First United Methodist Church Leadership
First United Methodist Church is blessed to have a leadership team who are truly dedicated to Christ and accomplishing His will. Following are brief bio's of our leadership team and their qualifications for ministry.
Rev. Larry Van Zile
Rev. Larry Van Zile received his undergraduate degrees from Lon Morris College and Texas Wesleyan University and graduated from the Perkins School of Theology at S.M.U. in 1967. He married Mary Huddleston of Springtown after Seminary and adopted Texas as his home state. He and Mary have a son and a grandson and a granddaughter.
While in seminary, he served as youth director at Meadowbrook UMC. He has served appointments in Mertens, Irene, Brandon, Springtown/Poolville, Crowley, St. Stephens, Hillsboro, Belton, St. Barnabas, Grapevine, Stephenville, Mansfield, Gatesville and returned to Meadowbrook UMC as the Senior Pastor.
Following retirement, Larry served as the associate director of the Central Texas Methodist Foundation leading Finance Campaigns and Capital Fund Campaigns in the Central Texas and Texas Conferences.
Rev. Van Zile served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio for 8 years and on the Wesleyan Home Board in Georgetown. Among his conference responsibilities, he served as chairman of the Conference Committee for Equitable Salaries, on the Committee on Investigations, as well as being a member of the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration for 8 years.
Director of Music and Worship
Born in Fort Worth and raised in Hurst, TX, music has always been a part of Steve's life. He began at 5 years old singing and playing instruments in church and school choirs and ensembles and culminated with a Music degree from Dallas Baptist University with a concentration in Church Music. Steve met his wife, Becky, at LD Bell High School in Hurst, TX. They were married in February of 1996 and have 4 children; Mark (married to Kayla), Sara, Ana (married to Josiah) and Timothy; and have 1 grandchild, Mia.
Steve began his ministry at FUMC in November 2021. Before that time, he served at FUMC Bridgeport, FBC Paradise, Westland Heights Baptist Church and Lebanon Baptist Church and has filled in as a Worship Leader temporarily at numerous churches across North Texas for over 20 years. He is the founder of 2 community choirs; the Paradise Community Youth Choir and the Wise County Chorus and a member of the Singing Men of North Central Texas.
The Bible passages that define his ministry philosophy are found in Colossians 3:16-17, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him", and Psalm 95, 96, and 100.
BM Church Music - Dallas Baptist University 2006
Licensed into the Gospel Ministry 2002
Ordained Deacon 2014
Sondra Gibson is the Administrative Assistant for FUMC Springtown.
She has loved working for and being a part of our church family for the past 17 years. She has been married to the love of her life, Hugh Gibson, for 46 years. They moved to Springtown in 2003 and enjoy their four-acre place with a garden and grandkids! They love to share family time with their two daughters and their spouses, who have grown in their hearts immensely.
Sondra and Hugh have been blessed to fellowship here at the church through the years in friendships, laughter, love, and growing in God's Word and relationship with our Lord.
Sondra's plan, for now, is to continue serving in her role at the church office, where she can connect with people who need guidance or a helping hand. She enjoys being able to bring smiles to the faces of those who walk through our doors, call on our phones, or even email or text. She has felt very loved and encouraged by so many here in the church family, even through all the seasons we have experienced. Sondra has been blessed to witness God's grace as He has brought hope, joy, and kindness to countless hearts as she has served in this place He has called her.
Jennifer Gean has attended FUMC Springtown for 16 years. She has 12 years of experience in childcare. She is CPR, First Aid and Ministry Safe certified. She has worked with children of all ages. Her favorite part of working with kids is seeing the joy on their faces when they accomplish a new skill. Jennifer has been married for almost two years. She and her husband are planning on moving from Weatherford to Springtown this summer.