The Rev. Dr. Phil Snider (he/him) has been the lead pastor at Brentwood Christian Church since 2003. His main responsibilities include teaching, preaching, congregational care, and faith-based advocacy rooted in dignity and love. Phil 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 social justice and equity for all.
With a focus on the intersection of faith and public life, his writing has appeared in collections alongside Barack Obama in the U.S. and N.T. Wright in the U.K. His own books explore the positive, affirming role that deconstruction plays in the life of individuals and churches. Phil’s religious commentary has been featured in The Kansas City Star, MSNBC News, USA Today, The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and numerous other local and national media outlets, including NPR affiliates and nationally-syndicated radio and television programming. He once had 15 minutes of fame when a speech he gave 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, OK) and Chicago Theological Seminary (at the University of Chicago). Over the years he’s taught various religious studies courses for Missouri State University and Drury University, ranging from introductions to both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament as well as surveys of religious traditions around the world, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism.
Click here if you’d like to contact Phil or if you’re in need of pastoral support.
The Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler (she/her) 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 grad school, 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 outreach and justice initiatives, along with support to congregational care, children’s ministries and church administration.
While she is an accomplished singer and musician (she has led worship at the Disciples of Christ General Assembly and previously served as the music director for the Disciple Women’s Ministries event Quadrennial), she is just as well-known for using her voice to advocate for local causes related to justice and equality. A frequent speaker at community events, she also helps organize local advocacy initiatives related to LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion. She’s served on the board for Aids Project of the Ozarks and is a member of the Musgrave Foundation Grantmaking Advisory Committee. 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, winner of the Mayflower Award for Best Book in Church & Society.
Click here if you’d like to contact Emily or if you are in need of pastoral support.
The Rev. Alyssa Spradlin (she/her) is the Pastor of Digital Ministries and Director of Communications, expanding Brentwood’s relational capacity through non-traditional platforms. She also serves in an administrative role, with the ability to provide both pastoral and administrative support on Sunday mornings and during office hours.
The role combines Rev. Spradlin’s professional and educational backgrounds, and her deep commitment to continuing Christ’s example of loving and relating to people, at whatever point they’re at in life’s journey.
Alyssa wore a variety of hats in the newspaper and not-for-profit worlds before answering the call to ministry. She has served as the associate minister at our sibling congregation, Central Christian Church, and as the Director of Advancement at Phillips Theological Seminary.
Rev. Spradlin earned degrees from Phillips Theological Seminary (MDiv), Drury University (MA, Non-profit Communication), and Milligan University (BS, Communication – Journalism). She is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from Pacific School of Religion.
She is a member of the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness Executive Committee and the Drury School of Religion Board, and is a former member of the Greene County Domestic Violence Board. She has served the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as a member of the Week of Compassion advisory committee, which supports church-wide disaster recovery efforts around the world.
Click here if you’d like to contact Alyssa or if you are in need of pastoral support.
The Rev. Sarah Stephenson (she/her) directs our children’s ministries at Brentwood. 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. In addition to her work at Brentwood, Sarah is a seventh grade English and Reading teacher at Pleasant View Middle School.
Click here if you’d like to contact Sarah or if you are in need of pastoral support.
Andy Sun (she/her) considers herself privileged to be able to serve Brentwood as a sacred musician. A Springfield native, Andy first learned piano from Mrs. Connie Osgood and studied Piano Performance with Dr. Peter Collins at Missouri State University. She’s had experience as a church music director, a piano teacher, an accompanist, played in indie rock bands, and is an accomplished solo performer herself.
She prides herself on being able to channel her own spiritual, compassionate practice into her music, “I really believe God has given me a gift with music, along with the opportunity to cultivate that gift, and I am glad to be able to share it with this church.”
The Rev. Charlie Bahn (he/him) served as Brentwood’s Minister of Congregational Care from 2005-2023, and now holds the position in an emeritus capacity. Over the years he’s focused on overall pastoral care within the congregation and still makes visits to hospitals and nursing homes. Charlie holds degrees from Brite Divinity School (MDiv), Washington & Lee University (JD), and Southeast Missouri State University (BS).