(913) 232-4112 foundation@cor.org

Foundation Team

Meet the people who lead the Resurrection Foundation.

Foundation Staff

Debi Nixon

Executive Director Donor Relations | Resurrection Foundation

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.

Ashley Cheung

Donor Relations and Planned Giving

I grew up in Wichita, Kansas and joined the United Methodist Church as a college student. After college, my husband and I moved to Kansas City where I earned a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology. Following seminary, we moved across the country three times, adding two incredible children to our family. Our entire family is thrilled to be back home in Kansas City and I am honored to be joining the donor relations team at Church of the Resurrection. I truly believe God’s healing work in the world is accomplished through extravagant generosity!

Gwyn Thomas

Donor Relations

My husband Blake and I met in Chicago and lived there for six years before he accepted a call at Church of the Resurrection’s West location to lead their student ministries. I have the honor to serve on the Development Team as the Donor Development Specialist. I earned a B.S. in Business & Economics from North Park University in Chicago, IL. It is one of my life’s greatest joys to meet new people, hear their stories and learn about what makes them unique. My favorite past-times include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with Blake and our large orange cat, Tuna.

Linda Roser

Foundation Donor Relations

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, two daughters-in-law, and two wonderful grandchildren.

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

Chair, 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.

Heather Counts

Director, Board of Directors

Heather is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience who established The Counts Law Firm, LLC in 2009, an estate planning firm located in Prairie Village, Kansas.  Her firm serves clients in Kansas and Missouri and focuses on estate planning, tax planning, probate proceedings, estate and trust administration, and probate and trust litigation.  Heather is active in the community and has served various organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities and Children’s Mercy Hospital.  She serves as a Director for the Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium and is an adjunct professor at UMKC School of Law where she teaches Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits.  Heather enjoys cooking, travel, and spending time with her daughter, Evie Rose.

 She has been a member of Church of the Resurrection since 2018 and attends church at the Leawood Campus.

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.

Stephanie Hubers

Director, Board of Directors

Stephanie Hubers is an Executive Assistant at the Church of the Resurrection.  Stephanie and her husband Jeremy have been members of Church of the Resurrection since 2006 and currently attend Resurrection Downtown.  Stephanie and Jeremy have led Financial Peace University classes since 2009.  Stephanie enjoys volunteering in the community through Church of the Resurrection; the Myasthenia Gravis Association, where she is a Board Member; and Rose Brooks Center. 

Stephanie earned her B.A. in business administration from Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa.


Michele Janson

Director, Board of Directors

Michele Janson is a small business consultant offering expertise in the areas of administrative operations, implementing and improving processes, business strategy, Quickbooks accounting software and accounting/finance.

With over 40 years of business experience including 15 years as the head of her consulting company, prior positions include 5 years managing the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, 16 years in numerous assignments across Sprint’s local and long-distance divisions, and 6 years in the auditing department of the public accounting firm Arthur Young.

Michele has also held numerous past and present leadership positions with the not-for-profit and entrepreneurial support communities in Kansas City.  The primary focuses of her volunteer activities are fundraising, grant writing, event and gala planning, and accounting/finance.  Michele has attended Church of the Resurrection Downtown since 2010.

Michele is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant.  Michele earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri–Columbia and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Evan Johnson

Director, Board of Directors

Evan is an attorney practicing in the areas of investment management, corporate, and securities law. He currently works in-house at American Century Investments. Before joining American Century, he was a member of the mergers and acquisitions practice group at a large firm in Dallas. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwest Baptist University. In his spare time, he enjoys running and music, and he has played guitar in several different worship teams, including at Church of the Resurrection.

He and his wife Emily have been members of Church of the Resurrection since 2017 and currently attend the Overland Park campus.


Bob Kirkland

Director, Board of Directors

Bob Kirkland is a founding partner of the law firm of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP, which has offices in Liberty, Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, Clayton, Missouri and Overland Park, Kansas.  He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Kansas.  He works with a variety of individual clients, handling the preparation of estate planning instruments, and counseling clients in the areas of estate and gift tax minimization, probate avoidance, gifting techniques, asset protection, charitable planning, and business succession planning.  He also advises fiduciaries in estate, conservatorship and trust administration matters.

He is married to Pam and has three adult children, Spencer (Birmingham, AL), Chad (Chicago, IL) and Amanda (Charlotte, NC).


Rob Oltjen

Director, Board of Directors

As a wealth advisor, Rob is responsible for delivering customized financial planning with an emphasis on the areas of risk management, investing and wealth transfer. He constructs a team of UMB advisors around the specific needs of his clients to deliver holistic financial solutions.

Rob has more than 25 years of financial experience in wealth management and commercial banking. Throughout his career, he has served in significant roles including senior management positions in Wealth Management and Correspondent Banking. Rob collaborates with a team of trust advisors, portfolio managers, financial advisors and private bankers in providing comprehensive wealth management solutions to high net worth clients.

Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Bill Prugh

Director, Board of Directors

Bill Prugh is retired as a full-time tax, estate planning, and corporation lawyer. After earning his LLM-Taxation law degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1972, his 44-year professional career included practicing law mainly in the fields of taxation, tax controversies, estate planning, and general corporation law at a major law firm and then drafting contracts, deeds, leases and other documents for a local real estate development firm. He will bring a wealth of knowledge in estate planning as one of the new Resurrection Foundation Board members in 2021.

 He attends Church of the Resurrection at the Overland Park Campus and volunteers with the Hunger Ministry.

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.

Glenetta Schierding

Director, Board of Directors

Glenetta is a charter member of Church of the Resurrection and served as its first treasurer. She attended Emporia State, and worked nearly 40 years in banking and wealth management, primarily as a personal trust officer. She was nominated to and sat on the Trust Division board of the Kansas Bankers Association, and served as its president for a year. She was also on the board of the Mo-Kan Trust conference and co-chair for a year.   She happily retired in 2015.

Glenetta and her husband Don were married 38 years prior to his passing in 2019. She resides in Overland Park with Oreo, her cat, and attends the Leawood location, where she sings with the traditional music choir.

Ray Smith

Director, Board of Directors

Ray is a CPA whose career in nonprofit management has spanned 30 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.

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.

Doug Spencer Headshot

Doug Spencer

Director, Board of Directors

Doug is a Certified Financial Planner® and Senior Resident Financial Planner for Financial Finesse, the nation’s leading unbiased financial wellness provider. Prior to joining Financial Finesse, he worked in financial wellness at MHNGS and Zeiders, had his own financial planning practice, and worked in the Trust and Wealth Management divisions of both UMB Bank and First Horizon in the Kansas City area.

Doug has extensive charitable giving and planned giving experience both as a volunteer and professionally. Doug previously served two terms on the Resurrection Foundation as well as serving on the board of the Kansas Methodist Foundation, including one year as board chair. Prior to joining UMB and moving into financial planning, Doug worked as a Development Officer at the KSU Foundation raising major gifts and planned gifts benefitting K-State.

Doug and his wife Karen have two daughters and have been members of Resurrection since 1998. He has served as an usher, helped with the Resurrection Classic golf tournament and auction, participated in several mission trips with RezLife and along with Karen has led two small groups and a Disciple Bible Study class.

Bill Taylor

Director, Board of Directors

Bill Taylor retired as a partner after a 35 year career with an international public accounting firm, serving clients principally in the financial services industry. After retirement, he has served on the boards of a mutual fund, two for profit firms and several not for profit organizations. He has over 25 years of experience serving as clients, or as a trustee, three of the largest arts and university endowments in the Kansas City area.

Bill, Marilyn and family attended Valley View United Methodist Church for many years before it became a campus of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in 2019.  He served on the committee that evaluated becoming a campus, and in many other capacities at Valley View.

Bill is a graduate of the University of Kansas with degrees in Business Administration and Accounting, and has served and supported the University in several capacities, including the endowment and alumni associations as a trustee, the business school, multicultural scholars programs and study abroad.

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.

Lewis Gregory

Past Chair

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 as an Advisor to the Foundation.

Stephen Harmon

Advisor, Leawood

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.

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.

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.