West Hills Church

LEADERSHIP

elders and deacons

Read about our current Elders and Deacons below.

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Elder for Spiritual Formation
Patti Gatzke
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At West Hills since...
At West Hills since 2007 this time. Previously 1983-86.
My family
I have been married to Ron for 40 years. We have two daughters; Allison Lee and Andrea Gatzke, and four grandchildren. Allison and Gudmund Lee (Henrik, Ivy, and Silje) live in West Linn, OR and Andrea and Cris Livecchi-Gatzke (Simon) live in Kingston, NY.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I have been a deacon for Covenant Groups and served on that team for a number of years. I have led and co-led Connection and Covenant Groups. I taught VBS last summer and have sung in the choir. I have participated in many Women's Ministry activities including retreats.
What you like most about West Hills
I like the emphasis on building relationships with each other as well as Christ. We are truly "on a journey with the living Christ" and these relationships are proof of that.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 23. SONG: How Great Thou Art. BOOK: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - a story of courage in most difficult times. MOVIE: There are too many to pick one. SNACK: Popcorn.
Hobbies/passions
Hobbies: Walking, cross stitch, reading, time with family. PASSIONS: Justice and sharing Christ's love with those less fortunate.
 
 
Elder of Buildings & Grounds
Don Glasgow
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At West Hills since...
1997
My family
Candy and I have been married 47 years. We have one son, Miles, who lives and works in Omaha for Regent 6. I am a retired science teacher from Westside Community Schools but I still substitute in science at the high school a little.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Usher for worship services, involved in men's ministry, I have belonged to a covenant group since 1997, have participated in Wednesday night activities, Servant Sunday leader since it's conception around 2000, mission leader to Crow Agency Indian Reservation twice, and currently help teachers at the Omaha Street School.
What you like most about West Hills
Relationship building from covenant group or other West Hills activities.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:4-8. SONG: Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin, Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath. BOOK: Bible The Shack. MOVIE: Sound of Music. SNACK: Ice Cream.
Hobbies/passions
HOBBIES: Walking at recreational lakes around Omaha, hiking in Colorado, Bird counting for Cornel Labs and Blue Birds Across Nebraska, Golf, and Bicycling. PASSIONS: Encouraging students at the Omaha Street School, traveling abroad with my wife.
 
 
Elder for Nominating
Lisa Harrison
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At West Hills since...
I have been attending West Hills since 1994
My family
My family includes Louie and me. Though we have a huge extended family that we claim as our own.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I am currently the elder of nominating. I have served as deacon, caregiving ambassador, transportation team, involved in our Skinner elementary neighborhood, and have participated in many of the mission trips.
What you like most about West Hills
My favorite part of West Hills is the wonderful people I have met over the years. We are community!
My favorites
My Favorites - SCRIPTURE: For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21. SONG: I'm No Longer A Slave to Fear. I Am A Child Of God. BOOK: The Bible. MOVIE: Don't have one! SNACK: Cookies
Hobbies/passions
Hobbies . . . being outside in the sunshine, running, hiking, bicycling, walking, coffee shops and socializing. My passions - hanging out with my hubby Lou, volunteering with the homeless and poor, spending time with my kids (nieces and nephews). Taking various Bible studies so I can keep learning and spending time with people.
 
 
Elder for Worship and Music
Mark Hawkins
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At West Hills since...
1991 or 1992
My family
The Lord has blessed me with an amazing wife and three awesome sons. My wife's name is Ilene, and my boys are Levi, Noah, and Matthew.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Worship and Music, Amp Youth, Youth Minstries
What you like most about West Hills
My favorite thing about West Hills is having the opportunity to share my journey with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:13; SONG: I don't know - I have a lot of favorites; BOOK: Moby Dick; MOVIE: Life of Pi, Gladiator; SNACK: homemade chocolate chip cookies
Hobbies/passions
Hobbies: fantasy football, golfing, hunting, fishing, and working out; Passions: spending time with family and friends
 
 
Elder for Stewardship
Mike Kelley
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At West Hills since...
1988
My family
Peggy & I have been married since 1971. We have been blessed with two adult children, Drew & Alicia, their spouses Rachel & Jon. Our greatest joy is four beautiful grandchildren, Morgan, Mason, Barrett & Briggs.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I have served as an Elder several times, taught Sunday School, served as a Youth volunteer on Sunday nights and on Youth Mission trips, been a Mission team member, led Men’s Ministry, attend Tuesday Bible Study, served on several Search committees and Personnel committee. One of my greatest joys was serving as carpenter assistant to Chuck Burgess with Norlin Parker.
What you like most about West Hills
WHC is where I started a relationship with Jesus Christ. I continue to grow in my faith in these pews and hallways. WHC is home to me and a sanctuary. My spiritual growth has been blessed and nurtured in this church.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:13 LIFE PASSAGE: Philippians 3:7-14 SONG: On Eagle Wings & Wind Beneath My Wings. BOOK: love the Bible then a Tom Clancy novel. DESSERT: Raspberries with heavy cream.
Hobbies/passions
Nebraska Football with my wife followed by other NU athletics. Working with Youth. Time with family and friends. Searching for out of the way restaurants. Silent retreats. A sense of humor no matter how sad it is.
 
 
Elder for Spiritual Formation
Jane Loeck
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
Hobbies/passions
 
 
Elder for Personnel
John O'Donovan
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At West Hills since...
Member of West Hills since 2002
My family
Two daughters: Jessica O'Donovan Scheopner married to Jason Scheopner of Omaha. They have five children; William, Julian, Jonathan (Jay), Catie and Ellie. Ellie O'Donovan, married to Jeff Shaw of Durham, N.C.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Currently the Elder of Personnel. Formerly served as the co-chair of
What you like most about West Hills
I like the people of West Hills, particularly how we care for each other, pray for each other, and try to be present in each others' lives.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: My scripture changes every day. SONG: Anything from the 60's except the BEE GEESs, but since you asked, my favorite Hymn is 'Eternal Father, Strong' and here is my favorite verse, the Marine Corps verse: Eternal Father, Grant, we pray, To all Marines, both night and day, The courage, honor, strength and skill Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill; Be Thou the Shield forever more For every peril to the Corps. I have paperback copy of 'Centennial' that I have carried with me since I was a young Lieutenant, it has been my reading on deployments to Europe, the middle ease, far ease and Africa. I can pick it up and start at any chapter because of the way it is structured. I could watch 'Zulu' every day.
Hobbies/passions
What am I passionate about? Beyond my God I am passionate about my wife, my family, my country, my Corps.
 
 
Elder of Children's Ministry
Jack Pagel
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At West Hills since...
1981
My family
My wife Judy and I have been married for forty-nine years. We have two sons - James and Jonathan, and two daughters - Jonie and Jessica. Our son James is married to Jennifer and they have a son Jacob. Our daughter Jonie and husband Eric Heckman's kids are Magdalen, Saija, Killian, and Elsa. Jessica and her husband Eric Pankoke's kids are Brody and Breckin. Our son Jonathan, has a son Jayce.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I am involved with the children, youth, and men's ministries.
What you like most about West Hills
West Hills feels like home - safe and secure, a refuge.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 37:4. SONG: too many - varies lay day and mood. Today it is
Hobbies/passions
I like to read, run, woodwork, refinish wood, music, family, and traveling. I have a passion for living in the moment.
 
 
Elder for Mission
Peggy Shirley
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At West Hills since...
1986
My family
I have been married to my husband, David, for 24 years. We have one son, Michael. He is 20 years old and will be attending Metropolitan College in September. We have a Morkie named Lexie. I worked at First Data for 32 years and left the company in 2013. I am enjoying my first year of retirement and it has allowed me to live my passion of mission work and volunteering.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
taught Sunday school, Caregiving Ambassador, Caregiving Deacon, nursery volunteer, mission work with Abide, Good News Bears, Omaha Street School, Westgate, Mission Elder, VBS volunteer, VBS organizer at Iglesia el Buen Pastor, mission trip to Crow Agency, Montana, Presbyterian mission trip to Israel/Palestine
What you like most about West Hills
the fact that we are all on a journey with Christ together - there is no judging, only love and care and helping each other as we make the journey together
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:11; SONG: Blessings by Laura Story; BOOK: anything by John Sanford; MOVIE: Gone With the Wind; SNACK: frozen yogurt
Hobbies/passions
walking with my dog, Lexie, exercising, reading, Bible Study Fellowship, mission work and volunteering
 
 
Elder for Finance
Dan Travaille
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
Hobbies/passions
 
 
Elder for Next Gen
Julie Zimmerman
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At West Hills since...
West Hills has been our church home since 1998.
My family
My family includes my husband Mark to whom I have been married for 26 years. We have 4 children: Trent 20, Reid 18, Spencer 18 (yes twins), and Rylee 16.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I have been involved in a number of ministry areas at West Hills over the last 20 years. Having worked as a teacher, counselor and administrator for the Omaha Public Schools, I have found many opportunities to work with children and youth at West Hills: Nursery, Children's Sunday School, Youth Sunday School, Youth Camp and Vacation Bible School.
What you like most about West Hills
I love that West Hills is on a Journey with the Living Christ. I am pleased about the Bible focus for the church. I have been part of the Women's Bible Study for a number o years and have helped lead the study on several occasions. It is very important to me that I am reading God's Word regularly. Bible Study is a great opportunity to join with other women who want the same thing. I also love the opportunities for Mission involvement at West Hills. One of my favorite Bible verses is: “Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21. Each time I leave West Hills, I see this verse above the doorway on my way out of the building. It is a wonderful reminder that we are sent into mission each and every day. Opportunities for mission are everywhere in our daily lives.
My favorites
I love the verse: Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6. To me this highlights how important the south and children of our church are. Walking beside our youth on their faith journey is an absolute privilege for me.
Hobbies/passions
One of my other favorite things in my love of animals. I am an avid wild bird watcher. We invite birds to our back yard with feeders and bird baths. There is nothing I like more than sitting on our patio and watching them fly in and eat. I also have a wonderful dog who loves going for walks. Most days we head out around our neighborhood or in on of the nearby parks.
 
 
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Deacons - Caregiving Ambassadors
Patti Brownlee
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At West Hills since...
2014
My family
My husband Stephen and I have been married for 38 years. Our only daughter, Sarah, is married to Tim Weller. We have been blessed with 2 grandchildren - Luke and Hannah.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Caregiving, hospitality, connection groups, Bible study.
What you like most about West Hills
Worship that is Biblically solid and inspirational: the innumerable opportunities to grow and serve as a Christian; and it is a welcoming church family.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Philippians. SONG: How Great Thou Art. BOOK: Mitford Series and mysteries. MOVIE: Most recent is
Hobbies/passions
HOBBIES: Reading and traveling - I love to plan trips. PASSIONS: Spending time with my family and friends.
 
 
Karen Lofgren-Anderson
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
Hobbies/passions
 
 
Judy Nelson
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At West Hills since...
2014
My family
My husband, John, and I were married in June of 1975. We met at my former church when I returned to Omaha to teach after having taught in John's home town for four years. We are the parents of a daughter, Martha (Steve) and two sons, Andrew (Lacey) and Braden. We are grandparents of four darling granddaughters aged 4 months to 6 years old.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I have participated in several Bible studies - Sunday morning, Thursday morning, and Wednesday Night Alive. I have volunteered for Servant Sunday. I have participated in one silent retreat and
What you like most about West Hills
Each week I really look forward to Sunday morning worship. I love being surrounded by and led in joy-filled, Christ-centered worship. The music is uplifting and well done. The preaching is biblical, meaningful and inspirational. I am thankful for the passion of this congregation for mission.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: The Gospel of John; SONG: the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy; BOOK: any book written by Tim Keller or Elyse Fitzpatrick; MOVIE: You've Got Mail; SNACK: Dove dark chocolate and Vic's mix
Hobbies/passions
I enjoy casual gardening and listening to classical music. I like to read, primarily non-fiction. I would love to organize family photos and stories of 5 generations of family in a format that can be enjoyed for years to come.
 
 
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Deacons - Groups
Mike Overby
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At West Hills since...
1987 (less a 10 year absence while living in Chicago).
My family
I have the privilege of being the husband of Sheryl and father to Patrick, Tessa, and Rachel. I'm also the best friend of Lucy, my favorite cocker spaniel.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Children's ministry teaching Sunday School, Servant Sunday outreach to Westgate.
What you like most about West Hills
The warmness within the church in how it practices its' faith and its' willingness to reach outside the church to demonstrate its' faith.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:12. SONG: Here I am Lord. BOOK: Half Time by Bob Buford MOVIE: A River Runs Through It. SNACK: Snickers
Hobbies/passions
Golfing, basketball, running, and just generally enjoying the outdoors. Passions:'Anima Sona in Corpore Sano', generally interpreted as maintaining a healthy mind in a healthy body.
 
 
Leann Schaffer
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
Hobbies/passions
 
 
Doug Stout
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
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Deacons - Practical Needs
Michaella Dunn
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At West Hills since...
2000
My family
My husband, Johnny, and I have a 1-year-old son named Beckett.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
In college I was a youth intern for two summers, then later volunteered with the youth for several years. I was on the Mission Team for three years and have helped with some of the Children's Ministry activities throughout the years, including volunteering for several years with VBS.
What you like most about West Hills
Our focus on outreach in our own community and mission throughout our world
My favorites
SCRITURE: Matthew 6:33-34, Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.; SONG: I have no idea how to choose just one; BOOK: I have always loved Jane Austen novels; MOVIE: The Sound of Music; SNACK: pumpkin spice latte
Hobbies/passions
I love dogs. I love to read. I do yoga and I like crocheting Beckett little hats.
 
 
Linda Springsted
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At West Hills since...
1980
My family
My husband (Paul) and I have been married for 47 years and have three grown children. Kelley (husband John) has two boys, Thomas (18) and Christian (6). Our son J.P. (wife Debbie) has one daughter, Lela (14). Kathy is our youngest daughter (husband Brian) and has one son, Nick (24).
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I have taught Sunday school and was Supt. of SS (years ago). I have served as an Elder, but my heart is as a Deacon. I am currently serving as a Deacon and coordinator of the silent retreat. I also enjoy helping out in the nursery, library and the funeral committee. I also enjoy Thursday morning Bible study and bell choir. I also enjoy helping out at Westgate School.
What you like most about West Hills
When we first visited West Hills in 1980, we just knew this was the place for us. We were welcomed warmly and were excited to learn more about joining. We were disappointed to find out we could not attend the Experiment (membership class) for several months. The Experiment was a great experience and was a good taste of relational community that we have enjoyed since then.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 41:10; SONG: Jesus, I Love You; BOOK: Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning; MOVIE: The Last Holiday; SNACK: chocolate anything
Hobbies/passions
books, counted cross stitch, making fleece blankets for UNMC, volunteer transportation for UNMC
 
 
Ted Tromler
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At West Hills since...
My family
Areas of involvement at West Hills
What you like most about West Hills
My favorites
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Deacons - Stephen Ministry
Wayne Moore
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At West Hills since...
1965
My family
Married to Marilyn Moore, have two sons Brian & Craig (wife Becky) with two grandaughters Madisyn and Macy
Areas of involvement at West Hills
Stephens Ministry, Caregiving, Building & Grounds, Ushering, Greeting, Junior and Senior High, Sunday School, Singles Ministry
What you like most about West Hills
The fellowship of the people
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 23; SONG: Lord's Prayer; BOOK: Celebration of Discipline; MOVIE: Brian's Song; SNACK: chocolate covered almonds
Hobbies/passions
stamp collecting, baseball, time with family
 
 
Les Peterson
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At West Hills since...
1995
My family
My wife Anne and I have 2 sons - Alan and Scott.
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I am involved in Stephens Ministry, I am a Deacon, I attend Men's Bible Study, and I am a greeter.
What you like most about West Hills
The congregation we have are faithful. I enjoy being in worship.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:1-12. SONG: Here I am Lord. BOOK: No favorite. MOVIE: No favorite. SNACK: Coffee and sugar cookies.
Hobbies/passions
HOBBIES: I collect old toys and I am an Antique Dealer. PASSIONS: Church on Sunday, Being Husband and Father, Memorial Stadium on Saturdays, Creighton Basketball.
 
 
Gloria Zinn
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At West Hills since...
I have been going to West Hills (when I was late for my home church, Central Presbyterian at 55th and Leavenworth) since we moved into West Gate in 1970. I started going to west Hills full time in the late 90’s and don’t know the year I had them transfer my membership from Central Presbyterian to West Hills.
My family
I have three grown children and 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandson
Areas of involvement at West Hills
I make casseroles for Foster Care group, have taught the Thursday AM Bible Study, and now facilitate the study since we are using the Serendipity format; I started a Bible Study at West Gate Assisted living, am a volunteer for Westgate School, and serve 9this year) as a Deacon with Stephan Ministry, and have also facilitated a connection group.
What you like most about West Hills
I have always been extremely impressed with the friendliness of the members at West Hills. You need to be in another church for some time before you can truly recognize the difference between West Hills and other churches.
My favorites
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:11 SONG: I Can Only Imagine BOOK: The Bible MOVIE: To Kill a Mockingbird SNACK: anything chocolate!
Hobbies/passions
Hobbies: reading, working out, research, writing children’s books for my grandchildren. Passions: Listening to Dr. David Jeremiah and other excellent leaders in the faith including the late Dr. R.C. Spiral
 
 
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