Bussiness Administrator: Elaine Miller
Director of Music Ministry: Barbara Shinn
Choir Director: Lara Buckingham
In 1995, a young seventh grade girl became a student of one of the best vocal teachers in the Permian Basin and that teacher was our own Barbara Shinn. Barbara was/is mentor, teacher, friend, and like another mother. With her guidance, I discovered my love of music and soon graduated from Tarleton State University with a Music Education degree with an emphasis in choral conducting. I began singing in Barbara’s church choir, Asbury, twelve years ago off and on as well as conducting in Barbara’s absence. I have worked as an Elementary Music teacher for the past twelve years, developing musicals and special choirs to serve the students in the Permian Basin. I now work part time with the Asbury family to create music for our congregation.
Accompanist: Belinda Richey
Praise Team: Oscar, Crystal, Lydia, and Diego Lopez
Ascent Student Ministries Director: Maisha Morris
My name is Maisha Morris and I am the Director of Youth Ministry at Asbury United Methodist. I was given the opportunity in June of this year and the call from God to work with youth came much earlier in my life. My childhood was spent in Odessa and my family has attended church together since before the beginning of me. Some of my earliest memories are of singing and praising, and I’ve always known what the presence of God felt like.
One of the talents that God blessed me with is the gift of dance, ministering through movement, and I have traveled and lived in various places fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional dancer. After a 10-year pursuit, the Lord brought me home to serve and give back. With all the knowledge I have gained through a close walk with Him I hope to help instill the truth of Jesus and the love of God into each life that I am called to. The life we are to live is one of patience, purpose and continued perseverance and with God all things are possible.
Director of Children's Ministry: Sarah Griffin
Serving at Asbury UMC as the Children’s Director has added an abundance of joy to my life over the past 5 years. I also gather a great deal of joy from my family, especially my husband of 10 years, Cody, and my three children, Jaxon, Ethan, and Camarie.
I knew from early on in my life that my calling was to serve children and their families, therefore I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with a teaching certificate focused on early childhood. I continued my education by earning a master’s degree in Educational Counseling. While being a stay at home mom, I was offered a part time job to serve as the children’s director at Asbury. It is the perfect job for me because I can pour out love on kids while still having the flexibility to be at home with my own children.
I am extremely passionate about telling children all about God and his overwhelming love for them. The greatest commandment given to us by Jesus is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. When we teach children how to love God and appreciate the gift of his son Jesus, we give them a mustard seed of faith. By encouraging children to develop their faith and grow deeper in their understanding of God’s love they can start truly loving their neighbors. The children we teach then go into the world and offer glimpses of God’s light and glory for others to see and cling to. I don’t think there is anything better than experiencing hope for the future through the love of a child.
In addition to leading the children’s ministry, I am the coordinator for our MOPS group. Over the last 3 years I have had the privilege of watching God string together the hearts of mothers from all walks of life. These moms have come together to support one another in times of great sorrow, celebrate each other’s victories and encourage each other to be amazing mothers. Through this position I get to encourage mothers by reminding them how important their position in the family is and how much influence they have on their children. Mother’s can be an amazing reflection of God’s love and in MOPS we encourage each other to show that love to our children, husbands and friends daily.