Full Name 
Wade Andrew Girton

Position Title at SSUMC
Pianist

What is your favorite scripture verse?
Psalm 65

One thing you like most about St. Stephen UMC.
The congregation at St. Stephen has been incredibly welcoming. The sheer amount of kindnesses they have heaped upon me since my joining the church is astounding. If I've had a bad day, I always know that rehearsal or the service will cheer me up.

What exactly do you do at St. Stephen UMC?
I am a pianist at St. Stephen. I play during services and rehearse with the choir once a week.

Who are some of your heroes?
Most of my heroes are pianists or music professors, but the biggest is probably Dan Haerle. He is an emeritus professor at UNT and I was fortunate to be able to learn from him during a music camp. His example of work ethic and positivity continues to inspire me.

Any favorite movies or books?
My favorite book is probably A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

Are there any pets in your household?
My family has two miniature schnauzers named Blackie and Buster.

Are you currently in School? If so, what are you studying?
I am currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Arlington. I hope to complete a degree in Piano Performance with a Jazz concentration.

What kind of music/media do you have on your iPod?
I listen mainly to Jazz. I really enjoy the feeling of uncertainty that comes with improvisation and not knowing what the musicians will play next, as well as the expression apparent in their playing.

Who's your favorite Biblical character?
My favorite Biblical character is Peter. His doubt and hesitance are very human traits that make him easy to connect to, making it even more inspiring when he overcomes them.

Ruby Westbrook

Full Name 
Ruby Westrbook

Position Title at SSUMC
Children's Ministry Director

What is your favorite scripture verse?
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1" .

What keeps you working and worshiping at St. Stephen UMC?
One specific aspect that drew my attention at St. Stephen UMC was the continuous welcome the congregation gives. You are always greeted and leave with a feeling of belonging.

One thing you like most about St. Stephen UMC.
I really enjoy the fellowship opportunities that St. Stephen has.

What areas do you cover as a part of the staff at St. Stephen UMC?
I am the Children's Ministry Director for St. Stephen UMC.

What exactly do you do at St. Stephen UMC?
I oversee the children's ministry, while equipping the people of St. Stephen with ways to be involved, growing their spiritual devotion to God. My goal is to know God and make Him known by leading, teaching and guiding the children and parents at St. Stephen UMC to be devoted followers of God.

What is your favorite aspect of ministry?
Watching people grow in their spiritual faith is a blessing to be a part of. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry.

When did you know you wanted to serve God by going into ministry?
I truly believe we are ALL working in God's ministry in some way or fashion. I've been called to church ministry and it has been most apparent in children's ministry. When I started volunteering in children's ministry 15 years ago I was made aware of my spiritual gifts of leading and teaching but most importantly I was made aware that I have a passion for equipping and helping others do the same.

Tell us a little about your family.
We are a little family with a BIG range. Brandon and I were brought together 10 years ago and have seen the works of God in our lives in ways we can barely explain. Brandon has accompanied me in the upbringing of my two children Jade and Jonas. In 2009, the LORD blessed us with hearts to be solely dedicated to HIM, marriage, a new home and our very own daughter, Hazel. It is amazing to look into our pasts and see how God has harmonized us, all completely different, to a close family that leans on each other.

Any spiritual gifts we should know about?
It is a blessing to recognize my gifts. It took quite a bit of praying, patience and learning to even understand what some of my gifts meant. As I keep growing, so do my gifts. My spiritual gifts are administration, giving, mercy/compassion, faith, discernment, pastoring, servant leadership, craftsmanship/artisan, and encouragement.

Tell us about your children and grandchildren?
Jade is my oldest and at 19, I guess technically not a youngin' any longer. Jonas is my only son; he is a 14 year old freshman. And Hazel is our "baby." She is 5 years old; or as she would say, 5 and a half years old.

What’s your quirkiest characteristic?
Boldness and a "wild child".

Are you a good student? Why or why not?
I am a good student, I wouldn't have it any other way. I LOVE learning and can't wait to have time to get some college under my belt.

What kind of music/media do you have on your iPod?
What's an iPod? Zero; I enjoy music but do not have time to enjoy listening to music.

Who's your favorite Biblical character?
Paul, he has such an incredible story. He is definitely someone I look up to.

What’s your favorite toy? Why?
Dolls! I have dolls, buy dolls, collect dolls, adore dolls and cannot wait to one day make dolls!

One thing I’m not sure that I want anyone to know is...
I've come a LONG way...and still have a LONG way to go.

Full Name
Karen Ann Sumner   

Position Title at SSUMC
Office Manager

What is your favorite scripture verse?
Romans 8:28 (CEB) – “… God works all things together for good for the ones who love God for those who are called according to his purpose.”

What keeps you working and worshiping at St. Stephen UMC?
Feeling like God put me here.

One thing you like most about St. Stephen UMC.
The people are so sweet, friendly and helpful.

What areas do you cover as a part of the staff at St. Stephen UMC?
Basically all of them.

What exactly do you do at St. Stephen UMC?
Manage the office, man the phone, make copies, balance Sunday’s offerings, input attendance, communication with The Scoop, newsletters, and Constant Contact, bulletins, order supplies, coordinate facility rentals, handle maintenance issues, 1st time visitor letters and database, sort and distribute mail, keep pastor’s calendar, answer door.

What is your favorite aspect of ministry?
Contact with people. I’ve visited with, listened to, spoke with, and prayed for and with.

When did you know you wanted to serve God by going into ministry?
All my life, I’ve had an urging, or hunger for it. The only time it is satisfied is when I am in the midst of God’s children, and doing God’s work.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have 3 grown children, Brian, Troy and Kim. Brian drives a truck for the post office, is married to Alisha, has my 3-year-old grandson, Cody, and is expecting their second. Troy is active reserve at the Joint Reserve Base and has just gotten his Tech Sergeant. He is married to Cassie, has recently adopted my other grandkids, Andrew, 14 years old, and Taryn, 13 years old. My daughter, Kim, just finished her Masters in Accounting at UNT, is working on her CPA, and is working for Grant Thornton, in downtown Dallas. She is engaged to Dan, and they are planning a May 2016 wedding in St. Thomas.

Who are some of your heroes?
Jesus, of course,  Esther from the Old Testament, Mother Teresa, and Corrie ten Boom.

Any spiritual gifts we should know about?
I am working to follow in my mother’s footsteps as a prayer warrior. I have constant conversations with God, thanking Him for all of my blessings, and in intercession for others.

What’s your quirkiest characteristic?
I can pop both cheeks with my finger.

Any favorite movies or books?
Almost any book by Adam Hamilton or Joel Rosenberg. Chick Flicks for movies, mostly.

Are there any pets in your household?
Have always had some type of animals in our house. We are all animal lovers. Right now, only two dogs.

What is your educational history?
I was 2 semesters away from getting my bachelors in business administration when I quit to get married. Attended at least 5 different universities, but being military, never stayed in one place to finish my degree.

Are you currently in school? If so, what are you studying?
I am always in at least one Bible study or book study. Right now, I’m taking Disciple 4.

Are you a good student? Why or why not?   
I’m a good student because I love taking notes and learning.

What kind of music/media do you have on your iPod?
No iPod, but on Pandora, I have contemporary Christian music. I like Third Day, Sidewalk Apostles, Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, and Crowder Band.

What is your favorite TV show as a child?
Anything with animals – Lassie, Flipper, and the like.

Who's your favorite Biblical character?
Esther. She showed courage and family loyalty by staying with her mother-in-law, Naomi. My mother’s middle name was Esther.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment? Please share!
Which one?  When I was young, we were on a family trip in the family’s station wagon that had electric windows. I was in the back seat, which faces backwards.  The window was down, and I was flirting with a policeman, who was driving behind us. My Dad, who was driving, didn’t realize I was hanging out the back window and rolled my nose up in it. The policeman escorted us to the hospital. The rest of the way home, my brother and sisters were angry because I had the whole middle seat to myself, laying down with an ice pack on my face.

What’s your favorite toy? Why?
The outside. We were always exploring, wading in the creek, fishing, flying kites, playing ball.  I love science and almost majored in it in college – until I had to take physics.   

So, what gets on your nerves?
Rude or dishonest people

You have a unique hobby. What is it?
 I am obsessed with prayer and have many, many Bibles and books.

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St. Stephen United Methodist Church

1800 W. Randol Mill Road
Arlington, TX 76012
Phone: (817) 460-8655
Email: office@ssumc-arl.org

Sunday Morning at SSUMC

  9:30 AM        Sunday School Starts
10:45 AM        Worship Service Begins
12:05 PM        After-Worship Fellowship

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