Rev. Carol “Callie” Winn Crawford is appointed as Interim Pastor of Gretna United Methodist Church effective November 2, 2019 and will serve in this capacity for November and December.

Rev. Callie served for over forty years as a pastor in the Louisiana Annual Conference retiring in 2017. Her last appointment was as Senior Pastor at Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church. Before that, she served churches in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas as well as Campus Minister at the University of New Orleans, Southern University at New Orleans, and Delgado Community College. Over the years, she has served on several conference boards and commissions, including the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Board of Global Ministries, the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and the Episcopacy Committee. She has served as a delegate to both the Jurisdictional and General Conferences of the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Callie is married to Billy Crawford, a retired educator, and education consultant. Billy who served many years as a high school principal and as the Assistant Superintendent of the Louisiana State Department of Education. Rev. Callie has two children, Luke and Sarah. Luke, who lives in New York City and is the Artistic Director for both the Manhattan Chamber Players and the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival. Sarah, a trained social worker. Callie enjoys reading, writing, walking, cycling, gardening, and spending time with family.

The Bishop and Cabinet are working towards providing a permanent pastor effective January 1, 2020. The Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee met in consultation with Rev. Jan Holloway Curwick, the Missional Strategist and Superintendent for the New Orleans District, on Saturday, October 19, regarding the appointment of Rev. Crawford. The mission of the church, the lay leadership, and the status of the church and the pastoral needs for the church going forward were also discussed.

Please join me in welcoming our Interim Pastor, Rev. Callie Winn Crawford to Gretna!

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How does our youth group go on after the death of Pastor Roger Templeton…?

Our youth are so important! They are the future of our church. They will be the ones that tell their friends and family about how our church has helped them build a relationship with GOD. We can only hope and pray that more youth will want to join in on this amazing experience. Today’s youth are not the same youth from 10 or even 5 years ago. We are competing with social media, sports, and other extracurricular activities. So how do we inspire them? How to we keep them connected?

These questions were all I thought about when I planned out my youth classes. How could I do this? I was struggling with not having enough youth in my class. I was feeling defeated and discouraged. I was questioning myself and questioning Kandie and Pastor Roger for appointing me to do this. So, with all these questions, I met with Pastor Roger the week before he passed away and I shared my thoughts, asked him questions and asked for guidance. He just smiled and said… “It’s not about how many youth are in your class, it is about how you have moved them, connected with them and shown them how to have a relationship with GOD”. His last words were, “GOD has chosen you for this, you were meant to do this. I believe in you, I am here to encourage and guide you”. So, leaving this lunch I felt like I could conquer the world and I was going to regroup and start fresh.

The news of Pastor Roger’s death the following week, devastated me as it did everyone else. All those questions and doubts that I had before came rolling back. How could I possibly do this without him? His encouragement. His guidance. 

So, after about 2 weeks of going back and forth. His words kept repeating. “GOD CHOSE ME”. GOD did choose me, and I am confident that my group will only become stronger and we will continue to grow.

Confirmation and all other activities that Pastor Roger had scheduled will be revisited after the first of the year. For now, we will build a stronger relationship as a group and with GOD and strengthen our hearts after the loss of Pastor Roger. 

Jessica Villemarette; Youth Leader GUMC

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Reverend Roger Hugh Templeton, 53, died on October 1, 2019 of suicide. We ask that you open your heart and offer compassion without judgment for those that suffer from illness rooted in stigma, trauma, or shame. This was how Roger practiced ministry. Sadly, he succumbed to severe depression, leaving behind heartbroken family, friends, and colleagues. Roger was born on August 28, 1966, in Opelousas, Louisiana. He is preceded in death by his father Herman, beloved mother Elaine, and brother-in-law Daniel. He is survived by his wife Pam, daughter Bethany (Cameron), stepson Atticus, daughter Penelope, brother Herman Jr. (Laura), brother John, sister Lillie, and many very loved family members and friends. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Gretna United Methodist Church on Whitney Avenue at 1:00 p.m. Visitation will be from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. Donations may be made in Roger's name to either Gretna United Methodist Church or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Personal condolences may be sent to the Templeton family at Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Drive, Lafayette, LA, is in charge of funeral arrangements.

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