Our Leaders

As a Presbyterian body, City Church is elder-led. We also have a small staff that consists of a Lead Pastor, a Director of Community, a Pastoral Assistant, and the Director of City Kids, our family ministry. In addition, we also have a diaconate that provides structure and care for needs within the church and without.   

  • C.J. Degroot

    (elder)

    C.J. DeGroot and his wife Keri were members of City Church’s church plant leadership team. C.J. and Keri have lived in Lafayette Square since 2008 and have two daughters and a son. C.J. is an engineer for The Boeing Company and enjoys soccer, cycling, and playing drums at City Church. 

  • Shane Duggin

    (ELDER)

    Shane is an attorney for Edward Jones.  He and his wife Erin have three children - Marlie, Tate, & Hays.  

  • Jessica fox

    (Deacon)

    Jessica has lived in St. Louis for 6 years where she earned her Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary (2013). She lives in Tower Grove East with her roommate and a spunky ginger cat named Gilbert. She enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants and coffee shops, and cheering on her favorite sports teams - especially the Butler basketball team.

  • Kara Gehret

    (DEacon)

    Kara, her husband Jake, and their daughter Hazel have been a part of the City Church family for two years and are part of the West City Life. Kara lives in Clifton Heights. She enjoys a good meal and spending time with family, friends, and neighbors. 

  • Brooke Gocken

    (Deacon)

    Brooke and her husband Travis have lived in Lafayette Square since 2006.  They stay busy with their two children, Grace and Gavin.  Brooke is a dental hygienist and runs a dental practice.  You will often find them active in the community and enjoy giving back to their neighborhood.

  • Joe Gruneisen

    (elder)

    Joe and his wife Nancy live in the Skinker DeBaliviere neighbor with various combinations of their four children; Leah, Ramya, Jesse, and Clara.  They have been attending City Church since June 2015. When not supporting military jets as an electrical engineer at Boeing, Joe enjoys grilling, gardening and house projects.  He especially enjoys sitting down with friends over a good meal and with a flavorful beer.

  • Phillip Hussey

    (Elder)

    Phillip and his wife Claire live in south city where they are renovating a house.  Claire is a pediatric intensive care unit nurse and Phillip is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology at Saint Louis University.

  • Justin and his wife Erin live in Dogtown with their son Eoin and daughter Polly. They enjoy sharing meals with friends and neighbors and spending time together at the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, or the park across the street from their house.

  • Rex Oberle

    (Deacon)

    Rex and his wife Jill live in the Shaw neighborhood with their son Ike and dog Oscar. He does digital strategy work and enjoys seeing movies and going out to eat in his free time.

  • Amy szymczyk

    (Director of city kids)

    Amy has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts, and she enjoys the power and art of story and is also a watercolor artist. She loves gardening, making things & painting, usually with her daughter Daisy. Her husband John is often the recipient of their creative projects.

  • Nate Van Valkenburg

    (Deacon)

    Nate lives in Southwest Garden and has attended City Church since 2009. Nate is a software engineer and enjoys hiking, movie nights, pickleball, and entertaining his nieces and nephews.

  • Mike werkheiser

    (elder)

    Mike and his wife Beth have been married since 2003 and have 4 children (2008, 2010, 2013, & 2016). They like to laugh... mostly at/with each other.