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Staff

Say hello to the leadership team at First Church

Meet our leadership

Say hello to the leadership team at First Church. Got questions for the lead team at FPCLS? Contact us by clicking here.


Rev. Alex Wales - Interim Pastor

Alex Wales has been a Presbyterian minister for 48 years and has served churches in Pittsburgh, PA; Joplin, MO; Sarasota, FL; Warrensburg, MO for nearly 23 years, and has served as an interim pastor in Sedalia and Topeka. He received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers, an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Dubuque Theological Seminary. He has been married to Barbara for 39 years and has two adult children - son, Nathan and Emily.


Alex has served as a volunteer chaplain in the Northland since he and Barbara moved to Kansas City not too far from the Airport. Until the pandemic got under way, they enjoyed traveling and being with their grandson. Hopefully, they can return to doing so in the near future.

Jacob Lowry – Music Director

Jacob Lowry received his Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX under the tutelage of Dr. Allen Hightower and Dr. James Franklin. Jacob and his wife, Dr. Laura Lowry, live in Lee’s Summit and share a love for music and teaching. They spend a lot of time chasing their son Caleb.

Sharon Pyburn – Associate Music Director

Sharon Pyburn has been a member or First Presbyterian Church since 1997. She joined the staff in March of 1998 as Assistant Director of Music. Sharon currently directs the Spirit and Vesper Bells hand bell groups, and the bell quartet. She also assists in many other ways as needed through out the church. A graduate of Tarkio College in 1984, Sharon has been involved in music all of her life as a piano accompanist, playing trumpet, solos and small groups, interim choir directing and more.


Sharon and her husband Jerry have 3 terrific young adults and live in Lee’s Summit.

Curt Likins – Christian Education Director (Youth Programs)

Curt Likins has been active with Christian Education for many years and has served as an assistant to the Youth Director as recent as 2017. He has traveled with and chaperoned on four different Mission Trips including the Red Bud Reservation, Estes Park, Heifer Ranch and Memphis Youth Ministry. He has taught various Sunday School classes for more than fifteen years and has served on the Christian Education Action Team for the past twelve. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Southwest Missouri State University (Now Missouri State) and is certified in the state of Missouri for Secondary Education.

Diane McKee - Administrator

Diane McKee joined First Presbyterian in 2015, coming to us with many years of specific experience in church office administration. Although her church background was mainly with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has adapted to the Presbyterian way of doing things and enjoys working in a busy office, and with the friendly people at First Pres.


She and her husband, Mark, have lived in Lee’s Summit for 26 years where they raised two (now adult) daughters, Caroline and Julianna. She graduated a while back from UMKC with a B.A. in Business Administration. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, reading and makes a great sous-chef for her husband!

David Anschutz - Organist & Piano

David Anschutz has an A.B. in Physical Sciences from Harvard College (1971) and Graduate study in education at UMKC (1971-1972). He is currently Accompanist at Lee’s Summit North High School in the Vocal Music Department.


David is a member of Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Kansas City Federated Teachers of Music and Fine Arts. He is also an Associate Member of Mid-America Music Association. He has held Church Organist Positions in many Kansas City Area churches. Professional tutor for middle/high school and college students in math, science, social studies and language arts along with Private Keyboard Teaching Positions.

Cassandra Pyburn - Nursery Director

Cassandra Pyburn has grown up at First Presbyterian since moving to lees summit in 1997. As a youth Cassandra participated in Logos, camp at Estes Park, Triennnium 2007, hand bells, and more! She began working in the nursery in February of 2004 and became Nursery Director in June 2011. 


Cassandra’s passion for youth led to a Bachelors of Science in Sociology and a minor in Childhood Studies from MWSU in 2012. She is a Site Supervisor for Before and After School Services here in Lees Summit.