Our Staff and Missional Leaders

Rev. Dr. Lydia Istomina

Pastor Lydia is a founder of the very first United Methodist Church in Russia after 70 years of atheism and the first woman pastor in Russia. She started her church in July 1990 in Ekaterinburg, a city of 1.4 million people, a few miles from the Europe-Asia border.  Lydia’s first book Bringing Hidden Things to Light  (Abingdon Press, 1996) describes her personal journey in the midst of dramatic changes in Russia. Her other book, From Misery to Mystery, is a collection of short stories about the life of an immigrant woman in Kansas City. It presents an enticing and very personal account of her life in America. Lydia Istomina received her Doctoral degree from Saint Paul School of Theology. Her amendment to Amend ¶4. was published by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and can be found here. Lydia and her husband Scott Kiddle love their new life in St. Joseph.

David Lewis

David Lewis
Organist and Chancel Choir Director

A banker by vocation and a church musician by avocation, David Lewis represents the fourth generation of his family in the Francis Street Church.  He has been organist and choir director since 1993, and has also served Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Christian Science churches over the past 40 years.  He and his wife, Sherril, met through their shared interest in sacred music and published, “Expressions of Faith,” an architectural history of St. Joseph’s houses of worship.  In addition to curating our historic Hook & Hastings pipe organ, he has constructed a pipe organ in his home.

Andy Grooms
Early Service Music Director

Andy Grooms leads music for the blended service. Music is taken from hymnals, new contemporary songs, and original materials to give the service a lively unique feel each week. Special music is incorporated with singers, guitarists, and other instruments.

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