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Our staff

Meet our City Church Staff!

Russ Smith - Lead Pastor

"Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established." - Proverbs 16:3

Russ Smith is our Lead Pastor and has been pastoring for over 20 years. The Smith family moved to Arizona from Missoula, Montana and are the founding Pastors of City Church. City Church started in June 2016 in the living room with 27 people. Pastor Russ and Traci were married in July of 1981. They have six adult children, eleven grandchildren and a Golden Doodle. Besides family they enjoy traveling, coffee, and the Boston Red Sox.

Kelly Morris - First Impressions Director

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and give you hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

Kelly Morris is a founding member of City Church and manages our front line volunteers. Her team ensures that you feel welcomed and at home at City Church. Kelly has years of staffing and management experience and brings solid leadership to our team. Kelly and her husband, Moe, have been married for 13 years and have 6 children, 9 grandchildren and 2 dogs. Besides spending time with family they enjoy playing softball, bow hunting,

and exploring the vast landscapes of Arizona.

Lyssa Berner - Creative Arts Pastor

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galations 3:28

Lyssa Berner is a founding member of City Church and manages our Sunday worship experience. Lyssa and her husband, Kevin, moved here from Northern Virginia in 2010. They have been married for 19 years and have three teenagers who are very active at sports, singing, cheer, gymnastics, and dance. Lyssa has a strong background in theater and performance, photography, vocal coaching, and web application development and loves anything that allows her to be creative.

Laura Girone - Children's Ministry Leader

Laura Girone manages the Sunday morning worship for our City Kids Ministry. She has been teaching in our Surprise community for 16 years. Laura and her husband Erich of 15 years, live in Surprise. They share 3 kids together who keep them busy with school and soccer. Besides spending time with family, Laura enjoys traveling and outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and swimming.