We Are #MoreThan the Council of Churches. We are nine outreach services working closely with 72 member congregations from 17 different religious affiliations.


The Council of Churches of the Ozarks assists with basic services — food, shelter, clothing — a comforting hand to help in times of need. Committed to the idea of serving the community through collaboration with churches and other agencies, compassion and outreach to the most vulnerable, and empowering volunteers and donors to find new ways to help fulfill the needs in our community.  


We do this by cultivating a listening relationship with the communities we serve to discern and develop programs and services in keeping with our shared mission. As complex community issues, such as child abuse, poverty, homelessness, and hunger arise, CCO and its outreach services, in partnership with member churches, engage these issues, offering service and a faith-based voice. We offer an example of unity-through-service in addressing the needs of the community while leading the charge of being ONE…ONE Community, serving ONE God, Reaching Out in Compassion to the ONES in Need.

Compassionate Service Since 1969



The Council of Churches of the Ozarks was founded in 1969 in Springfield, Missouri. The founder, Rev. Dorsey Levell, saw a rising number of families in poverty. Area churches were receiving more requests for assistance and Dorsey took a lead to get churches collaborating together for a common cause and a greater impact on poverty in the Ozarks. Crosslines was the first outreach service of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks with a mission to “Serve God’s People in Need” through a food pantry. Since that time, many services have developed within the Council of Churches family to offer a solution to poverty issues in our community. Today, the Council of Churches of the Ozarks is dedicated to our mission to serve our most vulnerable neighbors through a collaborative model that unites nine unique outreach services, each one helping to address the growing and urgent needs of our community. We are a membership organization, with over 80 member churches from a variety of denominations and backgrounds that come together for the common call to serve.


Romona Baker
Church & Community Coordinator, Safe to Sleep

Christina Cook
Program Coordinator, RSVP

Ashley Carlew
Director, Childcare Food Program

Michele Delcoure
Director of Communications

Sarah Derr
Volunteer Resource Coordinator, RSVP

Tom Faulkner
Director, Crosslines

Kristy Frans
Director, RSVP

Rick George
Chief Operating Officer

Donnetta Ghys
Director of Human Resources

Paula Gronninger
Director, Daybreak Adult Daycare

Kelly Harris
Director, Safe to Sleep

John Hallgren
Program Coordinator, Crosslines

Sarah Marcum
Accounting Manager

Christine Moses
Chief Development Officer

Connie Payne
Director, Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

John Peterson
Reception & Hospitality Coordinator

Nicole Piper
Director, Childcare Aware of Southern Missouri (R)

Keke Rover
Director, Ambassadors for Children

Lori Schumer
Childcare Aware of Southern Missouri (R)

Mark Struckhoff
Executive Director, Council of Churches of the Ozarks

Richard Virnig
Director, Connections Handyman Service

Jennifer Winkler
Program Coordinator, Ambassadors for Children

Board of Directors

Rev. David Kendrick, President
Reverend, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Bill Perkin, Vice President
Marketing Consultant

Keith Noble, Treasurer
President – Commercial Division Manager, Commerce Bank

Cheryl Clay, Secretary
Department Administrator, City Utilities of Springfield

Anitra Appleby
Community Volunteer

Joe Costello
Realtor, Joe Costello Company

Neil Guion
Vice President – Managing Director of Legal Department, Great Southern Bank

Rev. Katherine Hayes
Reverend, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Bill Hennessey
Vice President – Mission at Mercy

Britton Jobe
Attorney and Partner, Neale and Newman LLP

Linda Merkling
Marketing, Springfield Business Journal

Rev. Dr. Bob Perry

Mike Pruett
Accountant and Partner – Elliott, Robinson & Company

Collin Quigley
Assistant City Manager, City of Springfield

Barbra Wallace
Senior Vice President, Central Bank of the Ozarks

Larry Freund
CCO Foundation President
Ex-officio Member

Member Churches