The perfect team — serving our partner churches with joy...
David Sheppard, Interim Executive Director of Missions
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 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 five beautiful, rambunctious kids - Benjamin, Olivia, Julia, Isaac, and Jayda. In 2005, Jason helped plant Matthias’ Lot Church and four years later joined a team to plant Peine Ridge Church. Jason currently serves as the pastor of vision and preaching at Redemption Road Church in Winfield, Missouri.
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.
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
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.
Evan Skelton, Media Director
Evan was born and raised in Denver, CO, before he moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute where he met his wife, Grace, and received his BA in Pastoral Ministry with a minor in Biblical Studies (2011). After they were married, they moved back to Denver where Evan earned his MDiv from Denver Seminary (2015) and served in various pastoral capacities in the Calvary Family of Churches. While in Denver, Evan also worked as an affiliate professor at Colorado Christian University, while maintaining scattered contracts in graphic design and book design for local non-profits.
In 2018, Evan accepted a call to serve as to pastor Bayless Baptist Church, a replanting church in south St. Louis, where he now serves as a pastor-elder. Grace and Evan are loving the adventure of raising their children Clara, Oliver, and Arlo, and when they catch their breath, you may find them sipping great cups of coffee, entertaining others in their home, building Pinterest-projects, and maybe playing a nerdy board game.
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 two girls 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.