Dr. Brent Van Hook serves as Senior Pastor for First Church of the Nazarene in Wichita, Kansas. He came to Wichita in October, 2009. Before moving to Wichita, Pastor Brent pastored growing Nazarene congregations in Oklahoma and South Carolina. Pastor Brent’s passions for ministry include leadership development, team-building, creative outreach and preaching.
Pastor Brent grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee (near Nashville). He is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas (’92) and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky (M.Div. ’97 and D.Min ’06). He attended MidAmerica on academic and football scholarships. His D.Min. degree at Asbury was part of the Beeson Pastor Fellowship program for Leadership and Preaching led by Dale Galloway.
Pastor Brent and his wife (Susan) have two sons: Matthew and John David. Pastor Brent enjoys being a sports fan, hunting, fishing and cooking barbeque with his sons.
Brad Riley is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene with a background in business and marketing for over 18 years. He followed a call into full-time Christian ministry in 1998 and has served in pastorates in San Antonio, TX as well as Wichita.
As a minister in the Wichita community, bringing people together to experience the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ has always been Pastor Brad’s passion. In 2000, he developed the Living Waters Ministry Center through First Church of the Nazarene to bring food and other necessities to the Inner city around the church. In 2007, he began a teaching ministry called the Merciful Servants of Christ; an organization dedicated to teaching believers how to live the merciful life Jesus calls his followers to. And, in 2009, he co-founded the Ecumenical Christian Prayer Group that brings Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians together for prayer on the first Friday of each month.
Pastor Brad and his wife (Rhonda) have been married for over 25 years and have two adult children.
Children’s Ministry Pastor
Paul Meinke has been our Children’s Pastor since July 2014. Paul, his wife (Angie) and their two children came to us from Olathe, KS, where for 10 years Paul was the Recreation Director at College Church of the Nazarene. He also has previous experience as a high school teacher and coach. Paul graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 1999 and grew up on a farm in Bonner Springs, KS.
Paul became an ordained deacon in the Church of the Nazarene in 2014.
Tim Pitzer joined the staff in July of 2014. He and his wife (JoAnn) came to us from Canton, Ohio, where he was worship leader at Canton Nazarene and the director of constituent programs at Malone University.
Pastor Tim is originally from Nashville, Tenn. and received his B.S. in Music from Trevecca Nazarene University. After traveling with SpiritBound, a southern inspirational group, for 3.5 years, he served as minister of music at several Nazarene churches across the U.S, including Southside Nazarene in Richmond, Va.
Pastor Tim and JoAnn have two children (Ashley and Jordan).
Larry Page (LP) joined the staff of Wichita First Church in September 2001. He served as Student Ministries Pastor in Broken Arrow, OK for six years prior to joining the staff at WFC. He is a graduate of MidAmerica Nazarene University with a Bachelors of Arts with a double major in Religion and English. He received his Masters of Liberal Arts from Baker University.
L.P. is a southern boy through and through having grown up in southern Missouri, Alabama and the Carolinas. He came to know Christ as His glorious Savior as a sophomore in high school. He heard God’s call to full time ministry as a junior and headed to MNU to start his study for ministry and service for Jesus Christ.
As Student Ministries Pastor, L.P. leads the youth staff of Area51 Student Ministries as they minister to and invest in the lives of students from seventh grade through high school. Their goal and desire is to see Christ be made evident in the lives of the students they serve and to constantly point students and their families in Jesus’ direction. They believe that God deeply cares about students and want to reach students and connect them to each other and to God on life’s journey.
L.P. and his wife (Crystal) have been married for more than 20 years and have two children: a son (Alex) and daughter (Lauren).
Young Adult Pastor
Billy Byler joined the church staff in October of 2012. He left a seven-year career as a sports writer in Augusta, GA to answer the call to minister to Wichita’s young adults.
Though he is a native of Ohio, Billy has lived in the Southeastern part of the U.S. for most of his life. He graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2005 with a mass communications degree, and as a layman he led a college ministry and sports ministry at Midland Valley Community Church of the Nazarene in Clearwater, SC.
As the young adults pastor, Billy leads Thrive Young Adults Ministries, which focuses on reaching men and women in their 20s. From recently graduated high school students entering college or the workforce to singles and young professionals to married couples starting a family, the young adults of Wichita are facing difficult, important decisions during this time in their lives. We want to offer a community of believers who rely on the grace of God and His faithfulness to see them not only survive but thrive in the real world.
Pastor Billy and his wife (CJ) have a daughter (Hazel).
Bryan Kirk graduated from Friends University in Wichita in the spring of 2000 with a Bachelors of Music in Music Education. He currently serves as Director of the Worship Department. He began his ministry with Wichita First Nazarene in June of 2006 as Orchestra Director.
Bryan teaches Band in the Maize Public School System. His current duties include coordinating the 5th grade beginning Band program that starts around 200 students per year and assisting at Maize High School. He is also director of the Wichita Wind Ensembles Advanced Student Band and the Associate Director of the Wichita Wind Ensembles Professional Band. In 2006, Bryan became the director of the Jazz Friends Community Big Band.
Bryan’s wife, Jennifer, holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education and Performance from Friends University, a Masters Degree in Music Performance from Wichita State University, and she also has a successful private music studio and teachers in the music departments at Friends University and Sterling College. She is the principal flute in Wichita Wind Ensemble.
Bryan and Jennifer feel blessed that God has called them into the ministry at Wichita First Church of the Nazarene. They feel honored to be able to use their musical gifts to Worship The Lord and help others enter into Worship. They reside in west Wichita.