Kingdom-focused communication is one of my passions. I am April Canik, and I am an Accredited Business Communicator working to leverage communication tools and techniques from the business world to help churches tell their story and the gospel message with greater impact. I draw from my very rewarding experiences as a former staff member and as a consultant to the Texas Annual Conference, a workshop leader for the Vibrant Church Initiative, and as a former church communication director. I look forward to helping churches of all sizes any way I can.
As an Accredited Business Communicator, April has decades of experience helping organizations tell their story in an impactful way -- using all the tools of the trade from websites to social media messaging. She is a strategic thinker who has also conducted dozens of KINGDOM COMMUNICATION BEST PRACTICES workshops through the Texas Annual Conference Vibrant Church Initiative. She has a passion for church communication and a wide network of resources for communication information and skill sets.
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.
Solid and modern communications, from website to social media to graphics, can help a church punch above their weight. I have a background in digital media and, as a pastor, have always served in places that could not afford elaborate media teams or communications focused positions. So, I have developed a set of tools and techniques to create effective, high quality, and time efficient modern church communications. Effectively communicating via a website and social media does not have to be time consuming, and the tools out there have gotten far easier to use. I can bring the work, techniques, and systems that I have designed for my own churches to other churches looking to communicate beyond their walls.
Rev. Jennifer Gros
Jennifer Gros is an Associate Pastor at Faith United Methodist Church in Spring, Texas, and has been there for two and a half years. Previously she was in ministry at Lakewood UMC for over six years. She will be a graduate of SMU Perkins with her Master of Divinity this spring and is up for commissioning as a provisional elder this year. Her strengths are in communications, spiritual gifts assessments, missions, adult discipleship and more. Jennifer has over twenty-five years’ experience in communications, having worked in public relations, marketing, and advertising for a diverse array of clients.
I can work with churches in analyzing their overall communication plan. Consistency and overall image are very important. What do you want to communicate about your church? What are the strengths of the church? Why should someone visit your church instead of the one down the street? What makes you different? A good church communication plan includes internal and external communications to reach church members as well as potential visitors and the public. Strategies include website, social media, publicity, email, digital signage, worship media, video, and more.
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.
It’s a virtual world…but the truth is, it has been for some time now. How we communicate and introduce our ministry to others for the first time, through our digital thumbprint, can often be the deciding factor on whether there will be a second opportunity to (re)connect. I work with churches of all denominations and sizes to help create and build their brand; evaluate and develop website needs and designs; help streamline communications in a way that messaging is specific to their context, congregation, mission field and target audience; and ensure social media is intentionally and effectively reaching its demographics. After serving in this way for more than 20 years, I know that each church, its budget, staff and volunteers are unique and have their strengths and limitations. I recognize how equipping and connecting churches with the right tools and resources, no matter the size of the church, staff, budget and/or volunteer depth, can level the field and deepen the reach. The process doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but your God given message and ministry, does have to be strategically communicated.
Rev. JT LaRue
Hey, I am Rev JT LaRue, I am a LLP here in the North District having been appointed at Soules Chapel UMC and Perryville UMC. I am originally from East Texas, but I’ve spent the last 25 years living all over the country working for the Federal Government in various Technology Positions. Since moving back to Texas 8 years ago I have spent 7 of those in the Houston area working in Youth Ministry and Audio/Multimedia Technology in the South District. I have been working in technology and media for the last 30 years. In addition to the technical specialties, I have also worked with numerous churches on their Office Management and Church Database Management systems.
Mindy has a background in psychology and has worked in ministry for over 15 years. She is passionate about helping people feel connected in the church. She loves helping people find an area to serve and plug into. She feels strongly about partnering thelocal church and families together to grow a child’s spirituality. She loves to help children understand and relate to scripture at their level.
Her experience includes leading and growing a mid-week program for the church and community for 80+ elementary aged children and a weekly worship service for children aged Kinder-5th grade. She has developed and trained multiple strong volunteer bases for Sunday morning, Mid-Week, VBS, special events and Confirmation at multiple churches. She has experience in nursery protocols and best practices along with developing and leading Confirmation classes and preteen groups.
Mindy served as Communications Director which included maintenance of multiple church websites, brochures, and newsletters. She has been the focal point for social media while leading various ministries.
Rev. Irv White
Prior to answering the call to pastoral leadership in 2005, I spent twenty years as an Emmy Award winning television news and sports reporter and anchor in Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee.
For nineteen years I served as Director of Marketing for Windsor Village UMC, ten of those years as an associate pastor.
I consider myself to be a pretty good storyteller with lots of DIY knowledge in graphic design, video production, and launching a virtual worship service. If you are looking for creative ways to elevate the look and feel of your church among your members and the community I can probably help.
I can help you create and execute simple marketing strategies that will allow you to be consistent and effective in telling your church’s story.