the Finance Team of the church and serve as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Eastminster Foundation for Promotion of the Reformed Faith, Inc. I have previously served terms as an active elder and deacon, including serving on the Personnel Team, as Chair of the Administration Council, and as a trustee of the Corporation.

 

 

Andy-Fletcher.jpgAndy Fletcher
My wife, Diane, and I have been attending Eastminster Church for more than 20 years. We have been married for 34 years and have two children, Abigail and Alexander. I recently retired from the legal profession. I previously served one term as a deacon and one term as an elder. For the past year I have been a member of the Regional and National Outreach missions team and served on the Local and U.S. Mission Council. One of my favorite Bible verses that was taught to me as a child and has helped me through the years to remain grounded in Christ is Galatians 6:14: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

 

 

Steve-Funk.jpgStephen Funk
I am a life-long Presbyterian having accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in the seventh grade at First Presbyterian Church in Wichita. My wife, Margo, and I transferred our membership to Eastminster in 2005. I am a member of the men’s Tuesday Grow Group. I participate in prayer support by spending time each week in the Prayer Room. I volunteered and enjoyed so much working on the Iasis project, and we have loved being part of The Gathering. We have two grown sons and three wonderful grandchildren. After winding down a 40-year career in the financial services industry, Margo and I are traveling as much as possible. I am a member of several boards in Wichita and El Dorado including the Metro YMCA and Susan B. Allen Hospital Foundation. I enjoy gardening, photography and reading. I look forward to serving my first term on session.

 

 

Roy-Hammer.jpgRoy Hammar
I was raised in Wichita and attended Central Community Church where I accepted Jesus as my savior. My wife, Kathy, and I have been married 26 years and joined Eastminster shortly after moving back to Wichita in 1998. We have three sons, Andrew, Ryan and Nathan, who all attend the University of Kansas. Raising our boys has not only been a great joy in our lives, it has strengthened my relationship with the Lord. I have been involved with Sunday school, middle and high school ministries, and Westminter Woods. I work at Cerner Corporation where I have the privilege of working with several faith-based hospital organizations.

 

 

 

Judy-Hawkins.jpgJudy Hawkins
I grew up in the First United Methodist Church in Emporia, Kansas, and attended Sunday school. My parents actively attended and served in the church. I was always involved in church youth groups, mission trips and even serving meals for events. Our church seemed the place to be and the pastors and lay leaders were part of our family’s life, even traveling together. Truly it was the social part of church that attracted me first. In junior high on a missions trip to Taos, New Mexico, I accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. But it was during my college years that my faith matured and a clearer understanding of Christ and his sacrifice for me became real.

I am a pharmacist, and met my husband, David, in Kansas City after college and was married 32 years ago. He grew up in Wichita and was a member of Eastminster on North Armour. We moved to Wichita in 1988, the same year our son, Daniel, was born, and I joined Eastminster. My in-laws, John and Lois Hawkins were also involved at Eastminster. Our son currently lives in Kansas City. My husband and I teach third grade Sunday class with a great team and have done so for 13 years. In the past we taught other Sunday classes. I have been so thankful for the leadership and support of other Christian women when I coordinated Vacation Bible School, helped with Hannah Circle and participated in women’s ministries. I recently joined Women in Action. I have served as a deacon twice and been a part of several church committees. My husband and I have been a part of a several small group Bible studies. Also, we have participated in other church sponsored studies like Crown Ministries, Perspectives class and the Truth Project twice.

 

Don-King.jpgDon King
I have been a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church for 34 years and have served numerous terms as elder. I am a businessman/contractor whose company specializes in building bridges. My primary passions include music, worship and theological education. In the past I have served on numerous committees including the Chapel building, missions, personnel and worship. I have also participated in several international missions trips. I received Christ as a young boy growing up under the influence of godly parents. I understood from listening to the gospel that I was a sinner in need of a savior. I was able to comprehend what guilt and sin was, particularly falling short of God’s glory. As I matured in the faith, I better understood other concepts such as grace, atonement and the person/work of Christ. In a very real sense, I continue to live with the realization that I am still being saved, as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling and reliance upon the Holy Spirit. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have two adult sons - Lance (wife, Paula) and Brandon.

 

Mike-Middleton.jpgMike Middleton
My wife, Sandra, and I both grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. We have been married for 51 years. We have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren. We moved to Wichita in 1986 with Cargill, Inc. and we joined Eastminster later that year. I grew up in a Christian home. I was nurtured in my faith by wonderful Christian parents. I accepted Christ during my middle school years, but I didn’t make Jesus the Lord of my life until 1984. I have previously served at Eastminster as a deacon and elder. I am active in the Central Kansas Prison Ministry as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a mentor. There are several scriptures that I think about as I attempt to live a life that is pleasing to God. One that I recite to myself most often as I interact with family, friends and neighbors is Colossians 3:12 which says, “therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe your selves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace as I strive to become more like Christ.

 

Patty-Oberg.jpgPatty Oberg
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home, and grew up attending the Free Methodist Church in McPherson, Kansas. At the age of 10, while on a youth retreat at Rock Springs Ranch, I accepted Christ. I was married in 1990 to my husband, Ron, and soon after we began attending Eastminster. Early on, the family retreat became an annual highlight for our family, and through that particular ministry we made many lifelong friends, many of whom are still attending Eastminster today. I also quickly became involved in the Chancel Choir, and continued my involvement in music ministry, being actively involved in the Worship Team, as assistant director of the Sonbeams and Glory Bees, which was the children’s choir, and participating in and coordinating many Chili Christmas programs. I have also been involved in women’s ministries, with leadership roles in Hannah Circle and women’s retreats. The children’s programs at Eastminster were a central focus of our family, and Ron and I have served in several different capacities in Sunday school and Wednesday nights over the years. More recently, I had the privilege of serving on the Pastor Search Team. What an honor and privilege it was to watch how God guided our committee, and see his faithfulness throughout the process. Ron and I, now empty nesters, have two sons, a daughter and have very recently have added a daughter-in-law. I had been praying for direction and where God would have me serve next when I received the call to become an elder. I am thankful for this opportunity to serve my beloved congregation. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” Ephesians 4:1.

 

Bob-Bingaman.jpgBob Bingaman (class of 2019)
Judy and I began visiting Eastminster in 1989 looking for a new church home. Shortly thereafter we joined the church and attended with our children, Renee, Rebecca, Rachelle and Rob. Now 29 years later all three of the girls have been married at Eastminster and the Jon Green and Chad Edwards families bring six of our eight grandchildren allowing us to enjoy a “family row” most Sundays. Eastminster’s commitment to preaching and teaching truth with strong emphasis on obedience to the Great Commission spreading the gospel here and far away has captured us in spite of some difficult times at the church. I was blessed to be raised by parents who knew and taught a personal relationship with Jesus. I came to know him at 6 at our little country church near the ranch where I was raised. Walking with Jesus has been exciting, challenging and fulfilling as I slowly learn that I am nothing and he is everything. I have been involved with some aspect of missions since joining the church and it is my passion. What a privilege it has been to go and see God at work from India to Albania to Tanzania and to do short-term surgery projects in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I have served on session a few times as well. Judy and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage in a few months. We are so thankful to God for this, for our children, their spouses, their love for God and eight grandchildren, all of whom are serving Christ. He has brought many Christian friends who have loved and mentored us. God is so faithful. John 3:16 is my favorite verse: “For God so loved the world (me), that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Deacon Nominees (three-year term)

Karen-Gillespie.jpgKaren Gillespie
I grew up in Augusta, KS, and my husband and I attended high school together, but without really knowing each other. He moved to attend college at KU, we both got married and raised families. Time passed and both of our spouses died. At our 50th class reunion, LaRoux approached me to console me and ask how I was doing. I realized this was the first time we had ever had a conversation. Six months later a number of unexplained coincidences began happening bringing us together in ways we could not have planned or imagined. I could see LaRoux was strong in his faith in God and I wanted to follow him. We married in October 2011, and began our search for just the right church and God directed us to Eastminster Church. A year after becoming a member I discovered from family history I come from a long line of German Presbyterians. I no longer believe in unexplained coincidences; all that happened was a part of God’s wonderful plan. We had been looking for ways to help others and serve in our church when I got a call asking me if I would be interested in being a deacon, I knew God was at work again. We continue to attend a Precepts Bible study group we began several years ago and we attend the 11 a.m. service at Eastminster. We have enjoyed helping with Trunk or Treat, packaging food for donations, and picking up pond trash. I enjoy reading, going to garage and estate sales looking for items I can donate to those in need. I like listening to Bott radio and doing any kind of art projects. Together we have six adult children and 18 grandchildren. I have been truly blessed. I pray Eastminster will stay energized and focused as we grow closer to one another and together we make a difference in our city, in each other and in all things we bring glory to God.

 

LaRoux-Gillespie.jpgLaRoux Gillespie
I am a retired manufacturing engineer and manager, a full-time writer, and was baptized in the First Baptist Church in Wichita in 1952 while in the sixth grade. I went on to college and spent most of my life in Kansas City. My wife was an ardent Christian. We raised our five children in Colonial Presbyterian Church, and Covenant Chapel EPC Church in Leawood, Kansas, where I and one of my sons ran the Power Point slides for services and music. A few years after my wife died I ran into my current wife, Karen, in Augusta where we went to high school together, and we married and started attending Eastminster because it was an EPC church. We are regular attendees here, have both worked this year on the Iasis Center with many others and I continue to help out there. We wanted to do church service projects together and so we have that opportunity now. We have been part of an inductive Bible study group for the past seven years, love Bott Christian radio, and read through the Bible at least once each year as I work out. One of my sons leads a home church in Taiwan, and one son-in-law teaches Bible studies in the public schools in Australia. One daughter-in-law taught Bible studies in the Lee’s Summit Christian School, before becoming a full-time mother. I have 17 grandchildren located around the world.

 

Amy-Johnson.jpgAmy Johnson
I grew up attending Eastminster after my parents relocated to Wichita in 1993 and have been a member for more than 15 years. I spent many Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights at Eastminster growing up, and have favorite memories and good friends from family retreats, Vacation Bible School and middle school youth group. My very first job was working in the toddler room for Kid’s Day Out after my freshman year of high school. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the church as Eastminster has continued to play a key role in not only growing my faith but also a desire to serve others. I work for Koch Public Sector as a Community Affairs Manager, am on the Board of Directors for the local Boys & Girls Club and am active in the Junior League. I have a two-year old yellow lab named Walter and enjoy spending time with my family, friends and in the community.

 

 

Kay-Jones.jpgKay Jones
I was baptized and grew up at Bethany Presbyterian, the church that planted Eastminster. I believe I was “born Presbyterian!” I love my original church home and its people as I love our church now. After college in Michigan and teaching English for three years in the Chicago area, I married Ray, a great friend from years at East High. We lived in Panama, where our daughter Susan was born, and then in Washington D.C. We moved to Wichita in 1973 and joined Eastminster, a church God sent us to because we were too late to get to our intended church that day. We grew serious in faith through wise teachers and small group Bible study; reading C.S. Lewis’ works cemented my belief. In 1975 I began 30 years of public service with the Social Security Administration. Susan and her husband Mark have three wonderful children; we are close in all ways. We left Wichita for 15 years in Kansas City where we joined Colonial Presbyterian and worked in the area until we retired and returned to Wichita in 2006. In retirement God has allowed me health and time for family, deeper Bible study, friends, reading, traveling, tutoring English to refugees and serving the church. Ray died in 2016, changing my life abruptly. Far less self-reliant now and certainly closer to the Lord, I know he is beside me and has met and will meet my many needs. Two thoughts I rest in: “Change and decay in all around I see; Oh Thou who changest not, abide with me” and “Don’t worry about tomorrow; God is already there.”

 

Kathy-Klunder-2.jpgKathy Klunder
I grew up attending a Church of Christ church and became a Christian when I was in middle school. I started coming to Eastminster in 2005, when my daughters were in middle school. It wasn’t until three years ago when my husband passed away, that I realized my need to grow closer to the Lord. God moved me to become a member of Eastminster. It is through God’s love and grace that I make it each day. I want to share this peace and comfort that he has given to me with others. God is so good and loving and I am so blessed. Things I have been involved in are: helping lead GriefShare, greeting on Sunday mornings, helping with Trunk or Treat, and attending weekly Bible studies. I am forever blessed with three daughters, a son-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter.

 

 

Beth-Oliphant.jpgBeth Oliphant
I have been a member of Eastminster for 30 years. My husband, David, and I raised our children in this church. I taught Sunday school, cooked at Westminster Woods for middle and high school retreats, previously served as a deacon, served on the hospital visitation team/homebound team and Congregational Life committee. Our family served on mission trips to Guatemala and Nicaragua. This is also my 30th year of employment with the Farm Credit System. I am thankful that God has called me to connect with others to build relationships both as a deacon and in my profession. I want to be a light to others and I am honored to serve as a deacon to share the love of Christ.

 

 

 

Debbie-Richardson.jpgDebbie Richardson
I was born and raised in Wichita, and my family joined Eastminster when I was in the fourth grade. Eastminster has been my church home ever since. I can still recall many of the sermons heard in my youth, and now Eastminster is carrying God’s Word into the hearts of my children. My husband, Todd, and I were married at Eastminster by the Reverend Dick Gorham in 2001. I enjoyed my wedding process so much I became a wedding coordinator for Eastminster in 2002 and served in that position for the next 13 years. We have two sons, Ben and Luke, both of whom were baptized at Eastminster and are students at Trinity Academy. I place my trust in God and am grateful that he daily continues his work in me. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal,” Isaiah 26:4.

 

Bryan-Robert.jpgBryan Robert
I grew up in a small town in southeast Kansas called Severy as an only child and with a strong presence of God in my everyday life. My grandparents were two of the original founders/builders of my childhood church, Severy Church of the Nazarene, and still attend it to this day. At a very young age I accepted Christ as my Savior and have never looked back. When I met my wife, Kristin, she was attending the First Presbyterian Church of Derby with her family so I naturally attended and absolutely loved the congregation and Pastor Ben Ray as it reminded me so much of my home church in Severy. We were later married at that church and began leading Sunday school classes for elementary aged children, young adults, and were active in several committees within our time there. We then moved to Andover in the early 2000s and still continued the commute back and forth as a majority of Kristin’s family was still attending and we felt called to continue our positions within the church. When we moved to Wichita we decided that we wanted to get our three young girls into more activities within the church rather than commute, so we chose Eastminster and have loved the change and our new family members within the congregation. Kristin and I became members of Eastminster shortly after arriving in 2013 and have been volunteering for events and charities as a family ever since. My wife and I have been married almost 15 years and have three beautiful daughters; Addison (11), Kaitlyn (9), and Olivia (7).

 

Devona-Troutman.jpgDevona Troutman
I started attending Eastminster in 1985. Through many of life’s changes, both up and down, Eastminster has been a wonderful church family to belong to.
My husband, Charlie, and I were married by Frank Kik, and children baptized by Dick Gorham and Bob Henley. We were very involved in all aspects of Eastminster until we moved to Kansas City in 2003. We have since returned to Wichita and also Eastminster. I immediately became involved in Women in Action Bible study and now am a co-leader. Now that our youngest child is in college, I look forward to more involvement and service at Eastminster. Becoming a deacon will be a new adventure for me and I desire to serve well. Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

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