In 2017, Adam Bowers became the third senior pastor of First Free Church. Previously, Adam led an international missions ministry and served as an executive pastor. Adam is married to Jenny and the two have served in full-time ministry together for over a decade. Adam is passionate about preaching the Word of God in authentic, practical, and relevant ways. He is also active in discipleship and leadership development, and he holds a Master’s of Divinity degree with a specialization in pastoral counseling.
John Richardson, Executive Pastor of Discipleship, served as a pastor to churches in Illinois and Missouri for seventeen years before becoming a mediator and pastoral counselor at Live at Peace Ministries in St. Louis. While working at Live at Peace for five years, John also served as a pastor in Owensville, MO on a part-time basis. He started attending First Free in 2008 and joined the staff in 2011. He oversees Care, Outreach, Discipleship Communities, Men’s Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. John has a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Fort Wayne Bible College. He is a Certified Christian Conciliator with the Institute of Christian Conciliation and serves on the board of directors for the Association of Missouri Mediators.
Kevin has been attending First Free since 2002, and has served in lay leadership roles in Adult Communities, Student Ministries, and Kid Connection. Before accepting the calling into pastoral ministry at First Free, Kevin worked in executive coaching and at Sigma-Alrich/Merck leading organizational design, process improvement, leadership development, operations, and strategic planning. He is married to Pam and has 5 children.
Andrew grew up at First Free and joined the staff team as the Student Ministries Worship Pastor in 2014. Andrew graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity in 2013. Andrew loves working with our middle and high school students to help them grow as musicians, worship leaders, and ultimately, disciples of Jesus. Andrew is married to Amber and they have two children.
Steve graduated from Taylor University with a BA in Christian Ministries and Biblical Literature. Before coming to First Free in 2019, he served as the 7th/8th grade Pastor at Northview Church in Carmel, IN. Steve loves working with students because they are fun and full of energy, and are willing to take risks for their faith that few adults will take! He knows firsthand the impact of adults pouring time energy into students and works to keep the cycle of discipleship at the front of his ministry. Steve loves running, playing soccer, reading, and hosting game nights with friends. Steve is married to Abby, and they have one child.
Nick holds a BS in Business Administration and a Certificate in Bible and Theology. Before coming to First Free in 2021, he served as a campus pastor at Legacy Christian Church in Kansas. Nick’s heart is for discipleship, spiritual growth, and facilitating connections between believers. Nick is married to Kaycee, and they have two children.
Alec serves on the Worship Leadership Team and leads worship on Sunday mornings.
Rachel helps our congregation live on mission by coordinating our local outreach efforts.
Irene coordinates our KC Friends program, which helps children with special needs participate on Sunday mornings.
Rasema assists with the care and cleaning of our buildings and room setup for all events.
Jason serves on the Worship Leadership Team and leads worship on Sunday mornings.
Todd is a key part of the care and prayer ministries at First Free.
Robin supports the Discipleship ministry, including Adult Groups (Small Groups, Care Groups, Sunday Morning Groups, Men’s Ministry, and Women’s Ministry) and Care Ministries. She is the first contact for both departments.
Heather is responsible for all aspects of accounting including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, monthly preparation of the financial statements, and assisting the Executive Pastor of Leadership Development and Operations. with various related areas.
Arik helps our students build community and get to know Jesus through the planning and execution of events.
Tara provides a warm welcome to visitors and callers, supports all departments in ordering supplies, and assists the Accounting Manager. The receptionists are also the first contact for those seeking benevolence help.
Stephen serves on the Worship Leadership Team and leads worship on Sunday mornings.
Michele works with ministries within the church to maintain accurate congregational records. Michele also processes all gifts coming into the church.
Marlys supports the Worship team by providing musical accompaniment.
Anastasia assists with the care and cleaning of our buildings and room setup for all events.
Shanna is in charge of our Connections Team – ushers, greeters, guides, welcome center hosts, traffic/parking lot team members, and coffee/doughnut team members. She works hard to make sure that everyone who comes through our doors feels welcome.
Tom runs the place! He is skilled in maintenance and holds a certificate as an HVAC Maintenance Electrician. He finds great joy in using his gifts and abilities to serve others and advance the kingdom of God.
Teri provides a warm welcome to visitors and callers, supports all departments in ordering supplies, and assists the Accounting Manager. The receptionists are also the first contact for those seeking benevolence help.
Kari works with each department to develop communication plans for the events and ministries of First Free. She also oversees the church’s social media and website, and collaborates with the Worship Department in the planning of Sunday announcements, testimonies, and videos.
Katlyn oversees the Nursery and our Preschool classrooms. She also coordinates support for children with special needs. She loves watching children learn!
Tyler leads the worship audio/lighting/video and IT teams and is responsible for production events across the campus.
Heather facilitates HR and office functions, as well as managing the church calendar and facility use. She also serves as executive assistant to Kevin Krosley.
I sincerely decided to follow Jesus about three months following my born again experience. My company awarded me a substantial bonus to be paid in five years contingent on my performance. I knew over the next five years there would be a “pull of money” to distract me from my submission to Jesus’ Lordship. After prayer on my knees and crying my heart out I told God I would do my best to follow His ways and if I was given the bonus I would know it was a true gift from Him.
What I love about our church is the doctrine of faith we adhere to, the solid teaching and the many friends I have made that encourage me on my faith journey.
I grew up in small western Missouri towns where my father served as a pastor. I enjoyed hearing the stories of the Bible and felt I had an inside track to God because of my background. All of that changed prior to my 16th birthday when my father died of a sudden heart attack. I continued going to church, but it didn’t impact how I lived. Without true faith, I experienced an emptiness that couldn’t be filled by friends, sports, or the pursuit of pleasure. A close friend left for college and returned home a different person. While away, she discovered what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ and shared verses that helped explain my emptiness. I discovered in August 1976, that despite my sin, God loved me and made a way for me to know Him. As I trusted Christ, I discovered the difference between being religious and having a personal relationship with God.
The encouragement that comes from sharing life in Christ with our church family. We have a wealthy of rich relationships from years of Sunday morning groups, home Bible studies, missions, and worship.
I was not raised in a Christian home, but was invited to church by a friend. At the age of fourteen, I was in my room and read John 3:16. It shook my world. For the first time, I understood who Jesus was. I remember wanting to run out of the house and tell the world what I had learned.
There are so many things I love about First Free. There are so many people I love dearly as though they were family. I love the fact that we never waiver or compromise or water down the word of God. It is also important to me that we place major emphasis on the important items necessary for our salvation, yet allow for differences of opinion on less important issues that often divide a church.
I was raised in a church attending family but as an adolescent walked away. My journey back started with an invitation from some friends to attend church with them. This began a 9 year journey that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, culminated in my humble recognition of Jesus as my savior and my only hope. I finally recognized that I could not solve my sin problem on my own. This could only be accomplished through Jesus’s death and resurrection. What a gift!
First Free has provided many opportunities to mature us as believers through solid biblical teaching, enriching relationships with other believers, God honoring worship, and service opportunities.
I started to follow Jesus after I realized that my scientific education was inadequate to explain the origin of life or the fundamentals of people. A friend of mine walked an authentic life following Christ in front of me and challenged me to dive into God’s Word and seek God earnestly. Over several years of studying the Bible and seeking Him I gave my life to following Jesus and changing who I was. It was the best decision of my life.
I love the people of First Free. For 22 years, my family has worshiped here, served here, played here, and loved here. We have been blessed by great mentors in our faith, leaders who created programs that helped us, and have been blessed by the joy of pouring into others ourselves and watching God change lives. Kid Connection and Student Ministries have played a special role in our lives, and we have loved serving there over the years. We are also grateful to have godly friends here that befriended our kids and spoke into their lives during critical times in their development. While we can worship God anywhere, we especially adore the people whom God has gathered together at First Free. This is why we call First Free our church home.
I prayed with my mom to follow Jesus at a very young age. Even though I didn’t understand all the theology around being a Christ follower and the bible, Jesus put in my heart a desire to be with Him and to pray in obedience. Even though I was a little less than 4 years old at the time, I still look back at it and marvel at how rich and complex following Jesus can be, but also how simple His message is to even young children. Jesus wants a relationship with us and we don’t have to understand everything first or even have our lives “put together”. Jesus asks us to come to Him, just as we are, regardless of our age or our faults.
I love the people. We all bring our gifts and our struggles, our strengths and our weaknesses and we labor together to love Christ, love others, and serve the world around us. It is not always easy, but it is very rewarding and exciting to see the work Christ can do through our church and how He chooses to use First Free. It has been a blessing and I am thankful to be a part of it.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but God used friends growing up to share the Gospel message with me. In college friendships also drew me to participate in Campus Ministries including Cru and small group Bible studies, which played a critical role in my faith journey.
I always had a reverence for the Bible and for trying to not do bad things to upset God. When I was 14 yrs old, Pastor Harold Hendrick came to my house and explained to the adults about 1Corinthinians 15:3-4 that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day”. He asked if anyone would like to follow Jesus to pray with him and although he didn’t know I was listening around the corner, I prayed to follow Jesus. This set me on the journey of a lifetime, where I stopped focusing on not upsetting God and started learning how to follow Jesus and please God.
I love that a body of imperfect believers can fellowship, serve, and receive spiritual food while disagreeing on things that may divide other churches. We have such quality and committed people here to minister in all the amazing areas around the church. Also, the teaching from the pulpit has been rock solid over the last 30+ years!
The biblical precedent for deacons comes from Acts 6, where the disciples sought godly men to assist in the daily operation of ministry.
At First Free, deacons are men and women who serve and provide oversight in various ministries as directed by the Elder Board and Senior Pastor. Some of their duties include administrative oversight over the church finances, benevolence, and other congregational and community ministries.
Deacons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dean Wimpfheimer (Chair) – Benevolence
J.D. Long (VIce Chair) – Facilities
Sue Stark (Secretary) – Benevolence
Gayle Darby – Finance/Audit
Alan Heisel – Benevolence
Steve Quick – Finance/Audit
Marilyn Simpson – Benevolence
Wei Wu – Finance/Audit
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