Meet Our Team

Find information on the key team members that serve at each of our two campuses. 

  • Pastor Darrell Koop

    Lead PAstor

    Howdy! It’s an honor to be the pastor of this great church. Niki and I moved to Williamson County in 2000 to start this church in our living room. We have three kids: Kaleb, Noel, and Danielle. I’m an Aggie (class of 1990) and later went to seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for a Master of Divinity with Biblical languages. I love turtles and landscaping. Niki is a physical therapist. 

    I hope to meet you in person on Sunday!

LEANDER CAMPUS LEADERS

  • Toni Mace

    Children's Ministry &

    Upwards Preschool Director | 

    email Toni

    I have been serving in children’s ministry for over 16 years. I believe real faith begins with an understanding of who God is and how much He loves us. As a parent of five children and grandparent to eight grandchildren, I believe kids are extremely important within the body of Christ, and equipping them to learn about and grow in Him is central to our ministry. I am committed to teaching and loving children, and helping them to know, love, and serve God! If you'd like to serve through our Children's Ministry or work at the preschool, please contact me!

  • Karina Sosa

    Worship Administrator | EMAIL KARINA

    I have been with Upwards Church for over 15 years, serving on the Worship Team, Creative Team, and Prayer Group, among other ministries. I started working with Upwards Preschool in the spring of 2019. I also work part-time as a real estate agent with RE/MAX Capital City. I have volunteered with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and PTA. I have lived in the area for over 30 years, and I am excited about what God has in store for our church family and the surrounding communities. If you are interested in serving on the Worship Team, please contact me!

  • Bonnie bennetsen

    operations director | Email Bonnie

    I’m married with two children and we attended the very first service at Upwards Church in 2000. I have been in administrative management for Christian organizations since 1992 and have been an administrator with Upwards Church, providing support for our campuses and Upwards Preschool since 2003. My passion is to use all my abilities and talents for God’s church. I  lead the Connection Center, Cleaning, Greeting, and Safety Ministry Teams. If you are interested in a serving opportunity, please contact me!

  • Tessa Goryance

    administrative assistant | Email Tessa

    I am married to John. We have been church members since 2011. I lead the Cafe Ministry and also provide administrative support by following up with our guests, updating our database, accounts receivables, and much more. I have also led our Mission Teams on several trips. I love my fur babies and live music. If you’d like to serve in our cafe, please contact me.


  • Mike Sellers

    Youth Ministry | Email Mike

    My wife, Kathy, and I joined Upwards Church 2002, and we have 2 grown daughters, and 1 grandchild. I serve on the greeting, and safety team, and I lead the Youth Connect Group. I am passionate about keeping our youth connected to Christ and growing in God's word. If you are interested in joining the youth group, please contact me!

  • Brian shanklin

    Rotating Pastor | Email Brian

    I am a teaching pastor and I travel and speak at both campuses. My father was a pastor and I was definitely the prodigal son. I promised to never be a pastor, and tried doing life my way, but God had different plans. I have a passion for God, God’s Word, learning, and teaching His Word and His Truth with others. God has truly blessed me with an amazing wife, Jennifer, and 4 great, yet a little crazy, kids. I am a fulltime HVAC contractor in my real life and the greatest ministry is the day to day life we share with others. We would love for you to join us at Upwards Church where Jesus is King and Lord of Lords, God’s Word and Truth is spoken and shared, and the people are real, not fake! Hope to see you soon!!

  • Michael arce

    rotating pastor | EMAIL MICHAEL

    It’s a privilege to be the pastor for the Spanish-speaking community. My wife Yvonne and I came to Texas with our children Widamys and Michael in 2003 through the United States Army. I love encouraging people to live up to their God given purpose. I also enjoy traveling to learn about other countries and cultures. We would love to have you join us during our Sunday service or our en Espanol connect group!

  • ANDY EDSON

    Lisensed Counselor | Email Andy

    I have been doing full-time ministry since 2015. My wife, Lisa, and I have 5 grown children and our hearts are for families. I work full-time as a licensed counselor. Contact me for an appointment at 833-874-7387 Ext. 3.

  • Alcoholics anonymous

    CONTACT GROUP LEADER | EMAIL

    Join us on Wednesdays at our Jarrell campus from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM for our AA recovery group meeting. Find hope, healing, support, and growth.

Jarrell Campus Leaders

  • CHERYL RAEKE

    CHILDREN'S MINISTER | Email CheryL

    I am married to my best friend, Charlie. We have 2 daughters, 4 grandsons, 3 dogs, and many goats. Church has always been an essential part of our family life. I joined the Children’s Ministry Team when we first joined the church. I feel called to share the love of Jesus and God’s word with our children. I became the Children’s Minister in 2013. My favorite scripture is Proverbs 22:6. We have an awesome church family and hope you will join us for worship.

  • paula Neal

    Worship Administrator | Email Paula

    I love serving with our worship team and leading others to worship. If you have a musical, vocal or technical talent, please contact me to join our Worship Team! 

  • DANI SYBERT

    YOUTH minister | Email Dani

    I attended Anderson University to study Christian Ministries in 2006. Since then, I have been involved with youth in one way or another, both as a minister, with young life and even coaching sports teams. As a wife and mother of two, I feel so strongly that God has called me to this particular area that I gave up my occupation in daycare to be available to my family, the youth and young adults group. I hope to see you on Wednesday!

  • DANE & TAMARA BASHAM

    FACILITIES MINISTRY | Email the Bashams

    My husband and I began repairing and maintaining our church building to serve God with the gifts He gave us. We have three children and enjoy helping with the Children’s Ministry also. If you’re a handy person and would like to help keep our facility maintained, please contact us.

  • jennifer gadison

    outreach Ministry | Email Jennifer

    I love reaching out to others in our community, serving them, and inviting them to know Jesus! If you would like to join me in our local outreach ministry, please contact me!

  • PHIL sybert

    Safety team Ministry | email Phil

    It is important to me to keep our church family safe while we are serving others and worshipping God! If you are interested in joining our Safety Team, please contact me.