Rachel Siemens began as pastor of Faith Church in March 2014. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba and a Masters of Divinity from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Prior to becoming a pastor, Rachel worked in the financial services industry in Canada. She comes to Kansas from Wadsworth, Ohio, where she was pastor at First Mennonite Church for six years. When she left Canada, Rachel traded in her figure skates for golf clubs, which she uses weekly on the local courses. She also enjoys cooking, reading and exploring North Newton and Newton on her bike.
Rachel grew up in the Mennonite church and has a theology that is grounded in the life of Jesus within the Anabaptist tradition. She has a passion for creating meaningful worship services that help people encounter God, living out the command to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Worshipping God leads us to living out the second part of the command: loving our neighbor through acts of caring for each other and serving the least of these in our communities. Rachel believes God’s call for our lives is to “love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with God.”
Marshall Anderson joined the pastoral team as Associate Pastor in June 2017. While the team shares many functions, Marshall’s primary focus is with youth and young families, and the missional life of the church – which is a fancy way to say how we build healthy relationships outside the church walls.
Marshall and his wife, Lindsay, have three children. They moved to Newton from Fort Wayne, IN, where Marshall was pastor of North Leo Mennonite Church and a transitional pastor for Fairhaven Mennonite Church. While in Indiana, Marshall served Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference as a part of the Leadership Enhancement Team and was also a member of the Church Plant Network.
Marshall is a film buff and can quote lines from all different kinds of movies – a talent which is both useless and occasionally irritating. He also enjoys music and plays bass guitar and percussion. He plays golf, but doesn’t really qualify as a golfer. He enjoys losing golf balls.
Marshall has a heart for those who can’t imagine themselves fitting in at church. He believes God’s grace and love are greater than we know and everyone is welcome at the table. (Food. Marshall likes food too.) He is excited to be a part of the community at Faith Mennonite, and looks forward to continuing the work of building vibrant community.
Teresa Pickens joined the Faith Mennonite Church staff as Administrative Assistant in September 2015. Returning to her Kansas roots after living in Wisconsin for eleven years, Teresa enjoys her work at the church and counts it as one of her greatest blessings. Her primary function is to manage the day-to-day workings of the church office including bookkeeping, recordkeeping, website management, publishing weekly worship bulletins and monthly church calendars. She also serves and assists the pastors, council, boards, committees, and congregation as needed.
One of Teresa’s favorite Bible passages is Psalm 86 as it speaks of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and His awesomeness while it reflects her desire to walk in His ways and have her heart and life united with God’s will. It is Teresa’s prayer that her devotion to God shines through in all she says and does.
The mom of three adult daughters, Teresa loves spending time with family. In her free time, she enjoys woodworking and craft projects, sewing and needlework, reading, playing the piano and singing hymns.
Verda Deckert joined our ministry staff in 2009. She is a long-time Registered Nurse, graduating from Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Bethel College, and Wichita State University. After holding several different positions at Bethel Deaconess Hospital/Newton Medical Center, Verda taught in the Department of Nursing at Bethel College until retirement. She continues to work as needed in the preoperative/outpatient unit at Newton Medical Center.
Verda enjoys helping people discover how to work with their health problems, advocating for them during the stresses of illness and accident, and navigating the complicated health system.