September 2019

Alumni/ae Update

Emily Everett in Brazil

Emily Everett (M.Div. ’13) is living and working in Brazil as a global missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC, with her efforts focused on an afterschool program called the Shade and Fresh Water Project, a ministry of the Brazilian Methodist Church.

“We have several projects all over the country and one of them is located in Boa Vista, Roraima which is about 200 km from the Venezuela border,” she said. “The local Methodist Church/Shade and Fresh Water Project has been working there for about 2+ years now receiving Venezuelan refugees and working primarily with children.”

Learn more about Shade and Fresh Water here (for English, click on the U.S. flag in the upper right corner.) Follow Emily’s missionary Facebook page here.


Hollas ordained as minister of Gun Violence Prevention  

The Rev. Deanna Hollas (M.Div./2015) became the first-known minister of Gun Violence Prevention on July 7. Sponsored by Grace Presbytery, which includes congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in north and northeastern Texas, the service of ordination was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dallas.  In her new call, Hollas coordinate Gun Violence Prevention Ministries of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, serving a network of over 800 local Presbyterian gun violence prevention advocates in all 50 states. Read the Presbyterian News Service story here.


Baby baptism at Great Plains AC

Finnigan Gepford, son of Perkins alums Bill and Melissa Gepford, was baptized at the opening session of the Great Plains Annual Conference in June. Bishop Ruben Saenz, Jr., performed the baptism. Watch the video here (26 minutes in).



Lael Melville in the Chips

Lael Melville, a 2016 M.Div. graduate and current student, appeared on Lay’s Potato Chip bags this summer as part of the snack food’s ‘Everyday Smilers’ campaign highlighting 31 community leaders around the U.S.  The chip bags featured her smiling face and described her ministry through The Melville Family Foundation providing education and mentorship to disadvantaged youth.  “It has been so fun to meet so many great people in this process and hear about their amazing ministry/work,” Lael says. The program benefited the international medical charity, Operation Smile, with a donation of up to $1 million in proceeds.


New Book by Gary Fox

Gary A. Fox (M.Div. ’11, D.Min. ’18) has authored a new book entitled Understanding Atonement: Maybe it’s time to rethink atonement without giving up on Jesus, to be published this fall by Wipf and Stock Publishers. With an increasing number of Christians deconstructing their faith, the idea that God would require the blood sacrifice of Jesus to take away sin in order to reconcile God and humanity is a difficult pill to swallow. What if we rethink atonement, even abandon the idea it is necessary to be in relationship with God? What does this mean for faith in Jesus and how we live our lives as Christians? This book considers ten theories of atonement and rethinks them through a lens of love.



James Wendell Moore: Dr. James Wendell Moore, former Perkins Executive Board member, passed away on June 6 after a brief illness.  Moore was an award-winning author of more than 40 books plus scores of church group studies and devotional works published by Abingdon Press during a nearly 30-year partnership. Topping the list of bestselling books by Jim Moore are Seizing the Moments (Abingdon Press bestseller 1988, Guideposts December Book of the Month); Yes, Lord, I Have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses; Some Folks Feel the Rain . . . Others Just Get Wet; Healing Where It Hurts; and Rich in the Things That Count the Most. Along with his prolific work as a writer, Jim preached weekly from 1984 until 2006 to thousands at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston and was selected as the preacher for The Protestant Hour (a widely heard national radio program) from December 1990 through March 1991, and again ten years later for fall 2001.  Read his obituary on the United Methodist Publishing House website.

Rev. Robert “Bob” Langley: The Northeast District asks for prayers for the family and friends of the Rev. Robert “Bob” Langley (M. Th. ’59), retired Elder, who died Monday, Aug. 5, in Batesville at the age of 85.  Rev. Langley served in ministry in the former Little Rock Conference from 1954 till his retirement in 2000, including a time as District Superintendent of the former Arkadelphia District.Since 2016, Rev. Langley served as Pastor Emeritus of First UMC, Batesville. Services were held August 8 at First UMC, Arkadelphia. Please remember Marcella and the entire Langley family in prayer.

Rev. Buist Wilson: Rev. Buist Wilson (M.Th., 1954) passed away on Saturday, July 6th from complications related to diabetes after just being placed on hospice on July 4th. A Celebration of Life was held on July 26th at First Rowlett United Methodist Church in Rowlett, Texas. Card and notes may be sent to:

The Wilson Family
914 Bromwich St.
Garland, TX 75040