Pleasant Valley – Open Door Bible Baptist Church in Pleasant Valley is more than a church-plant name. It describes the path of its pastor Shane Stamm.
Stamm was 19 when he began a career with the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) in 1993. He’ll leave the force in December.
“It’s a super job. When I tell people I’m walking away, they ask why don’t I wait for six years (for full retirement). I’m walking away from a $70,000 job to basically nothing. It’s a wonderful thing,” Stamm said.
What is wonderful is Stamm knows God is leading him to pastor the church full-time, instead of bivocationally.
“Sharing my joy in life is found in sharing Jesus. Full-time pastoring would allow me to be more available to do this,” he says.
In April, 2010, after determining God was leading a church start, a Bible study held in the Stamm living room more than doubled the 20 expected. The 1,100 square-foot Open Doors church started above a laundromat. They outgrew the space in six months.
“We said you could get your clothes and your heart washed and your taxes done,” Stamm said.
Stamm found an old warehouse.
“I immediately had a vision for the warehouse church. It is a new concept, and not everyone was on board,” he said.
Baptisms – 45 people so far – are done at Watkins Mill Lake or in a deacon’s pool.
The upstart church now reaches 80-100 people on Sundays and in the current space, they are considering two services.
“It’s requiring more of my time. I knew when we opened the church I would get a call (from God). I know I’ll be fine and He will take care of me.”
He said his high school sweetheart –now wife for 20 years – Kelly, also a police officer, supports him “100 percent.” She will assume his court officer role. The couple has three children.
There was a time Stamm might not have been considered pastor material.
“If you had told me before I’d be called, I would have thought you were crazy. In December 2006, I was down with a herniated disc. I realized it was time to stop playing church. My idea (then) of sacrificing for the Lord was not to hit the snooze alarm three times on Sunday morning,” Stamm laughed.
“I read my little daughter’s picture Bible and I was not making the sacrifices they were. I was in and out of church in 2006. I was saved by grace, but not walking with Him. “
In February 2007, he rededicated his life, and agreed to substitute teach Sunday School, expecting to get youth but being assigned to teach adults. Soon, his pastor spoke on a bishop’s role, and Stamm knew the message was for him.
“I’d never read the Bible all the way through then,” Stamm said.
As a KCPD motorcycle cop, he prayed for a position off the cycle, to study at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS). In the MBTS parking lot Stamm asked God how to pay for seminary. He later learned a police program covered three-fourths of the cost.
His traffic unit was being dissolved and court officer positions were offered. Stamm loved the move, but others in the unit weren’t as happy.
“I knew God would open the door, I just didn’t know it would take eight (officers) to fit in. It was never on my radar – to be a court officer or a church pastor. God laid it on my heart on June 24 of this year to prepare to exit out of the police department.
“In April (2013) we were three-and-a-half years into our church plant. I knew nothing about church planting. I went to a church planting conference last year and learned a lot. I learned there is a process we were not doing.”
Stamm appreciates the support from the Missouri Baptist Convention, Abundant Life Church and Claycomo Church.
Omar Segovia, an MBC church planting catalyst who helped two church plants in the Kansas City area, is steering Stamm through the church planting process and the paperwork. Funding assistance from MBC began in August.
“I visit him regularly to encourage and support him,” Segovia said.