The Rev. Canon Ellis E. Brust, Rector
Ellis’ Kansas City roots run deep. For our entire marriage I’ve heard stories about his ice-skating on Ward Parkway’s frozen fountains, one of his first jobs cleaning dishes at a BBQ joint, his mischief in Westport in the 70s and one of his favorite accomplishments – Twerp King at Shawnee Mission South.
Ellis has been in fulltime ministry since 1984, serving in Anglican churches and executive leadership positions locally and nationally, often working with international Anglican leaders. I met him when he was a seminarian in Northern Virginia, and our ministry has taken us coast-to-coast and around the world. God has a funny way of bringing things full circle, and after 30 years away, He brought us back to Ellis’ hometown.
Ellis has a passionate desire to serve Jesus Christ and is a visionary leader and mentor. He is also a gifted preacher and teacher with a true pastor’s heart. When he’s not at church, Ellis is probably spending time enjoying our family and grandsons, reading, painting, or sketching. He also loves listening to music ranging from classical to country, jazz, rock, and artists that probably shouldn’t be listed on a church website. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the great loves of Ellis’ life…our cat, Gatsby.
After 30 years of marriage, he still makes my heart flutter, and I feel blessed to serve with him at Church of the Apostles.
The Rev. Cynthia P. Brust, Associate Rector
When I was in seminary, I met a beautiful South Carolinian (who was on a date with a fellow seminarian) at a variety show. I’m not sure if she found me particularly interesting, or her date particularly boring, but we talked all evening and two months later, I asked her to be my wife. I’m leaving out the details (ask her sometime about our first kiss), but Cynthia captured my heart all those years ago and has been doing so ever since.
When we met, Cynthia was working on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Press Secretary and over the years, she’s served in a broad range of communications, public relations, and advocacy work within church-related, government, corporate, and political arenas. Her real passion, however, has always been Christian ministry in the local church with an emphasis on teaching and preaching about numerous aspects of faith and discipleship. I’ve had the honor of seeing many men and women ordained since my own ordination, but none can compare to the joy I felt when Cynthia was ordained a priest in 2012, fulfilling a 20-year call on her life. What can I say? She doesn’t rush into things. All joking aside, serving with her is one of the greatest honors of my life.
Cynthia holds a Master of Arts in Theology degree from Fuller Seminary. Between her various responsibilities as a church planter, she doesn’t have a lot of spare time on her hands, but when she does, you can bet she’s spending time with our grandsons, who call her Glam (for obvious reasons). She also loves reading, travel, afternoon tea, and exploring Kansas City, which she first fell in love with when we were newlyweds.
Sam Beckett, Music Director
A graduate of William Jewell, Sam brings 30-plus years of experience in the Kansas City music scene. He is the solo pianist for the Kansas City Ballet, is a private instructor, a teacher at Penn Valley, worked as the organist at Kaufman Stadium for a number of years, and has served as church worship leader in various congregations. Sam plays piano, organ, guitar, violin, mandolin, upright bass, and several horned instruments. He is also a composer. You hear him almost anytime you listen to the radio as the musical voice of Shawnee Mission Kia, Pizza Hut and other commercials.
Sam is married to Ana (pronounced “ah-na”); they have four grown children and five grandchildren. However, the thing that I want you to know most about Sam is that he loves Jesus, grew up the son and grandson of pastors, and wants to bring all of these gifts and life experience to help Church of the Apostles grow in obedience, mission, and ministry. In this way, he’s like each of you… loves Jesus and wants to see COTA flourish for the Kingdom!
The Rev. Stefanie Rowinski, Church Planter (Bio coming soon)
Rebecca Taylor, Director of Congregational Development (Bio coming soon)
The Rev. Porter C. Taylor, Theologian-in-Residence
Porter is a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen where he is writing his dissertation on liturgical theology and a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. He edited a volume of collected essays, We Give Our Thanks Unto Thee: Essays in Memory of Fr. Alexander Schmemann which was published in 2019, and is currently under contract to co-edit The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Liturgical Theology (due 2021). Porter is a recovering alcoholic with a heart for others in recovery, a footnote aficionado, a hater of dust-jackets, and a life-long Manchester United (obsessive) fan. Porter lives in Olathe with his wife and their three sons.