Our Team

Douglas Elsey
Senior pastor

Douglas Elsey

Pastor Douglas Elsey joined the New Haven Seventh-day Adventist Church as the Senior Pastor in January of 2009.

In 1991, Pastor Elsey graduated from Newbold College in England with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. After moving to the United States to marry his wife Sherri, whom he met while she was studying at Newbold, he became the Youth Pastor at the Redlands, California, SDA Church in 1992. He and Sherri have three fabulous children: Marcus, Lyndsey, and Kayleigh.

In 1997, Pastor Elsey earned his M.Div. degree at Andrews University and returned to the Redlands Church for another three years before becoming the senior pastor at the Yucaipa (California) Adventist Church in 2000. In 2005, he transitioned to Bozeman, Montana to serve as the Chaplain at Mt. Ellis Academy before arriving at New Haven.

Kyle Smith
Commons Pastor

Kyle Smith

Kyle was born in the Chicago area and raised in St. Louis. He graduated with his bachelor’s in theology from Union College, and shortly after married his beautiful wife, Annie. Most recently, Kyle has been serving as an Associate Pastor at New Haven, where his focus is teaching pastor of New Haven Commons, a modern expression of worship.

Before launching Commons, Kyle served as youth pastor at Kettering Adventist Church. In addition, he has served as a young adult pastor, academy chaplain/Bible teacher and associate university chaplain. He is passionate about starting new things in ministry, and building community where all are safe and welcome. In his free time, he enjoys house projects, time with friends, movies and going on walks with Annie.

Associate pastor

Jeffrey Carlson

Jeffrey Carlson has pastored in the Seventh-day Adventist Church since 2003 when he started his ministry in Lincoln, Nebraska after graduating from Union College with a religion degree.

Since graduating from Andrews University in 2009 with an M.Div. he has served as a pastor, assistant youth director, Bible teacher, and chaplain around North America from Seattle Washington to North Carolina. Most recently he served as lead pastor for a church in Wichita with his wife, Whitni and son Holden and is happy to be home in the good old Midwest where he grew up.

Youth & Family Life pastor

Whitni Carlson

Whitni Carlson is the new Youth and Family Life Pastor at New Haven SDA Church in Kansas City. She recently relocated with her husband, Pastor Jeff Carlson and son, Holden, from Wichita, where she served the local church as Family Life Coordinator until 2023. She also worked there to start Wild Geese Prairie School, as an outdoor preschool initiative, reflecting her love of nature and passion to share that love with Holden and his friends.

Along with freelance writing and speaking, Whitni was an adjunct professor in the Southern Adventist University English department until 2017, has taught ESOL courses, and served as Communications Coordinator for the community non-profit Glass House Collective in Chattanooga, TN until 2018. She studied and taught in Southern California (MA English La Sierra University, Riverside) until 2010 then in New York City, where she served as the librarian and technology teacher at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan until 2014.

Associate Pastor

Isaac Nicolao

Isaac, hailing from the vibrant landscapes of Tanzania, radiates warmth and devotion as a husband to his beloved wife, Jackline, and as a nurturing father to their three children. In the spring of 2024, he embraced the divine call to serve at New Haven SDA Church, where his heart beats with a fervent desire to connect with individuals of African descent, nurturing them in the embrace of God's love. Isaac's ministry is a tapestry woven with threads of compassion, outreach, and unwavering faith.

Beyond the sacred walls of the church, Isaac finds joy in the melodies of his soul, whether through the harmonious notes of his voice or the gentle caress of piano keys beneath his fingertips. His love for music transcends mere entertainment; it is a vessel through which he shares the message of hope and salvation. Yet, his pursuits extend beyond the realm of music, as he eagerly immerses himself in the ever-evolving landscape of computer learning, embracing each opportunity to expand his knowledge and skills. Isaac's life is a testament to the boundless grace of God and the transformative power of service. With humility and dedication, he walks the path laid before him, a beacon of light guiding others toward the eternal embrace of the heavenly kingdom.

Makenzy Jean
Campus Pastor

Makenzy Jean

Introducing Makenzy Jean, an engaging and spirited member of our church community. With a passion for sports, Makenzy brings boundless energy and enthusiasm to every game and event. He has an unwavering love for collegiate ministry, dedicating his time and talents to inspiring young minds and nurturing their faith journeys.

Makenzy's vibrant personality shines when he is surrounded by people, radiating warmth and compassion to all. We are delighted to share that he is engaged to Sasha, a wonderful partner who complements his adventurous spirit. Makenzy's love for exploration extends beyond the bounds of our community, as he has traversed the United States, gaining valuable experiences and insights along the way. We are blessed to have Makenzy as part of our church family, bringing joy, camaraderie, and a strong commitment to God's work.

Karen Furst
Church Secretary

Karen Furst

Karen Furst joined the New Haven staff in September of 2008 as the Church Office Manager. Before working at New Haven, Karen worked at Vanguard Airlines for 9 years as a flight attendant and worked with the Chief Pilot to recruit pilots for the airlines. When Karen first moved to Kansas City, she worked at Advent Health (Shawnee Mission Med Center) for 13 years in the Emergency Admitting department. She has worked in the “people” oriented workforce most of her life and has loved every minute of being with individuals, helping them in any way possible.

Karen and her husband, Joseph, of 44 years have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She has seen God’s hand work miracles in caring for her family over the years. This experience has molded her to try and take care of her pastors, church family, and others. An important part of her job is to let people know how much we as a church love them and want them to be a part of our New Haven family. Karen feels God has a purpose for her here at New Haven and prays every day for His guidance in doing the best she can for her church.

Pam DeCamp
Sanctuary Worship Director

Pam DeCamp

Pam has been a member of New Haven SDA Church since 1994 and has served in various roles here. She has been involved in music most of this time. During COVID she started the role as Worship Director. A time when we started livestream and an unfamiliar style of worship. What she loves most about New Haven church is the diversity and strives to include all cultures in the worship service. In her spare time, she loves being with family, her animals, traveling, and sewing,

Christina Svoboda
Ministries Coordinator

Christina Svoboda

Christina has been a member of New Haven since her baptism in 1983. She has served as an Elder at New Haven since 2017. She helps coordinate different ministries and volunteers in church events such as member care, the Junior and Earliteens Sabbath schools, and more.

Christina has a passion for Jesus and shares His love with everyone. She works at KU as an RN. Her hobbies include baking and cooking, which she is famous for using in her ministries, and spending time with her family and friends.

New Haven Church

Schedule a visit

Our Pastors are passionate about people, and care about your needs! You can schedule a visit with any of our pastors, and they will be happy to meet with you!