Community Engagement and Outreach

 

 

Specialists

Rev. Mike Cline  

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Second career pastor. I have a background in Management, Finance, training, HR, P&L responsibility, purchasing, supply chain, customer service, marketing, and social media production. I have masters level education in history and literature and doctoral level education in Family Systems and pastoral care (among others). I received my M.Div. degree in 2002 from SMU. I was ordained as an elder in 2005. I successfully ran restaurants and I worked for Fidelity Investments in their mutual fund department. I have been a clergy mentor for our conference for several years and a member of the DBOM. I served as district finance chair, chair of the Wesley Foundation board for TJC, on the conference Safe Sanctuary Committee, and as the Walk to Emmaus Community SD. I have high level experience with community involvement and working on behalf of children.

Appointed to Cheatham Memorial UMC – Edgewood. The only non-elder pastor they have had. Worked full time and went to SMU full time. There for 5 years and saw a lot of growth. Built a new fellowship hall, offices, and education building. Revamped the old education building to a new children’s wing.

Appointed to FUMC Troup to follow the pastor who murdered his wife in the parsonage. Stayed in Troup for 9 years. Led them to do ministry they had never done, improved the facilities dramatically. Lots of involvement in the local community.

Appointed to Tennison MUMC – Mount Pleasant. Very difficult economic time for the community. Pilgrims relocated, power plant shut down, Guaranty Bank relocated headquarters, Luminant shut down and more. The church had a $760,000 debt. We lost over 250 people due to moves and death. Dropped from an average worship of 280 down to 120. Since, we have paid off the debt, worship attendance the second week of September was 439 (both in person and online). Ministries include Free community health fair, wheelchair ramps, adopting 4th grade class at neighborhood elementary, literacy program, Summer Lunch program for all who wish to come, and much more. Time at Tennison – 9+ years.  Appointed to FUMC Quitman in November of 2021. Currently at this appointment.

I followed the pastor who murdered his wife in the church parsonage in Troup. My work there required a huge community presence and involvement. I became the Chamber president and worked closely with the school system. Since that time, I have been involved with community outreach in many ways. Community Health Fair, Literacy programs, fundraising, C.A.S.A., Communities in Schools, Summer lunch feeding program, Texas Ramp Project (wheelchair ramps), scholarships for dual-credit courses for kids who can’t afford them, adopting 4th grade class in our neighborhood, and much more.

                                     


                               

Rev. Trey Comstock, III 

My ministry journey began at the age of 15, when I became the sound tech (and terrible background singer) of my youth group’s praise band. From there, it’s been quite a journey. I studied Theatre and Political Science at the College of William and Mary and hold a Master of Education from George Mason University, a Master of Public Health from Emory University, and a Master of Divinity, also, from Emory University. In between semesters, I worked as an international missionary and researcher, primarily in Kenya and Paraguay with shorter term pieces all over the place. I’ve been a playwright, worship media technician, middle school special education teacher, researcher, documentary film maker, missionary, and, finally, pastor. Grace church is the fifth congregation that I’ve had the joy of serving. Before coming to Palestine, I was the pastor at Lexington UMC and Blue UMC, in Lexington and Blue, Texas. Prior to that, I was the founding Associate Pastor of CrossRoads UMC in Pearland, Texas, and the Pastor-in-Charge at Smith Chapel UMC in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. 

I have served churches in a wide variety of setting from extremely rural, to small town, to suburban. In each of them, I have worked with churches to orientate themselves outward towards their community. In the suburbs, it was reaching apartment complexes. In rural areas, it has been community nights, corn mazes, and spring festivals. In small towns, I have worked to make the church the center community life. In my current context, a town of a 20,000 people, we now have 5,000 to 6,000 people a year passing through our three main community events as well as opening our church to local food trucks and home businesses looking to grow. I can work with churches both on the event planning side but also on making the cultural shift within the church to focus on making the church a home for the community.


Rev. Linda Davis

Rev. Linda Davis has over twenty-five years of experience as an Assistant Legal Administrator in Labor and Employment Law. After years of experience in the corporate field and several years serving as an Associate Pastor, Rev. Davis was called to serve as the Pastor of First United Methodist Church-College Station.  She currently serves as the Pastor of Boynton Chapel United Methodist Church-Houston.   

Rev. Davis has a great passion and commitment for community engagement and social justice issues.  She is committed to leveraging the strengths of research and faith communities towards efforts to improve the social determinants of health in underserved communities.  This work has been supported by a special project with the University of Houston (Strategic Plan, Goal 3 – Social Responsibility) to “Help Build Equity and Inclusion in Our Community by strengthening UH and community partnerships with Historic Third Ward and the City of Houston.”  She has served as a lead facilitator for a special project with the City of Houston Police Department and the U.S. Department of Justice on strengthening police and community partnerships.  Rev. Davis recently co-wrote and was awarded the Central South District grant on Diversity Equity and Inclusion from Houston Methodist Hospital and a grant from Texas Mission of Mercy, Smiles Foundation.  She serves as mentor pastor to several students earning their divinity degrees.  Rev. Davis has earned graduate degrees from LeTourneau University and Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.  She is the owner of Envision Community Solutions, LLC, which focuses on the creation of 501(c)(3) and strategic plans for nonprofit organizations. 


Connie Fowler

I am Connie Fowler. I am a Life-Long Methodist. My husband, Steve and I have been married for 55yrs. and raised two grown children. I am a Breast Cancer survivor, have a Music background and “will talk to anyone” according to my family & friends!

I was certified in Christian Education at Perkins School of Theology in 1998. I have loved serving as Christian Education Director for all ages, in two (2) local United Methodist Churches here in the Houston area for over 30 years until retirement, December 2020. I am an active member of the Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship. I continue to lead Adult Bible Study Classes at Mission Bend UMC, am a Substitute Children’s Sunday School Teacher, work the weekly distribution of food at The Mission Bells Food Pantry, continue support of The West Houston Emmaus Community by “working” walks, and find ways constantly to use the skills and training provided by Stephen Ministry with individuals in the church and community.

Through my experience of leading Christian Education – Sunday School, Nursery, Senior Travel Groups & Small Groups with over 350 participants of All Ages to the decline in church attendance, especially in the Christian Education area (35 loyal participants); I can offer encouragement and hope to churches to “stay the course”. With Prayer and Mentoring of faithful church members, I believe Jesus will revive His church and make it Again a “Beacon of Love” for the community. Some of the strategies I will use to accomplish this task may include: Discover individual members’ Spiritual Gifts through workshop process. Start Weekly Back to Basics Bible Studies (Disciple, Daily Devotionals, Planned Bible Reading Programs).  Challenge the congregation outside of own needs into an attitude of Mission, locally and/or beyond. (UMCOR, UMARMY, Red Cross, Local Food Pantry, etc.)


Rev. Michael McVey

Greetings in the name of Christ, my name is Michael Robert McVey, I have been serving as the Senior Pastor at Sunset United Methodist Church in Pasadena Texas since August of 2019. I have been in the ministry since 2012 after graduating with a bachelor’s in history at Texas A&M University and began immediately as a licensed local Pastor at Zion UMC in Iola TX. I attended seminary and received my Master of Divinity at Duke University from 2013 to 2017 while also serving as a Student Pastor at Broadway UMC, North Carolina. I was appointed as the Associate Pastor at CrossRoads UMC Houston in 2017 and was ordained as an Elder on May 29th, 2019. My wife Andrea and I met at the Wesley Foundation at Texas A&M, and we have a daughter, Shiloh Grace McVey, who was born on May 29th, 2021. Besides serving at Sunset I am also a Chaplain for the Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, and an Auxiliary Chaplain for the United States Coast Guard, Sector Base Galveston, Cutter Service.

Throughout my time in the ministry, I have had the privilege of working in various congregations, each one unique in their own ways. From rural Texas and North Carolina to suburban Houston and working-class Pasadena, each church has an identity. But the identity of the church must be one that reflects the community in which it resides, this can only be done through understanding the specific needs of the families around your congregation. One must consider the demographics, cultures, languages, economic state, successes, and problems that are facing the specific community surrounding your church. I can assist in providing guidance on how to craft action plans and mission goals that are specifically oriented to the community in which you reside. A congregation that molds its mission first to the Gospel and then to its neighbors is a church that will remain relevant and mission centered.


Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz

The Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz is an ordained Lutheran minister who has served rural/small town congregations in west Texas, as well suburban/inner city congregations in the metro Houston area. He has worked extensively with clergy and congregations of the Texas Annual Conference in a wide variety of consulting roles since 2014. He is a certified church consultant through the Society for Church Consulting and teaches at the Houston Graduate School of Theology.

Developing a vision and mission statement is an important part of defining the way a local congregation tailors its approach to fulfilling the Great Commission. Dr. Stutz has led several UMC congregations through an intentional process of values discovery, vision discernment, and mission planning/development/execution since 2014. This is process involves a congregational workshop and follow up consultations with leadership to develop and promote the updated vision & mission. Having an updated vision/mission will help your congregation focus on what is really important and provide a basis for developing other aspects of your strategic plan.


Rev. Stephanie Wilkins

Hi everyone! I am Reverend Stephanie Wilkins. I am a native Houstonian, the mother of two sons and nana to six beautiful grandchildren. My undergraduate degree was obtained at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. I have an M. ED in Instructional Technology and a Master of Arts in Ministry from SMU Perkins School of Theology. I was in ministry as an educator for 27 years prior to accepting my call as a Deacon in 2012. I was fully ordained during the 2021 Texas Annual Conference. I was appointed to Blueridge UM prior to my ordination and am currently appointed as one of the Associate Pastors at St. John’s Downtown.

I believe I can serve the church and the community by sharing ways of connecting with the community and connecting with resources within that community. I have worked with groups in areas surrounding the churches appointed by planning/collaborating to bring services to senior citizen complexes; food banks set-up/distribution; guest speakers to address needs/concerns of the congregation and the community; voter registration/engagement/education.


Rev. Jack Womack

I have served as Pastor of LaPorte, First UMC and at Pasadena, Hope Community Church since 2008.

During this tenure he has worked to bring the local church community into the surrounding community. From availability to pray at City council and County Commissioners court to active work with Rotary, Kiwanis, and other civic organizations he has led the church to look outside its walls to become a resource for the community served by the church. Coming from a family of educators he also realized the significance of education and was able to engage the church in mentoring and tutoring at the local elementary school. This civic involvement has enabled the church community to see ways to minister with relevance to a community that is quite diverse. From after school programs to community functions at the campus facility the community has come to rely on Hope as not only a place of worship, but a place the is intentionally offering Christ in tangible and intangible ways.