The regional minister search committee had their initial meeting and were first introduced at the Disciples Connect and Equip event on August 14 at Tawakoni. The team members are:
Stephanie Switzky — Committee Chair
For all but five years of her life, Stephanie Switzky has been a member of Topeka First Christian Church. After graduating from TCU in 2002, she served as the Director of Christian Education at FCC Manhattan where she was a member for five years.
Stephanie has served her local congregation as an elder and as a member of the board.
Her love for the Christian Church in Kansas started as a camper and member of the KCYF cabinet. She has counseled or directed at least one camp, all but one summer ever since and has been active on the Outdoor Ministries Team for many years. From 2018-2020, she served on the regional board and chaired the planning of DCE 2019.
Stephanie teaches 11th grade English at Royal Valley High School. She and her husband, Drew, enjoy spoiling their three dogs and four nieces. They love Colorado, traveling, and playing couple’s golf.
Ruby Brower — Moderator Elect
A native Kansan, Ruby Brower grew up in Benton, a Wichita suburb, moved to Manhattan to attend Kansas State University, and never left. As a medical laboratory scientist, Ruby served as the director of a hospital laboratory and eventually worked in the regulatory aspects of the laboratory, traveling the state inspecting laboratories.
Her husband, Garry, was a professor and faculty advisor to the rodeo team at Fort Hays State University for many years. Her family also includes two sons, Doug and Justin along two beautiful granddaughters.
A life-long Disciple, Ruby has served Manhattan First Christian Church, as a deacon, elder, and coordinating council chair. She is completing her first year as the regional Moderator-Elect.
Although retired from full-time employment, she continue to work part-time as a private laboratory consultant. In her free time, she volunteers through her church, 4-H, and professional organization. She enjoys attending auctions and collecting antique dishes; however, she says there isn’t anything much better than reading a good book.
Greg Barlow serves as an usher, deacon, and teacher-by-request at Hillside Christian Church, Wichita. He has managed a butcher shop for the last 16 years after getting his BA in Music from Wichita State. He would like to invite to prayer anyone who might read this.
Dear Lord, Let your Spirit guide this committee so that you may be glorified through our work together. Every day we try to come to a better understanding of what it means to follow Christ, and we know that you will lead this committee along that same path. Thank you for bringing us all together in this opportunity to serve you. In your son Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Danny Ginn has served the Oxford Christian Church, Oxford, for 29 years. He studied at Wichita State in industrial education and a few years later received his MDiv at Phillips Graduate Seminary in Enid, Okla.
Danny is a trained Spiritual Director and spent three years in spiritual formation training with Dallas Willard and Richard Foster in the Renovare Institute in Denver, Colo. This is Danny’s third Regional Minister Search Committee for the Region of Kansas.
Danny writes the Facebook post “Spiritual Formation Daily” on the regional Facebook page and has served as chair of the regional Spiritual Priority Committee for many years.
Danny enjoys fishing, woodworking, and building guitars, and he has been known to lead the singing at several camps and regional events. Danny and his wife Dee have two grown daughters Shalinn and Mallory.
Pastor Rodney Hopper is currently in his third year as the Minister of Scott City First Christian Church. He served as pastor at FCC Rock Port, Mo. for 15 years, and served in ministry as Associate Pastor at Capilla del Sol CC, Park Ave CC and interim pastor for 10 years in the Arizona region.
He was vice-president and president of the Arizona region’s Men’s Ministry, Vice-Moderator and Moderator Northwest Area Mid-America region, Pastor-Counselor for the General Council of Disciples Men; Youth Camp Counselor Junior and Chi Rho in the Arizona and Mid-America regions; Domestic Violence and Superior Court Mediator for Pima Co., Ariz..
Hobbies include officiating international, professional, college and youth soccer. He’s played bagpipes for the Tucson Highlander Pipe Band and Marine Corps League. Educationally, Rodney has his BA in Chemistry/Material Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona (Tucson), and MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Rodney is the husband of Elaine, is blessed with daughter Symantha and son-in-law Adam, and four wonderful grandchildren: Roman, Aviana, Brooklyn and Ruby Lynn.
Wife of retired Kansas pastor Titus James, Avalene is a retired teacher and member of North Heights Christian Church, Wichita.
Parker Kottman is a high school senior at Maur Hill-Mount Academy, Atchison and attends Atchison First Christian Church.
He enjoys weightlifting and football and plans to attend college to pursue commercial aviation before becoming an airline pilot.
He has attended church camp since he was five-years-old and is currently serving on the Kansas Regional Youth Cabinet.
He enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He works for a landscaping company in the summer months, as well as small contracting jobs.
Rev. Joshua Leu is currently serving as the Senior Minister of Great Bend First Christian Church, a position he has had for the last seven years. Before Great Bend, Josh served churches as a Youth, Associate, and Senior minister in Oklahoma and Arkansas in his 21 years of ministry.
He has a BA in Psychology from Oklahoma State University, and MDiv. from Phillips Theological Seminary, and currently working on DMin. from Phillips.
Josh is married to Ashley, and they have two beautiful and amazing daughters Karys (12) and Khora (5).
Diane “Di” Watkins lives in Parsons where she and her husband, Mark, attend the First Christian Church. Diane has served as an elder, Kansas Regional Moderator and currently serves on the General Board representing the Kansas Region. In that role, she serves as Chair of the General Nominating Committee and on the Governance Committee of the General Board.
Partnering with her daughter, Rev. Christian Watkins, she consulted on the Caribbean Initiative with Global Ministries assisting in designing Bible School curriculum materials used in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Columbia, and The Dominican Republic.
Diane taught biological sciences at Neosho County Community College for 17 years and served as a district office administrator in Chanute for 18 years prior to retirement.
She has earned degrees from Pittsburg State University and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in curriculum and instruction. Currently, Diane is a consultant, speaker, and part-time college and university instructor.
She is married to Mark Watkins, Labette Community College President, and has two daughters, Rev. Christian Watkins, Director of Ecumenical Christian Ministries at Kansas State, and Dr. Blair Watkins, a nurse practitioner.