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

Deanna Hayden

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Deanna is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene since 2010, and has been at Southwood Church for 10 years, following 4 years as a minister in the inner city of Kansas City, MO. She has a Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary, where she met her husband, Ben. They have two children: Josiah and Hannah. Hannah loves soccer and socializing, and Josiah enjoys baseball and basketball. Ben is a hospital chaplain, a chaplain with the Air Force Reserve, and is an avid maker of bonfires. Deanna loves culture and coffee shops (alone or with a friend), time with her family, and dates with Ben. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester through Nazarene Theological College, where she is working to articulate a Wesleyan theology of leadership. Born and raised in San Diego, she also spent time living and teaching in South Korea. She values talking and preaching about the authentic journey that is faith, and believes in investing in the spiritual formation of herself and others.

Worship Leader

Mackenzie Wood

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

Youth Pastors

Mary Elizabeth and Tyler Waters-Smith

Mary Elizabeth and Tyler met at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, where they both received their degrees in Intercultural Studies. Tyler grew up in Georgia before heading to Nashville to answer God’s call on his life to ministry. During his time at Trevecca, he became passionate about God’s work in the local church and has continually sought to be faithful to that calling. Tyler is working towards his Master of Divinity degree at Nazarene Theological Seminary. Mary Elizabeth has always been passionate about cross cultural and outreach ministry. She has spent her time in higher education developing her skills in listening and understanding others as she prepares for her call to ministry. She is now continuing her education at Nazarene Theological Seminary as she studies for a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree. Mary Elizabeth and Tyler understand their call to be a partnership in ministry and life and are learning what that looks like. They have been the youth pastors at Southwood since September 2018 and are passionate about guiding Southwood’s teens to grow in their own faith and chose to follow Jesus into the world.

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 are expecting a baby girl in January 2020. Joseph values teaching and preaching, and he is discerning God’s call towards a pastor or missionary.

  September 2020  
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