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.

Rev. Laraine Waughtal

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