The Sanctuary at First Baptist Church

Staff Directory


Interim Pastors

Jim & Deb Harkness, Interim Pastors

(515) 243-8161 |


Jim and Deb Harkness minister the Church as we conduct a nationwide search to hire a senior pastor to fill a position that has been vacant since mid-June 2022. Retired American Baptist pastors, the Harknesses are in their second assignment as interim pastors of the Church, previously serving in 2020 and 2021. 



Wendy Longden

Administrative Services Coordinator

Wendy Longden, Administrative Services Coordinator

(515) 243-8161 |

Wendy Longden has been an employee of the Church for more than 10 years, administrating the office and facility and providing support to the pastors, the Executive Board and the numerous groups and volunteers in the Church.


Choir Director

Colby Gochanour, Choir Director

(515) 243-8161 |


The adult choir is directed by Colby Gochanour. Colby brings a decade of experience as well as an educational emphasis in leadership of church music ministries. He is a graduate of Grand View University and is an accomplished vocal and instrumental musician. If you are interested in joining our choir, please contact Colby. 




Becky Van Der Beek, Organist/Pianist

(515) 243-8161 |






Director of Youth Ministry

Tait Michener, Director of Youth Ministry

(515) 243-8161 |


As Director of Youth Ministry, Tait administers programs and provides spiritual and directional leadership for the Youth Ministry (grades 6 through 12) of the Church.