Southeast District Welcomes New District Superintendent Rev. Alicia Coltzer
As Rev. Dick White transitions to First UMC Katy, Rev. Alicia Coltzer looks forward to a new chapter in her life as the Southeast District Superintendent.
The Southeast District office of the Texas Conference, located in downtown Beaumont on the campus of First UMC, has 55 churches, 54 pastors, one Wesley Student Center—and one new District Superintendent heading that way. The district will soon welcome Rev. Alicia Colzer of Pollard UMC in Tyler as Dr. Richard L. (Dick) White heads to First UMC Katy for his next appointment.
In effect, Alicia is returning to her Gulf Coast roots with this July move to Beaumont. “I grew up at Moody Memorial UMC in Galveston, and my first appointment was as an associate at Clear Lake UMC,” she shares, “where I stayed five years and served in contemporary worship and discipleship.”
Her preparatory path to becoming a District Superintendent also includes a year at Beeson International Center for Biblical Preaching and Church Leadership, which provided leadership and preaching insight and further stirred her passion for church revitalization. Alicia helped the conference and congregation transition the Shepherd Drive Fellowship inside the Houston loop before heading to First UMC Fulshear for four years. “I was surprised when the phone rang with news of my next appointment in Tyler at Pollard UMC,” she adds, “but know I was meant to be here for the last two years. I love local church ministry and will miss doing day-to-day ministry with the amazing staff and incredible lay leaders at Pollard!” Pollard UMC was among the first dozen churches in the TAC’s Vibrant Church Initiative (VCI) process and is gaining momentum with this revitalization tool. “Nothing is a quick fix these days,” shares Alicia, “but I see churches waking up to the need to do church in different ways, and they demonstrate a true love for the Lord when they are open to changing and growing in new ways.”
Other fun facts about Alicia:
- New District Superintendent Rev. Marlin Fenn was her pastor and she interned with him one summer as a Texas A&M college student. (She attended Asbury for Seminary.)
- An “aunt” to many of her friends’ children, Alicia will be relocating to Beaumont along with her two loveable mutts, Izzy and Max.
Alicia believes her leadership strength is in building relationships, team building and encouragement. “The qualities I appreciate and plan to replicate in the role of District Superintendent are: being accessible, non-anxious, a good listener and an encourager,” she adds. “This will be a new adventure for me but I am happy to serve alongside the churches in the Southeast District!”
Appreciation Reception for Rev. Dick White
Prior to stepping into the DS position in 2009, Dick served as the pastor of seven churches. He arrived in Beaumont in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which has since taken a toll on his district both financially and emotionally. “While Ike left it’s mark in many negative ways,” notes Dick, “there were many missional opportunities involving several of our churches as the primary staging areas to provide help. I will always be proud of the way the whole district pulled together to respond to the needs in the moment—and following.”
One of the highlights he will remember fondly as he moves to serve in Katy is the summer camp experience he shared with youth and volunteers for six consecutive years. “It’s still a blessing when one of those teens recognizes me and an encouragement to have met so many of tomorrow’s leaders.”
A graduate of Texas A&M, Dick grew up in St. Stephen’s UMC in Houston’s Garden Oaks area, and received his masters and doctorate at SMU Perkins. He welcomes Alicia to the district with urban and suburban churches amidst the forest, beach, river and lakes – all of which are impacting their communities in various ways. “This role afforded me many rich clergy relationships and opportunities for joint ministry,” he shares, “and the future looks bright with expansion of the petrochemical industries and predicted economic growth.”
As Dick transitions to his new role with First UMC Katy, he is also excited about the population explosion in west Houston as well. “We are already developing exciting strategies for our new mission field around the Grand Parkway,” he says. “I’m jazzed to hear the excitement amongst the laity about branching out and ramping up in creative ways over the next few years.” Dick, who is married with three adult children, will be honored at a special reception on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. prior to the SE District PreConference Meeting at 3 in the Sanctuary of First UMC, Beaumont.
Speaking on behalf of the TAC Cabinet, Central North District Superintendent Morris Matthis says, “I am enthusiastic about Dick’s new endeavors and very excited about having Alicia as a member of the Cabinet. She is a gifted and passionate pastor and leader who will be a blessing to her district and our conference.”