Our Elders are men who meet the biblical qualifications for Christ-like character and the ability to faithfully and accurately teach the Word of God. They provide spiritual and practical oversight to the church through; (1) prayer, (2) teaching and preaching sound doctrine, exhortation, and refutation of those who contradict, (3) shepherding and keeping watch over the souls of church members and ministries, and (4) being examples of humble, sincere, and eager service.
Our elders (from left to right):
Our elders (from left to right):
Nathan Clark (Ashley), Rick Baumgarten (Dana), Josh Young (Molly), and Russ Taylor (Melissa).
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 Fleetridge 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
Josh Young, Worship and Students Minister (Molly, Judah, and Eliza)
The Young family joined the OBC family at the beginning of 2018. Josh was born and raised in Denver and later graduated from Simla High School on the eastern plains of Colorado. He is currently studying at Calvary Bible College to earn his B.A. in Advanced Biblical Studies and then hopes to continue his education at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Josh has served as Youth and Worship pastor and as Youth Ministry Director for more than 3 years elsewhere before accepting this position. Josh and Molly Young are blessed with two toddlers: Judah and Eliza. Josh and Molly are both fanatics of great coffee, exploring KC, and watching the Denver Broncos. Molly is also a very talented baker, who loves to make homemade treats like cinnamon rolls, croissants, and danishes.
Laura Bryan, Ministry Assistant (David, Alex, and Andrew)
The Bryan family have recently made Oakwood their church home and are thrilled to not only be a part of the family, but count it a blessing that Laura is now a part of the staff. Laura and her husband Dave have been married for 15 years and have two boys, Alex (14) and Andrew (11). After moving for work and having the opportunity to explore new cities and states the Bryans decided to set down roots in Kansas City where much of her family also reside. Laura has worked in administration and customer service over the years as needed while focusing much of her time on her boys as a stay-at-home mom. She has also volunteered in worship, youth, and missions over the years and enjoys writing in her spare time. Laura looks forward to being a part of the Oakwood Family and serving wherever she is needed!
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.