Our Minister -Gary Blakeman

Rev. Blakeman began his ministry at Longview in March of 2005 following the long tenure and retirement of Rev. Jan Keeler. Rev. Blakeman, who likes to be called, "Pastor Gary", has served pastorates in the Kansas City area since 1989; serving congregations in Harrisonville, and Raytown before coming to Longview.

He grew up on his grandparent's farm in Illinois and did his undergraduate work at Southern Illinois University where he met his wife Diana. They were married in 1975 and have two grown children, Dustin and Lindsey who both reside in the Kansas City area.

Pastor Gary felt the call to ministry in 1977 and did his theological studies at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. There he got a Master of Divinity degree in 1983 and was ordained as a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Pastor Gary's wife, Diana, is a Certified Public Accountant who is a partner in the firm Beal, Blakeman & Smither located in Raymore, Missouri.

Pastor Gary enjoys music, playing and singing with a Gospel Quartet at times, and "Jeeping" in the mountains of Colorado. Even more he enjoys the spirit that exists at Longview Chapel, for its farming roots and heritage give it a unique atmosphere and character. 

Our Minister of Education and Youth - Rhonda Hetzel

 

Rhonda Hetzel is our Minister of Education and Youth. Rhonda and her family first came to Longview Chapel in 1998 where they have worshiped as a family since. She became a staff member in 2010 as the Youth Director and in 2013 she accepted her current postion in the church.

Growing up in a small town in Kansas was a blessing to her. It was here that Rhonda learned that relationships are of the greatest importance. Working with children, youth, and families has always been a part Rhonda's life.  She graduated from Fort Hays State University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Kansas Teaching Certification (K-12). Since then, she has continually worked with students in a variety of settings including public schools, a school for military dependents stationed overseas, private schools, and at various clubs and activities. As a part of her continuing education and to enhance her professional development in ministry, she obtained her Certificate in Ministry from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in May, 2012. She is commissioned to serve as a Commissioned Licensed Minister by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Greater K.C.

Rhonda's favorite pastime is spending quality time with her husband, Karl, and their two children.  Her idea of fun is an evening when they have nowhere to go and can enjoy playing games and laughing together.  She also volunteers, along with her family, at a local Therapeutic Horsemanship Program for children with mild to moderate disabilities in addition to mentoring her children's robotics club.  

Our Music Director - Beth Fleer

Beth Fleer has been the Music Leader and Choir Director at Longview Chapel since 2001. She received her music teaching degree from Missouri State in Springfield and her Masters degree from Webster University. Beth has directed choirs of all ages and accompanied many church services, concerts and weddings. In her spare time, Beth enjoys activities with the church Singles, traveling, and taking care of her tri-colored Cocker Spaniel, Meggi. Beth has a son Patrick, who is married and lives in St. Louis with his wife Katie. Her family also includes a sister, Barbara, and a twin brother, Bob

Our Administrative Assistant - Kristy Ross

Kristy and her family live in Lee's Summit.  Her dad was a Pastor and she has followed in his footsteps serving churches in various roles since attending Bible College in Springfield, MO.  Some of those roles include:  Young Adult Leader, Music Director, Music Teacher for Grandview Christian School, Speaker for Women's Groups, and many church offices.

Kristy and her husband, Jeff, have 5 children, ages 7, 13, 16, 17 & 19.  In addition to serving Longview Chapel as secretary and staying busy with 5 children, she also gives private piano lessons.  Her true passion is in music and has passed that along to her children as they all share her musical talent and serve their home church in that area.

Our Custodian - Greg Kreie

Greg joined the staff in February, 2005, and takes great care in seeing that the church is in top-notch order for all the church events. Greg is a long time Disciples of Christ member and he and his wife Deb are members of our church family. He and Deb currently live in Grandview where they share their lives with their dog, Charlie. Greg is a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area.