Lay Leadership Development
Rev. Frank Acosta
Rev. Frank Acosta is a pastor with sixteen years of experience in ministry. His pastoral work began in Cuba, where he had the opportunity to lead two churches. Later in 2015, he moved to Texas, serving as a Hispanic Church planter in Fairbanks, Houston. Frank is currently serving Conroe's First United Methodist Church as pastor of the Hispanic community, Celebración.
Leadership is vitally important to the healthy development of the church and the spread of the gospel. The Rev. Frank Acosta aims to teach to recruit and train leaders. He also wants to instruct about the art of delegating and supervising. His goal is to help develop leadership that is multicultural and multigenerational.
Rev. Mike Bonem
Mike Bonem is a Christ-follower, consultant, coach, author, husband, and father. He loves to help churches and ministries, and their leaders, reach their God-given potential. Mike is the author of four books on ministry leadership including Leading from the Second Chair and Leading Congregational Change. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a breadth of experience in ministry and business, including 11 years as an executive pastor, consulting with Fortune 100 companies, and leading a start-up business. Mike and his wife, Bonnie, have been married for over 35 years and have four adult children.
Mike has coached pastors, ministry leaders, and congregational leadership teams for over 15 years. His coaching focuses on leadership, change, and addressing complex challenges. Mike’s approach is to ask insightful questions that can generate new awareness and lead to the discovery of creative solutions. He is credentialed through the International Coaching Federation as an Associate Certified Coach.
Rev. George Brookover
I have fifty-five years of pastoral experience. As an ordained Lutheran (ELCA), I served Holy Comforter Lutheran/Kingwood, Texas for three decades. This encompassed be church planter to leading a staff of nine ordained and lay leaders. From 1996-2014 I served my ELCA jurisdiction as an Intentional Interim Pastor. In 1997 Brookover Leadership was established for training and leading clergy and laity in several denominations.
This specialty endeavors to provide specific and focused training for leadership for the multitude of roles in an institution dependent upon not only paid staff but also volunteers for an array of tasks and responsibilities.
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Bynum
With degrees in engineering and business, Dr. Jonathan Bynum became a third-generation pastor with a unique perspective that has served him well in leading churches of all sizes and in all settings and in all corners of the Conference. As an avid learner and reader, he continues to become better equipped for these challenging times in both our church and our culture. Jonathan and his wife, Lea, enjoy the time they get to spend with their four children and two grandchildren.
Too often, churches are tempted to lean on business practices rather than spiritual practices in church leadership: both spiritual discernment and pragmatic skills are needed to follow where the Holy Spirit is leading a congregation. With a commitment to Wesley’s practical holiness, Jonathan is convinced that leaders are called but need to be cultivated to carry out their responsibilities. When that happens, meetings can be anticipated sacred gatherings rather than a dreaded grind.
Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright
Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright is an ordained elder in who is a person of conviction with a personal mission statement to Encourage, Equip, and Empower all people to live on purpose and live out their God-givenness, with her underlying values of Faith, Fire, Focus, and Fruit. Dr. Aleze approaches coaching (as an ICF Associate Certified Coach) as a conversation partner, ready to ask the hard questions, explore new possibilities, and hold persons accountable for their discoveries to yield fruitful outcomes.
One of my greatest passions is to reframe the understanding of leadership in the church; to move beyond the positional understanding of leadership to a more concise revelation that leadership is more about influence and collaboration. I have a firm belief that all persons have the ability to lead, we simply need to identify how best to unleash each person’s potential and expand their capacities.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Hannon, Jr
Dr Daniel Hannon is a 39-Year Member and Elder of the Texas Annual Conference having served 4 congregations; Associate-Pastor of Evangelism and Adult Discipleship at /St. Peter’s, Katy & Bear Creek, Houston; Pastor-in-Charge First, Overton, and as the 29-year tenured Founding & Senior Pastor to Christ Church United Methodist of The Woodlands from 1991-2019. Dr. Hannon is in the Retired Status and is Certified Interim. As Founding and Senior Pastor to Christ Church, Dr. Hannon has led the development of a 9-Acre Campus which contains 100,000 square feet of buildings for worship, education, recreation, school, District Offices, and columbarium. During this tenure, he has received 5,000 persons into the Christian Faith and /or membership into the church. In addition to his church experience, Dr. Hannon is a public-school teacher in the Alief ISD, with a Life Certification in Secondary Education, Public School Teacher State of Texas. He holds four Degrees, BA Stephen F. Austin State University, MEd University of Houston, MDiv Emory University & DMin Drew University. During his ministry and Work Dr. Hannon has received 7,000 people into the life of the Methodist Christian Church.
Dr. Hannon is well versed in the local Parish Ministry and how to lead, grow, and sustain the parish ministry of a local congregation effectively and faithfully. As an experienced, certified public-school Teacher with a Master’s in Education, he offers insight on how to develop Christian Education Ministries. His Evangelism strategies based on effective marketing and relationship development, has led to the reception of 7,000 people into the membership and life of the church over his years of service. Central to his work is the insights on effective preaching, staff development and worship ministries. He has led 7 Capital Campaigns which have raised $16,000,000 in facility, land and building assets.
Rev. Enid Henderson
Enid S. Henderson currently serves as Pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Previously, she served as Executive Pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, giving leadership to all areas of ministry, leadership development, communication, branding, and provided administrative oversight. Prior to serving in fulltime ministry, Enid was founding owner and Chief Executive Officer of ESH Public Relations & Advertising firm specializing in strategic planning, strategic marketing and communications, graphic and web design, and advertising and public relations. Enid has more than 20 years of experience and expertise in these areas with a client portfolio that included small to large businesses, professional athletes, political figures, authors and speakers, universities, and churches. Enid earned a Master of Divinity degree at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Journalism with an emphasis of Public Relations from Texas Southern University.
Equipping and developing effective leaders can not only increase commitment and productivity, but can also impact and improve communication, collaboration, and morale in any organization. Leadership development involves a willingness to listen, learn, engage, as well as create a level of accountability that encourages growth opportunities. My experience in leadership development training has helped churches and church leaders shape, develop, identify, and strengthen these growth areas. Our churches need to be equipped so that we are better positioned to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. Equipping the church with the right people, in the right places, in the right positions, at the right time is critical to its growth, stability and future.
Rev. Jay Jackson
I am a second career minister with 25 years of ministry experience who was raised in the United Methodist Church as the child of a UMC pastor. My first career was as a Chemical Engineer with Exxon, but my entire life has been spent as a devoted member/pastor in the United Methodist Church. I have been blessed to serve in a wide variety of ministry settings from small rural churches to large multi-staff churches. I have served in several East Texas settings, as well as in the Houston area and College Station, and was also a part of the Cabinet of the Texas Annual Conference. I have been blessed to leave every church that I served in better condition than I found it, while bringing significant turnarounds to several of them. I currently serve a dynamic congregation at Longview First United Methodist Church that is thriving and extending ministry in new and exciting ways.
One of the gifts of my secular life prior to entering into ministry is that it gave me an opportunity to learn from industry how to identify and nurture people into discerning and fruitfully using their gifts. As a lay person prior to entering into ministry, I have embraced roles and learned first-hand how to use my gifts to engage in ministry. Since entering ministry vocationally, I have been known for identifying gifts in others and encouraging them to use them for the good of the church. I have also had success in helping develop systems for leadership development and leader transitions to bring greater consistency and fruitfulness to lay leadership in churches I have served.
Rev. Bonnie Osteen
Rev. Bonnie Osteen, an ordained Elder of the Texas Annual Conference, began serving as the Coordinator of Transitional Interim Ministry for the Texas Annual Conference in July 2015.
Rev. Osteen is a national trainer for ‘Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Training’ with the United Methodist Church. She has also served several churches as an Interim pastor. This calling is one which she approaches with passion. “God uses me in a particular way at each of these churches and I am thankful for the time on the journey with each congregation.
In 2014, Rev. Osteen received the national recognition of Approval status from General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) as an Intentional Interim Minister. She currently serves on the national Board of Directors -Transitional/Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association (TIIMSA) and serves as the registrar for the National Gathering of TIIMSA
Rev. Osteen received her Master of Divinity from SMU - Perkins School of Theology in 2003. She received her teaching certification and Bachelor of Science, Education from Stephen F. Austin University in 1990.
Leadership, especially in anxious times, requires critical thinking and specific tasks for ways to inspire and encourage others in fruitful participation in ministry. Topics such as over-function/under-function and delegating will be presented.
Dr. Jeff Springer
An educator for 34 years, a former Texas High School Head Football Coach and eleven-year veteran of the public-school classroom. Jeff is formerly the Principal at The Magnolia High School (2002-2016). In 2013 he was selected as the State of Texas TASSP State Principal of the year. Besides founding Spring Strategies LLC, that provides educational executive coaching, Jeff also served as the Minister of Men at Wildwood UMC, is a University Student Teacher Supervisor, and is also the founder of Suit Up Ministries, a nonprofit men’s ministry.
Jeff attended Abilene Christian University where he played on the 1977 National Championship Football team, received his Bachelor of Arts in Teaching from Sam Houston State University, and obtained his Masters of Sports Administration from the United States Sports Academy. In the spring of 2020, Jeff completed his Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University.
Dr. Jeff Springer is passionate about raising DADs and helping them see their value. Jeff loves being a husband, DAD, and a grandfather. He is always seeking ways to acknowledge men, striving to be the Daily Active Devoted DADs God calls them to be. Jeff who resides in Montgomery, Texas, has been married for 40 years and has two children, and three grandchildren.
Spring Strategies LLC strives to cultivate playful entrepreneurs within our fields of influence: small business, education, and ministry. We encourage individuals, teams, and organizations to find an authentic and practical style of work, with confidence. Each client can expect high-level coaching to establish core values and identifying key strengths and themes that will ultimately lead to a creative, innovative, and PLAYFUL workplace.
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.
Dr. Stutz is trained to assist congregations with forming effective leaders, to include staff development, church council training and support, and planning. This may include a “360 Assessment” to allow pastoral leaders to gain valuable feedback through an assessment taken by their team members and supervisors, peers, and those they serve regarding their ministry.
Team Building Workshops (i.e., Enneagram/DiSC, Conflict Management, Trust Building, other specific issues facing the local congregation, etc.), Church Council workshops that clarify roles and expectations, long range/strategic planning as well as working through topical issues facing leaders in the moment are all possible areas for development.
Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner
Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner provides support for congregations to build and strengthen ministries in evangelism, mission, as well as leadership development. She is also a resource in strategic planning, asset mapping, and program evaluation. In addition to consulting with congregational leaders across the U.S., Warner teaches evangelism, mission, UM Studies, and leadership at Duke University Divinity School where she has served for over twenty years. For the majority of that time Warner also served in senior administrative roles while overseeing several substantial grant programs aimed at supporting congregations. Warner holds a BA from Trinity University, MDIV from Duke University Divinity School, and PhD from the University of Bristol, UK.
I, Frankie Fonteneaux Watson, am the oldest of six children, I grew up on the north side of Houston, am a native Houstonian, attended Houston public schools and attended University of Texas and received my Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Texas Southern University.
For 30 years, my professional career has been based in administrative/supervisory employment for the State of Texas serving and managing programs that served persons with disabilities.
I am a recent widow with (3) adult children, two sons and one daughter, a Democratic Party Lobbyist, A Stockbroker, and a Lawyer. We have (3) three grandchildren, 2 grandsons and one granddaughter.
As Lay Development Leader, I am a lifelong Methodist, grew up in the north side of Houston at a small church called Brooks Memorial UMC, served as the President of the United Methodist Fellowship Youth organization, sang in the youth choir and when I graduated, I served as the President of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Southern University. After marriage, I served at the Jones Memorial United Methodist Church as the Administrative Council Secretary, President of the United Methodist Women and Celebration women’ ministries, sang in the church choirs, taught Sunday School and Secretary in the Seniors Organization. I am a Certified Lay Leader/Speaker. I also was a church planter for Shepherd of the Heart UMC taught in Sunday School, participated as Lay Leader, and sang in the Praise Team. On the District level, I served as the Southwest District Lay Leader on the conference level, I served as the COSROW Chairperson, delegate to the Texas Annual Conference, delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference and served as the Usher/Marshall, and Delegate to the General Conference.
Rev. Jen Webber
Pastor Jennifer is serving as the Associate Pastor at First UMC Bryan, the lead pastor to the Awakening Service, and a Ph.D. student in Leadership at Texas A&M University. Jennifer is passionate about creating new opportunities to worship and share the gospel. She recognizes that to reach the unchurched, it is going to take time and requires creativity, innovation, and a heart for all God’s people. With the support of FUMC Bryan and the connections and relationships built over the years, Jen is instrumental in creating an outside worship service at a local downtown venue called the Awakening Downtown. Jennifer also brings with her experience working with other congregations in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the UMC where she served successfully in leading her parishioners to become growing and vital congregations.
“Without vision, the people parish” (Prov. 29:18). Leadership is essential to strong, effective, and growing churches. Without a strong leader, the church can hinder the work that Christ calls us to do. I believe in leadership so much that I am pursuing my Ph.D. in leadership in hopes to continue to train and build up future leaders of the church to spread the gospel far and wide. I can help offer classes in leadership and leadership resources, help pastors and congregation leaders learn how to build trusting relationships with one’s followers, and teach them how to move persons in a direction that meets church goals and vision.
Rev. Dr. Steve Wende
Dr. Steve Wende is a native Texan, with degrees from the University of Texas, Yale Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary. Of special relevance to the Ministry Specialist project is that his work at Princeton focused especially in the areas of leadership development, organizational growth, and role effectiveness. After serving smaller churches in south Texas, Steve went on to serve as pastor of University UMC of San Antonio for 21 years and First UMC of Houston for 15. He is married to Dr. Karin Wende, a church historian and Biblical scholar. They are the parents of Michelle Gebhart, who lives with her family in Virginia, and Rev. Meredith Mills, who lives and ministers with her family in Houston. Steve is now retired and enjoys traveling with Karin, spoiling the grandkids, and coaching pastors and leaders seeking to grow their ministries for the Kingdom.
How I can serve the church in Lay Leadership Development:
Steve’s special concern is for those working through transitions in ministry, such as those experiencing a church expansion, a pastoral change, a financial crisis or a new congregational vision. Often, this means coaching the pastor or other leaders. It can also mean giving basic information on leadership development, role differentiation, team building and healthy change procedures not only to clergy, but also to staff and laity. Steve’s training and experience includes everything from leadership workshops to personal coaching to guiding lay leaders through change and systemic restructuring. Over the years, however, he has learned that along with any information given, his best approach as a coach is through supportive listening, learning, and encouragement. His goal is to walk with pastors and churches in a way which applies ministry best practices to the real-world dynamics, personalities and challenges involved in their setting, and to do so in a positive, effective, and uplifting way.