Volunteer Based Chaplaincy
Rev. Heather Gates
My name is Heather Gates, and I am an ordained deacon in full connection in the Texas Annual Conference. I grew up in New Mexico, attended McMurry University for undergrad, and got my Master of Theological Studies from Perkins. I am currently working on a Master of Social Work at Tulane University. My first ministry position in the church was in youth ministry and I served in that capacity for just under 15 years. In 2018 I shifted positions and became the Lead Chaplain for the Galveston Police Department. Outside of ministry work, I love being an aunt of an almost 2-year-old nephew and am so excited to have a niece on the way. I also enjoy reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends.
I am excited about helping congregations connect with their local police departments. This is a ministry best initiated by one of the clergy, but there are so many ways to involve your members too. I can help a pastor discern if serving in the role of chaplain is a fitting ministry for them and answer questions about what you might experience. If serving in an official capacity like that is not in your schedule or of interest, I can help the church find ways to connect with the department and offer much needed support to the officers and telecommunicators.
Rev. Michael McVey
Greetings in the name of Christ, my name is Michael Robert McVey, I have been serving as the Senior Pastor at Sunset United Methodist Church in Pasadena Texas since August of 2019. I have been in the ministry since 2012 after graduating with a bachelor’s in history at Texas A&M University and began immediately as a licensed local Pastor at Zion UMC in Iola TX. I attended seminary and received my Master of Divinity at Duke University from 2013 to 2017 while also serving as a Student Pastor at Broadway UMC, North Carolina. I was appointed as the Associate Pastor at CrossRoads UMC Houston in 2017 and was ordained as an Elder on May 29th, 2019. My wife Andrea and I met at the Wesley Foundation at Texas A&M, and we have a daughter, Shiloh Grace McVey, who was born on May 29th, 2021. Besides serving at Sunset I am also a Chaplain for the Southeast Volunteer Fire Department, and an Auxiliary Chaplain for the United States Coast Guard, Sector Base Galveston, Cutter Service.
In my past ten years of ministry, I have served as a Hospice Chaplain, Fire Department Chaplain, and Auxiliary Chaplain for the United States Coast Guard. The unifying element of all these positions was that they were voluntary. In many of our communities there are groups of individuals that can benefit from a clergy person or church’s service in a chaplain capacity. From volunteer fire departments to local judicial organizations, from police departments to hospitals, and numerous civic organizations, all of which would benefit from and welcome a chaplaincy position. I can assist in walking either individual clergy or congregations on opportunities for chaplaincy within their local areas. As well as help define why serving as a volunteer chaplain is a unique and rewarding calling, but also one that requires discernment and flexibility.