The Pastoral Staff of Village Church
Rev. Tom Are, Jr. — Senior Pastor
Tom Are has served Village Church as Senior Pastor since February of 2004. He loves the energy the Village Church has for serving the city and the care the congregation gives to thinking about the faith. He loves to preach and to tell stories. Tom is a graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Union Presbyterian Seminary and Yale Divinity School. He has served Westminster in Charleston, Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and Riverside Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Tom and his wife, Carol, have been married since 1987, and they have two children, Sarah and Nathan (both in college). Carol is the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor, and Tom is sixth generation Presbyterian pastor (that’s a lot!). email
Rev. Jenny McDevitt — Pastor of Pastoral Care
Jenny has been serving alongside the people of Village Church since September of 2012. She loves the way the church cares for one another and for the community, giving great attention to any and all issues of the heart. She loves stories (listening and telling) and believes that questions are an essential part of faith. Originally from Michigan, Jenny is a graduate of Kenyon College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. She has served churches in Ann Arbor and Virginia Beach. She lives with her dog, Reilly, who is dedicated to chasing the squirrels of Prairie Village. email
Len Carrell — Pastor of Pastoral Care
Len is both thrilled and honored Village Church is where he is called to serve in his first ordained call. The Carrells are overjoyed to be joining Village’s family of faith. They love the joy of hospitality surrounding our church home. They love how pastoral care, mission and worship are the cornerstone of our active life together as a church. They love how together we’re learning to better love one another, God and neighbor. Len loves telling stories that come to life, and howeveryone can participate in a story simply told. Len is from Texas, lived in New York City, worked as a professional actor, and started a business representing textile artists. Len has grown in faith, hope and love serving as a member of the Brick Presbyterian Church and studying at Austin Seminary.
Rev. Diane Quaintance — Parish Associate
Diane Quaintance served as associate pastor at Village from 1995-2004;she returned to ministry here in September 2013. What she likes best about Village is the faithfulness of its members to learning more about their faith and to reaching out to others. Diane grew up in Kansas and Colorado; she has degrees from the University of Colorado, University of Kansas, and St. Paul School of Theology. Prior to entering the ministry, she taught in the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley School districts. She served at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, and as a Chaplain at St. Lukeís Hospital before coming to Village. Diane and her husband, Harold, have a blended family; they are thankful that their five grandchildren live close by so they can attend soccer games and concerts. email
Rev. Jay McKell — Parish Associate
Rev. Jay McKell returned from retirement to rejoin the Pastoral Care and Counseling team in September 2013. Jay remembers being rocked by Agnes Frazer in the nursery of the First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee. He remembers his father serving on the session and singing in the choir while his mother made friends with everyone who walked into the church building. He remembers his great uncle Buddy kneeling at the side of his bed to pray when he was 94 years old in much the same way as he had done when he was four years old. He remembers his youth group advisor believing in him when he did not believe in himself. He remembers the gospel shaking his very bones as it awakened him to matters of peace, justice and inclusion. He remembers his wife Elizabeth loving him in so many ways that continue to make God’s incarnational love real and who trusted him to help with the care and nurture of two sons, Josh and Shannon. He remembers with deep deep gratitude when God graciously placed his son Matt in his arms. He remembers his ministry at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, a congregation that was willing to take risks in living out the gospel. And he hopes and prays that through his ministry with the members and staff of Village Church he will be faithful to God in at least a few of the many ways God, who challenges and comforts us throughout life, has been faithful to him. email
Rev. Zach Walker - Pastor of Youth Ministries
Rev. Zach Walker was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana but moved with his family at an early age to Athens, Georgia where he grew up, finally settling in the Kansas City area while Zach was in middle school. He originally knew the Village Church community back in the grunge-filled 90′s while he was in high school, graduating from Shawnee Mission East in 1997. He attended college at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where he graduated with degrees in psychology and gender studies before serving as the youth director at Colonial Church UCC in Prairie Village (at 71st and Mission Road) prior to going to seminary. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2007.
Prior to his ordination at VPC, he served as a high school director in the Seattle area at Sammamish Presbyterian Church as well as the director of youth ministries at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, California (San Francisco area).
He has served in youth ministry for nearly 10 years and couldn’t be more excited to be at Village Pres! Zach enjoys pretty much anything outdoors, reads as much as possible, and is getting married in March to his incredibly awesome and intelligent fiancé, Meredith! email
Rev. Brian Ellison - Parish Associate
Brian Ellison is a volunteer parish associate, providing occasional leadership in worship, adult education and other areas. Brian has served as executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians since 2012, providing overall strategic leadership in implementing the organization’s mission. (Village helped establish the Covenant Network, a national education and advocacy organization, in 1997.) Previously, he served as pastor of Parkville Presbyterian Church (near Kansas City, Missouri) for 13 years.
Brian has actively served the General Assembly as moderator of both the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment and the Stated Clerk Review/Nomination Committee, as a director of the Board of Pensions and as a member of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly.
A graduate of Harvard University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Brian also is an adjunct instructor in homiletics, a host/contributor at KCUR-FM and a freelance writer. He and his partner, Troy Lillebo, live in Kansas City.