Life church staff and leaders

Life Church has many different servant leaders that are not mentioned on this page. This page is full of leaders who love to serve the kingdom of God and the ministries of Life Church in Emporia, Kansas.  

  • tony lantz - lEAD PASTOR

    Tony is a graduate of Central Bible College in Springfield, MO.  Tony and Teri have been married since 1993 and have been in full-time ministry together since then.  In 2002 and 2004 God gave them two children, Jadon & Adin.  Tony began pastoring here at LC in 2003 after youth pastoring for six years back when the church in Emporia was called First Assembly.  Tony's current roles include: being God's mouthpiece for LC, vision casting, leadership development, and shepherding.  Tony and Teri consider Emporia to be their home but they are from Sapulpa, OK.  Tony and the whole family enjoy anything that has to do with water:  the ocean, the lake, jet-skiing, fishing, boating, and swimming.


    Teri married Tony in 1993.  Together they have 2 boys.  Teri's ministry roles include being a wife to Tony, a mom to Jadon & Adin, and loving the people of Life Church.  She also serves our community at Walnut Elementary School as a strong Godly influence.  Teri really enjoys hanging out with family and helping in the ministry every way she can.


    Pastor T.R. is a May 2000 graduate of Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. He and Mel met while T.R. was doing a summer internship at Revival Tabernacle in Highland Park, MI in 1999 and they have been married since 2003. T.R. is dad to three awesome children (Gavin, Keegan,  Maren). They have been on staff in Southern California, Western Kansas, Metro Kansas City, MO and are excited to be at Life Church in Emporia (T.R.'s hometown). T.R. likes going out on dates with Mel, wrestling with his kids, watching movies, cooking, playing guitar, and hanging out with students at the lake or around a bonfire.

  • sarah jenek - worship/finances

    Sarah Jenek is married to Jon, they have a beautiful daughter named Piper and two awesome little boys named Fynn and Jude, and another little girl named Emmersyn.  Sarah's role here at Life Church is to bring worship in meaningful ways into the culture here at Life Church.  Also, Sarah is the church's financial assistant.  Sarah and Jon are both originally from Emporia, KS.

  • TAMMY ARVIEUX - communications

    Tammy is our Communications Assistant in the office.  Her role includes secretarial duties, communicating information, and keeping the Lead Pastor's schedule straight. Tammy is married to Tony Arvieux and and they have two adult married sons and two grandsons.

  • ron newlin - facilities

    Ron is over our facilities and he makes sure that they look wonderful each week. Ron is happily married to Ellen and they have four awesome adult children and several grand children.

  • Jayme gillund - lc Kids director (Sundays and wednesdays)

    Jayme Gillund is our Sunday morning and Wednesday LC Kids Coordinator.  Her role is leading both Sunday morning's and Wednesday night teams as they disciple kids into the life of Jesus Christ through teaching, scripture memory, worship and having fun.  Jayme is married to Troy and together they have three beautiful children.  Jayme absolutely loves her family, sports, and especially running.

  • Erica Fianu - lc littles nursery director

    Erica is the Director of Early Childhood Development at Life Church. You will find Erica before services on Sundays in the LC Little's areas welcoming the youngest members of Life Church and their families. Erica loves children and helping them come to know Jesus. Erica has been blessed to call Life Church her home since she was little.

  • tom stewart - missions director

    Tom heads up our Missions Team here at Life Church.  Tom is married to Sherry and they have five adult children and nineteen grandchildren.

  • deb burnheide - host team leader

    Deb is in charge of all of our host ministries here at Life Church. Deb oversees the greeters, ushers, and welcome center ministries.  Deb is happily married to Dale and together they have children and grandchildren together.  

  • tony and tammy arvieux - video projection/audio/media

    Tony and Tammy create most of our media, both audio and visual on Sunday mornings at Life Church. Tony and Tammy are happily married with two grown sons as well as two grandsons.

  • forrest peterson - transportation director

    Forrest is in charge of our vehecles here at Life Church.  He oversees those who are being picked up for services on Sundays as well as Wednesday nights.  Forrest is happily married to Angie and they have two children and three grandchildren.  

  • tony and leanne garcia - lc Young Adults

    Tony and Leann began serving Young Adults at Life Church in 2020.  They have been married since 1987 and have three grown children, two grandchildren, and lots of adopted college and young adult family here in Emporia. or

  • Sarah Jenek - LC Women's Bible Study

    Sarah leads our weekly LC Women's Bible Studies.

  • Tom stewart - lc men's ministry team leader

    Tom Stewart is over our men's ministries here at Life Church.  His role is encouraging and developing men into the godly leaders they should be.  Tom is married to Sherry and they have five awesome kids and multiple grandchildren.

  • Stephanie Metzger - next steps director

    Stephanie is our Next Steps Director. Her role is helping people discover their Next Step in their life in Christ and in the church.  Stephanie is married to Phil and they have two children together, Colin and Meg.

  • Dean grant - sound team leader

    Dean is over our Sound Team at Life Church.  His role is to make sure everything sounds awesome at all of our experiences. Dean is married to Christy and they have three children and one grandchild.

  • stage design team

    Chad Smith, Jon Jenek, and Taylor Surmeier make up our "Stage Design Team".  They build sets and props for sermon series and productions that are done at Life Church.  

  • life church elders

    Our elders are a vital part of what happens here at Life Church.  They help give support to the pastor, help with financial oversight, and help with both spiritual and physical needs that relate to the body of Christ.  Our current elders are Steve Knapp  (Secretary), Tom Stewart (Treasurer), Tony Garcia, Ray Mattas and Larry Green.  

  • Anton Sandoval - Love Emporia Outreach Team

    Anton oversees outreach here at Life Church.  We reach out to the community in different meaningful ways.  Anton also serves as a science teacher at Emporia Middle School.  He is married to Jen and they have two beautiful girls together.  

  • taylor surmeier - lighting team

    Taylor oversees our lighting sets on Sunday mornings.  He is married to Shyra and they have three beautiful children together.  

  • Tony garcia - i have decided team

    Tony oversees our I Have Decided Team. This team of people prays with and encourages new believers in their newfound relationship with Christ. Also, they encourage people to connect with Grow Track. Tony is married to Leann and they have three grown children together. 

  • Becky Mattas - Grow track

    Becky Mattas oversees both segments of Grow Track, ROOTED & DEEPER.  Becky is married to Ray and is also involved in several other areas of ministry at Life Church. 

  • Ray Mattas - Security Team Leader

    Ray is married to Becky and is a Captain at the Emporia Police Department. 

  • care/fellowship teams

    Several people help make up our Care/Fellowship teams.  Funeral Dinners (????), After Care Meals (Amy Hawes), Baby Dedications (LC Office), Baby Showers (Meredith Knapp), Food Prep Team Members (Melissa Johnson, Barb Johnson, Meredith Knapp, Francis Schrock, and Jennifer Ramsey), and a Decorating Team all make up part of our systems of Care/Fellowship at Life Church.