Dear St. Paul’s friends,
On behalf of your Staff Parish Relations Committee,
I am delighted to announce the appointment of
Rev. Dr. Jeff McDonald as senior pastor to St. Paul's United Methodist Church, beginning July 1, 2019. 

Jeff currently serves as senior pastor of First UMC in Nacogdoches and as chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Texas Annual Conference. He is a native Houstonian, and his wife Lenee is from Lufkin. Their daughter Bailey is a recent graduate of Centenary College. Over the course of his 20 years in pastoral ministry, Jeff has served as executive associate pastor at Christ UMC in Sugar Land with Rev. Dr. Tom Pace and at several other churches in the Texas Annual Conference. Click to read Jeff's bio.

In our conversation with Jeff and Lenee, the SPRC was pleased to learn of Jeff's numerous connections to St. Paul's. Of particular note, Jeff's first church job was at Cokesbury UMC where he was hired by Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston as part-time youth director. While in college, he served as a youth intern at First UMC Shreveport where Rev. Dr. John Fellers was the senior pastor.

Jeff will lead St. Paul's into the next season of our church's ministry with grace and humility and trust. He will challenge each of us to step up and serve as we strive to be a cathedral for the city .

Throughout this appointment process, the SPRC was privileged to read your comments and share your input with Bishop Scott Jones and District Superintendent Jesse Brannen to inform who would be assigned to St. Paul's.  Most significantly, we thank you for your prayers for us, for our new and current pastor, and for our beloved church. Please join us in affirming our membership vows: to uphold St. Paul's with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness .

In this time of transition, we continue to express our gratitude for the ministry of Rev. Tommy Williams and his family these past six years. As he announced earlier this month , Tommy has been appointed to be the senior pastor of Trinity UMC in Beaumont.

More details will come in the near future regarding Jeff and Lenee's first Sunday with us this summer. In the meantime, please reach out to us with ways you might help us celebrate the ministry of Tommy and Bethany Williams and welcome the ministry of Jeff and Lenee McDonald.

Very truly yours,
Ashlee Ross, Chair of SPRC