Our Staff

We are a congregation of The United Methodist Church, a denomination that finds its roots in spiritual revival, and has impacted millions across the globe. The United Methodist Church seeks to serve others, nurture constantly growing relationships with God, and connect with those in the world around us today.

 For more information about our background and The United Methodist Church, please visit www.umc.org

Profile image of Chris Abel

Chris Abel

Senior Pastor


Chris Abel is our senior pastor and describes himself as a "Pastor/Creative-type/Adventurer." A former atheist turned passionate follower of Christ, he completed his seminary education in Washington, DC. Before coming to First UMC Blue Springs, Chris pastored at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood and The Gathering in St. Louis. 

Profile image of Erika Braun

Erika Braun

Associate Pastor and Director of Youth Ministries


I am about as spirited as it gets! If you stand next to me long enough I will surely have you laughing! I have two beautiful cat children and a wonderful husband! I am such a morning person! Some of my favorite Bible verses are Proverbs 3:3 and Philippians 4:7; love and peace, what more could we need from our wonderful God! 

Profile image of Andrea Lyttle

Andrea Lyttle

Office Manager


I  love  gardening, animals, traveling and all things sports.  My LOVE of sports is all things Royals and Chiefs and am now part of the Red Coaters for the KC Chiefs!!!
Profile image of Brooke  Roskop

Brooke Roskop

Director of Missions


I like to crochet.  I am self taught and still learning but it keeps my hands a mind busy.  My husband, 11 year old daughter, and I live in Blue Springs with our crazy dog.  My passion is to provide service opportunities for First UMC, my family, and me! When I am not working, my time is spent shuttling Sydney, our daughter, to and from swimming and volleyball practices and meets/tournaments.


Profile image of Joanne Jones

Joanne Jones

Director of Children's Ministry


I love every component of my life and would not trade it for anything.   My husband, Andy and I are the proud parents of two very active boys,  Jackson age 10 and Kolby 7.  When I am not at church, working with my real estate clients or teaching bible time at  Learning Ladder Preschool - you will find me at a sporting event or practice with one of my boys. In my spare time - of which there isn't much - I enjoy selling Thirty One Products, hanging out with my English bull dog Toby and having fun with my family and friends. If you find yourself in the educational wing, please stop by, as I love meeting new people.

Profile image of Kristi Harris

Kristi Harris

Director of Invitational Ministries and Membership


I am a wife to a wonderfully patient man, a mother to two very spirited kids (ages 17 and 9), and a child of God.  When I am not at work I enjoy being around my family, cooking, traveling and supporting all things St. Louis.  

Profile image of Elaine Buchholz

Elaine Buchholz

Church Treasurer


I started at First UMC in 2003.  Since then I've added several grandchildren to my world who delight and consume me.  My husband and I own a condo at the Lake of the Ozarks and love doing all the things this beautiful area provides.  I enjoy working jigsaw puzzles and spending time with family.

Profile image of Eli Biesemeyer

Eli Biesemeyer

Media Coordinator


I have the pleasure of applying and utilizing technology for worship. Our videos, contemporary and traditional worship, as well as livestreaming, are crafted by myself and a small team of devoted individuals motivated by making services as memorable as possible. You can find me in my spare time performing in local theatre, or playing competitive games with friends.

Ian Hindle