Senior Pastor

Kirk Johnston

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A. Kirk Johnston is founding and Senior Pastor of The Lighthouse Church in Paola, Kansas. He was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and has degrees from Kenyon College (BA) and Princeton Seminary (M.Div.). He began his ministry in Paola in 1992.

Kirk was active in the New Wineskins movement that ultimately helped more than 100 churches join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) a missional and reformed denomination.  He helped to form the Great Plains Presbytery and serves its executive team.  He is Chaplain to the Miami County Sheriff’s Department and served as Chair to the Board of The Elizabeth Layton Center – a multi-county Mental Health Services provider. 

In 2018, Kirk published the Children’s adventure book “Onslo”.

He is married to Laurie Johnston (Pastor Hillsdale Presbyterian) and they have three adult children and 5 grandchildren.  Kirk’s passion is preaching and teaching from God’s Word and leading worship. He enjoys being a husband and father, writing, music, as well as playing Frisbee and hockey.

Children's Ministry Director

Josh Simons

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Josh began working as Children’s Ministry Director for Lighthouse in May of 2019. He currently lives in Paola with his wife, Heather, their two daughters, Ruth and Rose, two cats, Simon and Grace, and a Morkie-Poo named Pepper. Josh grew up in Paola, earned his education degree from Emporia State University, and began teaching middle school math in the Shawnee Mission School District for 12 years while living in Olathe. He obtained a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from KU and received theological training by completing the Lay Leadership Training Institute of the Kansas District-LCMS. He returned to Paola in 2013 to work as the Director of Discipleship at First Lutheran Church for four years. Josh then taught Special Education at Lakemary Center in Paola for 5 years and obtained a second master’s degree in Special Education. In the summer of 2022, Josh began working full-time as Children's Ministry Director for Lighthouse and enjoys the increased opportunities to serve children and families in the community with his passion for teaching children about Jesus and helping families foster faith in the home. Josh also served on a leadership team that started a private school for the 2023-24 school year at Lighthouse called Compass Christian Academy and currently serves in the role of Principal.

Josh believes the essential truths of God’s Word are the greatest gifts we can give our children. He desires that each child knows God’s love through the kindness and dedication of caring volunteers. Josh’s goals for Lighthouse Children’s Ministry are that children and families feel welcome, parents feel supported, volunteers willingly serve the gospel, and children hear the good news about salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection each time we gather.

Summer Worship Leader

McKenna Regehr

McKenna has felt called to lead worship from a young age, from singing in the children’s choir, to serving on worship teams at Colonial Presbyterian (Overland Park, KS), Church of the Resurrection (Leawood, KS), and Free City Church (Lawrence, KS), to being hired as the worship leader at Younglife and Youthfront camps, to starting a worship team within Colonial’s Young Adult Ministry. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2021 with a degree in Journalism and is passionate about telling stories through videography and songwriting. She has served on staff at Colonial Presbyterian for 3 years as their videographer, while continuing to lead worship wherever the Lord calls her to go. McKenna feels no greater joy than when praising the Lord in spirit and understanding (1 Cor. 14:15) and encouraging others to grow in their musical gifts for the Kingdom of God. She and her husband Matt live in Olathe, KS and look forward to worshiping at Lighthouse and getting to know the amazing church family.

Business Office Adminsitrator

Tracey Hecker

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Tracey Hecker is Business Office Administrator for Lighthouse Church.   Her primary duties are finances and publications.  She has been with Lighthouse since it began in November 2007 as a member as well as an employee. 

She is married to Allen Hecker and has two married adult children, Caleb and Jacquee.  She has lived in Miami County her entire life.  She attended school in Louisburg, KS, and graduated from Ottawa University with a B.A. in Business Administration.

Her hobbies include scrapbooking, crocheting, reading and enjoying time with her family.

Administrative Assistant

Erin Capettini

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Erin Capettini joined the Lighthouse Church staff in June 2019 after 26 years of being an elementary teacher.  She has been with this church family since it began in 2007 formerly serving in many capacities such as Usher, Deacon, Elder, FPU Assistant Coordinator, Children Ministries, and Youth Ministries.  

Erin is passionate about serving her church family ministries and helping to guide others in using their spiritual gifts to better the kingdom of God.

Erin and her husband, Chris, have lived in Paola for 26 years.  They are parents to two adult children, PJ and Julia, and one dog.


Hannah Rockers

Hannah grew up in Paola and has so much love for our little community. She graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Washburn University. She worked several years as a Probation Officer before she married her best friend, Shane Rockers. They have four beautiful children, Oaklyn, Sequoia, Wyler and Swayde. Hannah and her husband moved to a farm and opened up a horse stable. Hannah made a tough decision to resign from her dream job as a Probation Officer to focus on the horse stable and to be home more with her family. She started to work for Lighthouse Church in the Children's Nursery and is now also the Custodian. Hannah loves working for Lighthouse Church and is extremely happy to be a part of such a wonderful and supportive group. Hannah's hobbies include spending time with family, financial studies, mountain biking, hiking and traveling with her family.