Pastor Donald Carson

Senior Pastor, Donald Carson, began ministering at the First Church of God in Saint James, MO on September 1, 1996. He began his ministry here as a Youth/Associate Pastor.  In January 2009, Pastor Carson began serving as Senior Pastor. He and his wife, Lynette, have three children: Emmily, Aaron, and Lyndon. Emmily and her husband, Heath Stegall, live in Ballwin, MO. Aaron and wife, Kristin Carson, live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lyndon Carson is a recent graduate of St. James High School. Both Pastor Don and Lynette grew up in Doniphan, MO. After completing his degree in Christian Education from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana,Pastor Carson began his full-time ministry in June of 1991 in Portageville, MO.

Pastor Don enjoys the outdoors.  He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, and fishing. Pastor Don describes his focus in ministry as being “A Pastor is to shepherd God’s people who have been placed in his care and to equip them for ministry to a world that is in need of Christ’s love and grace.”

Zachariah Malesker

Zachariah (Zach) Malesker graduated from Mid-America Christian University with a degree in Specialized Ministry and an emphasis on Student Ministry. He began ministering at First Church of God, St. James, MO in January 2018. Here, he serves as the Youth/Associate Pastor. Zach and his wife, Christy, have one child, a girl, Paxton. Zach and Christy both grew up in Casper, Wyoming. 

 Zach enjoys hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

Josh Gray

Joshua Gray has served as the Worship Leader here at the First Church of God since 2013. Joshua passionately leads worship on Sunday mornings, and every week encourages the church to discover more about God and in doing so, we often discover more about ourselves. When Joshua isn’t thinking about church stuff, he’s enjoying time with his family; his beautiful wife Lauren, and his sons, Noah and Jonathon. A native of St. James, Josh and his family enjoy spending time with friends and family, and the occasional, yet almost weekly BBQ grill off with anyone who is brave enough to take on the Iron chief himself.

Mary Dunkus

Mary and her family began attending the First Church of God in 1996. She became the Treasurer in January of 2010 and started as Administrative Assistant in November of 2012. She retired from this position in September of 2019. She continues to serve as the church’s Treasurer.

Mary and her husband, Bill, have two children, Mike and Rachael, their son-in-law, Josh, and two grandchildren, Jed and Isabella. Mary retired from a federal position with the USDA in 2007. Bill and Mary also owned a motorcycle dealership from 1997 to 2011. Her background is in loan processing and bookkeeping. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and motorcycle touring.

Shannon Kleffner

Shannon moved with her family to St. James when she was just six years old, graduating from John F. Hodge in 2003. Upon graduation, she attended Drury University in Springfield, MO on a golf scholarship. She graduated in 2008 with a BS in Sports Management, a minor in Business Administration, a minor in Fine Arts, and a minor in Global Studies.

She returned to St. James in 2009 as a cosmetologist at All About Hair and Nails Salon, working alongside her mother. She also worked with her father at RKB Construction.

Shannon and her family first visited First Church of God in St. James during the Easter service in 2016. Pastor Don baptized both Shannon and her husband, Brian, on January 22, 2017. Their two girls, Hallie and Willa, were part of the baby dedication held September 17, 2017.

Today, Shannon owns All About Hair and serves as the Administrative Assistant at First Church of God in St. James. She enjoys spending time with her family, being crafty with art of almost any kind, and making everything she encounters as beautiful as possible.