Stewardship - Fundraising
Rev. Linda Davis
Rev. Linda Davis has over twenty-five years of experience as an Assistant Legal Administrator in Labor and Employment Law. After years of experience in the corporate field and several years serving as an Associate Pastor, Rev. Davis was called to serve as the Pastor of First United Methodist Church-College Station. She currently serves as the Pastor of Boynton Chapel United Methodist Church-Houston.
Rev. Davis has a great passion and commitment for community engagement and social justice issues. She is committed to leveraging the strengths of research and faith communities towards efforts to improve the social determinants of health in underserved communities. This work has been supported by a special project with the University of Houston (Strategic Plan, Goal 3 – Social Responsibility) to “Help Build Equity and Inclusion in Our Community by strengthening UH and community partnerships with Historic Third Ward and the City of Houston.” She has served as a lead facilitator for a special project with the City of Houston Police Department and the U.S. Department of Justice on strengthening police and community partnerships. Rev. Davis recently co-wrote and was awarded the Central South District grant on Diversity Equity and Inclusion from Houston Methodist Hospital and a grant from Texas Mission of Mercy, Smiles Foundation. She serves as mentor pastor to several students earning their divinity degrees. Rev. Davis has earned graduate degrees from LeTourneau University and Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She is the owner of Envision Community Solutions, LLC, which focuses on the creation of 501(c)(3) and strategic plans for nonprofit organizations.
Don R. House, Sr.
I have benefitted from years of local church involvement as a layman and years of studies of growth and decline of churches through local church year-end reports—from 1974 to 2020. I serve as president of the Institute for Local Church Growth (ILCG), supervised by the West District but serving annual conferences and local churches throughout the U.S.
Our financial projections begin with the church’s past trends in giving, worship attendance, and past “investments” in ministry and facilities. Financial projections reflect future projections in worship attendance (both on-site and remote) and the composition of giving. Projections reflect future church “investments” in ministries which yield predictable changes in contributions.
Rev. Jay Jackson
I am a second career minister with 25 years of ministry experience who was raised in the United Methodist Church as the child of a UMC pastor. My first career was as a Chemical Engineer with Exxon, but my entire life has been spent as a devoted member/pastor in the United Methodist Church. I have been blessed to serve in a wide variety of ministry settings from small rural churches to large multi-staff churches. I have served in several East Texas settings, as well as in the Houston area and College Station, and was also a part of the Cabinet of the Texas Annual Conference. I have been blessed to leave every church that I served in better condition than I found it, while bringing significant turnarounds to several of them. I currently serve a dynamic congregation at Longview First United Methodist Church that is thriving and extending ministry in new and exciting ways.
People will support ministry that exists in a trusting environment with clear objectives and signs of fruitfulness. Stewardship needs to have a heart and head connection for the congregation with outcomes that are impactful on the congregation and the mission field where it exists. People need to experience Christ at work through the ministry they are asked to support. The story of God’s impact on lives motivates people to give more than balance sheets. I have been able to strengthen and grow the ministry and the support of ministry in every church I have served through this approach.
Rev. Dr. Todd Jordan
Dr. Todd Jordan has been serving churches in the TAC since 1998, including a small congregation in a transitional neighborhood, a medium-size county seat church, and large multi-staff churches. During his first appointment he led a successful merger between two churches which allowed both congregations to discover new life and ministry. Currently Dr. Jordan serves as Senior Pastor of Strawbridge UMC where they strive not to be the best church in the community, but the best church for the community.
Dr. Todd Jordan has been serving churches in the TAC since 1998, including a small congregation in a transitional neighborhood, a medium-size county seat church, and large multi-staff churches. During his over 20 years of pastoral experience, Dr. Jordan has helped to lead congregations increase their annual budgets and raise funds for capital campaigns. Dr. Jordan currently serves as Senior Pastor at Strawbridge UMC, where he led a capital campaign that exceeded its goal by 20% and had a pledge return for over 100% of what had been committed.
Rev. Dr. Faulk Landrum
I am a retired elder from the Texas Annual Conference after having served various congregations and institutions including Lon Morris College for 22 years and Director of Heartspring Methodist Foundation for 11 years. I retired in 2002. I am married to Eleanor.
I am glad to serve the Texas Annual Conference in any way I can to strengthen the United Methodist congregations.
Rev. Paul Meiller
I am a second career pastor currently serving in my first appointment at Aldersgate UMC in Santa Fe, TX. For 20 years prior to this, I was as an engineer for a multinational chemical company. I have broad experience in projects, operations, management, and accounting. My beautiful wife Alison and I are lucky parents to two girls, Emilie (12) and Julia (10), and one rabbit, Oreo.
I have experience with keeping the financial books for a mid-sized church and preschool. I helped Chapelwood UMC in Lake Jackson overhaul their financial systems which included a transition to QuickBooks Online.
I am a retired banker with over forty years financial and management experience. Currently I work Monday through Thursday for a not-for-profit corporation that serves as an agent for the US Small Business Administration. I help business owners cope with outside pressures affecting their business such as a pandemic and changing market conditions. I have served my local Methodist church in numerous roles including the Administrative Board chair with the introduction of a single board model. I served the Texas Annual Conference as a lead consultant for six years for the Vibrant Church Initiative as guided by the Office of Congregational Excellence.
Financial leadership and oversight developed over my forty plus years in the financial industry is second nature to me, but I give all the credit to a loving God that has blessed me with that talent.
As the son of a United Methodist Pastor, I have spent my entire life in ministry. Even while working for Oklahoma State University, I was active in my local congregation as well as the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference. In 2011, I started my fulltime ministry at Egan Camp & Retreat Center in Oklahoma and served there until moving to Lakeview in 2019. In one way or another, my adult life has revolved around ministry through hospitality, event planning, and fundraising. I am excited to work with you to help strengthen The Kingdom of God.
While very few people in ministry enjoy it, it is vital to the success of all ministries. Creating your vision, goal(s), story, and your plan of action are crucial components in raising funds for ministry. People will not support a ministry if they are not notified of the need, the reason for the need, and your plan to accomplish it. They also need to trust you and be assured that what you tell them is the truth. You must build genuine relationships that encourage their support. In return, they will then become a voice for your ministry.
Rev. Luis Ramirez
Pastor Luis was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. He is a graduate of the Moores School of Music and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston where he studied Opera Performance, Italian and Spanish. He received his Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Pastor Luis has been active in ministry and in the community through Walk to Emmaus, Kairos Prison Ministry International, United Way, Meals on Wheels, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, SHSU Charter School, UPWARD™ Soccer, Spring ISD Ministerial Alliance, Northwest Area Assistance Ministries and UM ARMY.
In the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, he has served as the Founding Pastor of Misión Milby UMC in Houston, as the Associate Pastor at Servants of Christ UM Parish, also in Houston, and Cedar Bayou Grace UMC in Baytown, and as the Senior Pastor of Cypress Trails UMC in Spring.
While at Cypress Trails UMC, Pastor Luis led a Change Management process that emphasized Community Engagement and Outreach. Over a period of six years, the Church’s congregation accurately mirrored its multiethnic community Demographics. This process included the transformation of the Music Ministries in style and multigenerational engagement, charismatic Preaching, and an emphasis on fruitful Stewardship.
Pastor Luis spurred Cypress Trails UMC’s Revitalization through Fundraising. In six years, he helped raise over $500,000 inclusive of grants, individual gifts, bequests, corporate support and building rental revenue. This caused the Church to re-engage its Vision and develop Mission Strategies for reaching the neighborhood.
Pastor Luis has been involved in Clergy Mentorship as a mentor to the Conference’s Exploring Candidates for ordained ministry. He has also mentored the Associate Pastors, Lay Ministers and Staff members under his leadership throughout his ministerial career.
Currently, Pastor Luis lives in Baytown with his wife, Heather, their daughter, Isabella, and their dog, Luna, where he serves as the Senior Pastor of Cedar Bayou Grace UMC.
Rev. Johnnie Simpson
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 has experience developing nonprofit organizations, serves on the Board of Directors for several nonprofit institutions, has written grants, business plans, developed organizational systems, and secured resources for nonprofits to maximize the capital they already have.
Rev. Gaston Warner
Gaston is experienced in Christian engagement with poverty alleviation, and for the past ten years has led Zoe Empowers engaging with hundreds of short-term and virtual mission trips interacting with orphaned children and vulnerable youth in Africa and India. Gaston is an elder in the Texas Annual Conference and has worked/consulted with numerous para-church organizations striving to alleviate poverty locally and internationally. Gaston holds a BA from Brown University, a MDIV from Duke Divinity School, and an MBA from the University of Durham, England.
Gaston Warner enjoys assisting congregations in thinking through how to conduct mission trips, in situations of long-term poverty, which center upon God's work, the dignity of all involved, and avoid common pitfalls which have limited missional relationships and effectiveness in the past.
Rev. Dr. Vastine Watson, Jr.
Dr. Watson is a 15-year UMC Pastor, who holds a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Methodist University, Perkins Seminary, Dallas; he is Executive Director of Kingdom Blue Productions, a member of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, and specializes in church and non-profit funding.
For over 10 years, Dr. Vastine Watson Jr. has helped churches and non-profits like yours fund their extraordinary vision and expand their mission within the community, and the world. Dr. Watson believes authentic assessment, careful analysis, and leads to greater generosity, and ultimately, transformational impact. He would like to assist you in funding your ministry.
Rev. Dr. Richard ‘Dick’ L. White
Richard White served 44 years as an elder under appointment in the Texas Annual Conference before retiring July 1, 2021. During his career, he served primarily in the Houston area as the senior pastor of several mid to large size congregations. Prior to his final appointment as the lead pastor of Katy First UMC, he served six years as the District Superintendent of the Southeast District of the Texas Annual Conference. Richard earned his Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is married to Letica who is a psychotherapist in the Katy area. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.
Pastors are lifelong learners. Some things can be learned by reading a book or attending a seminar but integrating what is learned into the practice of ministry is best done with a clergy mentor or coach. As a clergy mentor, I have 44 years of pastoral experience leading churches. I served eight years as a member of the conference board of ministry and mentored many candidates as they discerned their call and readiness for ordained or local pastor ministry. During my time as a District Superintendent, I supervised 50 pastors in the Southeast District, some of whom had tricky ministry challenges. I am familiar with Family Systems Theory and have taught seminars on the Enneagram, which is a helpful tool for personal and professional growth. I have a collaborative leadership style, and I am energized by working with pastors in ways that encourage, guide, and support them in their work of ministry.