Staff Directory (About Us)

Staff Directory

Senior Minister

  • Rev. Dr. John F. Ross  -

Senior Staff

  • Rev. S. Lindy Purdy - Minister of Pastoral Care
  • Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide - Minister of Spiritual Life
  • Rev. Leslie Neugent - Minister at Large
  • Rev. Frank Bennett - Minister at Large
  • Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton - Minister for Faith and Learning

Senior Staff Administration

  • Beverly Gores - Executive Assistant, Senior Pastor

Education

  • Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton - Minister for Faith and Learning
  • Gabe Flynn - Director, High School Ministry
  • Hilary Flynn - Director, High School Ministry, Summer Camp
  • Jodie Nyberg - Director, Children's Ministries
  • Shana Shurson - Director, Early Childhood Ministry
  • Christa Bowman - Director, Middle School Ministry
  • Kathy Handy - Program Administrative Assistant

Mission and Communications

  • Lou Vlahos - Director, Mission and Communications
  • Marnie Baehr - Graphic Design, Web & Print
  • Cami Farley - Beacon Editor; Coordinator of Columbarium
  • Ashleigh Kreider - Community Manager; Administrative Assistant
  • Bill Boulware - Director, Rummage Sale Ministries
  • Brianna Blaine - Assistant, Rummage Sale Ministries

Pastoral Care

  • Rev. S. Lindy Purdy - Minister of Pastoral Care
  • Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide - Minister of Spiritual Life
  • Rev. Leslie Neugent - Minister at Large, Parables Ministry
  • Rev. Frank Bennett - Minister at Large, Meridian Manor
  • Geri Carlson - Coordinator of Pastoral Care
  • Cami Farley - Beacon Editor; Coordinator of Columbarium

Music Ministry

  • Thomas Paulson - Director, Music Ministry
  • Diana Lee Lucker - Associate Director of Music, Organist
  • Autumn Toussaint - Assistant Director of Music, Contemporary
  • Neal Nordstrom - Bell Choirs
  • Lynda Sleeper - Tapestry Accompanist

Business Staff

  • Scott Woolery - Director of Operations
  • Liz Hilton - Generosity Director
  • Tereasa Nies - Accountant
  • Robin Carlson - Contributions/Administrative Assistant
  • Kris Erdhal - Coordinator, WC-Connect
  • Ashleigh Kreider - Community Manager; Administrative Assistant

Building and Grounds

  • John Estrem - Director, Building and Grounds
  • Oksana Billy - Housekeeper

WCC Nursery School

  • Sara Luedke - Director, Nursery School
  • Wendy Olson - Assistant Director, Nursery School
Rev. Dr. John F. Ross  -

Rev. Dr. John F. Ross

Reverend Dr. John F. Ross was installed as the 22nd Senior Minister of Wayzata Community Church on October 17, 2004.

Prior to coming to Wayzata Community Church, Dr. Ross was the Senior Associate Pastor at First Community Church of Columbus, Ohio, which is a UCC church with approximately 4,000 members. He preached weekly at the church’s North Campus.
Dr. Ross received his B.A. degree in 1989 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He completed his Master of Divinity in 1995 at Methodist Theological School of Ohio, and his Doctor of Ministry in May 2004 through the Chicago Theological Seminary.
952-473-8877, ext 212
Rev. S. Lindy Purdy - Minister of Pastoral Care

Rev. S. Lindy Purdy

Minister of Pastoral Care

Lindy Purdy is a true native of the Lake Minnetonka area— growing up in Excelsior, graduating from Minnetonka High School, and living in the Wayzata/Orono area all of her adult life. Lindy is married to John Purdy and they have two grown children; Alyssa and Ty (Tracy). After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Biology, Lindy was a Science teacher in the Hopkins school system. She later owned and ran a manufacturing business, Varia Enterprises, in Medina, Minnesota. In 1999, Lindy returned to school, attending United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She graduated with her Masters of Divinity in 2003. She served as Intern and Student Associate Minister at Union Church (UCC) in Elk River for two years, before accepting her first call at Wayzata Community Church.

Lindy was ordained in March of 2004, and has held several positions on the ministerial staff at Wayzata Community Church: Minister of Youth and Families, Minister of Church Life, and currently Minister of Pastoral Care.
952-473-8877, ext 202
Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide - Minister of Spiritual Life

Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide

Minister of Spiritual Life

Kristen Rouner Jeide grew up in Edina, MN, where her father served as Senior Minister of The Colonial Church of Edina (UCC) for 32 years. She is a 1974 graduate of Edina High School. In 1978, she graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon with a degree in English/Secondary Education. Kristen attended Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated in 1982. She has also completed the Spiritual Directors Formation Program at Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, MN.

Kristen was ordained in the United Church of Christ in November 1982 at Colonial Church of Edina. She served churches in North Canton, Ohio and Bayport, MN before joining the staff of Wayzata Community Church in the fall of 1986. Kristen has served in a variety of capacities as a minister among us over the years. She is thrilled to be serving now as minister of Spiritual Life— engaging people as companions on the spiritual journey particularly through a deepening life of prayer and reflection, sharing in small groups and retreats, special opportunities for worship and one-to-one reflection.
952-473-8877, ext. 234
Rev. Leslie Neugent - Minister at Large

Rev. Leslie Neugent

Minister at Large

Leslie Neugent grew up in Central New Jersey and attended Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. At Northwestern, Leslie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a Masters in Advertising degree from the Medill School of Journalism. Leslie worked in advertising agency account management in Chicago and Dallas for 10 years. From there, she moved into a new career at Texas Christian University as their Director of Admissions for the Masters Program in the MJ Neeley School of Business, in Fort Worth, TX.

Leslie left her career in the 1990’s to raise her two boys, Ryan and J.J. with her husband Chris. While raising a family, she attended United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN and received her Masters of Divinity Degree in May 2012. She was Ordained and Installed as an Associate Minister at Large at WCC in July 2012. Her primary responsibilities at the church include leading a ministry and worship service called Parables for people with special needs and their families and growing the wedding ministry at WCC.

Leslie serves on an Ethics Board at Hennepin County Medical Center and is on the Board of Trustees at United Theological Seminary.
Rev. Frank Bennett - Minister at Large

Rev. Frank Bennett

Minister at Large

Rev. Frank Bennett, M. Div., is Associate Minister At Large for Pastoral Care and Visitation. His ministry is focused caring for those facing significant health challenges and providing pastoral resources at the end of life for individuals and their families. Frank leads programs for community-based Advanced Care Planning, guiding persons as they consider their health-care choices based on their beliefs, values and faith. Frank also lead Wayzata’s outreach ministry to care facilities and hospices in the community. Frank serves as on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota COnference of the United Church of Christ and serves as a liaison between Wayzata and the Conference. Frank has been a member of Wayzata since 1996 and is a graduate of United Theological Seminary.
Beverly Gores - Executive Assistant, Senior Pastor

Beverly Gores Bev

Executive Assistant, Senior Pastor

Beverly was born and raised in Minneapolis and enjoys living there today. She graduated from Roosevelt High School, received a certificate as a Medical Assistant, and then moved on to the University of Minnesota, earning a B.A. degree in Journalism/Communications. Bev worked in downtown Minneapolis and became very active at her home church, Plymouth Congregational, volunteering on the Outreach Board, being a Stephen’s Minister, and working as their wedding coordinator.

After earning an M.Div at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton (where Lindy, Frank and Leslie earned their degrees), Bev enjoyed being a licensed minister in the United Church of Christ and serving a small church in Winthrop, MN. She decided to return to the corporate world, most recently as a Project Coordinator at UnitedHealth Group. Bev is excited about joining Wayzata Community Church as the Executive Assistant to Rev. Dr. John F. Ross and getting to know the WCC church members.
Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton - Minister for Faith and Learning

Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton

Minister for Faith and Learning

As Minister for Faith and Learning, Allen Hilton leads Wayzata Community Church’s Christian Education team, focusing on adult Christian discipleship. Allen loves his work and lives to help you find your next step forward in faith.

After degrees from George Fox College (B.A., 1985), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1989), and Yale University (Ph.D., 1997), Allen taught Bible at St. Mary’s College of California and then New Testament at the Yale Divinity School.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 issued a call to parish ministry. Allen has responded by serving as Minister of Christian Formation in the Congregational Church of New Canaan, and then Senior Minister of Plymouth Church, UCC, in Seattle. He joined the WCC clergy team in April of 2009.
Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton - Minister for Faith and Learning

Rev. Dr. Allen R. Hilton

Minister for Faith and Learning

As Minister for Faith and Learning, Allen Hilton leads Wayzata Community Church’s Christian Education team, focusing on adult Christian discipleship. Allen loves his work and lives to help you find your next step forward in faith.

After degrees from George Fox College (B.A., 1985), Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1989), and Yale University (Ph.D., 1997), Allen taught Bible at St. Mary’s College of California and then New Testament at the Yale Divinity School.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 issued a call to parish ministry. Allen has responded by serving as Minister of Christian Formation in the Congregational Church of New Canaan, and then Senior Minister of Plymouth Church, UCC, in Seattle. He joined the WCC clergy team in April of 2009.

Gabe Flynn

Director, High School Ministry

Gabe joined Wayzata Community Church in November 2005 to create new programs for High School youth.Through education, fellowship and mission work, the program works to encourage young people as they grow in their faith and relationship with God.

Gabe grew up in the United Church of Christ, and served for four yers as the Director of Middle School Ministry as well as the Assistant Camp Director for First Community Church's summer camp in Logan, OH. He earned a degree in English from Miami University in Oxford, OH.
952-473-8877, ext. 274

Hilary Flynn

Director, High School Ministry, Summer Camp

Hilary and Gabe came to WCC in the fall of 2003 to create new programs for High School youth. Through education, fellowship and mission work, the program works to encourage young people as they grow in their faith and relationship with God.

Prior to coming to WCC, Hilary served for 2 years as the High School Ministry Assistant at First Community Church in Columbus OH. She attended Willamette University in Salem, OR, earning a degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies. Recently, Hilary earned her Master's Degree in Communication from Ohio State University.
952-473-8877, ext. 273

Jodie Nyberg

Director, Children's Ministries

Jodie Nyberg is an Arizona native, born in Tucson and raised in Scottsdale. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Elementary Education. Before marrying and moving to Minnesota in 1990, Jodie taught 2nd grade for 7 years in the Washington School District in Phoenix, AZ. After settling in Minnetonka, Jodie continued her teaching career for the Minnetonka Public Schools, teaching 2nd and 4th grade.

While raising her 3 children, she took 5 years off from her teaching career and ran a home daycare for teachers’ children in her Minnetonka home. Jodie returned to teaching in 2001, working part time as an Early Childhood Family Educator and preschool teacher. During this time, she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and wrote church school curriculum for Wayzata Community Church, her church home since 1999. Jodie is now beginning her 5th year as the Director of Children’s Ministries at Wayzata Community Church, serving families with children from the ages of birth-5th grade.
952-473-8877, ext. 222
Shana Shurson - Director, Early Childhood Ministry

Shana Shurson

Director, Early Childhood Ministry

Shana Shurson has been the Director of Early Childhood Ministries at Wayzata Community Church since February of 2013. She began to attend services at WCC in 2008. They joined as members in 2010 and immediately Shana began to volunteer her time for various children’s programs. She also drove for Meals on Wheels for a total of 3 years. In addition to working at WCC, Shana also works as a classroom paraeducator with the Orono Intermediate schools.

Shana has 2 children, Ana, 7th grade and Alek, 4th grade at Orono schools. She lives with her husband, Stephen, 2 children, a cat, bunny and fish in Maple Plain Minnesota. Stephen works as a landscape architect with the Three Rivers Park district.

Shana attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks but before finishing, moved to Germany where she spent 4 years traveling and learning the language and culture. After returning from Europe she began to work in the insurance industry. Having a 15 year career with disability insurance she decided that it was time to pursuit her passion, which is working with children. Shana returned to school and obtained a BA with honors from Ashford University’s online program.

When she is not working, Shana enjoys running, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking and hiking, preferably in the mountains.
(952) 473-8877 ext. 227
Christa Bowman - Director, Middle School Ministry

Christa Bowman

Director, Middle School Ministry

Christa was baptized, confirmed and was actively involved at Wayzata Community Church while growing up. After graduating from Wayzata High School in 2006, she studied Interior Architecture and Product Design at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS (the Little Apple) while being on the Women’s Rowing Team. In the spring of 2010, she studied abroad in Germany, and then received her Master’s degree in the spring of 2011.

Christa interned in the WCC Middle School, Littlest Angels program, and worked at WCC Summer Camp for two summers. She left for Naivasha, Kenya in September, 2012 where she lived and worked at Light of Hope Home and School for Girls for 4 months. This was a faith formative experience for Christa and when she returned to Minnesota in January, she started looking for a position in Children’s or Youth Ministry.

While working at WCC 2013 Summer Camp, Christa received a call asking if she would be interested in accepting the position of Interim Middle School Director. Christa started as the Interim Director the day she got home from Camp, took 12 kids on the Middle School Mission Trip 10 days later and loves working with the students at WCC.
952-473-8877, ext. 233

Kathy Handy

Program Administrative Assistant

952-473-8877, ext. 231

Lou Vlahos

Director, Mission and Communications

Lou Vlahos has a passion for communicating with others. In business, his award-wining, 25-year career brought him to large companies in the shelter industry, like Whirlpool Financial Corporation, where he worked as Director of Communications and the Western-Southern Life Insurance Company as Director/Assistant Vice-President of Communications and Public Relations.

He also worked with many of the giants in the industry like Pulte homes, RCA, Toro, and Anderson Windows, developing business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and advertising financing programs. Prior to his accepting this position at WCC, Lou was with Spiralgroup Inc. a marketing, branding and social media company in San Francisco, CA.

In recognition of his achievements, Lou won three national awards, Addy, Telly, and Insurance Communicator’s-Lifetime Achievement Award and achieved national recognition in “Fortune Magazine” and “Sales and Marketing Magazine” for successful database management, inbound and customer relationship marketing.

Lou enjoys cooking and body building and lives in Wayzata with his partner, Tom Paulson. He is the proud father of three sons and has a B.S. in Communication Technology and Marketing from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
952-473-8877, ext. 262

Marnie Baehr

Graphic Design, Web & Print

952-473-8877, ext. 238

Cami Farley

Beacon Editor; Coordinator of Columbarium

952-473-8877, ext. 225

Ashleigh Kreider

Community Manager; Administrative Assistant

952-473-8877

Bill Boulware

Director, Rummage Sale Ministries

952-473-8877
Rev. S. Lindy Purdy - Minister of Pastoral Care

Rev. S. Lindy Purdy

Minister of Pastoral Care

Lindy Purdy is a true native of the Lake Minnetonka area— growing up in Excelsior, graduating from Minnetonka High School, and living in the Wayzata/Orono area all of her adult life. Lindy is married to John Purdy and they have two grown children; Alyssa and Ty (Tracy). After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Biology, Lindy was a Science teacher in the Hopkins school system. She later owned and ran a manufacturing business, Varia Enterprises, in Medina, Minnesota. In 1999, Lindy returned to school, attending United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She graduated with her Masters of Divinity in 2003. She served as Intern and Student Associate Minister at Union Church (UCC) in Elk River for two years, before accepting her first call at Wayzata Community Church.

Lindy was ordained in March of 2004, and has held several positions on the ministerial staff at Wayzata Community Church: Minister of Youth and Families, Minister of Church Life, and currently Minister of Pastoral Care.
952-473-8877, ext. 202
Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide - Minister of Spiritual Life

Rev. Kristen Rouner Jeide

Minister of Spiritual Life

Kristen Rouner Jeide grew up in Edina, MN, where her father served as Senior Minister of The Colonial Church of Edina (UCC) for 32 years. She is a 1974 graduate of Edina High School. In 1978, she graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon with a degree in English/Secondary Education. Kristen attended Princeton Theological Seminary and graduated in 1982. She has also completed the Spiritual Directors Formation Program at Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, MN.

Kristen was ordained in the United Church of Christ in November 1982 at Colonial Church of Edina. She served churches in North Canton, Ohio and Bayport, MN before joining the staff of Wayzata Community Church in the fall of 1986. Kristen has served in a variety of capacities as a minister among us over the years. She is thrilled to be serving now as minister of Spiritual Life— engaging people as companions on the spiritual journey particularly through a deepening life of prayer and reflection, sharing in small groups and retreats, special opportunities for worship and one-to-one reflection.
952-473-8877, ext 234
Rev. Leslie Neugent - Minister at Large, Parables Ministry

Rev. Leslie Neugent

Minister at Large, Parables Ministry

Leslie Neugent grew up in Central New Jersey and attended Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. At Northwestern, Leslie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and a Masters in Advertising degree from the Medill School of Journalism. Leslie worked in advertising agency account management in Chicago and Dallas for 10 years. From there, she moved into a new career at Texas Christian University as their Director of Admissions for the Masters Program in the MJ Neeley School of Business, in Fort Worth, TX.

Leslie left her career in the 1990’s to raise her two boys, Ryan and J.J. with her husband Chris. While raising a family, she attended United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN and received her Masters of Divinity Degree in May 2012. She was Ordained and Installed as an Associate Minister at Large at WCC in July 2012. Her primary responsibilities at the church include leading a ministry and worship service called Parables for people with special needs and their families and growing the wedding ministry at WCC.

Leslie serves on an Ethics Board at Hennepin County Medical Center and is on the Board of Trustees at United Theological Seminary.
Rev. Frank Bennett - Minister at Large, Meridian Manor

Rev. Frank Bennett

Minister at Large, Meridian Manor

Rev. Frank Bennett, M. Div., is Associate Minister At Large for Pastoral Care and Visitation. His ministry is focused caring for those facing significant health challenges and providing pastoral resources at the end of life for individuals and their families. Frank leads programs for community-based Advanced Care Planning, guiding persons as they consider their health-care choices based on their beliefs, values and faith. Frank also lead Wayzata’s outreach ministry to care facilities and hospices in the community. Frank serves as on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota COnference of the United Church of Christ and serves as a liaison between Wayzata and the Conference. Frank has been a member of Wayzata since 1996 and is a graduate of United Theological Seminary.
952-473-8877

Geri Carlson

Coordinator of Pastoral Care

952-473-8877, ext. 224

Cami Farley

Beacon Editor; Coordinator of Columbarium

952-473-8877, ext 225

Thomas Paulson

Director, Music Ministry

Tom has been Director of Music at Wayzata Community Church since August 2003. He directs the Chancel Choir, the Celebration Singers, heads the Music Team and guest conducts Allegro Sinfonia, the Wayzata Community Church orchestra-in-residence, in twice yearly collaborations with the Chancel Choir.

Tom is a published composer and arranger, he holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.
952-473-8877, ext. 216

Brianna Blaine

Assistant, Rummage Sale Ministries

952-473-8877

Diana Lee Lucker

Associate Director of Music, Organist

Diana Lee Lucker was born in Seattle, WA and began piano studies with her mother, Julia Kennelly, a well-known pianist. She later studied organ with Ronald Hooper at the University of Washington and held her first church position at the age of 12. Her grandfather was Ernest Balcom of the Balcom and Vaughan pipe organ builders. She studied at the Juilliard School of music and received her B.A., M.A., and D.M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota. She was Assistant Professor of Music at both Augsburg College and Bethel College and for 16 years was organist of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, the largest Lutheran congregation in the United States.

Diana Lee is the Associate Director of Music, Organist and Music Series Director at Wayzata Community Church, where she has been on staff for twelve years. As former Dean of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, she continues to be involved in activities of the Chapter and is the Executive Assistant for the 2008 National AGO convention in Minneapolis. She has played recitals in the U.S., in Europe and Scandinavia and maintains a large class of organ students. Her organ concerto performances with Allegro Sinfonia and with the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis have received rave reviews.

Diana Lee was honored in 2006 by Allegro Sinfonia, who named the newly established Camp Scholarship, the Lucker Camp Scholarship, in recognition of her role in establishing the Music Series at Wayzata Community Church.
952-473-8877, ext. 247

Autumn Toussaint

Assistant Director of Music, Contemporary

Autumn was born in Newnan, GA and raised in Opelika, AL. She began studying music and dance at the age of 5. Her father was a Baptist Minister, so singing in church and helping to produce their dramatic presentations and musicals was a way of life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Samford University in Musical Theater, and a Master of Human Relations from the University Of Oklahoma. Autumn has worked extensively in the professional musical theater realm in both Europe and the United States.

She has been a member of Wayzata Community Church for over 10 years, and currently leads the music at the Contemporary Service, Directs the Children's and Youth Choirs, and is Director of The Good Works Community Theater. Her mission at WCC is to encourage a welcoming environment for ALL AGES to join in praising God together through song, drama, dance, and any other avenue that might happen to occur!

Autumn and her husband Chris have a precious 5 year old, Kevin Thomas, and they live in Excelsior.
952-473-48877, ext. 235

Neal Nordstrom

Bell Choirs

Lynda Sleeper

Tapestry Accompanist

Scott Woolery

Director of Operations

952-473-8877

Liz Hilton

Generosity Director

Liz has both BA and JD degrees from the University of Texas in Austin, an MA degree in Religion from the Yale Divinity School, and many years as both a volunteer and professional fundraiser, serving most recently as Director of Fund Development for CRISTA Ministries in Seattle, Washington.
952-473-8877

Tereasa Nies

Accountant

952-473-8877, ext. 230

Robin Carlson

Contributions/Administrative Assistant

952-473-8877, ext. 218

Kris Erdhal

Coordinator, WC-Connect

952-473-8877

Ashleigh Kreider

Community Manager; Administrative Assistant

952-473-8877

John Estrem

Director, Building and Grounds

John Estrem is a native of Minnesota. He was born in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Louis Park. A member of Wayzata Community Church for the past 25 years, he has been an employee here for 28 years.

As Director of Building and Grounds, John manages a large staff and works with a number of volunteers on several committees. It is the mission of John’s team to ensure that Wayzata Community Church is a safe, comfortable and welcoming place for the members of this church and the community so that we can fulfill our mission to do the work that God calls us to do.

One of John’s duties is to coordinate all the weddings that happen here at Wayzata Community Church. In this capacity, John provides support and “a stress free” zone for all couples who are married here.

One of John’s passions over the years has been the people of Haiti. He has made 19 mission trips there because he feels Haiti, in particular, gives him perspective on life and what is really important. He has often commented that he believes he needs Haiti more than Haiti needs him.
952-473-8877

Oksana Billy

Housekeeper

952-473-8877, ext. 260

Sara Luedke

Director, Nursery School

(952) 473-2114, ext. 219

Wendy Olson

Assistant Director, Nursery School

(952) 473-2114, ext. 221