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Doug Walter - Senior Pastor

Doug assumed duties of Senior Pastor at Ashland July 2, 2017.  He has served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 28 years; serving in Dearborn, Lake Ozark, and Salem, Missouri.   Doug has an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.  Church growth and discipleship top Doug’s list of priorities. Doug  believes reaching people for Christ is most effectively engaged by the church being active in the community and being a witness for Jesus Christ.  He is responsible for leadership development, administration,  preaching, and delivering the Sacraments of the church.  When Doug isn’t in the office he is spending time with family and running the Parkway.  Doug and his family are avid MIZZOU sports fans and follow their Tigers whenever possible.  Doug and his wife Carol also share their lives with Mo and Maggie their beloved pups and Snap their independent thinking cat. 

** Doug works with the following ministries: trustees, generosity, missions, staff-parish relations, and lay leadership development **



Kathy Cordero - Director of Fiscal and Children's Ministries

Kathy has been directing Children's Ministries and the Mother's Day Out program at Ashland since 1998. She enjoys her work with children of all ages and especially enjoys helping them to grow in their knowledge of God and the Bible. In the summer of 2013, Kathy was additionally appointed Director of Fiscal Ministries. Kathy has four daughters - Cristy, Becky (and son-in-law Aaron), Teresa, and Tori, and one grand-daughter, Eliza. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and watching football - especially the Chiefs.

** Kathy works with the children's and fiscal ministries **




Shaun Agnew - Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries

Shaun has been the Director of Music and Worship Arts at Ashland since May 2004, directly after earning his B.S. in Vocal Music Education with a performance emphasis from Missouri Western State University. He is responsible for all church programs related to worship, music, and worship arts. This includes directing the Chancel Choir, Bell Tones handbell choir, and the worship team and praise band. With the support of a worship concept team, Shaun is charged with designing and organizing each of Ashland's worship services. Other areas he is in charge of include the drama ministries, the Audio/Visual technology teams, all special events and concerts hosted by Ashland, as well as directing all web, videography, and social media ministries. Outside of Ashland, Shaun is an adjunct professor of music at Missouri Western State University where he teaches private voice, fundamentals of voice and works heavily in the musical theatre program. Shaun is also active in the community as a director, performer, soloist, especially with the local community theatre, Robidoux Resident Theatre. In December 2009, Shaun completed his M.A. degree in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. When not working or singing, Shaun loves spending quality time with his wife, Jessica, and their dynamic dog-duo, Ferris and Fiona.

** Shaun works with the following ministires: music, worship, technology, drama, web development and social media. **

Sue Abarr - Chaplin

Sue Abarr joined the Ashland staff in 2017 as Chaplin. Since her retirement from teaching elementary school, Sue re-discovered her passion for engaging with people through the church community.  For four years, Sue visited nursing homes including Riverside, Meadowview, LaVerna, and Mosaic Hospital. She is married to Sam and has two grown children, twins Austin and Ashley, who live in Colorado and Washington, DC.  She and her husband have three dogs  who occasionally join nursing home visits as therapy dogs.

** Sue works with the following ministries: Inviting and Hospitality, Congregational Care **


Amy Grooms - Director of Youth Ministries
Amy has been involved with the youth program for years and became the Director of Youth Ministries in 2013. She loves working with the youth and teaching them about God's love and the redemption we have in Jesus. Amy especially delights in the fun activities involved with the youth program. She is married to Brad who also participates with the youth activities. They have two teenage daughters: Madi and Abbey. Amy loves spending time with family and friends. 

** Amy works with the following ministries: youth **
Chris Barber - Office Manager

Chris began working at Ashland in September of 2009. Her duties and responsibilities continue to expand, some of which are Ashland's communications including printed publications, announcement slides, maintaining the church calendar, Information Technology support, and a variety of other tasks. Originally from Kentucky and a coal miner's daughter, she has also lived in Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, and, of course, Missouri. She has two children and four grandchildren. Her hobbies are reading, the computer and being with family and friends. Chris and her husband, Frank, have been members of Ashland since October 2002.

** Chris works with the following ministries: communications and information technology **



Sara Mahaffy - Organist

Sara has been the organist at Ashland for over 30 years, during which she also served as director of children's choir for 16 years and began and directed the Bell Tones handbell choir for over 25 years. She earned a B.MEd. and M.Mus with a concentration in organ from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Having served as organist at churches in Texas and Oklahoma as well as here at Ashland, she is pleased to have been able to use her musical talents in this way of serving God for over 50 years. Sara is also a retired piano and organ teacher. Sara's husband, Don, is a retired mathematics profesor. They have two children, two grandsons, and four granddaughters. When Sara is not doing musical things, she enjoys reading, gardening, playing Wii, volunteer work, and traveling.

Additional Staff Members

Sammy Aures - Custodian

Mary Norris - Friday Office Clerk

Leah Conrad - Weekend Hospitality 

Bobbie Sue Bareiss - Nursery Attendant


Ashland United Methodist Church  *  2711 Ashland Avenue  *  St. Joseph, MO  64506  *  (816)-279-7419

Sunday Morning Worship Times  *  8:00  *  9:00  *  11:00