Staff

Pastor Lori Cotton

Pastor Lori Cotton

About Pastor Cotton

Pastor Lori Nichols Cotton came to St. Stephen in July of 2019 from her appointment as Senior Pastor at Cogdell UMC in Waco.

Favorite scripture verse(s)? Jeremiah 29:11; Psalms 23, 103 & 139; Matthew 5-7; Matthew 25:1-13; John 20:1-18; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; too many to list...

What keeps you going? The love of my vocation, family, furry friends and people friends, and great music are all gifts of this life from God that keep me going.

What do you like most about your job? working for God and, of course, the people.

How did you know that you were meant to be here? I trust God that I am meant to be here. I have already seen God working in new ways through me and my family since moving to Arlington to serve as pastor at St. Stephen.

Tell us about your family. - I have family in the Fort Worth area (mom, grandmother, uncles & aunts, nieces & nephews, etc.), and I have one son who serves in the US Navy. He currently is stationed at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA.

Who are some of your heroes? - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis of Assisi, Saul/Paul of Tarsus, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott (guitar hero!), just to name a few...

What are some of your spiritual gifts? - Teaching, pastoring, encouraging, helping others see the extraordinary things of God in the ordinary moment, singleness, and hanging out

What was your nickname growing up? - I had a few: Footsie, Lo-Lo or just Lo and Double L

How did you and your spouse meet? - Singleness is one of my spiritual gifts...

Tell us about your children and grandchildren. - My son is an amazing young man who enlisted with the Navy before graduating from high school. He graduated with honors from Springtown High School, served his initial contract time with the Navy and re-enlisted for another 6 years. HooYah! I am a proud Navy Mom!

What’s your quirkiest characteristic? - I talk to myself.

What is the worst job you've ever had? - I have a hard time identifying a job that is the "worst" I've ever had. All jobs have their ups and downs. I think I've tried to do my best at each job I've had, and I've learned new things at each job I've had.

Share some of your favorite movies and books. - Books: The Bible, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Movies: On the Beach, East of Eden

Do you have any pets at home? - I have 2 cats, Lila and Mitzi, and I have a Schauzeranian pup named Mamie.

Where did you go to school, and what did you study? - I went to a few different colleges where I studied Ornithology, Food Microbiology, and Theology. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Texas Wesleyan College, a Master's of Science in dairy manufacturing from Mississippi State University (GO DAWGS!) and a Master's of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!)

What kind of music do you like? What media do you use? - I love jazz, classic rock, alternative rock and heavy metal. The only genre of music missing from my iTunes library is "Opera."

Who is your favorite figure from the Bible, and why? - This is a hard question, so I'll go with the obvious answer. My favorite figure from the Bible is Jesus because he shows us the face of God (He is God!) and teaches us to love God and neighbor.

What is. or was, your favorite toy? Why? - Legos because building is fun.

What hobbies do you enjoy? - I enjoy knitting, making stained glass sun-catchers, making jewelry and prayer beads with natural stone beads, listening to music, and patio flower gardening.

Office Administrator Susan Hoar

Office Administrator Susan Hoar

About Susan

Susan is our always-smiling, always-happy Office Administrator at St. Stephen.  When you call or come by the church, she will probably be the first person you talk with.

Favorite scripture verse(s)?  - Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

What areas do you cover as part of the Staff at St. Stephen UMC? - Responsible for the administrative duties at St. Stephen

Tell us a little about your family. - I am a wife to Red and mother to three children , Jacob, Ryan and Rachel

Who are some of your heroes? - My Father

What was your nickname growing up? - My grandfather called me "Susie Q", but he was the only that was allowed.

How did you and your spouse meet? - We met while working at Six Flags. He worked on the Steam Engine and I worked on the caboose.

Tell us about your children. - Jacob (17) is a junior at Martin HS, in the band and plays bassoon and saxophone. He is in the STEM Academy; wants to attend A&M; study Biomedical Science and go to Vet School.  Ryan (14) is a freshman at Martin.  He is in the band and plays tenor saxophone.  He wants to study Engineering.  Rachel (12) is in the 6th grade at Butler Elementary and is a competitive gymnast.

Share some of your favorite movies and books. - "Sixteen Candles" and "Dead Poet's Society"

Do you have any pets at home? - Yes, Charlie the Golden Retriever

What is your educational history? - I graduated from Lamar High School and received a BGS from Valdosta State University in Georgia

What kind of music/media do you have on your iPod?  All kinds - Lots of 80's music and Christian Rock

What were your favorite TV shows as a child? I remember watching "Happy Days", "Laverne & Shirley" and "Little House on the Prairie"

 

Children's Ministry Director Ruby Westbrook

Children's Ministry Director Ruby Westbrook

About Ruby

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.

Youth Directors James and Rachel Deines

Youth Directors James and Rachel Deines

About James and Rachel

Full Name
James and Rachel Deines (Husband and Wife Team)

Position Title at SSUMC
Youth Directors

What is your favorite scripture verse?
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4"

What keeps you working and worshiping at St. Stephen UMC?
Rachel has been a member of SSUMC since she her Grandfather started bringing her at age 7. Rachel started bringing James along and a couple of years ago James became a member. This is our home and our family.

One thing you like most about St. Stephen UMC.
The friendliness and helpfulness of the congregation

What exactly do you do at St. Stephen UMC?
We are the youth directors for grades 6-12. We teach Sunday School and Youth on Sunday nights. .

What is your favorite aspect of ministry?
Teaching our future leaders the word of God.

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.
James had a very hard childhood. He has always had a passion to help youth find their way. When the position opened, he looked at his wife and said, God is calling me to this ministry.

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 a little about your family
We are the proud parents to our daughter Haley, son Jameson, and our heavenly son Liam.

How did you two meet?
We met while working at Arlington Memorial hospital.

Minister of Music - Mason Cress

Mason Cress - Minister of Music

About Mason

Mason is a graduate choral conducting student at the University of Texas at Arlington under the direction of Dr. Karen Kenaston-French. He received his B.M. in Vocal Performance from UT Arlington  He has performed with groups such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Choir, and Fort Worth Chorale, and Ambigua Voce. He is excited to see how the choir will grow this year.

Organist Marjorie Pike

Organist Marjorie Pike

About Marjorie

Full Name
Marjorie Pike

Position Title at SSUMC
Organist

What is your favorite scripture verse?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
(I am a Whosoever)

What keeps you working and worshiping at St. Stephen UMC?
SSUMC is my family.

One thing you like most about St. Stephen UMC.
Friendly and caring. The choir and the Pastor.

What exactly do you do at St. Stephen UMC?
I play the organ for morning worship. I sing with the children in Sunday School and I work with the Little Youth.

What is your favorite aspect of ministry?
Children and Music

When did you know you wanted to serve God by going into ministry?
Years ago as a teenager.

Tell us a little about your family.
Raised in a Christian home. I spent all of my school years in Grand Prairie. I got married in 1958 and have four precious children as well as 8 delightful grandchildren and 5 adorable great grandchildren. Sad to say that I'm a widow. I worked in Special Ed for AISD for over 30 years.

Who are some of your heroes?
Jesus
Charles Cox
Clifton Howard
My Husband

Any spiritual gifts we should know about?
Mercy

What was your nickname growing up?
Marj or Margie

How did you and your spouse meet?
We met in church! In the College and Career Sunday School Class.

Tell us about your children and grandchildren.
Denise is my first born. She plans to relocate to California soon. She gave me two grandchildren, Michael and Nikki. Larry (J.L.) who lives in Saginaw has two children by his first wife, , Christina and Jimmy Pike who are 1/2 Japanese. He then married Jamie who had a daughter Kailey Adams and then they gave me my sweet Chelsea. (He works for American Airlines). My 3rd child, Ronny, lives in Houston and he gave me Brendan and Danielle. (He works for United). Brad is my youngest. He and his wife have two dogs and two cats. They live in S. Arlington. Brad works for the government. I also have 5 great-grandchildren: Laila and Mila live in California and Dakota (7), Avery (2 1/2), and Addalynn (10 1/2 mos.) live with me at the moment.

What’s your quirkiest characteristic?
I may be obsessive about the color purple.- Some have called me 'psychotic'

Any favorite movies or books?
A Man Called Peter
Terms of Endearment

Are there any pets in your household?
I have the cutest little dog. She is a ʺChorkieʺ and her name is Kiki. She's 4 1/2 years old and jealous of the baby!

What is your favorite TV show as a child?
I liked a variety of shows. I was 14 before we got a tv. I enjoyed Liberace

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment? Please share!
I can't share this one...

What’s your favorite toy? Why?
As a child- my baby dolls.
As a teenager- my baby brother.
As an 'old(er)' woman- my cell phone.

So, what gets on your nerves?
People who brag. High pitched squealing of children.

You have a unique hobby. What is it?
I collect owls (not live ones).

One thing I’m not sure that I want anyone to know is...
I owned a '79 TransAm Firebird. It was red and I raced it as a teenager. It was in the early 80's. I won!