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.

CHRIS MILLER | YOUTH, YOUNG ADULTS, & MISSIONS

Chris Miller is a coffee-driven, kind-of-awkward nerd. He spends his time at Kaw Prairie focused on youth, young adults, and missions. He enjoys preaching, teaching, writing, and talking about God. In his free time, he runs to raise money for clean water in Africa through Team World Vision. He also enjoys reading, traveling, designing things, and spending time with awesome people.

Chris was born and raised in the uniquely named Effingham, Illinois, before moving to the metropolis of Bolivar, Missouri to attend Southwest Baptist University. He has since lived in Springfield, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, and now Overland Park, Kansas. He completed his Master of Divinity at Central Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently in the process of being ordained.

Chris is married to the awesome Sally Miller and has an awesome five-year-old daughter named Ollie.

DIANE LEE | COMMUNITY & CONGREGATIONAL CARE

After working with two previous churches as Director of Assimilation, Diane began serving Kaw Prairie in 2006. She is responsible for the Usher and Setup teams and assimilating people into Christian community at Kaw Prairie through classes like Pie with the Pastor, Kaw Prairie 101, and Membership Classes. If you’ve ever stepped foot in Kaw Prairie, you know Diane.

Diane attended Western Illinois University and calls Royersford, Penn. home. Her primary hobbies are reading and hanging out with family.

Her Spiritual Gifts are Hospitality, Leadership and Administration. Her favorite Bible verse is Romans 12:9-13.

Diane and her husband Jim reside in Lenexa and have two grown daughters, Wendy and Suzanne, and five grand children.

DIANE CHRISLIP | CHILDREN’S MINISTRY, BIRTH TO AGE 3 (INTERIM)

Diane has spent most of her adult life involved with children one way or another: she raised three children, and now loves hanging out with her boatload of grandchildren.  Throughout the years she has worked with kids of every age in churches and community programs.  And while she enjoys them all, her favorite are preschoolers!  She has been teaching 3-year-olds on Sunday mornings at KP for a number of years, so she was the natural pick to lead the birth-to-age-3 program while we search for a full-time director of the Children and Family Ministries.

When she’s not doing something with kids, Diane can be found gardening, cooking, reading or playing pickleball.  She and her husband Mark live in Eudora.

DEBBIE TANN | CHILDREN’S MINISTRY, PRE-K TO 5TH GRADE (INTERIM)

Debbie Tann is a recently-retired teacher and school administrator with 34 years’ experience working with teachers and students from kindergarten to college-age. Her life’s passion has been helping students of all ages to dream big and achieve their goals, while encouraging teachers to draw out the unique characteristics and talents in individual students and build on their strengths. She sees the time children spend in church as an hour of life-changing opportunity each week and wants them to be both excited to come to church and challenged to be more like Jesus by the time they leave.

Debbie’s hobbies include reading, learning, cooking, and spending time in the outdoors with family.  She’s also intrigued by brain research relating to talents, spiritual gifts, love languages, and learning styles. Debbie’s favorite book of the Bible is Psalms.

She and her husband John have five grown children and are excited that the grandchildren just keep coming (#8 was born this month and #9 is due in September)!

KEVIN EUSTON | WORSHIP TECHNOLOGY

Kevin manages and maintains all tech aspects of worship at Kaw Prairie — including sound, lighting, video and camera.  The next time you see him hunched over the sound board on a Sunday morning, shoot him a thumbs-up.  It gets lonely up there in the sound booth.

    RYAN RANCUDO | WORSHIP SUPPORT

    Ryan’s talented musicianship is on display nearly every Sunday at Kaw Prairie. Equally at home on guitar, vocals, drums or zither, he always adds just the right threads to the band’s tapestry of worship. His other interests include running, mowing grass, and just spending lots of time outside in general. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Timothy 4:12.

    Ryan is a proud lifetime resident of Parkville, MO, where his love for music started with basement jam sessions with his dad.  His three younger siblings are all avid musicians as well. And that part about the zither might not be true.

      KATHRYN LARGENT | CHILDCARE

      Kathryn is responsible for evening childcare throughout the week and on Sundays. You’ll often find her on the floor with the Toddlers encouraging them to jump for joy for Jesus. Kathryn is also the weekday morning Barista at the Kaw Prairie Cafe.

      Kathryn lives in Shawnee with her husband Erik and their daughter Mackenzie.