We are a small church with a lot of staff, since we are fortunate to have a seminary nearby that provides a steady stream of qualified talent. If you would like to contact one of our people, please mention them by name and email us at

Lead Pastor

Michael Thompson

  Send Email  •  (816)353-5121

As of October 2020  Pastor Deanna Hayden, who had been with us 10 years, has been called away with her family,  to a new ministry in New Zealand. Going forward,  we have the interim leadership of Pastor Michael Thompson. Pastor Michael will be with us while we perform a pastoral search for a permanent leader to lead us into the foreseeable future. 

Pastor Michael is an ordained minister and serves at the district and international level. He has been the interim lead pastor to many churches on the Kansas City District. At the national level, he serves as general counsel for the Church of the Nazarene. (Yes, he is a lawyer who can preach!)

Discipleship Pastor

Katie Donaldson

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Discipleship Pastor and Office Mananger

I have been a minister for close to a decade now and have always sought to bring a voice to the marginalized. My family includes my loving partner John and adorable baby Sam. We also have our pet babies which include our dog Annie, cat Toni, fish Fiona, and chickens. I have my BA in Sociology from Point Loma Nazarene University and MA of Divinity with an emphasis in cross-cultural ministry from Nazarene Theological Seminary. I am a born and raised Californian, but my heart is to continually grow as a minister in the Lord Jesus Christ which brought me out to Kansas City to attend seminary. Southwood is where I have been able to serve the community and grow. I find purpose in preaching the Word, caring for people, and welcoming everyone to join in the mission of God that is here and now.

Young Adult Pastor

Dakota Vails

  Send Email  •  (208)965-4792

My passion is serving God and serving others. To me the Gospel begins and ends with the greatest commandment, To love God and to love others (Mark 12:29). That is why, since my first week at Southwood five years ago, I felt like this church was home. I have served in various roles in my time here. I have been on the board as well as serving duel roles in hospitality and young adult ministry. Some of my roles here at Southwood consist of leading our young adult Sunday School, singing on the worship team, maintaining our hospitality table, and holding young adult gatherings at my home. I am married to Bailey and we have two amazing kids -- Siena Lynn and Jamison Roger. I have my BA in Christian Ministry from Northwest Nazarene University and I currently attend Nazarene Theological Seminary where I am studying for my MDIV. I am constantly amazed by the amazing people that attend Southwood and will never forget the amazing love and hospitality that I have experienced from week one. For this reason, I am proud to be able to serve here and call Southwood home. 

Children's Pastor

Joseph Blissett

Joseph is a district-licensed minister of the Church of the Nazarene on the South Arkansas District. Joseph is currently enrolled at Nazarene Theological Seminary in the Master of Divinity Program. He and his wife Celeste started attending Southwood in 2017 when they moved to Kansas City. Joseph and Celeste have been married four years, and they had baby girl, Crystabel, in January 2020. Joseph values teaching and preaching, and he is discerning God’s call towards a pastor or missionary.

  March 2021  
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