Rev. Chase Peeples passionately believes that the church should be an open-minded and inclusive community that welcomes and serves all people. He was honored to be called as minister at KCUCC because of the congregation’s commitment to social justice and hospitality for all.
Along with the people of KCUCC, Chase seeks to demonstrate a type of Christianity that is an alternative to those who use religion to control and abuse others, one based instead on grace, humility and love.
Chase grew up in the Kansas City area but moved to the east coast while in high school. After pursuing his education and serving churches on the east coast, Chase and his family chose to move back to the Midwest to be closer to extended family.
He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. After seminary, Chase spent three years pursuing a Ph.D. in New Testament at Emory University but left his academic dreams behind after realizing that serving in a local church really was the best way for him to make a difference in the world. He has served congregations in Tennessee, Virginia, New York and Missouri. He holds ministerial standing in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ. In addition to his ministry at KCUCC, he serves as an adjunct instructor of religion at Missouri Western State University.
Chase and his wife Jennifer have two sons, Julian and Jameson.
Rev. Bethany Meier (Associate Minister) was born and raised in Michigan. Before moving to Kansas City, she received both a B.A. and M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from Eastern Michigan University.
While her studies equipped her for work with a social justice organization or non-profit, Bethany soon found that her passion lay in the intersection of Christianity and advocacy for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community. She spent half of 2012 on the Soulforce Equality Ride, advocating for LGBTQ persons at Christian colleges and organizations. While doing this work, she felt a call to ministry and applied to seminary soon after returning home. She graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in May, 2017.
In the fall of 2014, Bethany was hired as the Seminarian Intern at KCUCC. She quickly fell in love with the congregation’s dedication to diversity and social justice. She found that her passion for working towards inclusion for the LGBTQ community in Christian spaces was not only accepted but celebrated by the church! Since then, she has been ordained and called as the full-time Associate Minister at KCUCC.
When she is not at church, Bethany spends her time drinking iced coffee, listening to No Doubt, and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with her fiancé Kelsee and their pets.
You can find Bethany on Facebook or on Twitter @Rockinndstylee, or email her at email@example.com.