Felicia Hopkins – Senior Pastor
What an exciting time to be at St. Paul UMC! I am originally from Buffalo, New York, but I have been in the state of Texas for almost 19 years. Here in Texas is where I began my ministry and my family. I am the proud parent of two wonderful beats of my heart, Samuel and Adam Hopkins. Samuel is a Senior at UT Dallas and Adam recently graduated from Abilene High School. I received my BSW from Valparaiso University and my MDiv from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Adam Samuels – Director of Worship Arts
Adam Samuels has been Director of Music at St Paul UMC Abilene since 2007. His primary duties are focused on overseeing the music ensembles of the church, conducting the Chancel Choir and Chancel Ringers, and providing leadership in the weekly worship services. Prior to St Paul, Adam was Minister of Music at First UMC, Weatherford, Texas. He has also served churches in Cleburne and Corsicana; he has previously taught Choir at Cleburne Middle School.
Adam first lived in Abilene was while completing his Bachelor of Music in Church Music at McMurry University. While at McMurry, Adam was active in the Music Department serving as the founding president of the McMurry Student Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association, President of Chanters (McMurry’s touring choir), and participating in faculty search committees. His first experience with handbells was with the McMurry Handbell Ensemble in 1996. Since McMurry, Adam has studied at SMU and TCU, and completed extensive continuing education at Baylor University.
Adam is married to Holly, a handbell ringer since she was 8 years old and former Clarinet in the Texas Tech Band. Holly teaches 4th grade at Austin Elementary in Abilene. They have two daughters: Rigby and Hazel, both in school at Austin. Outside of family, community arts organizations remain a passion for Adam. In the Fort Worth area, Adam sang with Schola Cantorum of Texas. In Abilene, Adam has served on the Board of Directors for the Abilene Opera Association (2008-2011). He is currently the West Texas Representative on the Area 9 (Texas-Oklahoma) Board of Directors of the Handbell Musicians of America (previously AGEHR).
Adam is in his first season as Conductor of the Classical Youth Chorus and Classical Youth Chorale for Chorus Abilene. Prior to being a conductor for Chorus Abilene, Mr. Samuels served on the Board of Directors (2009-2013), occasionally serving as a guest conductor for the Adult Chorus. He remains an active volunteer and advocate for Arts Education in Public Schools and is a member of American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, YouthCue, and Choristers Guild.
Josh Day – Director of Youth Ministry
My name is Josh Day and I am super stoked to be the Director of Youth Ministry here at St. Paul. I grew up in Katy, Texas. I graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2015 with a B.A. in Bible and Ministry with an emphasis in Youth and Family Ministry. After graduation, I moved to the Clear Lake area, south of Houston, and was the Director of Student Ministry (6th-12th grade) at Clear Lake UMC for two years. After my wife, Ariel, and I moved back to Abilene, in August of 2017, I worked as a Barista at Starbucks, Assistant Chaplain at McMurry and online/internet pastor for St. Paul. I love sports, to play them, watch them and learn about them. I collect stickers, hats, and flags of countries I have visited. I love coffee so much Ariel and I have a Coffee Bar at our house. I look forward to getting to know you so come by my office, or we can meet for coffee! Meet with Me
Katie Espinoza – Director of College Ministry
My Name is Katie French and I am excited to take on the role of Director of College Ministry here at St. Paul. I grew-up in Jackson, Michigan and my family remains there today. I graduated from Spring Arbor University with a BA in Vocal Music Education, with additional studies in Strings, Composition, and Piano. After graduation, I worked as a Music Director and 3rd-grade teacher for a year, and then as a Resident Director for Indiana Wesleyan and Hardin-Simmons University throughout the last two years. I love to play sports, sing, spend time with kids, read, and have quality time with friends and family. I eat too much ice cream and chocolate, laugh a lot (especially at myself) and almost never sit still unless I have to. I am excited and blessed to be joining your St. Paul family, and am looking forward to getting to know each of you better very soon!
Scot Yarbrough- Director of Finance and Administration
My wife, Ann, and I have been married 29 years and have two children: Kyle is an Accountant/Missionary working in
Brazil and Nepal in 2015 and Katy
Favorite Verse: Isaiah 28:8
I like to play golf and basketball, but not at the same time.
Lisa Barela- Executive Secretary to the Senior Pastor
I grew up moving all over the United States due to my father being in the United States Air Force. His last assignment before he retired was at Dyess Air Force Base here in Abilene. I am one of four children and all of my siblings (my older brother, younger sister and younger brother) still live here in Abilene, as do my parents. We always attended a United Methodist Church wherever we lived.
I married Jim Barela in 1981 and we have two children, Julia and Jacob; and three grandsons, Mason, Dean and Caleb. I enjoy spending time with my family (especially my grandsons), going to the beach, working in the yard, painting, and sports.
I joined St. Paul United Methodist Church in 1987 and became active in several committees, usually serving as the secretary. Our children, Julia and Jacob, also became active in children’s activities, then youth activities; and joining the church when they went through Confirmation Class.
I began working at St. Paul in 1991 as the Senior Pastor’s Secretary and have the pleasure of working with the whole congregation. My main objective is to give administrative support to the Senior Pastor and the members of the church.
Favorite Sport: Football
Favorite Saying: Lord, help me become the person my dog thinks I am.
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall. The weather is beginning to cool down, the colors of the trees change into beautiful browns, reds, yellows; and mostly, football season begins.
Glynell Hughes- Membership Secretary
John Clay- Building Supervisor
Margie Barrientos- Housekeeping
Linda Chapman – Congregational Care
Linda Chapman shares congregational care duties with Susan Mouser. Together, they oversee the prayer teams and the visitations to hospitals, residential facilities, and home-bound members.
Susan Mouser- Congregational Care
Susan Mouser shares congregational care duties with Linda Chapman. Together, they oversee the prayer teams and the visitations to hospitals, residential facilities, and home-bound members.