Russ Taylor, Pastor (Melissa, Jake, Emma, and Luke)
The Taylors joined the OBC staff in April 2003. Russ was born and bred in Kansas City, graduating from Lee's Summit High School. He has a B.S. in Bible from Calvary Bible College and a Masters of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After serving as both the Student Pastor (2003-2006) and Associate Pastor (2006-2015), Russ accepted his current position in April, 2015.
Russ and Melissa are blessed with three children: Jake, Emma, and Luke. Melissa has taught 5th grade at Feetridge Elementary in Raytown since 2001 and loves teaching, shopping, and reading. Russ enjoys sports, puttering, and KU basketball. Though raised in Missouri, only God and family are more dear to his heart than KU basketball. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS!!!
Click Here for the Pastor's Page
Beth Azure, Music Ministry Assistant (Chris, Fitz, and Georgianna)
Beth became the church pianist in 2004 and accepted her current position in 2013. Beth holds a bachelor’s of music at Wheaton College and a Master’s of music from UMKC. In addition to her church duties, Beth is a part-time, adjunct faculty at Metropolitan Community College, teaches piano privately at Celebration Academy as well as music at Discovery Homeschool Academy. Beth and her husband, Chris, live with their son and daughter, Fitz and Georgianna, in Raytown. Chris is both a doctoral student and an Adjunct Professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Carol Bowers, Ministry Assistant (Bill)
Carol is the newest staff member, beginning in April, 2016. Carol is married to Bill and they have two grown children, Bill Jr. and Ann. Carol holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Education and a Master's Degree in Business and Office Education. She taught in Missouri public schools for 13 years and at Southwest Baptist University for two years. She served as a pastor's wife for 11 years, a Director of Associational Missions wife for 19 years, and as an International Mission Board missionary in Romania and South Africa for 15 years. Bill and Carol enjoy sharing how God is at work around our world, and spending time with their son and daughter and their spouses.
Ashley Clark, Children's Director (Nathan, Emmett, and Nora)
Ashley joined the Oakwood staff in the summer of 2014. Ashley is married to Nathan and. they have a son and daughter, Emmett and Nora. She grew up in Lee’s Summit Missouri and has attended Oakwood Baptist Church since she was 10 years old. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from UMKC in 2009. In 2012, she finished her Masters degree in Education at Baker University. She taught 4th and 2nd grade for the Independence School District for 5 years before deciding to take a break from teaching full time to have more time with her family. She is excited to use her love of children and the Lord to serve at Oakwood.