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Staff at First Lutheran Church

Here to Guide You


Sami Pfalzgraf


Addy Gabriel


Jonathan McClain

Pastor Sami received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in music from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She spent five years working in residential facilities for people with disabilities, until God decided she needed a career change. Sami began working as director of youth, children and young adult ministries in 2003. God again decided she needed a career change and in 2017, Pastor Sami graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with her Master's degree in divinity with a Biblical studies emphasis. Pastor Sami came to First Lutheran in 2022 from Erie, PA.

She has a puppy named Kaiba who is in training to become a therapy dog. She also has two cats; Bailey and Chloe. Pastor Sami enjoys hiking, art and crafts, ceramics, and spending time with her family in Kansas City. 

Addy has been with First Lutheran since 2023. She received her Bachelor's degree in Music  Education and taught at Fort Osage School District for one year.


Addy returned home to St. Joseph to help care for her grandmother and to attend Kansas State University for a Master's degree in Music Therapy.


Along with her work at First Lutheran, Addy is a piano instructor at St. Joseph Music Academy and teaches music for the Mirable School District. Addy has a puppy named Sky.


Brooke McBride

Jonathan began at First Lutheran in 2023 and is the in house sound specialist who helps to make sure all the electronic gadgets run smoothly. The church may look full of wooden pews and pedestals but there are a lot of microphones, wires, instruments, buttons, knobs, and cameras hiding around that need looking after.

He has two kids, a lovely fiancé, and he runs his own DJ and sound services company in town. He loves life and being a part of the First Lutheran community.

Philosophy: Denomination is just a title. What really matters is how you treat others.

And remember...

“If something electronic goes wrong, it's Jonathan's fault. If something non-electronic goes wrong, it's Sami's fault”

Brooke is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University with a B.S. in Business Administration and of the University of Missouri, Columbia with a Master of Arts in Student Affairs. Her early career includes employment at MU in Student Life. 


Following graduation from MU, she worked at MU as an Academic Advisor/Adjunct Faculty, and as the Assistant director of Campus Activities as well as the Director of Student Involvement at NWMSU.

She began at First Lutheran in 2022 and brings experience in program development, strategic planning, teaching, writing, recruiting, process improvement, and administration as well as the range of technical, media and marketing skills we were seeking in this position.

Married and the mother of one, Brooke stepped out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom until her son started school.  She and her family are active members of Ashland United Methodist.  

You will find Brooke to be open, engaging, friendly, confident, and well able to provide the assistance you might need in the office.

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