About Us

Meet Our Team
Staff Members

Our Amazing Team

Craig Howard

Founder & Executive Director


Read Craig's Bio

The disciples asked Jesus, “which is the greatest commandment?”  Jesus replied, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength – and love your neighbor as yourself.”  It took me awhile (50 years to be exact) to understand who my “neighbor” is, but I am fully invested now in bringing help and hope to the poor, the forgotten, the least of these (Matthew 25). 
Coming to faith in Christ at age 7 allowed me to grasp what it means to love Jesus with my whole heart.  Now I can help fulfill the entire Great Commandment as we take Jesus to the people (“neighbor’s”) and meet urgent needs. 
My family – wife, 4 children, their spouses and our grandchildren are thrilled to help out and serve at the Mission any chance they get. Olathe and SW Johnson County has been our home since 1993.

Rod Janzen

Community Development Director


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Rod was in pastoral ministry from 1983 to 2013. During that time, he had the privilege of serving with initiatives such as Olathe Serve Day, Olathe Pastors Network, Citywide Prayer Movement, Olathe Community Food Pantry, the Olathe Police Department, and local church planting.
Rod serves as our Business Development Director and oversees financial development, communication and administration.  Rod and Lynda have been married since 1983, have two grown children, a son-in-law and four grandchildren.


Steve Friesen

Spiritual Development Director


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What a privilege to join the Lord in His work in our community! I had the joy of serving in church youth ministry for 23 years, including many unforgettable mission trip experiences, serving others in the name of Christ. Our prayer would always be, “Lord, please help us to join in your work in our own community the way we have been a part of your work here” – many times in Arlington, TX. ( www.missionarlington.org). The launch of Mission Southside in January of 2011 was an answer to our prayers!  

Our family loves this wonderful community, which has been “home” to me for over 45 years. With rising hunger and poverty for all age groups – the majority of these not connected to any Christian faith community – it is a key time for an obedient response to the Lord to love and serve our neighbors in His name. It is a privilege for my wife, 2 sons and I to partner with each of you (individuals, churches, and ministries) as we ‘hang out on property and hover around John 3:16.’


Catelyn Graham

Leadership Development Director


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Matthew 25:40

Catelyn serves as the Leadership Development Director, creating and developing leaders among all staff and volunteers with a goal to deliver spiritual care leading to new life in Christ and flourishing spiritual community.

Catelyn has been heavily involved in serving youth, adults, & families in varying capacities from focusing on intergenerational diversity to psychiatric care and specializes in program design & curriculum development as a Recreation Therapist. Catelyn has had the pleasure of leading several initiatives developing leaders within the community, workplace, and beyond.

Iowa has been home to Catelyn since moving south to Kansas in 2020. Catelyn strives to radiate joy, build relationships, and is eager to continue ministering & serving His kingdom.

Crystal Fuller<br />
Office Manager

Crystal Fuller

Office Manager


Olivia Villaverde Martin

Life Skills Coordinator


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Olivia is from Mexico and moved here with her family to Kansas in 2012. Olivia graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua Mexico with a focus in Human Resources. On November of 2021 she finished her certification as Medical interpreter. Her husband, Daniel and their daughters, Naomi and Mary, have been involved in helping the Hispanic community in Gardner for many years. They have helped with ESL classes at their church since 2014, and have helped as a family with our Christmas Store since 2017. Olivia is currently co-teaching the Mission Southside Spanish Class on Monday nights. She became US Citizen in May of 2021.

Olivia is bilingual in Spanish and English and believes it is her gift from God to help others.

Nick Wagoner

Program Manager


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Nick graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University with a major in Bible and Theology, with minors in Sociology and Intercultural Studies. He volunteered at Mission Southside for three years, while also serving as a Summer Intern for two years, before joining the staff team. God is continuing to grow Nick’s heart for Mission Southside’s neighbors, and he is excited to dive into this new role of Program Catalyst.

Nick lives in Olathe, and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management and Innovation from UMKC.

Darla Chapman

Language Class Catalyst

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I have a beautiful family: husband, three adult children, two with spouses, and two grandchildren. I am blessed that they all live and serve God in our Olathe community.

I have taught English to adults who are from other countries for 15 years. My life has been enriched and expanded getting to know my neighbors and their cultures. Most recently, I have taught and coordinated our language classes at Mission Southside. These last few years at Mission Southside have been very rewarding. I enjoy being a catalyst to bring neighbors together to ultimately make God’s name and love known among all people and all languages.

Paul and Barnabas reported back to the church that “…God had used them to throw the door of faith wide open so people of all nations could come streaming in.” Acts 14:27-28 (MSG)

My prayer is that God will do it again.

“Open the door of faith to all nations through our language classes.”

Ernest Acheampong

Warehouse Coordinator


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Ernest was born in Ghana, West Africa and has lived in the US since 1990.  He and his wife, Dorcas, have three children.  Ernest owns a shipping business that sends items to West Africa, and also supports several orphanages in Ghana.  He oversees all of our warehouse donations at Mission Southside.  We are grateful that he is part of our team.


Sarah Wonnell

Neighborhood Team Manager


Donna Ellis

Bookkeeper Catalyst


Alejandro Hernandez

Office-Program Assistant


Jorge Herlein

Latino Hope Manager


HEld High

Website Development & Support



Advisory Board Officers

Rex Mustain


Randy Bentele

Vice Chairman

Fred Olson


DonnA Ellis


Advisory Board Members

Katie Hines

Craig Howard

Mike Hougland

Michael Dye

Anne Strempke

Gregg Herbert

Brandon Champagne

Robb Black


Liz Garcia Crisanto

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Liz is a senior at Olathe North High School. She has grown up within the Mission Southside community, and her family is from Veracruz, Mexico. She is involved in the Service and Discovery program, and she is also enrolled in the Health Care Sciences at OATC, as well as being a Certified Nurses Assistant. She is eager to graduate and pursue a career in healthcare.

Geramy Barrios

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Geramy is from Kansas City, Kansas and has live in Olathe his entire life. Geramy is a senior at Olathe west high school and a student of the Public Safety academy. His future aspirations are going into fire rescue services. Throughout the course of this internship, Geramy hopes to learn more about who God is and God’s purpose for him on earth.

Ruben Barbon De La Paz

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Ruben was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and moved with his family to Kansas in 2016. Ruben is a Senior at Olathe West High School were he has been a part of the soccer team in his Sophomore and Junior years. He also applied to OATC and is enrolled in the Auto Collision Program for his Junior and Senior years. In 2018 he applied to Mission Southside where he became an official Leader’s in Training student. Ruben has volunteered in many events for Missions Southside, but his favorites are Sports Night and the Christmas Store.

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