Ministry Staff
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  • Rev. Laraine Waughtal
    Rev. Laraine Waughtal

    A “cradle Methodist” originally from Richardson Texas, Rev. LaraineWaughtal is an elder in the United Methodist Church, receiving her Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School after earning a degree in Sociology/Business from Stephen F. Austin. At 19, she heard her call to ministry. “However, I was also active in the Girl Scouts and wanted to give back to them. I worked for the Girl Scouts for three years designing older girl programs and training the adults. I also owned an antique business. In the late 1990’s I finally answered my call to ministry and went off to get my Masters of Divinity. This year is my 20th anniversary in ministry - 16 years, of which were in the local congregation. I have been active in Disaster Ministry for 18 of those years.” For the last 2 years Laraine has served as the Director of the Office Of Missional Engagement for the Louisiana Annual Conference.

    When asked to describe her ideal appointment Laraine responded: A church that is open to making disciples and welcoming all people to all parts and life of the church. A church that believes and either centers or is open to centering everything they do in prayer. A church that believes in mission or is willing to learn that mission is everywhere in our lives. From the parking lot of the grocery store, to a food pantry, to serving in the community and beyond. A church that does not see church as a building. That church is the people inside the church and, most importantly, outside the church. A church that believes in studying and learning God’s Word and how that impacts our own lives in how we live every moment of every day- to be willing to grow not just in knowledge - to grow spiritually. A church that believes in sharing the Sacraments of the church with one another and the world. A church that is willing to welcome all people into the church community. They are welcome to serve in the church and on committees and not just the same people serving over and over again.

    Laraine also says of herself: I am a relational person. I love being around people and bringing people together. I love to help people learn and discover what their gifts are and how they can make a difference and help make disciples. It takes everyone and everyone has a part in building the Body of Christ. The church is never just about the pastor. It is about Christ being the head of the church. And, as the administrator of the church, the pastor, and a teacher, it is my work to help empower others and to bring people together to serve through their gifts and graces.

    I also believe strongly that if we learn to focus on others and not ourselves that is when ministry begins to happen and positive change takes place. A church that focuses inward dies. A church that focuses outward thrives. We have to get past ourselves and focusing on our mission, our calling in the world, and then we are truly being the church.

    She goes on to describe her major gifts for ministry: Preaching/worship, making and growing disciples, building relationships in the church, missions, pastoral care, seeing/hearing the interest/gifts of the overall church, empowering people to utilize their gifts in ministry (an encourager), and listening. Also, in my sixteen years of ministry in the local church - facilitating and overseeing the administration of the church. I have a heart for preaching God’s Word and for serving as Christ taught us to do - which helps me lead others to do the same.

    She also shares, “I have two wonderful dogs that are Labrador mixes, two brothers, one sister, 6 nieces and nephews, eight great-nieces and nephews and two great-great nieces and nephews.” She is looking forward to her shared ministry with the great people of FUMC, DeRidder.

  • John Schwarze
    John Schwarze
    Director of Music Ministries

    John Calvin Schwarze was reared in Beauregard Parish and attended DeRidder schools through the 7th grade. After graduating from Belaire High School in Baton Rouge, John returned to Beauregard Parish and earned a Bachelor of Music Education in vocal music from McNeese State University in Lake Charles in 1996. At McNeese State, he showed an aptitude for music history and conducting. In 1995, John was named undergraduate assistant conductor of all the McNeese State choirs and studied conducting under Dr. James Dunaway. After six years teaching music at Western Heights Elementary School in Westlake, Louisiana, John enrolled at Louisiana State University as a graduate student in prestigious choral conducting program. He was one of eight students who had come from all over the country to study under Dr. Kenneth Fulton. After earning a Master of Music in choral conducting from LSU in 2004, John taught at the middle school level in Harlingen, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. In 2009, he was brought in to start a choir program at historic St. Gerard Catholic High School in San Antonio. When he left the school to relocate back to Beauregard Parish, the St. Gerard Chamber Choir numbered thirty-eight sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Moving back to Beauregard Parish in December 2013, John taught a year at Lake Charles College Prep before taking his present position at Pine Wood Elementary School and DeRidder Junior High School in 2015. His goal ultimately is to revive the dormant choral music program at DeRidder High School.


    John’s service to the Lord in music ministry has included time at Texas Avenue Baptist Church in DeRidder, First Christian Church in Harlingen, Texas, and most recently, Temple Baptist Church in DeQuincy. Having attended Redeemer Lutheran Church in DeRidder for most of his childhood, John is knowledgeable in traditional hymnody. Every now and then, he would attend Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in DeRidder with his grandparents, exposing him to Southern Gospel songs and hymns. He is just as comfortable in the music of the Gaither’s as he is in the music of Bach. His favorite hymn is “I Love to Tell the Story”.


    John is also a composer. He cites Austrian composer, Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), as a major influence on his compositional style. Mary Allen played one of John’s organ pieces on Easter Sunday, which was extracted from one of his choral works, Psalm 2 (“Why do the heathen rage…?). Soon the FUMC Choir will sing another of his works, “Kneel at the Cross”, a setting of an old Southern Gospel text. John has also written hymn arrangements for two violins and organ, as well as other works.


    John lives in rural Beauregard Parish with his dog, Vada, and two cats, Buster and Laila. He is thrilled to be the new Director of Music Ministries at FUMC and invites you to serve as a member of the choir. The more the merrier. Contact him at if you are interested.

  • Mary Allen
    Mary Allen
    Organist / Pianist

    Mary Allen is our church organist. Raised in Buna, Texas, she began playing for the United Methodist Church of Buna at age 13. While attending McNeese State University in Lake Charles on a music scholarship, she met the love of her life, Ted Allen. Married in 1973, they had two daughters, Veronica and Marcie, forming a musical family who sang at many events.  Mary, now a widow, pours herself into her 3 grandchildren Felicity, Analise, and Rowan. She also enjoys reading to elementary classes where she is affectionately known as “Class Grandma.”


    Her previous work titles include administrative assistant to attorney for 25 years as well as accompanist for numerous churches, musicals, choirs, high school band and vocal students, weddings, and funerals. She continues at McNeese with students’ solos and in the orchestra for dramas.


    Having served at FUMC DeRidder for several years under the direction of Judy Kay, Grace Edgar and John Schwarze, she considers this position the most enjoyable ministry job of her lifetime! The choir family, fellow musicians, congregation, and leadership of Rev. Laraine has lead to a wonderful worship of our never-changing God.  Mary looks forward to many more years of service.


    Mary also volunteers in the Church Office as needed! She assists our staff by answering the phone, recruiting Sunday morning volunteers, and working on other projects as needed. We're thankful for Mary and for all of our wonderful volunteers who help to make this Church better!

  • Cathy Scott
    Cathy Scott
    Director of Children & Youth Ministry

    Catherine Scott was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Catherine received a Specialized Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies, at the Academy of Medical Arts and Business, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Criminology and Justice, with Loyola Online College of Arts and Sciences, out of New Orleans.  Her most recent job title was Family Programs Specialist, with Army Community Service on Fort Polk.  Prior to that she specialized as a Bankruptcy Paralegal and worked with Law Firms in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

    Catherine married David Scott in 2001 while he was Active-Duty Army.  David retired in 2012 and they settled in DeRidder.  Catherine and David have four adult children, Derek, Christine, Remy and Cala and have been blessed with four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca 5 years, Bonnie 2 years, Kasen 2 years, and “Little” Derek who is 6 months old.

    Catherine has a passion for working with the youth in the community.  She has been a Girl Scout Leader for 17 years, she has volunteered with Service Units in Clarksville, Tennessee, and on Fort Polk, Louisiana before transferring to the DeRidder Service unit in 2016.  Catherine currently enjoys a Troop of 53 girls in Kindergarten through 10th grades.  Additionally, she has volunteered with the Youth Group at the First United Methodist Church for 2 years before accepting the position of Youth Director.  Catherine looks forward to the opportunity of leading our tweens and teens in their spiritual growth.


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