Phil Snider has been the lead pastor at Brentwood Christian Church since 2003. His main responsibilities include teaching, preaching, congregational care, and faith-based community organizing. He believes that the life of Jesus shows that spirituality and justice are intricately woven together, and he’s committed to the idea that the good news expressed in Christ (but not confined to Christ) calls us to work for justice, dignity, and equity for all. Phil writes a lot (you can learn about his books here). His work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, Slate, and USA Today; he even had 15 minutes of fame when one of his speeches on equal rights went viral (but it won’t make sense if you don’t watch it to the end). Phil went to grad school at Phillips Theological Seminary (in Tulsa) and Chicago Theological Seminary (at the University of Chicago). In addition to his role at Brentwood, he teaches religious studies at Missouri State University and Drury University, and has provided clergy leadership for Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri, the NAACP, and numerous other organizations committed to justice and equality.
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Emily has served at Brentwood since October of 2001, and became the associate minister in 2004. After growing up in southern California, she moved to Indianapolis to attend seminary, then moved to Springfield to work for Brentwood. Her primary responsibilities include the cultivation of vibrant, rich expressions of worship, music, and the arts, as well as offering oversight to children’s ministries and assisting with congregational care. An accomplished singer and musician, Emily has led worship at the Disciples of Christ General Assembly and was the music director for the 2010 Disciple Women’s Ministries event Quadrennial. She holds degrees from Phillips Theological Seminary (MDiv), Christian Theological Seminary (MA), and Chapman University (BM). She is the co-author with Phil Snider of Toward a Hopeful Future (Pilgrim Press, 2010).
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Ally Henny is the Theologian in Residence at Brentwood Christian Church. In this newly formed position, she shares her insights and scholarship through teaching, preaching and community engagement. As a prolific writer and speaker, Ally is among the most influential public theologians in the church today. She writes about race, identity, culture, and racial conciliation on Twitter, her personal Facebook profile, and on her blog, The Armchair Commentary. She is a regular contributor for The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, where she writes about black motherhood and other topics related to the black experience from a faith-based perspective. She is also the host of Combing the Roots, a podcast where she provides an in-depth look at the issues surrounding racism, justice, and racial healing from a black woman’s perspective.
Ally holds a B.S. in Psychology from Missouri State University and is finishing her Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, with an emphasis in Race, Cultural Identity, and Reconciliation.
In addition to her work at Brentwood, Sarah is a seventh grade English and Reading teacher at Pleasant View Middle School. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Elementary Education from MSU and her Master of Divinity degree is from Brite Divinity School, TCU. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She’s served in a variety of ministry positions for over 20 years. Sarah loves to make homemade cards and enjoys paper crafts, reading, writing, and a whole list of other activities too long to name. She lives in Springfield with her husband, Rick.
Reed is the Minister for Youth and College students at Brentwood. He is from Bolivar, where he attended Southwest Baptist University. He graduated in 2016 with a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Theology & Philosophy. While at SBU, he received numerous honors, including the prestigious “Life Beautiful Award,” which is given annually to just two students who exhibit exemplary traits of leadership and character, as well as the “Outstanding Theology Scholar Award.” In addition to being very successful in speech and debate, he was the founder and council member of One in Four, an anti-sexual assault advocacy group at SBU. He is currently a grad student at Phillips Theological Seminary.
Reed has been involved in numerous outreach and service projects, and most recently worked as a Victim Advocate at The House of Hope in Bolivar. He also served in youth ministry during college, but over the course of his time at SBU and beyond he’s gravitated toward more progressive approaches to Christianity that are quite reflective of the theological ethos at Brentwood.
Charlie joined Brentwood’s staff in April of 2005 as part-time Minister of Congregational Care. He leads Brentwood’s Stephen Ministry program and focuses on overall pastoral care within the congregation. Charlie holds degrees from Brite Divinity School (MDiv), Washington & Lee University (JD), and Southeast Missouri State University (BS).
Click here if you’re in need of pastoral support and would like to contact Charlie.