Rev. Dr. Jeff McDonald
Senior Pastor

Lenee, Bailey and I are so glad to be at First UMC Nacogdoches, in many ways it is like being home again. Lenee and I both have degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University and Lenee grew up just down the road in Lufkin. I have previously served churches in Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Sugar Land, Trinity and Chandler.

I grew up in Houston and graduated from J. Frank Dobie High School. After High School I earned an Associate’s Degree in English from San Jacinto College, a Bachelor’s in Christian Education from Centenary College of Louisiana, a MA in History from SFASU, a M.Div. from Southern Methodist University and a D.Min. from Houston Graduate School of Theology.

I am active in Conference and District activities, including serving as co-dean for Local Pastor Licensing School and a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Camp Director in the Southwest, East and Northwest Districts and Camp Coordinator and Registrar in the Northwest District. I have also been privileged to direct UM ARMY and Big House camps. In addition to many local mission projects our family has been active in missions in Reynosa, Mexico as well as trips to Haiti and Costa Rica. In 2011 we attended the World Methodist Conference in Durban, South Africa.

"Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing."
I Thessalonians 5:11


Rev. Lorraine Brown
Associate Pastor


I am honored to be here at First United Methodist Nacogdoches.  I excitedly anticipate what God has in store for our time together as we work on bringing the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst. 

I was born in Greenville, Texas, in a small community five miles east of Greenville.  I attended public school in this small community and graduated from Commerce High School.  Immediately after graduation, I went to Prairie View A&M University, where I received a Bachelor of Science Degree Laboratory Medicine.  I worked many years in Laboratory Medicine.  I am a second career pastor/minister.

After answering my call to ministry, I attended Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, where I received a Masters of Divinity.  I am an Ordained Elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  I am also a Certified Spiritual Director, a certification I also received through SMU'S Perkins School of Theology. 

I have been active in various roles at both the Conference and District Levels of the Texas Annual Conference.  I currently serve on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and hold the position of Chairperson of Clergy Mentors. 

I am the proud mother of three sons. They have blessed me with seven granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.  They LOVE their Gammy and I love them! I am an avid lover of sports (baseball, football, basketball, and tennis).  I love spending time alone with God and in community through Prayer and Bible Study.


Jeff Campbell
Director of Youth Ministry

As Director of Youth Ministry, Jeff is committed to sharing the gospel of Christ with students and shepherding them into a personal relationship with God. He leads the youth in bible study, retreats, local service projects and mission trips. His goal is to aid students in growth of their knowledge, love and trust in Christ.

About Me

I began at First United Methodist Church as the Director of Youth in the Spring of 2014, but I have been in youth ministry for 30 years. I am married to my beautiful bride, Laura, and we have two amazing girls, Kailyn and Kylie. Both of my girls are in college, and we are so proud of their accomplishments. In my free time, I enjoy watching high school/college football and basketball, playing basketball, golf, snow skiing, fishing, the beach with his family and anything Marvel!

Elsa Jordan
Director of Children Ministries

As the Director of Children Ministries at FUMC Nacogdoches, Elsa leads the children of our church into a relationship with Christ through engaging Biblically based activities. She and her dedicated Children’s Council, along with their team of trusted teachers, provide children with the opportunity to grow, learn and experience faith in a loving environment among good friends.

About Me

I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, but was adopted by Texas at a young age. I fell in love with the beautiful piney woods of Nacogdoches while studying English and Psychology at Stephen F. Austin where, I met and fell in love with my best friend and now husband, Barry. We have been married for 22 years. Ten years into our marriage, the Lord blessed us with our beloved daughter, Sophie. I love getting to know you and your children through our FUMC church family. I am here to serve, and it is my honor to be involved in programming that helps introduce, form and strengthen our children’s relationships with Christ.  It is truly a joy to be a part of touching these young lives. I love our kids and I am grateful to be a part of growing a vibrant, relevant ministry steeped in love and tradition.  

 Q&A with our Director of Children Ministries

What is your vision for the children’s ministry?
I believe we are here to introduce children to Christ, and to help strengthen their relationship with Him. We strive to lay a foundation of faith that lasts a lifetime. We seek for each child to establish lifelong friends with whom they can learn to serve and trust Him together.

Where would you like to see the children’s ministry in five years?
I can see more and more children and families coming into this place to grow, worship, learn and serve together. Our church has the potential for touching the lives of so many children and families in this community.

Where are you praying for people to help?
I pray for adults who have a passion for leading children in their spiritual journey. We need trusted and dedicated individuals to spend time with our children by leading a small group, teaching Sunday school or leading a special workshop. We are praying for more husband and wife teams who may enjoy serving together, for older congregational members who can impart wisdom, tradition and history to our children and for more college aged individuals to offer mentorship for our older children.

Sharon Bright
Office Manager

As Office Manager, Sharon's servant ministry extends far beyond the office. She handles the church calendars, maintains the membership database, schedules meeting places, provides support for both pastors and the congregation, as well as many other tasks. Her constant service enables other members of our staff to excel. 

About Me

My husband, Gene, and I moved to Nacogdoches in 1998. I have been serving First United Methodist Church for the last 12 years and I feel a deep connection with the congregation. The people here at First UMC are welcoming and I have developed a strong bond to the ministry of the church.  We are animal lovers and have adopted both cats and pet squirrel named “Baba.”

Kathy Branton
Finacial Secretary

Kathy Branton joins our staff, after a brief retirement from St. Luke’s UMC in Houston.  She and her husband Tom had been splitting their time between Houston and Lake Nacogdoches for five years before Tom joined Angelina College in January 2016 – gratefully making Nacogdoches their permanent home. Originally from North Syracuse, NY, Kathy has been a Texas resident for over 30 years.  Her daughter, Amanda Timm, was born and raised a Texan. After obtaining a B.A. in Rehabilitation and Community Services from Springfield College, Kathy found her calling in finance and administration. She studied accounting and business in the Houston area and began her work with the United Methodist Church as the financial secretary of Deer Park UMC.  Her calling then led to the Texas Annual Conference (Conference Accountant), Northern Illinois Conference (Director of Administration), then back to Texas. Kathy joined St. Luke’s UMC as the Assistant Finance Director and retired nine years later as the Director of Finance and IT.