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Clifton Stringer

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Clifton Stringer is a disciple, husband, dad, pastor, and theologian. As a pastor, he is passionate about forming disciples of Jesus Christ with the riches of the Christian faith and tradition. As a theologian, he is interested in topics like the existence of God and the importance of the Trinity for all aspects of life and thought.

Clifton is an ordained Elder in the Rio Texas Conference, and has previously served United Methodist churches in Austin and Lakehills, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology from Boston College, and a M.Div. from Duke, and before all that earned a BA in English at UT Austin. He is a John Wesley Fellow.

When not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, longboarding, Tukong Moosul, occasionally playing guitar, and coaching little league.

Learn more about Clifton's writing at http://www.cliftonstringer.com/

Youth and Community Minister

Nick Helmich

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With backgrounds in the house church movement as well as prayer and deliverance ministry, Nick Helmich is someone who desires to see God's people freed from the chains that bind them and flourish as the God-glorifying persons they're created to be. He cares theologically about teens and adults having an experience of the living God through the Holy Spirit — an emphasis that is at the heart of Wesleyan theology.

Nick brings with him some missionary and ministry training from Christ for the Nations in Dallas, TX, as well as a good deal of work experience. Nick's vision is that the way to build the most healthy youth ministry and church culture long-term is to build a ministry to the whole family.

Office and Communications Manager

Shane Raynor

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Shane Raynor grew up near Raleigh, North Carolina and spent over a decade working as an editor and content strategist at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee. He's currently working on building a multimedia publishing platform. Shane is an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves and Austin FC. He lives in Del Valle.

Choir Director

Gregory Hilliard, Jr

Gregory A. Hilliard, Jr. serves as the Choir Director at First United Methodist Church of Lockhart, Texas. He has over 10 years of experience serving on the music staff of churches throughout North and Central Florida, where he served as Music Assistant for the large music ministry of choral, handbell, and steel pan ensembles at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Florida.

He recently earned his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Texas State University, and held Graduate Assistant duties within the Texas State University Choral Department. Gregory holds teacher certification in K-12 Music in Florida and Texas, and has previously taught several music curricula (including chorus, keyboard, guitar, orchestra, handbells/choir chimes, musical theatre and drama, music theory, and general music/music appreciation) at the elementary through high school levels.

Additionally, Gregory also serves as the music director of Austin Harmony Chorus, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. From 2011 to 2018, he was the music director of The Capital Chordsmen, the award- winning chorus of the Tallahassee chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He currently sings in The Marcsmen, an international competition-level chorus based in San Antonio, and serves on the performance team as tenor section leader.

Gregory earned the Bachelor of Music Education in Choral Music Education and the Specialized Study Certificate in Sacred Music from The Florida State University. A member of ACDA, NCCO, NAfME, AGO, FUMMWA, Handbell Musicians of America, and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, he maintains an active schedule as a baritone solo/choral vocalist, guest conductor/clinician, adjudicator, barbershop quartet/chorus coach, vocal jazz ensemble/contemporary a cappella group coach, and handbell musician.


Margaret Riddle

Margaret Riddle is the pianist for First United Methodist Church of Lockhart, of which she is a member of the congregation.


Jane Brown

Jane Brown, a native of Lockhart, graduated from Lockhart High School and the University of Texas with a major in Business Education. During high school she played the organ for FUMC, Lockhart. Jane was married to the late Gary Brown and has two children, Mike and Dana, and three grandchildren, Ellie, Ryan, and Isabelle. In 2007, Jane retired from teaching fifth grade and reading at Navarro Elementary, where she taught for twelve years. Through the years, she has accompanied many local choirs, and she served as the organist for FUMC Lockhart for twenty-five years. She now enjoys volunteering, being a member of different clubs, being interim organist, and spending time with her grandchildren.