Our LEaderShip

JEFF TERRELL

Senior Pastor




Jeff Terrell is the senior pastor of Ascend Church, a church planted in 2010 out of the Harvest Bible Fellowship in Chicago, founded by Dr. James MacDonald.

Jeff received degrees from the University of Missouri (Business), Baker University (MBA), and The Master’s Seminary (MDiv). God has used this education as well as Jeff’s unique career path to prepare him for ministry. From Minor League Baseball to the corporate world to management in a local Kansas City business, each experience and skill set has provided tools which continue to offer unique insight to pastoral ministry.

Jeff was blessed to marry to the love of his life, Sally, in 1998 and is delighted to be the father of three girls: Meg, Mallory, and Macy.

Email : jterrell@ascendkc.org

Ben Arant

Director of Worship and Media

Ben is the Director of Worship at Ascend Church. God has orchestrated things in his life in such an amazing way over the past few years to get him to the place where he is today.

Ben was saved at the age of 13 through the godly influence of his parents as he was confronted by his own sin and inability to reconcile outside of God’s provision. Years later, when in college he rededicated his life to following the Lord for a lifetime.

Since then, he married his wife Danielle and has 4 children. Roman, Emarie, Paisley, and Lincoln. Together they have grown closer to the Lord over the past few years by getting connected with Harvest Bible Chapel in various contexts and now Ascend Church. First they moved to Rochester, Minnesota to be part of a Harvest core group and church plant. They were there for 2 years, and then God opened up the door for them to raise support and serve overseas in Glasgow, Scotland for 1 year at the only Harvest in the United Kingdom. From there, Ben was accepted in the Harvest Training Center for Worship and spent 3 months training under Vertical Worship. That brings them to where they are currently; serving and loving the people of Ascend Church in Olathe.

Email : barant@ascendkc.org

 

CHad McKinley

Director of Discipleship

Chad is the Director of Discipleship at Ascend Church, primarily overseeing the small group and soul care ministries. These two ministries are near to his heart because God uses them to transform and deepen people’s relationship with Christ.

Chad grew up in the church and, for many years, thought being a good person would get him to heaven. In 1995, God led Chad’s family to a church where he heard the gospel for the first time. Instead of good works saving him, he heard the truth that he must trust and believe in Christ and His work in order to have a relationship with Him. God opened his eyes and heart, and Chad committed to have Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. 

Chad has a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Arts degrees in Biblical Counseling and Divinity from Baptist Bible College and Graduate School. As a counselor, he is certified through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Chad is married to Maggie, and they have three daughters (Rowan, Bristol, Isla) and two sons (Hudson, Titus). He enjoys spending time with his family playing superheroes and princesses. He is also a lifelong Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan.

Email : cmckinley@ascendkc.org

Tim Yach

Director of ASM & Connected

Tim Yach is the Director of Student Ministries & Connected here at Ascend. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and lived there his entire life prior to moving to KC in 2013. He has been married to his High School sweetheart Tracy since 2004 and they have 4 children (Adelyn, Caleb, Carson, and Brixton).

Tim grew up in a Christian home attending church from a young age but never realized his need for a savior until his High School years. He can see now looking back that God was sovereignly orchestrating his life during this time. God drew Tim to Himself while attending a local youth group trip to Washington DC in 1997. He accepted the call to ministry in college, but didn’t realize that God had some pruning to do prior to his entering ministry full time at the start of 2013. Part of this process brought him to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies in 2012.

Tim feels so blessed to be leading our student ministry here at Ascend. Youth ministry has been vital to his life, faith and growth and he is very passionate about it! Please consider having your students (6th-12th grade) check out HSM! Let’s go Royals!

Email : tyach@ascendkc.org

LUCY NAGEL

Lucy Nagel oversees Children’s Ministry’s at Ascend Church. She loves children and it is her desire to make an impact on the children at Ascend Church by effectivity sharing the Gospel with them on a weekly basis. She has the privilege of leading the children’s ministry by recruiting, training, educating and supporting the volunteer staff of workers.

Lucy is married to James, and they have 3 children (Taylor, Kaylie and Nicholas). They have attended Ascend Church since launch day, September 2010. Both James and Nick serve on the Usher team and the girls spent many years serving in children’s ministry and look forward to it when they are home from college. Lucy enjoys spending time with her family hiking in Colorado, quality time at the lake and spending time in the kitchen with her family. 

Lucy feels blessed to serve alongside you as we seek to see your children come to know Christ at an early age.

NICOLE NEAL

OUR ELDERs

Kurt Fischer

Kurt has attended Ascend Church with his family since January 2011 and has served as an elder since 2014. Kurt and his wife, Laura, have three children (Faira, Benjamin, and William) and enjoy serving in the Ascend Young Adult Ministry. Kurt has a passion for the truth of God’s Word, especially applying it in the defense of the Christian faith. He loves spending time with his family and is an avid basketball fan.

 

Sal Lofaso

Sal has been a member of the elder team since 2013. He serves as the prayer coordinator for the weekly church prayer newsletter and prayer team. He assists Chad McKinley in oversight of the small group ministry and also serves as a flock leader. Sal has a passion for Christian Theology and enjoys researching, preaching and teaching God’s word. Sal is married to Karin and they have two grown children Grace and Christopher, and three grandchildren.

ChAD MCKINLEY

Chad has been an elder since 2014. Currently, he partners with Sal Lofaso in the leadership and oversight of small group ministries. He has a passion to see people transformed by Christ through biblical counseling. He enjoys reading, and studying in the areas of theology and biblical counseling. Chad is married to Maggie, and they have three daughters (Rowan, Bristol, Isla) and one son (Hudson). He enjoys spending his time with his family playing superheroes and princesses. He is also a life-long Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan (even in the painful times).

JEFF TERRELL

Jeff has been an elder since 2010, when Ascend Church launched and serves as the senior pastor. His joy is to serve alongside the elders of Ascend as they endeavor to shepherd the flock Christ has entrusted them, providing leadership with doctrine, discipline, and direction. Some of his favorite pastimes are: spending time with family, reading books on theology, listening to sermons while working out, watching movies, and enjoying America’s true national pastime – baseball! Jeff and his wife Sally have three daughters: Meg, Mallory, and Macy.

DOUG BESCH

Doug and his family joined Ascend Church in January of 2013 and he has served as an Elder since 2014. Doug and his wife, Sarah, have four children (Julia, Luke, Elyse and Garrett). Doug assists in the oversight of discipleship, finances and facilities. He enjoys spending time with his wife and children (swimming, biking, playgrounds and movies), studying God’s Word and shepherding God’s people.

 

TIM MCCOWN

Tim and his family joined Ascend Church in 2013.  He served as a Deacon as well as the church Treasurer since 2014.  As an Elder he provides oversight to the Deacon Board and continues to participate in church finance.  Tim is married to Andi McCown.  They have two children, Satchel and Bentley.  He enjoys visiting area parks with his family, climbing, skiing and being outdoors.  Tim views ministry as partnering with Christ in His purposes and he has a passion to see lives transformed by the Gospel of Christ.

KEN HEIZER

Ken and his family joined Ascend Church in 2016 after serving as church-planters in northern Italy for eight years. Ken and his wife, Mindi, have seven children (Justin, Michaela, Wesley, Kyle, Katie, Allie and Kara). Ken now serves on the leadership team of a global church-planting missions organization as the Area Director for Europe encouraging, developing and supporting missionaries and their families spread throughout seventeen countries. His passions are his family, missions and outreach, biblical counseling, and hanging with friends while sipping coffee, playing disc golf or talking about how the gospel functions in everyday life.