Seeking God, Sharing Christ, Serving Others

Rev. Rhonda Hetzel, Senior Minister

Rev. Rhonda Hetzel became the senior minister of Eastgate on January 25, 2021. She is a commissioned minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has been in ministry since 2010 - serving as youth director, family and youth minister, associate pastor, senior adult chaplain intern, and senior minister. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a FOUNDATIONS ministry certificate, and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Pastor Rhonda's passion is people. She brings with her a gift of pastoral care, small group teaching, and preaching. She is also an organizer/planner and encourages others to be involved in the process with her. Ministry is not done alone and is always more enjoyable when working together. She encourages the Biblical teaching of the Priesthood of All Believers and works collaboratively in the church with others. Pastor Rhonda's protected day off each week is on Friday unless otherwise noted.

In addition to her service as pastor of Eastgate, Pastor Rhonda also serves the Christian Church of Greater Kansas City on the Commissioned Ministry Commission, supporting the ministry of commissioned clergy by helping them discern if God is calling them to become commissioned ministers.

Pastor Rhonda is married to Karl Hetzel. They have two grown children, a daughter and a son with whom they are very close and they are delighted to soon have a son-in-law. Family time is a top priority for them and they spend as much time together traveling, playing, and laughing as their schedules will allow.

Robin Smith, Director of Music and Office Secretary

Robin Smith received her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the late 1990s.

For over 50 years, Robin has provided her music ministry for a variety of church denominations, as well as accompanied vocal music classes and students in several school districts. Previously, she was the organist for the First Christian Church (Harrisonville, MO), United Methodist Church (Harrisonville, MO, Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Hot Springs Village, AR), as well as the Director of Music and Administration for Blue Valley Christian Church (Overland Park, KS).

In November 2017, Robin finished a 5-year position as the Office Manager with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Regional Church. She is married to Larry Smith, retired Firefighter for Lenexa, KS. Their four children live near them, allowing ample time and opportunity to enjoy their four grandchildren.


Chante' Green is the church custodian. She has an eye for detail and keeps our facility in excellent, sanitized condition.

She has lived in Independence for 20 years. Chante' also works full-time at UMKC School of Dentistry and has been there for 16 years. Her daughter and she are in the BSA Troop that nest at Eastgate. Chante' serves as the Advancement Coordinator for the troop. Her daughter is First Class rank and is the patrol leader for the Phoenix patrol. Chante' thanks you for the opportunity to take care of and serve Eastgate Christian Church.