DAN MCKNIGHT | LEAD PASTOR
Dan’s the founding and lead pastor at Kaw Prairie, responsible for vision, strategy, preaching and staff management. After growing up in Illinois farm country, his family moved to the Chicago suburbs in his early teens. He got his BA in Pre-Law (Constitutional Democracy) and English at Michigan State, then worked his way through seminary as an ESL/GED teacher and a security guard on Chicago’s south side. He served two years as a student pastor on the city’s west side, and then married his high school sweetheart Laura Blair McKnight.
They spent a year together in Frankfurt, Germany on his pastoral internship, and upon getting his M.Div. and being ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, they moved to the north Chicago suburbs, where Dan served as a buoyant and balding youth pastor. He used some of those student-wrangling skills to plant a dynamic ancient-future church in the western suburbs, where he pastored until late 2003.
Responding to a call to church-plant a second time — this time with a dedicated core group in Johnson County, KS– Dan and Laura moved here in 2004 with their two small sons Jeremy and Eli. Laura works now at Donnelly College, son Jeremy at Hereford House, and Eli with on homework with his earbuds in. Dan enjoys traveling, skiing, learning new things, watching German comedies and cop shows, getting a little exercise (first half-marathon in 2015!), and working in the yard. Mostly though, he loves laughing and playing with his family– and regular dates with Laura and quiet time with the Bible and a beverage.
Dan’s favorite Bible verse is John 3:17, and his favorite foods are gyros and smoked salmon. Not at the same time.