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?"

  • R. Scott Griffin

    Associate Pastor

    Scott has been a pastor here since July of 2017. He and his wife, April, have two children, Lauren and Ryan, and a dog, Daisy. Scott has a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary and looks forward to being ordained in the summer of 2019. April works as a Paraprofessional at Pettis County Early Childhood Cooperative with special needs children, while Lauren & Ryan are delighted to go to Sacred Heart Catholic School. Scott's favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 20:9 - "But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones!  I am worn out trying to hold it in!  I can’t do it!"

  • Paul Derks

    Youth Pastor

    Paul has been serving as youth pastor since July of 2017.  He is newly married to Rickie. Some of their favorite things to do include fishing, hiking, and biking. Paul also leads worship in our 5:30pm Saturday night service and 12:30pm on Sunday. Paul enjoys writing music. In everything he does he attempts to grow spiritually and open his eyes to God in all the ways He presents Himself. His favorite passage of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 2:10b-16.

  • 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. 

  • Lorie Holt

    Director of prayer ministry

    Lorie gives leadership to the prayer ministry and to Strong Tower Haiti - a ministry that cares for the orphans in Haiti. She and her family have called First Church home since 1999. Lorie loves to spend time with her husband, Dan, and their grown children, Erin and Travis. One of her favorite verses is Psalm 73:26  "My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

  • 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!

  • Candace Fowler

    Pastoral Intern


    Candace is a seminary student at Saint Paul School of Theology and serves the online community of First as well as teaches bible studies at First. She leads in worship on Saturdays at 5:30 and Sundays at 12:30pm with Paul Derks. 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. 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!

  • Rodney Iuchs

    Technical Director

  • Chris Iuchs

    Assistant Technical Director