Conference Service Center Welcomes Two New Faces

Date Posted: 7/11/2013

Staff newcomers Rev. Jeff Olive and Rev. Michelle Hall may be new to the TAC staff, but are not new to ministry. Get better acquainted with them as they turn a new page in their leadership diary.


Stepping into the role of Director- New Church Starts, within the Center for Congregational Excellence, is Rev. Jeff Olive, who has been part of the TAC since 1999. His last appointment was as founding pastor of Dayspring UMC in Tyler, Texas (from 2007-2013). He and his wife, Sharla, have two children. Jeff holds degrees in Speech Communication and Spanish. He has a Master of Divinity Degree from Perkins School of Theology and a Doctorate of Ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology. “My experience in Tyler allowed me to see the full cycle of a new church and I fell in love with the whole process,” he says. “Churches can be started in many different ways across the conference, and I can hardly wait to help facilitate the visions and dreams behind making that happen.” Starting a new congregation in Tyler, beginning in 2007, involved moving from portable to permanent facilities on a 16-acre property and seeing vitality emerge each step of the way. Jeff says his “New Church Start game plan is underway.”


Michelle Hall is beginning her new role as Associate Director of Clergy Excellence. A native Houstonian, she grew up with a deep desire to know more about God.  She comes from a very ecumenical upbringing; her dad was Baptist and her mom was Catholic.  At the age of 21, she joined St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas, under the leadership of Rev. Zan Holmes.  She has been blessed to serve in lay ministry at Windsor Village United Methodist Church and St. John’s United Methodist Church.  After accepting her call to ordained ministry, Michelle has served as chaplain at The Methodist Hospital, First Methodist Houston, and Wiley College. 


"My passion in ministry is empowering people, through journeying with them and sharing the  unconditional love of Jesus Christ, so that they begin to see themselves the way Christ sees them," says Michelle. " And thus, move forward in life using their God given gifts and graces to bless others who are in return ultimately blessed."


She adds, "The  Center for Clergy Excellence is a pivotal area in the conference which allows resources to be channeled in such a way that clergy and lay are provided opportunities to discern, grow, and lead people into a more fruitful, meaningful and purposeful life in Christ.  I am excited about the possibilities that are before us as we continue to assimilate our vision and our passions in such a way that those in and out of the church will realize that they are needed, necessary and loved."


She and her husband, Hollis, will celebrate 27 years of marriage this month. They have one son, Garrett, who graduated in the fall of 2012 from Texas State University. The scripture that continues to guide her life is, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.“  Proverbs 3:5-6