The perfect team — serving our partner churches with joy...
Jim Breeden, Executive Director of Missions
Jim was born, raised and for the past 25 years has served in full time ministry in St. Louis. He married his high school sweetheart Deanna Burns who has given birth to their three children: Jordan, Jamie and Joel. In 1990, Jim began pastoring Central Baptist in Eureka, Missouri where they still live.
Since coming to St. Louis Metro in 2000, Jim has given overall leadership to the staff, served as interim pastor in seven different churches, given direct leadership to strengthening churches and for the last five years, his passion has been to see churches revitalized and replanted. Jim has a business administration degree from the University of Central Missouri, a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a constant learner by attending conferences, reading and asking many questions. His extra time is spent traveling, playing golf and enjoying time with his family.
Darren Casper, Associate Executive Director - Church Planting
Darren grew up in a small town deep in Southern Illinois; his Boomer Sooner wife Kelli, in Oklahoma. They have been married since 1988 and have lived in the St. Louis area for that entire time. They have planted two churches together in St. Louis, one in the county and one in the south city neighborhood of Bevo Mill. Darren has personally been involved in missions and church planting in ten different countries throughout the world. Kelli is a principal at Mullanphy Elementary (St. Louis Public Schools) in the Shaw Neighborhood. They have two teenage sons, Jordan and Zac.
Darren is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Apart from his love for Christ, God’s church and his family, Darren enjoys college sports, golf, hunting and watching Indy Cars racing at 220+ mph.
Tom Firasek, Ministry & Partnership Coordinator
Tom has lived all of his life in the St. Louis area. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of eight at Grandview Baptist Church (now Oak Hill) in North St. Louis County. After graduating from McCluer North High School and the University of Missouri St. Louis, he attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tom has served in several ministry positions in the St. Louis area.
In 2010, he married his wife Nancy, a culinary arts teacher at Hazelwood West High School. They live in Bellefontaine Neighbors. In addition to working for St. Louis Metro, he serves as associate pastor at Maplewood Baptist Church, where his responsibilities include leading worship and organizing missions opportunities for the church.
Jason Zellmer, Church Planting Strategist
Jason is a native of St. Charles, Missouri but spent his childhood years living in Texas and Oklahoma as the son of a pastor. Shortly after moving back to Missouri in 2000, Jason met his wife Heather. Together they have four beautiful, rambunctious kids - Benjamin (15), Olivia (13,) Julia (12) and Isaac (10), Jayda (2). In 2005, Jason helped plant Matthias’ Lot Church and four years later joined a team to plant Peine Ridge Church. Jason is currently planting Redemption Road church in Winfield, Missouri where he currently serves as the pastor overseeing vision and preaching.
In addition to pastoral ministry, Jason also serves as a Co-Executive Director at PlantMidwest. Jason has a bachelors degree from Lindenwood University and is currently pursuing an M.Div in church planting from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can often find "JZ" trail running, reading books & blogs, coaching baseball and hunting with his boys. You can also read Jason's blog at therevjz.com.
Bob Bickford, Church RePlant Consultant
Bob Bickford is a Replant pastor of The Groves Church, founder of churchreplanters.com, the Associate Director of Replant for the North American Mission Board, and serves as the Chair of the Church Revitalization Team of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association. He is the author of; Am I a Replanter? and the Associational Replanting Guide. He and his wife live in Webster Groves, MO with their youngest daughter. Follow Bob on twitter @bobick or @churchreplanter
Matt Swaringim, Media Director
Matt grew up in a suburb 30 miles west of St. Louis City. With a passion to help bridge the gap of the racial divide in St. Louis Matt and his wife, Maggie, moved to work with Apostles Church in North City in 2016.
Matt has a bachelors degree Corporate Communications and Christian Ministries Studies from Lindenwood University and is currently pursuing his Masters of Theological Studies with an emphasis in Leadership at Midwestern Seminary.
Kale Uzzle, Director of Campus and Community Engagement
Kale was born and raised in Marion, Illinois and moved to Saint Louis in 2005 to attend Saint Louis University. After graduating from SLU with a degree in Theological Studies and English Literature, he worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for nine years, most recently serving as the Associate Area Director overseeing InterVarsity's ministry on campuses in Saint Louis. He joined the Saint Louis Metro Baptist team in July 2017 to develop deeper partnerships between local churches and the work God is doing on college campuses.
Kale married his best friend Emily in 2012 and the two of them are hard at work raising their little girl, Wren, on the south side of Saint Louis city. You can read more about Kale's life and ministry at his blog, Along the Way Home.
Jen Maxedon, Office Manager
Jen and her fabulous hubby, Rik, have four incredibly crazy kiddos: Briiana (the extremely talented and sassy child and her wonderful hubby, Timothy, and their awesome sons, Bear and Indy), Hannah Grace (the most beautiful and squirreliest child in all the land), Cooper (the dimpled, adorable gentleman) and Miss Mia (the cute, small and loving baby of the fam). Rik and Jen live in Ferguson and attend North Church which Rik planted in 2007. Their house is rarely quiet and often filled with people, and that is the way they love it. Jen's favorite things are Rik, her babies, her own chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes from The Cup, Chick-fil-A (she loves to eat!), Ferguson Brewing Company, LOST, Modern Family, the book of James, summer and rocking babies. She loves having people in her home as often as possible. Her dislikes are clutter (less is more), disorganization, poor grammar and travel visas. She started at St. Louis Metro in October of 2014 and has met some amazing people!
Ginny Willey, Financial Secretary
Ginny joined St. Louis Metro in September 2014 as financial secretary. She is married to her best friend, Don Willey. They have one daughter, Lori who is married to Kenny. She enjoys spending time with family, especially her four grandchildren, Kati, Chloe, Aiden and Luci.