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.


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


Bob Bickford, Church RePlant Consultant

Bob Bickford is a Replant pastor of The Groves Church, founder of, 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


Mike Byrd, Ministry Assistant / Missions Partnership

In April 2013, Michael received the blessing and full support of his pastor to follow the leading of Holy Spirit to plant Faith Community Bible Church in North St. Louis City were they launched on September 11, 2016. Their mission is to Make Christ Known in the Community. He is currently pursuing a degree in Christian Ministry and Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Pastor Byrd is married to the love of his life, Traci, who supports him and encourages him to do the will of God. He’s also had the blessed opportunity to father four wonderful children: Triniti, Makayla, Michael Jr., and Tyler.


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

In addition to serving the association and the local church, Matt works as a web/marketing freelancer and owns an award-winning DJ company in St. Louis.  


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.