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Foundation Team

Meet the people who lead the Resurrection Foundation and planned giving.

Foundation Staff

Debi Nixon

Executive Director

I began volunteering at the church in the Spring of 1991, joining the staff in 1994 as the first Children’s Ministry Director. Over the years, I have served in different ministry roles and witnessed the miraculous ways God has used this church to change lives, including the Nixon family. Reed and I have been married since 1984. We have two grown children and the great joy of being grandparents.

Linda Roser

Associate Lay Director

I retired in 2016 from a career in nonprofit management, ending my career as the Executive Director of the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation. My passion, throughout my career, and now as a volunteer is connecting with legacy donors, learning your faith stories, and sharing your hopes and dreams for future generations. I have been an active member at Resurrection since 2011. My life is filled with the joy of three grown sons, a daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, and two lovely women who are my sons’ partners.

Jina Lindsay

Executive Assistant of Development

My background is in Information Technology (IT), including website development and databases. My husband Steve and I started attending Church of the Resurrection after our son had been invited by one of his friends from school. I went on my first mission trip to South Africa in 2017 and it had a profound effect on me to see God’s work in action! Now, as a staff member, I can be part of the church’s vision “to be used by God to change lives, strengthen churches, and transform the world” – what a blessing!

Board Members

The Foundation Board cultivates the importance of legacy giving; promotes planned gifts; receives, invests, and administers in a fiduciary capacity Foundation bequests and legacy gifts that support the ministry of Church of the Resurrection. Board members serve three year terms and are elected by the All Church Conference in January.

Anne Blessing

Director, Board of Directors

Anne is a retired attorney and nonprofit executive. She and her family joined Church of the Resurrection in 1998. Since that time, she has served as Chair of the Missions Committee, helped to establish JOY in Service as one of the church’s holiday outreach projects, served as Secretary of the Church Council and led a Disciple Bible Study. She is also a community volunteer with special interests in literacy, education and the arts, and enjoys traveling with her husband Bill.

Jim Buffington

Director, Board of Directors

Jim’s professional background includes work in the industrial water treatment industry and teaching as an adjunct accounting professor at Johnson County Community College for over 30 years. Jim has an MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and is a CPA.

Jim has been a member of Church of the Resurrection since 2000. His leadership roles include chairing the Campus Advisory Council at Resurrection West, as well as being on the land search committee and the Phase II Building Committee at Resurrection West. Jim has also served on the church’s Stewardship Committee and Finance Committee and is currently on the Foundation Board of Directors.

Jim is also passionate about the Backpack Program and the Clothes Pantry Delivery Team. He is married to Rose, and they shower love on their 5 children, 15 grandchildren and an adorable Coton de Tulear puppy.

Debbie Dellinger

Director, Board of Directors

 After two decades leading and serving not-for-profit organizations internationally, plus nearly a decade of corporate experience, Debbie Dellinger now oversees My Next Season’s philanthropic partnerships, not-for-profit strategy, board education, and networking practices. She currently serves as a Congregational Care Minister at Church of the Resurrection.

Prior to her work with My Next Season, Debbie served as the Lay Leader of Missions, Education, & Life Skills at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, where she managed a volunteer and partner program that impacted 2,200 children throughout the Kansas City Metro community. Debbie also spent five years as the Board Chair for The Hope Center in Kansas City, a ministry that serves at-risk urban youth and families to restore communities.

Debbie earned her B.A. in creative writing, journalism, and psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University. She and her husband Bob have three adult sons; Rob, Douglas and Patrick.

Lewis Gregory

Chair, Board of Directors

Lewis D. Gregory is a Senior Vice President, Private Client Advisor at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management since 2016. Lewis brings over 25 years of combined trust and investment experience with Merrill Lynch Trust Company and Boatmen’s Trust Company, both in the Greater Kansas City region. He has a B.A. in Communications and Human Relations from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and J.D. from Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas. He has also obtained the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation. He is a past director of the Kansas City Estate Planning Society, a trustee of the University of Kansas Endowment Association (where he served as chair of the audit committee), and a trustee of the local and national boards of the Delta Upsilon Education Foundation.

Lewis and Laura started at Church of the Resurrection in 1996. Lewis served on the Foundation in its early years and is very pleased to return to the Foundation Board in his current tenure.

Stephen Harmon

Director, Board of Directors

Steve Harmon is a retired lawyer who serves as the Foundation’s Charitable Gift Advisor. After earning MBA and law degrees from KU, his 42-year professional career included the administration of trusts and decedent’s estates as well as qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, practicing law primarily in the area of charitable and estate planning with one of Kansas City’s major firms and serving as the senior lawyer of the largest bank trust company headquartered in Kansas City. In 2017, he was inducted into the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City Hall of Fame.

David Rock

Director, Board of Directors

Dave enjoyed a 37 year career with John Deere company working in sales, marketing and dealer development. Dave, Lisa and daughter Christine started attending Resurrection West in August 2008 after moving to Olathe from Frisco, Texas. Dave retired early in 2016 as work was “getting in the way” of the volunteer opportunities he preferred. After moving 12 times during his career, being settled in Olathe and actively engaging in church and community is an important part of his second half.

Dave has served on the Resurrection stewardship committee and the foundation as an adviser representing Resurrection West, is an associate lay leader member of Church Council, and is a member of the Resurrection West Phase III Building Committee and Community Impact team. He also volunteers with the Partner Church program, youth ministry, and Fall Festival. Dave is active in the Olathe community serving on the Olathe Public Schools Foundation and Johnson County Extension Council. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, spending time in his woodworking shop, and gardening.

Michele Janson

Director, Board of Directors

Michele has been a member of Church of the Resurrection since May 2014.

Heather Smith

Director, Board of Directors

Heather is a financial planner for an investment advisory firm in Overland Park. She has been attending Church of the Resurrection since July 2012 and has been involved with a number of ministries at the church, including SilverLink Ministries, Financial Peace University classes, and Disciple Bible Studies. She recently attended a trip to the Holy Land with Pastor Adam and a group of young adult leaders where she was deeply impacted by the life and legacy of Jesus.

Heather has a passion for helping others discover peace and personal agency with their financial resources, so that we all can have a greater impact in our community.

Ray Smith

Director, Board of Directors

Ray is a CPA whose career in nonprofit management has spanned 25 years, most recently as CFO for a national medical research foundation. He is an avid musician, and started attending Resurrection Leawood in 2006, serving as organist for the 7:45 chapel service for 11 years. During that time, he also served as a co-leader in A Child’s Hope foster adoption ministry, and made a commitment to include the church as a beneficiary of his retirement plans.

Ray assists with content for Resurrection Foundation’s brochures, newsletters, annual reports and website. Whenever Ray has a free weekend, you can find him on his jet ski down at Beaver Lake, where he also passes the time reading and watching Resurrection Online.

Bill Whitaker

Director, Board of Directors

William Whitaker is co-founder, Legal Advisor, Corporate Secretary and Director of two companies, Flow Forward Medical and Metactive Medical. Bill has worked as a lawyer in areas as diverse as corporate law and financing, estate planning, municipal bond financing, real estate development, litigation and transportation. He held partnerships in two law firms before forming his own law practice. Additionally, he has served on the Boards of Directors for the Heart of America Mutual Fund and Milburn Country Club, where he was President. Bill also served for three years on the Public Policy and Education Committee of Kansas BIO.

Bill is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BS in economics, and he received his law degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.  Bill started attending Church of the Resurrection in  2010 and became a member in 2015. Bill is also actively involved with the Backpacks for Hunger ministry.


Advisors serve the Foundation Board of Directors with special expertise and campus representation.

Bill Ellwood

Advisor, Blue Springs

Bill has been in the financial services industry over the last 35 years primarily serving in the Johnson County area. He and His wife Penny, who is the Campus Pastor at Resurrection Blue Springs, joined Resurrection when Penny was appointed to the church in 2009.

Bill loves to sing and over the years you may have seen him participating in local theatrical productions, including playing the part of God in the church’s production of Children of Eden. Bill has also sung in Christmas at Resurrection and with Resonate at Resurrection Leawood. He currently sings with the praise team in Blue Springs. He has led Financial Peace classes, started the student ministry at Blue Springs, and led Disciple classes. He has traveled to the Holy Land, Greece, Jamaica and Africa with the church, and is pleased to represent Blue Springs as an advisor on the Resurrection Foundation Board and believes we all need to make plans for a legacy gift to enable the church we love to dream big, “God-sized” dreams.

David Sisney

Advisor, Downtown

David is married to Kelly, has 2 kids – Blake (32) and Michelle (28) and grandson Jackson (8). He is a lifelong Methodist, a Member of Resurrection since 1993 and served in numerous capacities during that time.  In 2009, he and Kelly moved into Downtown Kansas City to help launch Resurrection Downtown.  He has been a Disciple Bible Study facilitator and Congregational Care Minister.  His professional background is in Business development, sales and fundraising.  He has 28 years in Medical Device, four years with Saint Paul School of Theology, and is currently helping churches with their Audio, Video and Lighting needs at Stark Raving Solutions.

For David and Kelly, their church family has always been there for them. Their community of faith is the single most positive thing in their lives. The friendships and relationships they formed have been transformational and life changing in so many ways.

He serves on the Foundation Board to preserve each of the campuses and the work that God is doing in each of their locations. His role is to help spread the good news of the Foundation’s work to the Resurrection Downtown Community.

Scott Blakesley

Advisor, Leawood

Scott is an attorney who focuses his legal practice in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and gift taxation, income taxation of trusts and estates, tax-exempt organizations, charitable planned giving, closely held businesses and individual and business tax planning. Scott is former member of the Foundation Board, and currently serves as an Advisor.

Over the years, Scott and his family have been very active in the music program at Church of the Resurrection, including 15 years of working with the youth choir known as CORis (his wife, Joyce, is the director of the ministry). He also loves to spend time with family and in the garden.

Gary Robben

Advisor, Leawood

After attending Kansas State University and majoring in Accounting, Gary worked as a senior accountant and then manager.  Through the years he developed into a banking expert professional and was involved in various bank audits at several banks throughout Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri. He eventually started his own accounting and consulting firm that catered to small businesses. In 1980s, he developed one of the first Asset/Liability models of an IBM computer and became a value-added dealer for IBM. Gary also ran an outsourcing interest rate risk measurement and management business for community banks in the Kansas City area.

Gary began attending Church of the Resurrection in the late 1990’s and became a member in 2003.  He was encouraged by Jeff Flottman to become actively involved and accordingly agreed to serve on the Finance Committee beginning 2012.  After four years on the Finance Committee he became an Advisor to the Foundation.

Joe Sims

Advisor, Leawood

Joe grew-up in Indiana and served as a Naval officer after graduating from DePauw University. He then earned an MBA from Butler University and began his 44 year CPA career with one of Kansas City’s largest CPA firms. He was promoted to partner in that firm, then served as partner-in-charge of the tax department of another multi-national firm in Kansas City. Joe then utilized his expertise to create niche CPA firms, specializing in bank taxation.

Joe and Susan joined Resurrection in 2012. He sang in the New Traditions Choir during its four-year tenure. As an Advisor to the Foundation, Joe assists Resurrection members in structuring their current and legacy gifts to yield greater tax savings, by utilizing IRAs, appreciated securities, Donor Advised Funds and Charitable Trusts. Susan and Joe’s highest priorities are son, Bryan, and granddaughter, Madeline, but they also enjoy travel and supporting the arts and sports of Kansas City.

Martha Carpenter Smith

Advisor, Leawood

Martha has had a career as a commercial banker, primarily with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she obtained a degree in Business Administration. After serving on the Resurrection Foundation Board from 2012 to 2017, Martha now serves as an Advisor.