Five transitional deacons were ordained at the opening Eucharist of the 129th Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri. Find out more about them.Gary Allman 15 minute read. Resources
The Rev. Brad Heuett
I was born in Trenton, Missouri where I spent most of my growing years. I moved to Springfield in 1998 to further my higher education at Southwest Missouri State University now known as Missouri State University. While attending classes, I was fortunate to meet my wife Krista of eighteen years. We have been truly blessed by God who has given us two boys Jacob (16) and Hunter (13). We currently reside in Ozark and enjoy movies, games, and experiencing new cuisines.
One of the most important aspects of life that I hold dear is knowledge, and I think that we should always look for educational opportunities. I would consider myself a professional student, and I find myself fulfilled while sitting in a classroom. I have attended many higher-level institutions in search of knowledge and even more programs which offer certifications in a wide array of topics. I have acquired degrees in communication, respiratory therapy, and general education. The licenses, certifications, and training that I have been fortunate to attain range from Presbyteral studies, conflict and dispute resolution, mediation, Certified Respiratory Therapist, CPR instructor, and heavy track operator.
Along with my education, I have also had broad employment experiences. I have worked in many construction fields, sales, education, combat arms, and medical. My most prominent employment experience came while serving in the U.S. Army. In 2003, I enlisted and deployed to Ar Ramadi, Iraq as a Combat Engineer, and after returning home, I changed jobs to Respiratory Therapy. I finished my military career working with patients at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Not long afterward, I received what I know now as my call to ministry. In a split second, I was overcome with and became aware of all of the suffering, strife, and distress of God’s children as well as the anger I was holding in my own heart. In that moment of desperation and with tears in my eyes, I dropped to my knees and prayed for God’s guidance. The next day my search began for a reason for what I saw and felt. It took time, but it didn’t take long for me to be made aware of my path and that with God’s help, I can make a difference. I am most excited to begin my new career as a clergy member of the Episcopal church while learning how I can serve the less fortunate and spread the love of God wherever I am called.
The Rev. Jeff Hurst
I am originally from Southern, Illinois and grew up in a small town of Coulterville, Illinois which had a population of 1,200 souls. My family was Methodist, and I came to experience Jesus Christ at a young age. However, it was not until the end of my junior year in high school that I took my personal discipleship seriously. Through the guidance of my Methodist pastor, Rev. Ralph Anderson, I accepted a call from God to pastoral ministry in 1974. After graduating from high school, I attended a bible college, a liberal arts college, and finally seminary, and began serving small parishes in the United Methodist Church. I served seven churches in the UMC over a span of 17 years. In 2002, my family and I were tired of the mandatory and constant relocating, so I left the UMC. .
My wife Brenda and I moved to the Kansas City area in 2006 and worked briefly with a church ministry in overseas missions until 2009. We both began working for the Park Hill School District in 2007 and continue working there today.
Having sensed a call to return to pastoral ministry for many years, in late 2014 my wife Brenda and I began exploring the Anglican way of life and worship. We found our way to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri in August of 2015, and were confirmed in November by Bishop Marty. I began my studies at BKSM in September of 2015 and graduated in May of 2018. It was thrilling to be ordained as a transitional deacon at our recent diocesan convention!
In the next 6 months, I look forward to being ordained a priest in Christ’s holy church where I can better magnify the Sacramental nature of worship, daily Christian life, and ministry. I can’t forget that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist societies, was an ordained Anglican priest his entire life and ministry. In a way, I feel I will have come full circle when I’m ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.
I deeply appreciate the acceptance and love we have experienced from the members at St. Mary’s Church as well as from Christ Church in St. Joseph where I’m privileged to serve for a while as a transitional deacon.
The Rev. Chandler Jackson
Like many, my path to ordination was not a simple, straightforward journey. It took many twists and turns. My father was an Episcopal priest, graduating from seminary when I was six years old. Growing up, I was very active in the church, but wanted no part of ministry. In fact, I told God I would do anything else: music, teach, anything but pastoral ministry. Ah, but our God has a sense of humor.
During my brief stint in the Navy, I met a young lady who was of another denomination. Like most guys, I followed her and ended up becoming a minister of music in that denomination. That was fine, no pastoral ministry. Of course, I was asked to take a church, but I declined; Not my calling. After her death at a young age, I found my way back to the Episcopal Church and served the church in many capacities: music, Sunday School teacher, and a whole lot more. I worked at colleges and universities for 30 years as a librarian and professor (that teaching thing again) and sang in professional choirs, but avoided pastoral work at all costs.
Then came a fateful Monday evening. I was at the church to lead evening prayer. As happened occasionally, no one showed up, so I said the Office by myself. As I was going around turning off lights and locking doors, I felt restrained from leaving the sanctuary. I sat down in the back of the church and was puzzled. After some prayer, I left the sanctuary and made it into the parish hall before I was compelled to return to the sanctuary and more prayer. After third try and finally telling God I would talk to my rector the next day, I felt free to leave. God had finally gotten through my thick skull and let me know I couldn’t run from ministry any more.
Due to several factors, I moved to Springfield and began attending Christ Episcopal Church. After some time, I felt it was time to meet with Fr. Ken Chumbley, our rector, and let him in on God’s plan for my life. After going through the discernment process, I enrolled in BKSM in the Anglican Studies program. A little weird for a cradle Episcopalian, but my ministry formation had been in another denomination, so it made sense. I graduated last spring and am glad to be finally pursuing the vocation God called me to decades ago.
The Rev. Sean Kim
My path to the ordained ministry has been a long, circuitous journey. I first felt the call in college and marched off to seminary upon graduation. But while in seminary, I soon discovered that my understanding of ministry was narrow and limited; I basically thought that all I had to do was preach once a week (my Presbyterian background may be partly to blame). When I learned about the other responsibilities, especially providing pastoral care to the sick and dying, I realized that I lacked the emotional maturity and commitment. At the same time, I was drawn more to academics and decided to pursue a career as a historian.
While in Boston for graduate school, I found my spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. Trinity Church was near my apartment, and I fell in love with the beautiful liturgy. I eventually joined the Church of the Advent, an Anglo-Catholic parish. The liturgy first drew me to the Episcopal Church, but far more important for me than even the liturgy were the people whom I met. Nowhere else had I experienced the kind of profound and authentic sense of community that I encountered in the Episcopal Church. Here was the Body of Christ.
Fourteen years ago I returned to the Kansas City area, where I had grown up, to teach Asian and world history at the University of Central Missouri. St. Andrew’s in Kansas City became my home parish. As I became involved in the life of the church through its many ministries, I began to feel the call to ordained ministry again. This time, however, the call came through those around me – the voices of fellow parishioners and the clergy. After an extended period of discernment, I decided to take up the call to the bi-vocational priesthood.
In preparation, I studied at the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM), focusing on Anglicanism and other areas missing in my previous seminary education. It was exciting to be in school again. I especially appreciated the intellectual rigor and the powerful bonds of community at BKSM. Another formative experience was my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, where I learned what it means to provide pastoral care at some of life’s most difficult moments.
Before being ordained to the transitional diaconate at diocesan convention, I served as an intern at Christ Church Warrensburg. Currently, I am serving as a deacon at St. Anne’s in Lee’s Summit. It has been an extraordinary blessing to share in the life of the loving, vibrant communities at St. Andrew’s, Christ Church, and St. Anne’s. Looking ahead, I am not sure where I will be serving after my ordination to the priesthood; I am open to the Spirit’s leading.
The Rev. Marco Serrano
Being raised in the church, I first discerned a call to ordained ministry when I was 17 years old. I was not a member of the Episcopal Church at the time, and I really did not have any idea what ordained ministry might mean for me or my life. And so, while I knew that I loved God and very much wanted to serve the Church, the path to ordained ministry was unsurprisingly not a straight line.
Part of my calling and vocation has been a deep and longstanding desire to serve at-risk and vulnerable populations, and I took that passion with me to law school. While I am grateful for the chance to study and practice law — and my hope is to integrate all my training into a singular vocation — I sensed after law school that I was yearning for something deeper.
God was patiently guiding me to the beauty of Anglicanism. During law school, I lived across the street from an Episcopal church. At my first job, I again lived across the street from an Episcopal church. And while it took a bit of time, I eventually got the hint and fell in love with the liturgy and reverence of Anglican worship. As I did so, my call to ministry was reawakened.
By the grace of God, I have re-learned and remembered that the harvest is indeed plentiful, and that the joys and sacrifices of ordained ministry form a very high call. It has been a singular privilege to join The Diocese of West Missouri in its mission to be God’s loving and beloved community in this time and place. And I anticipate both challenges and triumphs as I seek to serve and love the people of God. Soli Deo gloria.
ResourcesBack to Contents
- Ordination process: diowestmo.org/clergy/overview-of-the-ordination-process.html