SAYYES! Ministry Staff

We are excited to serve God with you! It is our joy to be in ministry to the community of Sedalia and Pettis County. Please let us know how we can help!

  • Becky Rayl


    Becky has been our secretary since 1991. A native of Sedalia, she has lived the past 36 years in rural Hughesville. She is married to Lyn Rayl, and they have two sons, Brad (married to Lyndsi) and Brody. She also has three fabulous granddaughters! Becky feels so blessed to be working in a Christian atmosphere where she is continually meeting, growing, and learning with others on their faith journeys. Her favorite scripture is, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" Psalm 56:3. God is the "rock" on which Becky tries to focus throughout her life. She finds two Truths to be especially comforting: God has a plan for us, and God will never leave us.

  • Jim downing


    Jim has been pastor here since January 1997. He was born in Branson, Missouri and raised in Springfield. He has two adult children, Krystal (married to Josh) who is a stay at home mom in Belton and Kurt (married to Brianna) who is a worship & youth pastor in Kirksville. Jim has four amazing grandsons ranging in age from 10 to 3 years old. Jim felt a call to ministry at the age of 15 and has been in ministry since the age of 17. He loves Big Bang Theory and thinks it is painfully fun to watch THE OFFICE. His favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17  "God is mighty to save.  He will quiet you with His love and takes great delight in you.  He rejoices over you with singing." Jim's favorite ministry phrase is: "What Box?"

  • Candace Fowler

    Associate Pastor

    Candace, her husband Brian, and their children, Morgan, Carlton, Camden, Coleman and Chapman, live in Windsor. She loves to laugh and then laugh some more. Candace has been in ministry since she was 19 and has been with the First Church minstry team since 2017. Her favorite scripture is Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to God who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." God - Always doing more than we can fathom. Always!

  • Lancy ulrich

    children's director

    Lancy is our children's pastor. She resides in Sedalia and has been a part of our church family since 2008. She has served in the children's ministry for eight years and has a strong passion for working with children. She believes that through the leading of the Holy Spirit, she will help strengthen and grow an environment in which helps children deepen their walk with Christ. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4

  • Teyha Huffman

    Director of connections


    Tehya serves as the Director of Connections here at First Church. She loves spending time with her husband, Phillip, and with family as often as she can. One of her hobbies and passions is baking and cooking. To her, time doesn’t exist when she is in the kitchen (except for the clean-up….. that is when time slooooows down). She is so thankful and feels unbelievably blessed to be a part of the First Church Family. As Director of Connections, Tehya connects people to one another and to the different ministry opportunities available. 

  • Rusty Smith

    DIRECTOR OF Older adult ministries


    Rusty Smith has been serving our older adult ministries, called Masterpiece, since 2016. He was raised in Sedalia. Prior to serving here he served as a United Methodist Pastor for 15 years in other parts of Missouri. He is married to Carla. They have two children, Savanna and Carsten, plus a cockapoo dog named Ruby. He loves his Masterpiece gang and the fun they have! Rusty enjoys performing music, researching geneology, and being with people!