Dr. Gregory S. Neal

Senior Pastor

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The Reverend Dr. Gregory S. Neal is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, Duke University, and Trinity College, where his studies included extensive work in Bible, Theology, Worship, and the Sacraments. While having been trained to be a Christian educator, as an ordained United Methodist minister Greg’s heart and soul can be found in the mission and ministry of the local church as an agent for change in society. Over the past 30 years Greg has led congregations in a broad range of cultural contexts, including a multi-ethnic church, two Reconciling congregations, an inner-city church, a university church, and several town-and-country congregations. In all these settings he has served alongside families, couples, and individuals, youth and young adults, professionals and seniors, fostering an environment of intellectual growth and spiritual formation. He is particularly gifted in helping churches to think and plan strategically for times of change and is dedicated to helping the people he serves to grow in faith and love toward God and their neighbor.

 

To take his teaching and preaching onto the world-wide-web, in 1999 Dr. Neal founded Grace Incarnate Ministries which serves audio and video sermons, Bible Study podcasts, written theological papers and articles, to an internet-based audience numbering in the tens of thousands. Dr. Neal’s mission statement is: “to share with all the Real Presence of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament, creed and deed.”

 

As a popular teacher, preacher, and retreat leader, Dr. Neal is known for his ability to translate complex ideas into common, everyday terms that can be grasped and applied by people of all ages. He has spoken on many topics before thousands in churches and at conferences around the world. He has led several pilgrimages to Israel, has traveled widely to teach for the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Discipleship, and enjoys volunteering his time as a Chaplain for the Holland America Cruise Line. In addition to travel, his interests include astronomy, hiking, sailing, reading, music, computers, and conversation. He is the author of several books, including Grace Upon Grace: Sacramental Theology and the Christian Life and Seeking the Shepherd's Arms: Reflections from the Pastoral Side of Life.

Greg is engaged to Kade Rogers, a specialist in Communications and an up-and-coming star in the country music world. Kade is an accomplished guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer who also specializes in audio/video production and internet-based media. He has a passion for social justice ministries within the LGBTQ community and serves as Chair of Lakewood's Rainbow Connection Ministry. Together, Greg and Kade care for several dogs, including Fannie, Chase, Calvin, and Chloe, and one outnumbered cat, Tabitha.

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Jennifer Fornero

Children's Minister

Jennifer Fornero has more than 15 years of experience in working with children and families in a church setting.  She has a background in nursing, is CPR/First Aid certified, and has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She served in her home church as a Sunday School teacher before becoming a Children’s and Youth ministry coordinator, which included being responsible for planning and conducting many VBSs and working closely with Project Transformation. As a Children’s Minister, Jennifer has served with two congregation in the North Texas Conference and has extensive experience in developing and implementing a diverse range of programming for children, youth, and their families. With a broad and progressive vision, Jennifer brings energy and excitement to her service among us at Lakewood UMC.  She is married to Scott, and they have three sons: Parker, Michael, and Noah.

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Eva Cherry

Office Administrator

    A lifelong member of LUMC, Eva has worked in the church office since 2016. If you ever want to give her something to do, ask her to design a flyer - it's her favorite! Outside of work, Eva is a caregiver for a family member with Alzheimer's and works a "side hustle" at Grow North Texas, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving food access. She is the owner of the "church dog," Margaux, as well as a fluffy cat named Max (who does not come to church), and is a member of a book club. 

     

    Contact Eva if you:

    • Want to make a flyer for a church event or mission - she was not kidding when she said making flyers was her favorite.

    • Have questions about anything that is not pastoral.

    • Are interested in exchanging entertaining pet videos.

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    John Gill

    Choir Director

      John has been on the music staff at Lakewood UMC in some form or fashion since 2005, when beloved choir director and organist, Anne Albritton became ill. Since then, he has gone from the position of organist to directing the choir as well. John loves his "gig" at Lakewood and feels deeply called to the music ministry. He can often be found volunteering at Juliette Fowler Communities playing the piano or organ for the Sunday afternoon services, hymn sings, and other activities.

      John's favorite season of the year is Christmas, when the choir presents its annual cantata with orchestra. For several years, our choir has been invited to sing at the Museum of Biblical Art here in Dallas, a Christmas concert we've come to look forward to and enjoy.

      John holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas. He has also studied organ privately and has had the opportunity to visit and play many of the great organs in England, France, and Spain.

      New singers are always welcome! Please contact John if you are interested.

      Joan O'Brian

      Hospitality Coordinator

        Joan has been making every person that enters our doors feel welcome since 2003. By using her background in professional catering, she makes sure we have tasty snacks each Sunday, keeps things in order, and sets up for events we host. Joan helps in the kitchen and nursery, and her loving care effects just about every room in our building. Joan is also our resident Irishwoman and brings us all smiles from her lighthearted sense of humor!

        Elouise Murphy

        Finance Secretary

          Elouise came to Lakewood UMC in 2002 as part-time Finance Secretary. She and her husband of 47 years, Dan, have three adult children (two daughters and a son) and two preschool grandchildren.  They enjoy family vacations and weekend get- togethers. Elouise enjoys music of all sorts, piano, board games and reading books with the grandkids. She also enjoys working in residential real estate with Ebby Halliday REALTORS.  Through the years it has been Elouise's great joy and pleasure to work with the Lakewood members and church staff. Elouise appreciates the way Lakewood UMC continually serves the community and beyond with compassion and outreach ministry.