Dr. Stephen D. Jones began his ministry at First Baptist Church of Kansas City, Missouri in 1969 as a pastoral intern under Rev. Malcolm Haughey. He later entered Colgate Rochester Divinity School and began his ministry in 1972. He has served churches in Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington State, Missouri and Kansas. He is the author of five books and his upcoming book, Breaking Free…from our Cultural Relationships, is based on a sermon series preached in our church in August. Steve’s wife, Jan, grew up in this church and they have two young adult children, Brian (Dayna) and Janelle. Steve’s ministry offers administrative leadership to our church, preaching and worship leadership, and pastoral care.
Rev. Louisenie (Dezo) Desauguste is originally from the beautiful Caribbean country of Haiti. She moved to Lawrence KS. in 2011 for advanced schooling. On the night of her arrival, she quickly learned to love K.U. Basketball. She grew up with eight siblings. As a young girl she organized church services for her siblings. Dezo's passion has always been to work with people, to proclaim the gospel, to work for social justice, to heal souls and bodies, and to create community. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Central Baptist Community Theological Seminary of Shawnee KS in 2017. Dezo exhibits a contagious joy to everyone she meets as well for the gospel which she naturally expresses to everyone through pastoral ministry. Jesus taught us a way of love, grace and forgiveness; and that is how Dezo lives her life. Dezo says, " I live my life by the motto Jesus Christ stated in John 13:35, this is how everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." She is an encourager,a visionary, teacher and a prayer warrior. In her spare time, she goes on long walks, road trips, window-shopping, or reading a good book. Dezo's ministry in our church is through worship leadership, preaching, pastoral care, teaching and working with our children, youth and young adults.
Rev. Stephanie Spears experienced her call to pastoral ministry after she came to faith as an adult in Kansas City. Coming to our church many years ago, the sense of God’s call only deepened. Stephanie continues her seminary education at Central Seminary. She works full-time as a micro-biologist for ThermoFisher, Inc. She has three children, Joe, Remy and Cartier. Stephanie’s ministry in our church is through teaching, pastoral care, worship leadership, and evangelism.
Rev. Victor Velez has 25 years of Associate Pastoral experience in the areas of children, young adults and music, and is a graduate of Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He home schools his two younger children while his three older children are in college. He considers being a Daddy as his first most important vocation, with ministry as a close second! Victor is also the Program Director of Bethel Neighborhood Center, an urban core ministry which has been providing programming and services in downtown Kansas City for the last 105 years. He heads up a team that works with at-risk youth and immigrant populations from refugee communities. His favorite writers are George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis, and one of his most defining Bible verses is from Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…” Victor’s ministry in our church is through worship leadership evangelism, Audio visual technology and contemporary music.