Church Staff

  • Tara Thompson
    Senior Pastor

    Born in Pennsylvania, Tara moved to the sunshine state as an eighth grader. A faithful Pittsburgh sports fan, Tara hoped to return to PA for college. Instead, God led her to Jacksonville, FL and the University of North Florida where she earned a degree in Psychology. Upon college graduation, Tara worked at Publix as a department manager for several years before attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and earning her Master’s of Divinity degree. She served two churches in Florida and one in Pittsburgh, PA before Jesus led her to Beaumont to serve as St. Andrew’s pastor.


    Tara is a teacher at heart and loves helping others discover how Jesus has gifted them for service in building His Church. She describes her ministry style as relational, which involves experiencing life together, bearing witness to Christ's activity, and encouraging one another on the journey of faith.


    Tara's hobbies include sports, reading, art, and traveling. She has visited six of the seven continents and has nurtured ministry partnerships in ten countries. She loves meeting new people and is excited to do life and ministry with us in southeast Texas.

  • Melissa Hoyt
    Office Administrator

    Melissa brings experience in business as an assistant office manager, previously a small business owner for five years, which she built up and subsequently sold, and as a volunteer in church record keeping. She has worked as a substitute teacher in public schools and as a preschool teacher at a church in Baytown.

    She attended Chenier Business School, Lamar University in Beaumont, and Lee College in Baytown where she earned her Associate’s Degree in Education. She has also taken accounting, computer, and business courses.

    She grew up in Winnie and has family in this area. She is married with two sons. One is finding his way and residing in Dallas and the other is in the seventh grade and loves robotics, camping and tubing.

    She and her family enjoys movies, board games, camping, anything with the water (fishing, swimming, etc.) and just hanging out at their home.

  • Katina Aucoin
    Office Assistant

    While working a previous job, Katina traveled to several different states where she met the love of her life, Chad. They have two beautiful, loving girls of 10 and 7. She had been a stay at home mom for over nine years and now is ready to get out and start working again.

    Katina has a passion for praying and she’s known for being a prayer warrior. She loves the Lord and loves talking about Him. She serves at her church as part of the prayer team. She’s definitely a woman of God and doesn’t know what she would do without Him in every moment of her life. She knows that God has led her to this church for a reason and she’s excited to see what all He brings to her new adventure.

  • Deanna Weitzel
    Day School Director 

    Deanna has been Director of our Day School since 2008, but she first began working there in 1989 as a Teacher Assistant.  She uses creativity and continuing education for the teachers to make our Day School the best it can be.


    Deanna and her husband Teddy have 2 children and 2 precious grandchildren! She is our Wonder Woman here at St. Andrew's Day School and we are so lucky to have her as our Director!

  • Thomas Furlow
    Director of Music Ministry

    Thomas came to St. Andrew's with a variety of musical experiences. From childhood, he has played piano and sang in church. He has served as assistant director and head music director leading worship in church since 2011. He has studied under many great professors of piano, organ, and voice. Thomas is always practicing or studying music to continue his growth as a musician and to continue honoring God with the talents he was blessed with. Thomas's love for music and worship is evident every Sunday. His leadership from the piano and organ will encourage you to worship God through songs of praise.

  • Rachel Clark

    Rachel is our Accompanist/Pianist. In May 2021, she graduated from Lamar with a Bachelors of Music. She will begin a graduate  degree in the fall. Playing piano in church is her favorite thing to do as she has played in church for almost ten years. When she was in elementary school, her dad played in church and her initial reason for taking up piano was so she could play in church too. Her    secondary instrument is harp and in her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading and blessing the neighborhood with her accordion.



Church Officers


Session Elders

Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023

Luke Nichols

Steve Richardson

Don Shaver

Linda Sparkman

Bruce Burnside

Bruce Partain

Lee Plunkett

Karen Spivey

Dave Darchuk
Tammy Markum
Valera Messer
Paige Neyland
Clerk of Session: Bruce Partain

Board of Deacons

Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023

Greta Ott

Lauren Pember

Diane Shaver

Nancy Hale

Charlotte Schwarzlose

Billy Singletary


Suzy Buehrle

Casey Daigle

Wendy Daigle

Susan Reese


Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023

Audrey Parigi

Bruce Partain

Bill Hale

Peg Towers

Ron Everett

Howard Nichols

Foundation Board of Directors

Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023

Steve Odle

Martha Pate

Peg Towers

Becky Newman

Elizabeth Petit

Bob Webb

Bruce Burnside

Will Nichols

Jan Pember

Committee Chairs

Administration:   Steve Richardson and Don Shaver
Fellowship:   Bruce Burnside and Linda Sparkman
Evangelism:   Karen Spivey and Tammy Markum
Christian Education:   Valera Messer and Lee Plunkett
Mission:   Luke Nichols and Dave Darchuk
Worship:   Bruce Partain and Paige Neyland


What is a Deacon?  

The word deacon is derived from the Greek diakonos which means “servant.”  The diaconate is the Board of Deacons.  The office of Deacon, as set forth in Scripture, is one of SYMPATHY, WITNESS and SERVICE, after the example of Jesus Christ. Acts 6:1-7; Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:8-15  


The mission of the Board of Deacons at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is to provide leadership in ministries of personal care-giving (Book of Order, G-2.02). It is the duty of Deacons, first of all, to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless and to any who may be in distress.  

The current Deacon Officers are:  

Moderator: Charlotte Schwarzlose

Pastoral Care/Prayer Leader: Martha Giarratano


Diaconate Ministry Teams

The diaconate is composed of various ministry teams and each ministry team is described as follows, with its chair and membership noted.  


Pastoral Care
A team of volunteers devoted to caring for those in a current life “crisis” who meet every week to pray for and to call and/or visit those on their list.
Home Communion
This team assigns worship teams of two to bring Communion to the home-bound on the Sunday that Communion is offered in the church service. However, at this time, due to COVID, Home Communion is temporarily suspended until further notice.  

Funeral Visitation
This ministry provides refreshments during the visitation part of a funeral service.  It also provides for greeters if the funeral service is on a different day. Pat Buehrle coordinates the reception in the parlor and finds the greeters.

One on One Grief Support
This team works with the Pastoral Care Team to match those who have lost a loved one with volunteers who will support the bereaved with cards, phone calls and visits for up to a year.
Calder Woods
This ministry offers a worship service with communion to the residents on the first Sunday of the month.