Reverend Dr. Andrew Chaney, Senior Pastor
Email Dr. Chaney
The Chaney family is so glad to be called here to First & Calvary. My wife Christine and I have three children, Luke, age 11, Caroline, age 7, and Anderson, age 6. Our family enjoys playing games, making art and music, taking adventures together, being outdoors and playing most sports. We enjoy reading and saying prayers together before mealtime and before bed. We help each other and depend upon each other for love and support.
Christine grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and I grew up in Livingston, Alabama, and as God brought Springfield into our view, we realized its charm—the best of those two worlds—what a great place to be! Growing up the son of a Presbyterian minister brought the blessing of the church becoming my extended family. Christine and I praise the Lord that our children will be nurtured by the many nice Presbyterians of First & Calvary.
I received a B.A. from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a MLS from the University of Tennessee. I received the M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and D.Min. at Columbia Theological Seminary. I have many Presbyterian ministers in my family. My grandfather, father, mother, and brother are also ministers! I served as Senior Minister of the beautiful suburban Chicago church, Kenilworth Union Church, before being called here to First & Calvary.
God may be calling you to serve at First & Calvary, too, maybe in a new way, or maybe by just turning up your commitment a notch. God does have a plan for you. It is much bigger than you can imagine. Wherever you are on your faith journey, know that God’s plan is unfolding day by day. Discovering that fact is the first step to finding true meaning in life.
Participating in ministry is a vital part of that discovery. Your church family at First & Calvary depends upon you to become more involved in ministry. “What are you calling me to do, Lord?” is a question we should ask regularly in prayer and with each other. Let us celebrate the opportunities to grow as a family of faith by working together for the glory of God.
Greg Ellis, Associate PastorEmail Pastor Ellis
I grew up and spent most of my life in Texas before God finally brought me to Springfield in 2007 to serve First & Calvary as Associate Pastor. I have always loved school, learning and variety, so it may come as no surprise that my college and graduate school studies happened at a parade of schools—Texas A&M, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Baylor University, the University of Texas School of Law, and then later Regent College (in Canada!) and Austin Seminary. (Yes, I do sometimes get confused as to whether I am an Aggie, a Roadrunner, a Bear, or a Longhorn.)
I also love God and love people. After ten years of law practice in Texas, our Lord nudged me to become a pastor (and now I describe myself a “recovering lawyer”). I find the fact that I am a pastor to be good proof of God’s existence and robust sense of humor. Now I spend my days preaching, teaching, counseling, baptizing, marrying, burying and everything in between. You can find me (and I hope you will!) most days at the office reading, writing, praying, and trying to maintain the illusion that I’m keeping pace with the many wonderful people and projects I am blessed to work with here. As associate pastor for this large and vital congregation, I have enjoyed broad responsibilities in all areas of the church’s ministries, including our Missions, Evangelism, and Member Care areas.
For fun, I enjoy all kinds of sports and exercise. When I get to run, bike, hike, or play tennis while enjoying the beauty of the Ozarks, I know that I have arrived home indeed.
The year 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of my ordination to ministry in the United Presbyterian Church. I believe becoming a Parish Associate at First and Calvary, under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Chaney, will be a fitting culmination to my ministerial career.
Bob Simpson, Parish Associate
My initial call was to teaching (English, Religion) and coaching (basketball, football) at an east coast prep school, before joining the administration at the St. Louis Country Day School.
In addition to being Interim Minister at a series of churches in the St. Louis area and Organizing Pastor for a New Church Development, I also served stints as: a marriage counselor, a police chaplain and a human resources executive in an aerospace corporation.
Upon moving to Springfield in 1993, I spent several years as a City Department Head (Workforce Development) and member of the management team.
I have also had the privilege of being a part of the pastoral staff at First and Calvary on a short-term basis while working in collaboration with Gary Stratman and Alf Halvorson.
I was born and reared in Peoria, Illinois; graduated from Wheaton College and hold post-graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Pepperdine University.
In addition to working with various committees of the John Calvin Presbytery, I was blessed to be chosen as Moderator of Presbytery for 2009.
I was married to my high-school sweetheart, Judy, for fifty-four years and have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Dick Menzel, Parish AssociateI was raised on an Iowa Farm and graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, IA with a Bachelor of Science in business education. I worked briefly for a Retail Credit Company, the Iowa State Employment Service, and taught four years in an Iowa high school.
After serving two tours of active duty as a member of the Army Reserve (called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis), I enrolled in Dubuque Theological Seminary. While in seminary, I served as student pastor of two United Churches of Christ. I completed the M. Div. and enrolled in the University of Iowa School of Religion and earned a Master of Arts degree in American Religious History. During this advanced study, I served as student pastor of a small Continuing Congregational Church in Cedar Rapids.
I served four congregations as an ordained minister prior to my retirement: First United Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, IA; Bethel Presbyterian Church, West Union, IA; First Presbyterian Church Sterling, IL; and Willard-Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, Willard, MO. I continue to preach in a number of the churches in our presbytery.
Some highlights through the years include: becoming a Stephen Series leader and implementing that powerful ministry into the life of the congregation; sponsoring a Hmong refugee family; and greatly -emjoying my time with the folks at Willard. A key focus of my ministry has been helping lay folks employ their gifts and their abilities.
I have also been very active in Rotary International and in Kiwanis.
My wife, Nancy, who gives so much of herself to each congregation of which she has been a part, and I, have two children, Mindy in Gainesville, FL who is an underwriter with Nationwide Insurance, and Matt in Marietta, OH, who is an associate professor of mathematics at Marietta College. We also have two special granddaughters, Grace and Jada, ages 6 and 2.
I have done woodworking, enjoy gardening, and currently spend quite a bith of time on the computer. I have been priviledged to travel much within the United States and to several countries throughout the world as well. ONe of my joys has been to attend lectures (both in the US and abroad) and participate in seminars by a number of the most prominent theologians and biblical scholars of my lifetime.
God has opened a new door for me. My ordained ministry began with a surprise. I look forward to what God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has in store for me. I expect and I anticipate more surprises!