Church Staff

KO NooNoo - Pastor

 I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. My wife Anna and I have been married since November 1995.   We met during our undergraduate work at Jamestown College, Jamestown, North Dakota.  Yes, it was cold up there and indeed a big cultural shock to travel from Ghana to Jamestown, North Dakota for college. (But that story will have to wait).   We have three children:  Betty, Emma, and Caleb.

 

 Born to educator parents, I am one of five children. My call to ministry came through fellow students with whom I shared fellowship, prayer, and study while in high school. However, I resisted the call to full-time Christian ministry until 1997 in Chicago, Illinois.  This story will have to wait as well.  Suffice it to say, Anna had something to do with it. 

 

 I am a peacemaker-disciple who enjoys making disciples.  My great passion is doing the work of reconciliation.  Anyone can relate well when all is going well. Jesus prayed for the oneness of those who follow Him (John 17: 20-21).  In the face of hurt feelings, misunderstanding, and outright meanness, the testimony of the church is at stake.  I find great joy in helping restore that which is broken.  For me, the ministry of reconciliation includes living God’s love and sharing the good news with others so that they also may know and live God’s love.  It is a great honor to be invited to put one’s life at the disposal of others, to help them take their next steps of faith with God. This makes my heart sing.

 

 I am an extrovert who has grown to appreciate silence and solitude.  I enjoy cooking and dining with friends. My hobbies include walking our dog Jeepers, playing racquetball, bike-riding, and enjoying nature.  I truly enjoy studying scripture and presenting it in a way that is helpful for daily living. There are many challenges in life, but we need not face them alone.  Help and hope abound through the presence of the Holy Spirit and Scripture.  Be of good cheer.

Paul Evans - Parish Assistant

Born in Newport, KY, Paul grew up in Stratford, Conn., graduated Cum Laude from Maryville (Presbyterian) College in 1962, and earned an M.Div. in 1965 and a TH.M. in 1969 from Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ. Ordained in 1965, he served in Presbyterian Churches in St. Paul, MN, Minnetonka, MN, Tribes Hill, NY, Rapid City, SD, and in Topeka    he was pastor of the Metropolitan     Community Church from 1987 to 2007. Paul is an accomplished vocalist, and he is the keyboardist for Temple Beth Sholom.

Rob Hobgood - Choir Director

Originally from Raleigh, NC, Rob Hobgood received a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music and
Organ Performance from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA, followed by a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. At Wesminster, Rob studied organ and conducting and performed with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, as well as with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the direction of Sir Roger Norrington at Carnegie Hall in New York. Rob is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Church Music degree with concentrations in organ performance and choral conducting at the University of Kansas where he studies with Michael Bauer.
Prior to moving to Kansas in August 2017, Rob served as Music Director and Organist at Covenant
Presbyterian Church, Cherry Hill, NJ for seven years, where he oversaw adult, children’s, handbell, and
contemporary music ensembles. Rob conducted the Covenant Community Chorus which sang for annual
Reformation Day services, Holy Week services, and a 9/11 Memorial Service featuring Howard Goodall’s
Eternal Light: A Requiem. Rob also served as Assistant Music Director at Tenth Presbyterian Church,
Philadelphia, PA.
While in NJ, Rob held several positions in the SouthWest Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of
Organists including Sub-Dean and Dean. He also led the committee involved with planning an upcoming
regional convention. Rob has also worked with Doyon Virtual Organs, a virtual pipe organ installer based in Dover, DE with contracts across the country. In 2014, Rob had the opportunity to travel to Oxford, England for a ten day conducting masterclass where he studied with James Whitbourn and James Jordan, and attended workshops with Edward Higginbottom, Stephen Darlington and Daniel Hyde.

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Jim Owens - Parish Associate

Born in Clearwater, Florida and raised in Tarpon Springs, Jim earned a B.A. in Religion, German, and Speech at Florida Southern College in Lakeland and an Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ in 1970. Ordained 1974, Jim served The Presbyterian Church at Woodbury before completing a Doctorate of Ministry Studies at McCormick Seminary in 1987 thereafter he moved to Topeka. Westminster is delighted that Jim is now our Parish Associate.

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Becca Nyman - Youth Coordinator & Worship Technology

Becca is our Youth Coordinator and Worship Technology person here at Westminster. She helps with all youth activities here. Becca was born and raised in the Kansas City Metro. She currently is a seeking a degree at Washburn University and is looking at obtaining a degree in Public Admin with a certificate in nonprofit management and a minor in leadership studies. After college Becca wants to work for a non-profit organization that emphasizes in work with underprivileged youth. 

Brian Vawter - Custodian

Brian was born and raised in Topeka. He is a graduate of Topeka High School. He works full-time at Logan Junior High School. He also works part-time at Second Presbyterian Church and at Westminster.  He is married to Nancy and has two children, Heather and Clayton.

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