Media and Production – Technology for Churches
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.
Digital media, production, and technology have become an essential part of church life. I have worked as a sound technician, podcaster, video editor, documentary filmmaker, and media focused pastor, but it all started at the age of 15, when my home church wanted to start a youth band, and no one know how to make the sound system go. Much of my life has been spent both using production technologies to help people connect with the Gospel. The tools and technologies involved have never been less expensive or more accessible than they are now. Through my work and ministry, I have become an expert in building cost effective production systems and technology packages that can fit into a church’s existing workflow and volunteer base. I can design production or worship audio visual systems, work to create new digital media opportunities, troubleshoot existing system, and train volunteers on how to use the tools effectively.
Rev. David Dorn, II
David Dorn II graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2013 where he earned his Master of Divinity. While in seminary, David founded The Pursuit Blog and the Preposterous Project ministries on YouTube where he has accrued over a million views. He also served on the team that launched Seedbed.com. He is a respected blogger at davidorn2.com and MinistryMatters.com and author of two books, Reclaiming Anger and Under Wraps Youth Study from Abingdon Press. He is co-author of the video Bible study It Is Finished available exclusively on RightNowMedia.com.
I’ve been engaged with some kind of social media-based ministry since 2007 when I started blogging. I was an early adopter of YouTube for ministry purposes and have helped lead numerous United Methodist Churches to develop or improve in their online ministry presence regarding their social media, website, and streaming.
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.
In my experience, sometimes a church is just one or two right resources away from shifting their media and production to the next level. Technology for churches has drastically evolved over the years and has made high quality productions more easily and readily accessible for smaller and mid-size churches with minimal resources, and limited staff and volunteers. Having served as lead for the audio-visual ministry and working with churches to assess and improve their media and production technology, I am able to lend perspective, tools, techniques, and technology that helps the ministry achieve its goals.
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.
A lot of my media and production experience has come through modernizing worship spaces. That is, phasing out analog audio equipment in favor of bringing in digital equipment that can be used as part of a larger Audio/Visual network. I have also brought projection and cameras into sanctuary spaces that were not originally designed to accommodate them, in addition to more common solutions like updating lighting and replacing worn or dated audio systems. Romans 10:17 is a verse that most of our media volunteers have memorized, as it ends up taped to almost every piece of hands-on equipment we own.
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. Russell Martin
My name is Russell Martin, and I am here to equip, encourage and empower you for ministry any way that I can. I know that ministry was not easy before the past few years, and now it seems like it is even more challenging. But I believe you have been called to be a light in whatever context you find yourself, and I want to help you burn even brighter.
I currently serve as the lead pastor at Lake Houston UMC in Huffman, Tx. I am a local licensed pastor and a certified candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church. I currently attend Asbury Theological Seminary, and I am working toward my MDiv. Additionally, I am a certified ministry coach through the National Association of Youth Ministry Certification.
Over the past 25 years, I have worked in the United Methodist church mainly in student ministry, contemporary worship, missions, communications, technology, online ministry, and leadership development.
Rev. Mark McClanahan
My career after college started in technology working with industrial control computers, information technology, network administration, and software development. In churches I've served, while I was there, projects include new sanctuary media systems, new computers for media systems, new sound systems, new computer networks, new Wi-Fi configurations, and online services. Most of my assignments have been in smaller small-town churches.
Rev. Cletis Rogers, II
- Intro to running Sound for a youth/church worship service or event
- Intro to Streaming online (looking at free options, paid options, hardware & software needs, etc.)
- Basic video editing (Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, iskysoft, etc.)
- Troubleshooting in church worship technologies
Rev. Johnnie Simpson, Jr.
Johnnie Simpson Jr. is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference, married, father of three children. Johnnie Simpson has a BBA in Business Management, and MBA, and a Master’s in Divinity. Prior to becoming a pastor Johnnie had a career in AV production, and in the nonprofit sector. Johnnie has several certifications and experience in areas intersecting faith, business, and technology.
Johnnie Simpson Jr. has close to 20 years of experience in Audio-Visual Production and Technology. Johnnie is a Certified Technology Specialist with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA). Johnnie has designed, installed, and supported AV systems for churches and corporate meeting rooms of all sizes. Johnnie has also worked in media departments for television stations, live album records, and trained church volunteers.
Rev. John Thomas
My name is John Thomas, and I am currently serving Troup and Walnut Grove UMC. I have been serving small churches since 2012 at New Summerfield and Pierce’s Chapel UMC, Mount Vernon UMC/Neches UMC, and finally at Carroll Springs UMC before being appointed to my current appointment in Troup/Walnut Grove UMC. I am happily married to my wife (15 years and counting!) and have two wonderful kids! I look forward to hearing from you!
I am highly passionate about small membership churches in the realm of online worship and Technology. Specifically in podcasting sermons and worship services. This levels the playing field a bit between smaller and bigger churches and gives small membership churches more of a voice in the crowded world of online worship and digital platforms.
Trevor is able to help your Church’s communications ministry in various ways ranging from strategic planning to content production/design. As a former church communications director, Trevor is able to help your congregation understand the essentials of church communication, both internal and external, and will help you to develop a church communications strategy that is tailored to your specific ministry context. Trevor can also offer a vast array of outside tools and resources that will help to further support and grow your church’s communications ministry going forward. In addition, Trevor is able to design and produce both print and digital media for your church’s ministries. This includes media such as graphics (i.e., logos, sermon/worship graphics, advertisements, etc.), video production (i.e., promos, interviews, livestream, etc.), and audio production (weekly sermons, podcasts, etc.)”