Reverend Dr. Cassandra Gould

Executive Director |

The Reverend Dr. Cassandra Gould is a pastor and an activist whose ministry and community work is rooted in the biblical mandate for justice. She is the Executive Director of Missouri Faith Voices.

A native of Demopolis, Alabama, she is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Her undergraduate education includes degrees in psychology and journalism.

Reverend Dr. Gould holds an M. Div from Eden Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.

She lives out her D.Min project “Beyond The Walls: The Power of Prophetic Preaching.”  Black liberation theology centered in justice, community engagement and empowerment was the hallmark Dr. Gould’s ministry during the 10 years she served as a Senior Pastor in two congregations. Her role as a public theologian and pastor in the public square has helped to shape a culture of advocacy for faith communities in Missouri.  Dr. Gould is a sought after preacher, teacher and prophetic voice. She is often quoted in the media as one who speaks truth to power regarding various injustices. 

Dr. Gould has been on the front lines fighting for justice from Ferguson to DC. There are myriad of social justice issues that call her to put her faith on the line. Her advocacy for families caught in the debt trap caused by financial predation has garnered national attention. She was a panelist in the public hearing held by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2016 when the rules to regulate payday lending and small dollar loans were released. She continues to fight against predatory financial practices including payday lending and debt collection. She has testified in Congress regarding these issues. She is also a voter rights’ advocate, a mantle she inherited from her late mother, Carrie Jefferson. Dr. Gould is featured in the movie Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook.

Her leadership initially as a board member and now as Executive Director has raised our visibility and grown our organization. Missouri Faith Voices is the only statewide faith based grassroots organization dedicated to racial equity in the State.

Dr. Gould also serves as the faith co-chair for the state wide Jobs With Justice Board and the Religious Affairs and Political Action Director of the Missouri State NAACP. She has received many awards. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Rika Tyler

Lead Organizer |

A revolutionary in training, a mother and a student is how Rika describes herself.  Rika Tyler joined us in 2019 with years of experience with grassroots organizing, leading teams and managing programs. She was recently promoted to Lead Organizer. We are excited about the opportunity for growth and development that our organizers will have and how our impact in the communities we serve will be enhanced under her leadership. She has a powerful vision for making change in her community. Rika Tyler is a 2020 graduate of the illustrious Harris-Stowe State University  with a B.S. in Political Science.

Brittany Hughes

Columbia Organizer |

Brittany Hughes is the regional organizer in the  Columbia Chapter of Faith Voices. Originally from Aliceville, Alabama, Brittany spent most of her school age years between her beloved hometown and St. Louis Missouri. Her passion for this work is derived from her love of black folks and the desire to see the collective liberation of BIPOCs not only in America but globally. When she isn’t working Brittany enjoys a good book, cooking, music, and grabbing drinks with friends.

Susan Schmalzbauer

Springfield Organizer |

Susan describes herself like this, “I am a wife, mother, a pastor and community faith based organizer. Micah 6:8 calls me to do justice by putting my faith into action.” Susan recently responded to the nudging of the Spirit and accepted her call in to ministry. She is on the journey to become an Elder in the United Methodist Church. She is currently a first year seminarian

Gregory Butler

Jefferson City Organizer |

Gregory is the son of a union pipe fitter. He is the father of a beautiful baby girl, a native of Chicago, Illinois but has lived in Jefferson City, MO for over 13 years. He is a proud alumna of Lincoln University. Gregory joins our team with a wealth of experience as a volunteer in the community and currently serves on multiple boards in the community. We are excited about how he will impact faith based and community centered organizing in the Capital City.

Board Members

President – Rev. Dr.  Rodney Williams, Pastor Swope Pkwy Disciples of Christ, Kansas City

Rabbi Doug Alpert,  Congregation Kol Ami Kansas City

Rev. WT Edmonson, Asst. Pastor 2nd Baptist Church, Jefferson City

Rev. Tina Harris, United Methodist, Columbia

Rev. Russell Ewell, Pastor Pitts Chapel United Methodist, Springfield

Maureen Dickmann, retired, Disciples of Christ, Columbia

Secretary-Anne Schneider, retired attorney, Jefferson City

Rev. Larita Rice-Barnes, Pastor Empowerment of Grace, St. Louis

Treasurer- Rev. Darryl Commings, CPA, Pastor Bethel Christian Church, St. Louis

Michele Watley, communications strategist, Kansas City

Rev. Tina Harris, United Methodist, Director of the Office of Mercy, Service and Justice, Columbia

         Imam Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, Islamic Center, Columbia

Rev. Dr. Bob Hill, Retired Disciples of Christ, Kansas City