Officers of the Executive Board

The Rev. Kent Gilbert


The Rev. Kent Gilbert is an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ who has served Union Church (The Church of Christ, Union) in Berea, KY since 1997. He has served as a member of the KCC Executive board for 19 years, including 2 terms as Secretary and one as First Vice President. Union Church, an independent, intentionally ecumenical congregation since its founding in 1853, was one of the first abolitionist, bi-racial congregations in Kentucky and founded of Berea College. Union Church was a founding member of the Kentucky Council of Churches.

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The Rev. Amanda Groves

First Vice President

Amanda Groves is a M DIV student at Lexington Theological Seminary with an anticipated graduation in 2020 She graduated from Murray State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Music Education.  She then fell in love with her fiddle playing husband and moved to Southern Illinois where he was teaching Industrial Arts. While there, she graduated with a Master of Vocal Performance from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1995.  Amanda has sung in operas, choruses, and successfully competed in several vocal competitions. Amanda has taught public school music in Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Mrs. Linda Axon

President for Church Women United in Kentucky and therefore the Council's Second Vice President. 

The president of Kentucky's Church Women United, Linda Axon, is active in St. Paul United Methodist Church in Frankfort.

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Ms. Melissa Holland


Melissa Holland is the Pastoral Associate for Pax Christi Catholic Church.

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The Rev. Lisa Zahalka


The Rev. Lisa Zahalka is the pastor of Big Spring Bloomfield Presbyterian Trinity Baptist Church.


Commission & Committees

Assemblies Planning

Assemblies Planning is the group that guides the Executive Director in the development of themes, leaders, sites, worship arrangements and other details of the annual assemblies of the Council. It meets about five times a year, as needed. The meetings typically go for two hours and have largely taken place in Lexington. The current chair is the Rev. Amanda Groves of the Christian Church in KY (Disciples of Christ) tradition.

Budget & Finance

This standing committee gives oversight to the processes by which funds are budgeted, spent, invested and audited. This group meets about three times a year, usually in Lexington. The current chair is Rev. Kenneth Golphin of the African Methodist Episcopal Church tradition.

Development Unit

The Funds development unit of the Kentucky Council of Churches had its first meeting in December of 2009. Since then, the Council has pruned some long-standing practices, and sprouted many new branches of funds development. The committee reviews the donations of our judicatories as well as individual giving. The committee also works on the research and writing of grants and other fundraising options. The current chair is Cynthia Weinmann of the Episcopal Church tradition.

Ecumenical Formation Initiatives

The Ecumenical Formation Initiatives commission is charged with finding where there is energy for Christian unity in Kentucky, and finding ways to partner with those who exhibit that energy. At this time, the group is focusing mainly on campus ministries. This group meets roughly quarterly, usually for two hours and usually in the Louisville area. The current chair is the Rev. Stephanie Moon of the Christian Church in KY (Disciples of Christ) tradition.

Justice and Advocacy

The Justice Commission is charged with developing consensus policy statements for consideration of the Board and the Assembly, for fostering mutual support in the area of justice and advocacy within those consensus policy statements, and for guiding and strengthening the Council’s public role in this area. They benefit from a library of such policy statements developing the past, and from a number of relationships with coalitions who have proven to be good partners with the Council. This group meets roughly quarterly, and usually in Frankfort. The current chair is the Rev. Donna Aros of the United Methodist Church tradition.

Nominations & Personnel

This standing committee combines two roles.

One is to populate the various groups of the Council whose members are recruited in consultation with their denominations (all of the groups listed in this manual except for Care for Creation). In addition, they verify that the chairs chosen by each group are willing to serve again and monitor when terms are ending. The slate is brought to the late August Board meeting so that it can be brought to the fall Assembly, and so summers tend to be busier than other times for this work. The slate to be voted on is for the constitutionally mandated officers and the 15 at-large members of the Board.

The other role is to oversee processes of recruitment, selection and evaluation of staff and interns, and any revisions of employee work descriptions and of the employee policy manual.

This group meets about four times a year, usually by conference call, and is currently chaired by the Rev. Lisa Lewis Balboa of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church tradition.