The Interim Search Committee is delighted to announce that the Rev. Dr. Laura Barnes has accepted our offer to be the new Interim Senior Minister. We believe that Dr. Laura is the best fit for this position based on the congregational survey results and open discussions during the search period.
Dr. Laura is thrilled to start her journey as our Interim Senior Minister. This interim ministry period will be a time where together we can reflect, engage in spiritual wondering, and creatively envision a new future together. Dr. Laura’s most recent endeavor was serving an urban church in her hometown of Dallas as the Interim Minister for Mission and Evangelism.
Prior to her return to Texas, Dr. Laura served in the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC) of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for 14 years. She has led both the Congregational Church of San Mateo and the Danville Congregational Church as the educational Minister for Children, Youth and Families. She has centered her ministry on youth, young adults, and education, as well as social justice and mission work.
Before attending seminary, Dr. Laura worked in commercial banking and was a full-time mother. She is a trained Interim Minister and has experience assisting congregations with transition and transformation. Dr. Laura received her Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from the University of Creation Spirituality (currently Wisdom University of Graduate Studies) in Oakland, CA and her Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Dr. Laura is no stranger to Austin. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and is elated to have an opportunity to live in this great city again.
Currently, Dr. Laura serves on the executive board for Focus on Teens, an outreach program for homeless students in the Dallas Public School System. Previously, she served on the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing board in Pleasant Hill, CA – a permanent, supportive housing development for formerly homeless families. Dr. Laura has extensive experience in leading and participating in effective committee and task-focused gatherings.
Dr. Laura currently lives in North Dallas. She has two adult children, Mac (32) and Becca (30), who live in the San Francisco Bay Area along with their spouses. She is also a grandmother of 2 humans and 4 fur babies.
We are looking forward to Dr. Laura’s leadership and compassion during this time of transition. Her official start date will be May 1, 2019. Dr. Laura says that you may call her Pastor Laura.
Again, thank you for all of your time, input, and prayers during this search period.
Rebecca, Bryan, Samantha, David, Logan and Maddie
Interim Search Committee