Missouri Mid- South Conference

Board of Directors

Missouri Mid-South Conference Staff
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Transitional Conference Minister, Rev. Mary W. Nelson

Rev. Nelson is a lifelong “UCCer” and comes to us with a wealth of experience in various settings across the United Church of Christ. Most recently, she served for seven years as a Regional Minister (ACM) in the Connecticut/Southern New England Conference. Rev. Nelson is originally from Des Moines. She earned her BA at Grinnell College, and her MDiv at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. For the past five years, she has split her time between living in New Haven, Connecticut and South Hadley, Massachusetts. Rev. Nelson will work remotely from both Massachusetts and from her recently established second home base within the Missouri Mid-South Conference.  Mary can be reached at 314-918-2604 or mary@mmsucc.org

Associate Conference Minister, Rev. Damien Lake

Rev. Damien Lake has served three churches as a settled pastor and two congregations as an Interim Minister and worked with churches as a coach, helping them through the search and call process, as well as working with new church starts.  He has helped churches revitalize their ministry in the local community and remains committed to helping churches grow, to rethink church and to continue to focus on the Still Speaking Voice of God. Damien has a strong dedication to serving God and The Church, a deep faith that is always growing and expanding in new directions, and believes in the importance of answering the call of God to stand up for social justice, to help those who are hurting and to Be The Church. Read Damien's full bio here.  Damien can be reached at 314-918-2605 or damien@mmsucc.org.


Office Manager, Kathleen Rainey

Kathie joined the staff in March 2018 as our part-time Office Manager.  Kathie is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Conference Office.  Kathie's normal work schedule is Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week.  Kathie can be reached at 314-918-2602 or kathleen@mmsucc.org.


Communications Specialist, Julie Darnold Atkins

Joining the staff in January 2021, Julie is our part-time Communications Specialist responsible for managing the eCourier. Julie most recently worked at Bethesda Health Group Foundation and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and has a communications background. Julie can be reached at 314-606-6069 or julie@mmsucc.org.

Executive Director of Shannondale Community Center, Nathan Fulk

Nathan Fulk, serves as the Executive Director and Pastor of Shannondale Community Center as of October 1, 2018. His unique combination of forestry skills and dedication to the ongoing mission of the United Church of Christ make him crucial in the continued operation of Shannondale.  Nate can be reached at 573-858-3284 or nathan@mmsucc.org.

Youth Ministry Coordinator, Cindy Birkner

Cindy taught 6th and 7th grade Sunday school for five years and has been a confirmation teacher since 2007. She has a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications. Mrs. Birkner is married to Kevin and they have three children. Cindy can be reached at 314-575-1951 or cindy@mmsucc.org.


Site Manager for Camp MoVal, Kevin Zimmer

Coming on board in May 2022, Kevin is excited to be the Site Manager for Camp MoVal, especially since it's where he began attending family camp at age 3! He grew up to become a counselor, staff member, ropes course instructor, and family camp director. Kevin also met his wife Katie at Camp MoVal many years ago! They have three children: Michael, Laura, and Georgia, all who also enjoy helping around camp. Kevin loves to hike, ride bikes with his kids, paddle-board, canoe, and do basically anything outdoors. He also has two dogs, Charlotte and River. Kevin can be reached at 636-583-2730 or kevin@mmsucc.org.

Program Director for Camp MoVal, Amanda Schmitt

Bringing her experience teaching special education for the last 15 years along with her creativity and love of camp, Amanda joined the Conference staff in June 2022. Camp MoVal has been a part of her life since she was seven years old and she cherishes her extended camp family. Amanda loves all things arts and crafts and can often be found painting and creating. Her knack for creativity and experience working with children and families brings renewed energy to the ongoing UCC mission at Camp MoVal. Amanda can be reached at 636-583-2730 or amanda@mmsucc.org.