Rev. Dr. Keith Broyles
I have been a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 30 years, 20 of those years as an elder. Many of the congregations I have served during that time have been small-membership congregations along with a few mid-sizes and slightly larger. I have taken advantage of various educational opportunities including using media in worship and Charis spiritual director’s training. My wife, Cindy, and I live in Lufkin, TX. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren.
Many smaller congregations do not have a presence on the internet. In the digital world we live in, congregations need that presence as residents new to the community search the internet before they pick up a telephone book or newspaper. I can help you establish that internet presence.
Additionally, following Hurricane Harvey, my community was under mandatory evacuation orders due to extreme flooding. To work toward a sense of hope in our community I researched and began online worship at First UMC in Sweeny using Facebook Live. The participation exceeded our wildest expectations. We made online worship a part of our regular worship ministry moving forward. With COVID we all saw the need for an online presence in our worship as we all may have to use it on an ongoing basis.
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.
Everywhere I served, I built video production systems, got more media into their web presences, and built a sustainable volunteer force to manage it. Over the years, I expanded my work to include helping other churches do the same. Especially throughout the pandemic, I worked with over a dozen churches and non-profit building low-cost video production systems that are affordable for small and medium sized churches and can be run by volunteers. The tools for creating a meaningful online worship experience have never been more attainable. My goal is to improve the digital presence of churches that would not normally be able to afford elaborate video production systems connecting them to a world of cost-effective gear and simple to run systems, and, to teach churches the techniques that make online worship more effective – regardless of how involved the production.
Rev. Dr. Craig Gilbert
Rev. Dr. Gilbert is currently the Pastor of Worship at Friendswood UMC. He has provided guidance to almost 50 churches in the Texas Annual Conference in his role as worship consultant. Craig was the Worship Director for the TAC for six years, planning and leading worship for the annual event. He has also worked with many churches across the country, as well as personally instructing over 5,000 worship pastors and worship leaders from across the globe on a variety of congregational worship issues. His book, Launching a New Worship Community, was released by Upper Room Books in August of 2021. Craig works closely with Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 Church Planting to help UM churches around the country with developing, designing and launching new worship services, re-imagining, and re-launching existing services and even planting new churches. Craig is a national faculty member of the National Worship Leader Conference, member of the Advisory Board of Worship Leader Magazine, former contributing editor to Worship Sound and Song Magazine.
This is the “worship frontier” for many churches. COVID brought all churches into the online world, some for the first time. Navigating everything from technical issues, appropriate copyright licensing, to designing and executing worship services that are online friendly and engaging to an online congregation are all tasks that churches now face. Rev. Dr. Craig Gilbert designed and launched the first online service for Sugar Land FUMC in 2009. His specialties in Online Church include designing worship specifically to help engage online worshipers and navigating the copyright issues unique to online worship. Got online church questions? Craig can help.
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.
On-line Church is more than just streaming Sunday morning worship services and counting video views. On-Line Church creates opportunities and avenues for discipleship, evangelism, and fellowship through strategic engagement. My proven experience and strategies in helping churches launch a new On-Line ministry, or improve an existing model, extend over a period of 15 years. Although technology has enhanced and streamlined the way we approach and implement On-Line Church, there are some fundamental best practices that can help churches drive engagement, and build community, to reach new people for Christ.
I am a lifelong follower of Christ, cradle Methodist, husband, father, musician, teacher, bookworm, and all-around nerd for telling stories through media. My fundamental aim on Sunday morning is to let absolutely everyone who comes through our doors know that they are welcomed, wanted, and loved, and there is nothing they can do about it. My goal in working with volunteers and small group members is to remind us that we are disciples who are called to make new disciples, and there is much we can do about it. I am passionate not only about answering my personal call to ministry but equipping others to answer their call to active discipleship too.
While already experienced producing recorded worship elements with DSLR cameras and portable recording equipment, 2020 brought an extreme sense of urgency to produce worship for in home viewing that works in real time. I have experience setting up remote control NDI cameras and network ready audio consoles to work together on an Audio/Visual/Broadcast sub-network to livestream worship services and large Bible studies. My excitement for this mode of worships similar to my passion for the extended table at communion. We have the opportunity to be in worship and do many with people that cannot be physically present. On-line church is much less about our ability to “wow” viewers, and more about making sure we are meeting the spiritual needs of our congregation, wherever in the world they might be.
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.
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.