Meet Our Staff



Rev. Lem Whitmer
Transitional Minister

Joseph Lemert Whitmer (Lem) is an ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ and has full standing in the Christian Church of Greater Kansas City.  He served as its Moderator from 1996 to 2000.  He has served in some form of professional ministry for 53 years. During that time, he has ministered to congregations in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana and Texas.  In recent years, he has focused on Intentional Interim Ministry in seven different congregations.


He is the son of missionaries and was born in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He lived there with his Mother, Father, a brother and sister until the age of nine. Other places he has lived in childhood are Switzerland, and Jamaica.


In his service and commitment to Christ’s Ministry Lem says: “I believe in a God who shepherds a congregation of sons and daughters sharing love and compassion for all people.  I am dedicated to the teachings, values and sacrifice of Jesus, and I have dedicated my life and strength to help congregations in their missions.”


Lem is married to Paulette (Cannon) Whitmer (51 yrs.).  He and Paulette have two children and three grandchildren. |  Tel: 816-695-3002


Office Administrator

Lisa Smeltzer

Lisa has ministered at FCC as Office Administrator since 1998.  She holds a BS in Theatre and an MBA, both from Northwest Missouri State University.  Originally from Oklahoma, Lisa has lived in Maryville since 1969.  She is a big hockey fan, so it should come as no surprise that her "life motto" is from none other than Wayne Gretzky:  "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."  With this in mind, Lisa lives out Christ's commission by spreading the Gospel through drama and puppets, both at FCC and First Baptist in Maryville, where she is a member, and beyond.  |  Tel: 660-214-3414

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Technical Director

Patrick Immel

Pat has served as Technical Director at FCC since 2021.  He manages all technical aspects including Lighting, Sound, Video & Network Administrator.   Pat spends most of his time as a Full-Professor of Theatrical Lighting & Scenic Design at Northwest Missouri State University where he has worked for the past 25 years.

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Christian Education Director

Ali Buesing

Ali has served as the Christian Education Director since 2022. She often delivers the Children’s sermons and hosts Sunday school. She is currently a senior at Northwest Missouri State pursuing her degree in Psychology. Email: 

tel:  402-317-2726


Music Director

Deena Poynter

Deena has served as the church Music Director since 1991.  She coordinates and oversees all aspects of Vocal Choirs, Bell Choirs,Praise Band, and special music offerings of solos and ensembles, as well as music for weekly services in   coordination with the Senior Pastor. She is a retired public school music educator and Northwest Missouri State University staff accompanist for the music department.  


Anita Dew




Merlin Adkins