Meet Our Team



Kristin Jeffries, Programming Director

Kristin was born and raised in Columbia. She began attending The Crossing as a high school student and became involved with the preschool and elementary large group teams while studying theatre at Stephens College.  After marrying her husband Dustin in May of 2014 she left the theatre and dance world in December to join the Crossing Kids team full time in January of 2015.  She loves leading worship and being involved in family events, and she currently keeps busy with a playful puppy. Kristin is very thankful that God’s plan for her has included working with Crossing Kids.

RachelJRachel Johnson, Contributor

Rachel served as the Crossing Kids Director from 2007-2009 and currently works part time training volunteers and writing curriculum for Crossing Kids. Rachel received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Stephens College in 2010, where she also taught children and college students in the Stephens Laboratory School. Rachel and her husband, Scott, have three little ones: a daughter, Eleanor and two sons, Freddy and Walter. Rachel spends most of her time being “Mama” to her kids and together they enjoy taking walks on the Katy Trail, reading books,  and learning about the world. Rachel also enjoys science fiction, Indian food, The Beatles, and a good cup of coffee.



Abbys-picture-200x300Abby McClelland, Elementary Director

Abby joined the Crossing Kids team as Elementary Director 2015. She was born and raised in Columbia, and graduated from Central Methodist University. Abby spent 9 years as an Elementary teacher both in Columbia (Mill Creek), and Fayette, and during that time received her Masters of Education in Administration. Abby enjoys reading, traveling, and sitting poolside in the summer, but most importantly she enjoys spending time with family and friends.



EmilyEmily Pilkington, Contributor
Emily Pilkington served as the Elementary Director from 2011-2015.  Before joining the staff team, Emily taught first and fifth grade Paxton Keeley Elementary School.  Originally from Palmyra, MO, Emily graduated from Westminster College in Fulton before moving to Columbia to work on her Masters degree at MU in Curriculum and Instruction.  In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading, working out, writing, and watching movies with her husband, Jeremy.  Emily and Jeremy are excited to welcome a son in October!


ChristineChristine Simon, Crossing Kids Director

Christine has worked at The Crossing since 2002 and currently serves as the Crossing Kids Director.  She has been married to Keith for 21 years and has four children (ages ranging from 13 to 20). In her personal time, she enjoys reading, walking with her husband and having lunch with friends.





JessJess Soete, Early Childhood Director

Jess recently joined the Crossing Kids team after serving in early childhood for several years.  She has her master’s in higher education administration from Mizzou, making God’s call to ministry with little ones somewhat ironic. Jess is originally from Lake of the Ozarks but growing up as a preacher’s kid, she’s lived in several Missouri small towns.  Jess loves all things Mizzou, the funny things preschoolers say, and her dashing husband, Eric.  Jess and Eric have two amazing sons and three dogs.




RachelTRachel Tiemeyer, Family Events Coordinator

Rachel Tiemeyer began as the Children’s Ministry Director from 2000-2007 and currently works part-time as the Family Events Coordinator.  She is married to Nathan and has three children, Jack, Hannah, and Ben.  Most of her days are filled with changing diapers, cleaning up an unending trail of toys, training her kids, and asking God for help with those things.  She enjoys creating healthy recipes, blogging, walking outside, and a good cup of coffee with her husband or friends.




 Laura Verkamp, Family EventsView More:

Laura serves on the Family Events Team for Crossing Kids where she helps plan Fall Fest, the summer Family Dinner Exchange, Kids Club, and the Christmas and Easter celebrations. Laura grew up in Iowa and came to Columbia in 2002 to attend Mizzou where she received a BA in Communication and a MEd in Counseling Psychology. She is married to Ryan and after years of working as a college advisor she now stays home with their two children, Piper and Davis.

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