Staff & Leadership
Kris Raven, Pastor
Kris was born in Austin, TX, and grew up in a small town just west of Austin, called Dripping Springs, TX. He graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, with a degree in Public Relalons. In 2005, Kris began working as an Interim Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church in Gonzales, TX. It was there, he discovered the Lord had wired him as a pastor/shepherd. He went on to serve at two other churches in the Austin, Texas area as Associate Music, and Young Adult Pastor. During that time he studied at both Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Liberty Theological Seminary.
Kris and his wife, Kayla, were married in 2008. They have 4 children: Nate, Natalie, Ethan, and Ben. They moved from Austin, TX in April of 2011 to work here in Sweet Springs with Armored Outreach in remodeling the old school building across the street to become Ekklesia, a discipleship school for college aged students. Sweet Springs has been their home ever since. He began serving as Interim Pastor here at FBC in November 2014 before becoming our full time Pastor in July 2015. We look forward to participating in advancing the Kingdom here with them in the city of Sweet Springs.
Dee Friel, Administrative Assistant
Dee has been a member of FBC Sweet Springs since 1984. She became the Administrative Assistant for FBC in July 2013, and also serves faithfully as the church treasurer and bookkeeper.
Dee Friel was born in Warrensburg, MO and grew up in Higginsville. She attended CMSU (now UCM) in Warrensburg and graduated in 1981 with a BSE degree in English and Spanish. She received her Masters' Degree in Education in 1992. In 1981, she moved to Sweet Springs to teach English and Spanish and married fellow teacher Dave Friel the next July. Dave passed away in 2015. They have one son, Jonathan. Dee has taught in Alma, Sweet Springs, Slater, and Santa Fe, MO spanning over 30 years.
Dee is very active in the community. She is currently the Mayor of Sweet Springs and former Councilman. She's also a member of the Xi Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and the I-70 Community Hospital Auxiliary. She is the Secretary-Treasurer and Charter Member of the Optimist Club as well the West MO Optimist District Governor. Dee is a member of the Chamber of Commerce (Past President and currently Secretary), member of the Saline County Democrat Social Club, and Chairman of the Saline County Democrat Central Committee.
Kerrie Wike, Worship Leader
Kerrie was born and raised in a suburb of Wichita, KS called Andover. She graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in Vocal Music Education and taught K-12 Music in Tulsa prior to living in Sweet Springs.
Kerrie and her husband, Travis, were married in 2006 and were called to move to Sweet Springs in 2010. Since then, they have been blessed with 4 children. Kerrie is privileged to be able to walk in obedience to the calling to lead the Praise Team at FBC, and feels blessed by the consistent vision and direction the Lord has been gracious to give.
David B. Goode, Music & Choir Director
David was born in Memphis, TN and grew up mostly in and around the Kansas City, MO area where he attended high school and college. He began his ministry in 1999 as the youth and music minister at the First Baptists Church in Holt, MO and has been a member of FBC Sweet Springs since 2009.
In addition to serving with our Music Director, on our Praise Team, and as Choir Director, David is a deacon in our church. He and his wife, Alisa, who serves on our AV team, are the parents of four young men — Drake, Abram, Xander, and Max — who are all very active at FBC Sweet Springs.
David is passionate about the song's we sing as the Church, whether that's all together as a congregation, as a choir, or as individuals. He believes that the same Spirit who inspired Moses and King David continues to do so in believing songwriters today. David strives to utilize the biblical Psalms, the classic hymns, and modern praise songs to bring our church into a place of worship, to make disciples, and to inspire non-believers to faith in Jesus Christ.
Drake Goode, Youth Director
Drake leads our youth by teaching them to read God's word and to listen to His voice. By exploring both the Old and New Testement, Drake helps to build a foundation of faith that our teens carry with them to college and into the rest of their lives.
Drake was born in Columbia, MO, and grew up in Mississippi and Missouri with his three brothers and his parents who served in the youth ministry as well. He graduated from Sweet Springs High School and currently attends Ekklesia, a discipleship school for college aged students. He's also a barista at Old School Coffee and Froyo.
Debbie Smith, Children's Director
Debbie grew-up in Independence, MO where her journey with Christ began with her two wonderful Christian parents — Paul and Ruth Harvey. She was steeped in her parents’ love for Jesus Christ and for Christian ministry, and that life was reinforced for Debbie and her three brothers and three sisters every step of the way. So, at an early age Debbie wanted to follow her parents example, and while every life's journey is filled with ups and downs, she knows that Christ was always there, helping her.
Debbie is married to Tim Smith, an amazing man, the coach at our High School, and the sponsor of our local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She’s also the mother of three beautiful daughters — two married to great men and the third just graduating from college and is starting her career. She’s also very proud to be the grandmother to two handsome little guys and three beautiful little girls.
“Children are our future and hope. What better way to help them grow, but in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Debbie has always had the desire to teach, which expanded beyond her own children and into the lives of many others. She’s had the privilege to teach children and youth of all ages in the public schools and in Sunday School. In addition to working with our youth in Sunday School, Debbie has enjoyed teaching and leading in Bible School, in BAM, in many children and youth activities, and in church day camp.
“It is my heart's desire that the Lord would lead you to join with us here at First Baptist Church in worshipping and following the Lord.”
Kayla Raven, Preschool Director
Kayla oversee our preschool department and coordinates our Children’s Church program and has the honor of working alongside her husband and our pastor, Kris Raven..
Kayla grew up in Gonzales, Texas, where she met Kris. She graduated from Howard Payne University with a degree in Christian Education. Early on in there life together she had many opportunities to love on the youth of the church bodies where they belonged.
Kayla and Kris were called to Sweet Springs in April 2011 and have had the privilege to raise their four amazing children here since then.
“I am passionate about treating the children of our church as individuals, precious gifts from the Father. To nurture and cultivate what the Lord has already placed inside of them. To teach them wonderful truths we find in scripture even at a very young age, that they may know the love of their Father."