The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) of First United Methodist Church of Allen is pleased to announce that The Rev. Mary Beth Hardesty-Crouch will come on staff on July 1, 2019, as its new senior pastor. District Superintendent Dr. Ron Henderson introduced Rev. Hardesty-Crouch to the SPRC on Thursday, February 21.
Rev. Hardesty-Crouch has a passion for collaborating with others to create life-giving, dynamic worship experiences that draw worshipers into a joyful encounter with the living God. She is a gifted preacher storyteller who loves the work of crafting a message that proclaims the Good News at the crossroads between the biblical narrative and our everyday lives. Mary Beth loves mission work, partnering with local elementary schools, food pantries or homeless ministries. She also enjoys short-term mission trips, most recently digging water wells with Living Water in El Salvador. She has followed Jesus on UMC mission trips that span from South Dakota to South Texas, from Colorado to Cameroon, and from Mozambique to Mexico.
Mary Beth is a trained coach, working toward certification through the International Coaching Federation. She coaches clergy and is on the faculty for the Academy of Artful Leadership through Holmes Coaching Group and the North Texas Conference Center for Leadership Development. She serves on the North Texas Conference Core Leadership Team and the North Central District Nominations Committee.
Before entering full-time professional ministry, Mary Beth earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of North Texas and taught piano lessons in Carrollton, TX. Volunteering in youth ministry at First UMC-Denton led to her call to professional ministry. While serving as youth minister at Holy Covenant UMC in Carrollton, she earned a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU in 1998 and was ordained as an elder in 2001. Mary Beth has served as associate pastor at Trietsch Memorial UMC-Flower Mound (1998-2000) and senior pastor at Trinity UMC-Duncanville (2000-2004), Creekwood UMC-Allen (2004-2010), and Vista Ridge UMC-Lewisville (2010-present).
Mary Beth is married to Rev. Brian Hardesty-Crouch who is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He is the director of HeartPaths DFW (training in prayer and spiritual direction) and teaches spiritual formation at Perkins School of Theology, SMU, and Duke University. Mary Beth loves cooking, traveling, reading, gardening, photography, and parenting with Brian their children, Christopher (age 13) and Lily (age 6), and their dog, Honey.
Our current senior pastor, Rev. Todd Harris, said of this appointment, “I could not be more thrilled about Mary Beth’s appointment and our congregation will be so very emboldened by her leadership and ministry. The Crouch family is steeped in the UMC, and she will bring a true richness to FUMC Allen that will be such a blessing to all. She will do a great job leading FUMC into the new future God has in store.”
Let us join in praying for the Crouch family, the Harris family, and FUMC Allen as God continues to work in us and through us during this time of transition.