Readiness 360 Coaches

Gideon Achi

Gideon has served in the Great Plains Conference since 2016. He serves Alliance and Lakeside UMC in the Great West District. He is originally from the Evangelical Church Winning All International. Gideon received his BA, MA from Nigeria, MDiv and ThM from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He has a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is passionate about church revitalization and strategic congregational development.

Gideon serves on the District Strategy and Disciple Resource team and the District's Church Location & Building Team. He is married to Esther Achi and resides in Alliance, NE.

Areas of Specialty: Lay Leadership Development, R360, Sermon Coaching, and Congregational Care, Clergy Coaching and Mentoring

District: Great West

Contact Gideon:

Jim Akins

Jim is a retired Elder in the Great Plains Conference and is currently serving the Frankfort, Axtell, and Beattie United Methodist Churches. He has pastored in a variety of churches throughout the state of Kansas and served three years as the Hays District Superintendent.

Areas of Specialty: coaching clergy and churches, including the R360 process; trained in conflict management, arbitration and mediation, intentional transit and interim ministry, and the Appreciative Inquiry process

District: Flint Hills

Contact Jim:

Mark Baldwin

Mark serves the HSP Parish of Hershey, Sutherland and Paxton in Southwest Nebraska. He is currently the Great West District Strategy Team Facilitator, along with the Great West Network Leader. One of his churches is in the process of Readiness 360, but was put on hold because of COVID. They will resume the program soon. He believes R360 can be a valuable tool for all churches in the Great Plains Conference.

Areas of Specialty: Goal setting, visioning, R360

District: Great West

Contact Mark:

Quentin Bennett

Quentin Bennett, a retired elder, holds a BS in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska, an MBA from Texas A&M – Texarkana, and MDiv and DMin from St. Paul School of Theology. Quentin’s DMin work was focused on ministry with, and among the Anglo people of rural communities.

Quentin has served twice as an advocate for the United Methodist Rural Ministries/Advocates in both the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences. Quentin has taught New Testament and Preaching for the Certified Lay Speakers schools. In Quentin’s more than 30 years of ministry, he has served both large and small congregations.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Family Systems, Clergy Coaching and mentoring, Small Church Coaching

District: Wichita

Contact Quentin:

Tim Bever

District: Hutchinson

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Bethann Black

District: Missouri River

Contact Bethann:



Michael Carpenter

Michael Carpenter is originally from the Oklahoma Conference, where he attended Saint Paul School of Theology’s Oklahoma City campus. He has served in several distinct kinds of congregations, ranging from pastoral‐sized churches in rural towns to a very large congregation in a metropolitan area. Michael is passionate about helping churches develop healthy systems and discipleship pathways for sustained growth. Michael is currently serving at Wahoo First UMC in Wahoo, NE, and lives with his wife and three young children.

Area of Specialty: R360

District: Blue River

Contact Michael:

Isaac Chua

District: Wichita West

Contact Isaac:


Craig Collins

District: Great West

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Nicole Conard

Rev. Nicole Conard is the Campus Ministry and Young Adults Coordinator in the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has previously served on conference staff as the Transition into Ministry Director. From 2006‐2012, she was a Pastor in Congregational Care at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Currently, she focuses on campus ministries, helping churches develop young leaders, and vital congregations. She has a BA in Religion and Human Services from Elon University and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. After visiting John Wesley’s birthplace in England, she has a passion for the Methodist way of life and faith. She has enjoyed visiting brothers and sisters in the Methodist Church in Russia, Haiti, and Zimbabwe and now she appreciates traveling around the Great Plains. She is married to Andrew for 14 years and has two kids, John and Anne. She likes coaching and helping leaders and congregations take the next faithful step in ministry.

Contact Nicole:

Brenda Davids

Rev. Brenda Davids is a lifelong United Methodist from rural Kansas. Her first career was managing corporate bakery factories. She has extensive experience leading multi-disciplinary and multi-generational teams. She is passionate about camping ministry, youth ministry, and small membership churches. She is married to a police officer and they have four adult children and 4 grandchildren.

Areas of Specialty: Discipleship pathways, Lay Leadership development and small churches

District: Flint Hills

Contact Brenda:

Kevin Dixon

Kevin serves as a full-time licensed local pastor at Immanuel United Methodist Church in Bird City, KS. He began his appointment in April 2015. He is a retired high school math teacher and a rancher with cattle and goats. He and his wife, Abbi have three grown daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.

Areas of Specialty: Lay Leadership Development, Visioning, R360, Pastor Sermon Coaching, Congregational Care

District: Hays

Contact Kevin:

Bruce Emmert

Bruce retired in 2022 as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church with over 40 years of experience as a pastor, District Superintendent, and denominational leader. His experience includes:

  • Pastored county-seat, rural, urban, and suburban congregations, including a 1450-member church with 10 full-time and 11 part-time staff.
  • Readiness 360 Coach for the Great Plains Conference.
  • Taught St. Paul School of Theology Course of Study as Adjunct Professor of Preaching for five years.
  • Doctorate in Leadership and Biblical Preaching.
  • Will achieve IFC certification and an endorsement as a Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist in the United Methodist Church.

Areas of Specialty: Readiness 360, Clergy Coaching, Life Mission Development & Goal Setting, Preaching, and Leadership.

District: Missouri River

Contact Bruce:

Andrew Finch

Andrew is associate pastor at Omaha St Paul UMC. He and wife Meagan have one son, John. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is currently finishing his Master of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is passionate in creating space for others to come to know Jesus in their own ways. His ministry stems from these four concepts: Creative expressions of hope; Powerful, vulnerable storytelling; Meaningful relationships and engaged communities that practice support and empathy; and Honest embrace of both our complexity and our brokenness. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family first and foremost! He is an avid supporter of Nebraska Cornhusker Football (Go Big Red!!!) and Sporting KC Soccer. His hobbies include traveling, barbecuing, and enjoying a nice sweet tea during the summer months.

District: Topeka

Contact Andrew:

Craig Finnestad

Dr. Craig Finnestad is the founding pastor of The Water’s Edge United Methodist Church in Omaha and has served the west Omaha / Gretna / Elkhorn area for 17 years. The Water’s Edge is a large, diverse church known for its age-level ministries, small groups, and missions. Craig also works for Horizons Stewardship as a Senior Ministry Strategist— coaching churches and leaders on developing year-round generosity plans.

Craig has a Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and a Doctor of Ministry from the Asbury Theological Seminary. He is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and enjoys coaching pastors and church leaders.

He serves on the Great Plains Board of Ministry and is the Chairperson of the Missouri River District Strategy Team. His wife, Amber, is a marriage and family therapist. They have two children: Benjamin (20) who is a junior at St. Olaf College and David (15) who is a freshman at Millard West High School.

As a coach, Craig loves listening to and dreaming with clients, exploring possibilities, setting goals, creating action plans, and celebrating successes. Craig’s favorite areas to coach on are balance in life, generosity and finances, creating a discipleship pathway, preaching, small group, and personal/spiritual growth.

District: Missouri River

Contact Craig:

Richard Fitzgerald

Richard is an elder in the Great Plains Conference. He has an M.Div. from Saint Paul and a D Min from Ashland Theological Seminary. He is the pastor at Salina First UMC. In his spare time, he helps direct the Hays COS along with teaching there, teach online CLM courses, chair the Salina DCOM, am a member of the Connecting Council and Mission Alignment Team for the conference, teach the occasional Boundary Training, walk his dog, play the piano, needlepoint, and is learning to play drums.

Areas of Specialty: R360, doctorate is in Wesleyan Practice, helping churches set up discipleship systems

District: Salina

Contact Richard:

Amy Foster

District: Hutchinson

Contact Amy:



Darren Frazier

District: Hutchinson

Contact Darren:



Anne Gahn

Anne serves Lexington: First UMC since 2016. She moved from her part time Christian Education position to a full‐time Children and Youth Ministry position at Trinity UMC Lincoln as the church prepared for a bold relocation effort to renew the congregation. During her five years at Trinity, she had the opportunity to experience the power of developing and equipping lay servant teams, the curating of excellent worship and preaching, and the development of generous giving patterns. This all worked together to connect church and community in life‐transforming ministry. Gahn earned her Master of Divinity degree from Saint Paul School of Theology.

During her time in seminary she developed a deep appreciation for religious diversity and the role of the faith community in ministries of mercy and justice. She enjoys coaching and helping churches be the best they can be.

District: Gateway

Contact Anne:


Nathan Gift

District: Hutchinson

Contact Nathan:


Harun Gatobu

Kansas City

Contact Harun:


Doyle Henke

Prairie Rivers

Contact Doyle:


Jada Hodgson

Five Rivers

Contact Jada:



Jason Kennedy

Jason has been in ministry for 12 years, finding his calling through camping ministry. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Samuel (3) and Lizzie (2). He loves to run, cook, read, and renovate our house when not working to inspire and change lives.

Areas of Specialty: New Church Development, Systems and Strategy Development, Vision Development and Communication

District: Blue River

Contact Jason:

Trudy Kenyon Anderson

District: Wichita West

Contact Trudy:


Ronda Kingwood

Wichita East

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Linda Louderback

As Linda thinks back over her journey, she realizes that God has provided her with broad range of experiences in the United Methodist church in a variety of settings and with many folks who have mentored and walked alongside her. her years as a layperson in Missouri led her to be a part of local, district, conference, general church and even the international community in ways she could never have imagined. It was during these experiences that she received extensive training in leadership development and facilitating conversations which built a foundation for the calling that God had on her life even though she did not recognize it. She is a graduate from Saint Paul School of Theology and received a D.Min. in Leadership Excellence from Wesley Seminary. In her years in ministry she has discovered that God has a great sense of humor when it comes to leading her to places she never planned to go. The small, medium, and larger congregations she served taught her lessons in ministry. Leadership and team building have always been a part of her being and passion which led her to conference level positions. Those included Director of Leadership Development, Director of Clergy & Congregational Excellence and District Superintendent of the Wichita West District. She is an avid believer that laity are the key to growing disciples and transforming the world. Leading as a team coached by the clergy will create the way for many possibilities for ministry in the local church in these changing times. In retirement, she looks forward to walking alongside pastors and congregations who continue to be the church in the communities where the message of the church needs to be seen and heard. She looks forward to coaching folks as they lead the church into a new way of making disciples and transforming the world.

District: Kansas City

Contact Linda:

Lennie Maxwell

Lennie loves to help people live out their heart-plan. Family has been pivotal in his life’s journey, married for over forty years to a brilliant and courageous partner, with two wonderful and happy children and three beautiful and energetic grandchildren. He is an adventurer who loves nature and playing outdoors. His friends would say he is witty and fun to be around.

After graduating with a B.S. in Agri-Business, he climbed the corporate ladder in the arena of finance before being called into full-time ministry. He received his MDiv from Saint Paul School of Theology and served twenty years as a pastor in six United Methodist congregations of all sizes, each with different gifts and challenges. There were many successes along the way, yet they came with a fair share of bumps and bruises.  

It is because of his journey that was fraught with isolation at times and mostly trial and error, that he is dedicating this step of his life to walking alongside those with similar paths, to encourage and help bolster them. Life is a Journey; best taken with someone who has walked the road before. 

District: Salina

Contact Lennie:

Curtis Magelky

Curtis is 42 years old with a wife and two kids. One just graduated the other is in Junior High. He and his wife, Cheri just celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. Curtis grew up in Southern California, but he has roots in western South Dakota and Nebraska. He entered pastoral ministry at the age of 30, and before that he did a variety of work from retail to construction.

Areas of Specialty: Lay Leadership Development and Discipleship Pathways

District: Blue River

Contact Curtis:

Babatunde Oladimeji

Babatunde was born in 1974 and raised in a bi‐vocational clergy home in Lagos, Nigeria. He watched his home church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, grow from a 10-parish denomination to over 20,000 multiplying churches.

Babatunde has a Bachelor of Theology, Masters in Biblical Theology, Masters of Arts in New Testament Studies, D.Min in Leadership in Biblical preaching, PhD in intercultural Studies (Asbury Theological Seminary).

He believes the local church is still the agency for change in our communities. Our churches are called to grow in all ramifications and we need to just have the desire that of growth, seek the necessary trainings and follow the principles.

Babatunde is presently at Chadron UMC, where they are already reaping the fruit of revitalization.

Areas of Specialty: Lay Leadership Development, Church Revitalization, Clergy Coaching, Discipleship Systems

District: Great West

Contact Babatunde:

Mark Queen

Mark is a husband, father of three, owner of several small businesses and author. He specializes in building navigation teams that assist entrepreneurs and churches in their pursuits both organizationally and personally. Just because you want to lead your organization doesn't mean you have to do it by yourself. Mark has been called a "life coach" by many entrepreneurs and leaders. He believes that there is a difference between finding answers and being the one who must provide the solution. A highly functioning team approach can deploy solutions faster and more effectively than a person where all things must be done by the leader. Mark gives his time, expertise and resources to a number of organizations including his local church, the great plains conference, Rotary international and a business resource group in his home area. He has served as president and chair for many organizations, as well as serving on several boards. Mark, who lives in Kansas, looks forward to connecting with you and hearing your comments.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Visioning, and Goal Setting, Clergy Coaching

District: Flint Hills

Contact Mark:

Rick Saylor

Rick has been blessed to be a United Methodist pastor for 42 years serving in various contexts. As a hospital chaplain, local church pastor of six churches and district superintendent, a major theme throughout his ministry has been helping people connect to their inner resources and dreams that are Spirit driven. Now in retirement he is excited to utilize a coach approach with clergy who want to dig deeper in the work of self‐reflection and action to experience greater vitality and satisfaction in their ministry setting. Coaching is a wonderful opportunity to have someone walk alongside you who lends their heart and mind to help you explore, affirm, and do your ministry from your deepest, authentic self.

District: Kansas City

Contact Rick:

Amy Seifert

Amy has served United Methodist churches of all sizes since 1993, first as a minister of music then as clergy. She is a Kansas native hailing from Leavenworth. She graduated from Baker University in 1993 where she studied music education and Asbury Theological Seminary in 2011 where she studied Christian Leadership. She was ordained a Deacon in the former Rocky Mountain Conference in 2014 and an Elder in the Great Plains in 2018. She serves as the Lawrence Area/Tri-County Network leader and as the incoming chair of the 5 Rivers District Committee on Ministry. She is a Readiness 360 and Mission Insite coach for the conference. She and her husband Todd have two grown children.

Areas of Specialty: Readiness 360, Mission Insite, Goal Setting

District: Fiver Rivers

Contact Amy:

Sara Shaw

Sara is an R360 Coach, serving as Coordinator of Camping Ministries in the Great Plains Annual Conference since 2014. She has a master’s degree in Recreation, has been in camping ministries for over 25 years and is a published author. She and her husband, Rodney, live in Wichita, KS and enjoy family time with their young adult/teen children. Two sons, Lucas, and Erik, are still at home. Their daughter Katelin and husband Adam have one daughter, Berkeley. Daughter Audree is engaged to Cory and will be adding two grandsons, C.J. and Blake to the family.

Some of their favorite activities include serving others, anything in the sun and involving water, yard golf, all things camp related, writing, teaching, learning, and traveling. When Sara is not assisting with R360 coaching, she also coaches camp professionals, teachers, and young adults.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Camping Ministry, Visioning, Goal Setting, Covenant Building, Best Practice Development

Contact Sara:

Ted Stapleton

Ted is a second career pastor. He grew up on a farm and spent his life, until being called by God into ministry, working in agriculture. He feels called to rural ministry and has a heart to serve the rural areas. His wife, Crystal, is a very big part of the ministry God has called him to. They have two kids: daughter, Makaila and son, Lane. They have been blessed with one grandchild, Jace, who has blessed their hearts very much. Ted loves doing the work of the Lord and wants to help churches not only to survive, but also to thrive in the communities that they are in.

Ted is currently on the Conference board of trustees. He continues to take on new things as the conference offers them. He has also gone through the new church start training.

Areas of Specialty: R360 coaching, mentoring other pastors in the journey of becoming the best pastor God has called them to be, and teaching Congregational Care to churches wanting to start a ministry to care for one another.

District: Hays

Contact Ted:

Hollie Tapley

Rev. Hollie Tapley, a Deacon in Full Connection, has been in ministry since 1986. A native of Alabama, Hollie is a graduate of Auburn University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed her Methodist Studies for Ordination at Chandler School of Theology. Throughout her ministry in South Georgia and Florida, disaster response and missions have always been her passion. Hollie serves on the State of Kansas Homeland Security Advisory Council and is a Volunteer Chaplain with the Topeka Fire and Police Departments. Hollie also serves on the Kansas Wesleyan University’s Academic Advisory Council for Emergency Management. It is an honor to serve the Great Plains United Methodist Conference as the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Intentional Discipleship, Visioning, Disaster Planning

Contact Hollie:

Charlie Tannehill

Charlie holds Life Purpose Facilitator Certification through Life Purpose Coaching Centers, International, and is a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Teacher and Speaker. A member of the UMC since 1982, he enjoys working with clergy and churches by facilitating leadership, communication, and teamwork workshops.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Clergy Coaching, Leadership workshops and Lay Leadership development

District: Wichita

Contact Charlie:

Cindy Tannehill

Cindy has been coaching Christian men and women across the globe for over a decade. A lifelong member of the UMC, she loves facilitating leadership workshops for laity, clergy, and churches to be all God is calling them to be.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Clergy Coaching, Lay Leadership development & coaching, Leadership workshops, John Maxwell DISC trainer

District: Wichita

Contact Cindy:


Morita Truman

District: Missouri River 

Contact Morita:


Gina Tyler

Gina has been a pastor in the United Methodist Church for seven years. She has served on the west and east side of Kansas. She was training to be a coach in 2018 and has continued to work toward certification. Prior to becoming a pastor, she was in education for almost 20 years. During most of that time, she was teaching teachers through professional development in multiple areas. She looks forward to working with you!

Areas of Specialty: R360, Goal Setting, Clergy Coaching.

District: Topeka

Contact Gina:

Shane Warta

Shane is a professional Christian coach who specializes in leadership development for individuals and teams. He currently resides in Kansas and has worked with individuals and teams in five states. He serves as a private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients and teams. In addition to being a professional coach, he serves in the Great Plains United Methodist Conference as a lay leadership developer.

Areas of Specialty: R360, Visioning, Goal Setting, Lay Coaching and Leadership Development

Contact Shane:

Brad Wheeler

District: Topeka

Contact Brad: