Worship Ministries


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. 

Dealing with challenges in worship ministries is a unique process in every church. With a Doctorate in worship, over 25 years of worship design, planning, and leading experience, as well as almost 15 years of worship consulting in churches across the country, Rev. Dr. Craig Gilbert is prepared to help your church find the answers you need. Whether it is coaching, problem solving, or you just want someone to listen as you talk through your challenges, Craig can help. Craig has experience in all styles of worship, in churches of every size, and in any location. From worship design, implementation, to even staffing issues, Dr. Gilbert can help. Small country church setting? Large, urban church setting? High liturgical style? Cutting edge contemporary approach? Something in-between? Whatever your worship setting, while Dr. Gilbert has worked and/or consulted in a church like yours, he also knows that your church and its needs are unique. He will help you find the answers specific to the mission and ministry of your church.

Rev. Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith is a husband and father with a passion for creating bridges that help others reach their greatest potential.  Prior to being appointed as the Lead Pastor of Journey of Faith UMC, Stephen toured as a professional musician with noted Gospel Music artists including Fred Hammond, Donald Lawrence, Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams (of Destiny’s Child), Marvin Sapp, and more.  Stephen received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Audio Acoustics with an emphasis in Audio Recording Engineering from Columbia College Chicago and possesses 20yrs of music production experience.  In addition, he has gathered 34yrs of experience as a worship leader with a passion for facilitating worship that meets traditional and contemporary preferences.

As a veteran worship director, I will work with leadership teams to develop and employ practical methods for fruitful worship ministries.  Thus, fruitful worship ministries incorporate music ministry that is contextually fruitful.  The pandemic forced a great majority of congregations to develop online worship experiences.  Having a production background afforded an opportunity to identify necessary equipment for our audio/visual team at Journey of Faith to improve our online presence as a result.  Moreover, as a ministry specialist, I have an opportunity to help our sister churches identify practical marketing and branding strategies, radical hospitality, and mission-minded community engagement. 

 Rev. Ginny Griggs    

Ginny is an ordained deacon in the TAC and currently serves as the pastor of worship and community engagement at Memorial Drive UMC in Houston. She loves reading, hiking, and camping, and is the mother to one orange cat and many houseplants.

Ginny’s skills in worship include service design, sermon series planning, leading team meetings, liturgical writing and compilation, volunteer training, and the use of Planning Center. She has served in this capacity in churches of all sizes, both on staff and as a consultant.



Rev. Dr. Daniel Hannon, Jr

Dr Daniel Hannon is a 39-Year Member and Elder of the Texas Annual Conference having served 4 congregations; Associate-Pastor of Evangelism and Adult Discipleship at /St. Peter’s, Katy & Bear Creek, Houston; Pastor-in-Charge First, Overton, and as the 29-year tenured Founding & Senior Pastor to Christ Church United Methodist of The Woodlands from 1991-2019.  Dr. Hannon is in the Retired Status and is Certified Interim.  As Founding and Senior Pastor to Christ Church, Dr. Hannon has led the development of a 9-Acre Campus which contains 100,000 square feet of buildings for worship, education, recreation, school, District Offices, and columbarium.  During this tenure, he has received 5,000 persons into the Christian Faith and /or membership into the church.  In addition to his church experience, Dr. Hannon is a public-school teacher in the Alief ISD, with a Life Certification in Secondary Education, Public School Teacher State of Texas. He holds four Degrees, BA Stephen F. Austin State University, MEd University of Houston, MDiv Emory University & DMin Drew University.   During his ministry and Work Dr. Hannon has received 7,000 people into the life of the Methodist Christian Church.

Dr. Hannon is well versed in the local Parish Ministry and how to lead, grow, and sustain the parish ministry of a local congregation effectively and faithfully.  As an experienced, certified public-school Teacher with a Master’s in Education, he offers insight on how to develop Christian Education Ministries.  His Evangelism strategies based on effective marketing and relationship development, has led to the reception of 7,000 people into the membership and life of the church over his years of service.  Central to his work is the insights on effective preaching, staff development and worship ministries.  He has led 7 Capital Campaigns which have raised $16,000,000 in facility, land and building assets. 

Rev. Valerie Hudson  

Rev. Valerie Hudson is the pastor of the 3 UM churches on the Bolivar peninsula. She has been in ministry in large and small churches, with traditional and contemporary worship. She comes from a family of four generations of music ministry and began her ministry as a lay musician and worship leader. Having served on worship teams as both lay and clergy, she sees the value of equipping lay people to work with pastors in creating passionate worship.

Is your church is wanting to begin a worship team model where pastors and a team work together to plan and lead worship? This offering is a process of discovering a team with the needed gifts, and how to empower them to support the pastor's weekly or quarterly worship planning. How do you help your congregation recognize their gifts? How do you develop and implement a system that works for your church?

Rev. Dr. Daniel Irving

Daniel is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and has been in full-time ministry for 14 years. In his first appointment he planted The Journey Worship Community at Memorial Drive UMC and during his tenure the community grew from 70-700 in worship making MDUMC in the top ten fastest growing UM churches in the country. He then served as Senior Pastor at First UMC Huntsville during a season of church transition and change and was appointed as Senior Pastor of First Methodist Conroe in July 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been married to Jean for 16 years and together they are parents to twin pre-teen daughters and a 7-year-old son.

I have led effective transformation in multiple contemporary worship communities helping them to embrace the ancient traditions of the church through liturgy and communion and using a practical teaching message with modern music. I enjoy observing and strategizing with congregations on how to revamp and improve contemporary worship communities. 

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.