Rev. Michael Gienger  

Rev. Michael Gienger is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received his undergraduate degree in Religion, concentrating in Christian Ethics, from Baylor University, and his Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Michael has been serving as co-pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Galveston, Texas since 2014. Central is a hybrid church plant/revitalization that is making space for hopeful skeptics and the spiritually homeless through a generous orthodoxy and focus on justice ministries. Michael's top five CliftonStrengths include strategic, ideation, intellection, connectedness, and futuristic.

Michael was appointed as the (re)planting pastor of Central UMC in 2014. Since that time, Central has transformed from a dying congregation to a thriving community. In addition to re-planting the church itself, Michael has been able to establish smaller "new faith communities" within the larger Central structure, including the Couch Surfers - a weekly surfing group. Michael can help congregations think through new ways of engaging with people outside of their community through nontraditional, creative, contextual expressions of "church."

Rev. Michael Whang

Hi. I'm Rev. Mike Whang, an ordained elder currently serving Oikon United Methodist Church, a new faith community started in October of 2020. Born in Seoul, Korea, raised in Los Angeles, I came to the Texas Annual Conference by way of Duke Divinity School. Prior to seminary, I worked in corporate sales for the Los Angeles Clippers, and studied music production at the University of Southern California. My wife Lisa and I are blessed with two girls, Zoe and Haven.

My specialization is in creating a culture of discipleship, community, and responsibility. To be clear, I do not specialize in nor have much interest in creating attractive fast growing worship services; but creating an intentional, financially self-sustaining faith community that is devoted to rhythms of spiritual formation and social justice are my passion. Our multiethnic church plant, made up mostly of millennials, began in the pandemic entirely online, and became self-sustaining within our first 9 months. If your congregation is interested in birthing a new community devoted to practicing the way of Jesus, I would be glad to help.