About First church

Our Mission is to connect and empower people for living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are a community of believers whose faith has been formed through reason, experience, scripture, and tradition. We are a diverse group with the common goal to connect and empower people to live out the Gospel of Jesus.

Believing that we are all God's children, Lawrence First United Methodist Church affirms that persons of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation or identity, economic or marital status, and physical or mental condition are welcome to participate fully in the life of our congregation.

The First Church Team

Rev. Tom Brady

Senior Pastor
I have been at First Church since February of 2006. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing sports. I prefer emailing over texting and my favorite part of my job is meeting new people and talking to them about what they believe.

Rev. Tyler Kaufmann

West Campus Lead Pastor
My life as a United Methodist has led me to serve faith communities across the country from New Jersey to Hawaii and Kansas to Montana. I have a passion for rock climbing and love traveling with my family. We joined the First Church family in July 2017 and are excited about what God is doing here.

Sara Wentz

Minister of Music
I’ve been a staff member at First Church for 17 years. It is a great joy!

Morgan Hannah

Director of West Campus Worship
I joined the First Church staff in July of 2016. I’m a student at the University of Kansas studying History and Communications. I also sing in the West Campus band and play the ukulele. On any given night you can find me at home watching Netflix.

Susan Mercer

Director of KU Campus Ministries
I grew up in rural Illinois but Lawrence & First Church have been my home for over 20 years. I joined the First Church staff in 2016, after a 20-year career at KU. My husband, Jack, & I have two adult children, Chloe & Jackson. My passions are helping others discover who God is calling them to be, building teams, & creating new things.

Anna Callan

Administrative Assistant
My husband, Dan & I moved to Lawrence in 1978 to attend KU! We raised 3 wonderful kids. I have been a staff member for 5 years. I feel blessed to have made many friends & met many great people at First Church. I continue to enjoy being part of a caring staff & look forward to each day here as a true gift from God.

Linda Edman

Office Manager
I began working at FUMC in 2014 but I have been a member since 1977. My husband, Don & I were married in this church in 1989 & we have 2 children, Michael & Morgan. My husband & I graduated from KU. The best part of my job is the joy of interacting every day with church members & a great staff to assist with all the missions of FUMC.

Laurie Kallenbach

Director of Congregational Care
I joined the staff in October 2014, however my husband, Loren, & I have been members for over 20 years. We met at KU & have lived in Lawrence most of our adult lives. Our sons, Josh & Jake, keep us busy with Scouting, youth & sports events. A favorite family activity is curling up with our 4 basset hounds & rooting for the Jayhawks.

Tami Clark

Director of Youth Ministry tami@fumclawrence.org
I was called to youth ministry as a teenager & began volunteering as a young adult leader at 19. My second passion is art ministry. At First Church, I work in both, as the Director of Youth Ministry since 2007 & as the coordinator of the after school arts program called the Art Cafe. My family & I have been members since 1994.

Cindy Nelson

Director of Children’s Ministries
Miss Cindy has been a member of the First Church staff for 3 years. She loves kids of all ages, is a devoted UMW member, and loves to laugh.

Londa Israel

Assistant Director of Children’s Ministries

Marc Ridenour

Facilities Coordinator
Marc was born in central Florida and moved to the midwest in Junior High. He was a biology major in college, but found his passion in healing buildings instead of people. After selling his remodeling business, he was called to use his skills at First Church. Marc has two sons, one granddaughter, loves to cook and play worship music.

Kristy Teska

Financial Manager
I joined the staff at FUMC in the fall of 2015. I grew up in Lawrence and rural Franklin County and attended KU for both my undergraduate and masters degrees. My husband, David, and I have two children and stay busy keeping up with their activities. I have several creative hobbies and enjoy spending time with my family.

Ben Chipman

Media Manager

Eve Loos

Preschool Director

Seth Bott


John Oliver


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