Church Staff

  • Tara Thompson
    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.

  • Thomas Furlow
    Director of Music Ministry

    A native of Jasper, Texas, Thomas Furlow is our Director of Music. He has studied the piano and led music in worship since childhood. In addition to earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington, Thomas studied voice, piano, and organ at Stephen F. Austin State University and Lamar University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2023.

     

    Although his work as a nurse and his role at St. Andrew’s keeps him busy, Thomas visits family and friends every chance that he gets. He plays piano, organ, melodica, and even accordion for fun, and he enjoys visiting Colorado to see mountains and snow once a year.   

  • Rachel Stiles
    Administrative Assistant and Organist

    Rachel is our administrative assistant and organist. She graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in 2021 and a Master of Music in 2023.

     

    For over ten years now, she has found immense fulfillment in playing in churches. (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 services too!) Her secondary instruments are harp and organ. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and reading. She lives in Nederland with her husband, Chris, and her son, Jesse. 

     

  • Joyce Stillwell
    Administrative Assistant

    With over twenty years of experience as an administrative assistant, Joyce is delighted to be a part of St. Andrew's. Since moving to Texas in 2016, Joyce has been blessed to be the chief family manager of her household. She is the proud wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, the mother of four wonderful children, and the grandmother (a.k.a. Mimzy) to three highly energetic grandchildren. 

     

    When she is not working, Joyce enjoys spending time with her family, participating in all kinds of outdoor activities, watching her daughter dance, and seeing her grandchildren grow and experience life. She also takes pleasure in visiting new places and trying new cuisine. 

     

  • Patricia Williamson
    Pianist

    Patricia Williamson has worked as a music educator, collaborative pianist, and piano soloist in the Beaumont area for over two decades. Raised in a large musical family, she studied piano and euphonium in Houston, receiving her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Music Education from Lamar University.

     

    Patty enjoys both instrumental and vocal performance: she is currently the principal keyboardist of the Symphony of Southeast Texas, directs a church youth a cappella chorus, sings in the Beaumont Interfaith Choral Society, and still loves to play euphonium. In her twenty years as an educator, she has worked as a band director, choir director, class piano instructor, and elementary music teacher, and has owned a private piano studio.

     

    She is the mother of five children, wife to a guitarist/high school administrator, and an avid reader. She enjoys running and takes every opportunity to be around the water.

 

Church Officers

 

Session Elders

Class of 2024 Class of 2025 Class of 2026

Emily Allen

Becky Ford

Julie Glenn

Will Nichols

Dave Collins

Jeff Newman

Bruce Partain

Maryann Sweeney

 

Brian Armstrong
Leslie Pember
Elizabeth Petit
Susan Reese
Clerk of Session: Bruce Partain
 

Board of Deacons

Class of 2024 Class of 2025 Class of 2026

Glenda Buckley

Michael Dove

Shelley Plunkett

Bobbie Wied

Becky Newman

Geren Raumaker

Billy Singletary

Jan Waugh

Daniel Dove

Judy Fisher

Martha Giarratano

Greta Ott

Trustees

Class of 2024 Class of 2025 Class of 2026

Tom Bell

Matt Sooudi

 

Audrey Parigi

Mike Petit

 

Ron Everett

Howard Nichols

 

Foundation Board of Directors

Class of 2024 Class of 2025 Class of 2026

Jordan Reese

Mark Russo

Peg Towers

Tillie Hickman

Steve Odle

Bob Webb

Bruce Burnside

Brenda Jackson

Martha Pate

Committee Chairs

Operations and Personnel:   Bruce Partain and Becky Ford
Fellowship:   Julie Glenn, Will Nichols, and Dave Collins
Mission and Evangelism  Maryann Sweeney and Emily Allen
Christian Education:   Brian Armstrong and Becky Ford
Finance and Property:  Jeff Newman and Elizabeth Petit
Worship:   Bruce Partain and Leslie Pember

Deacons

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.  

 

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.

 

 

2024 Nominating Committee

Session Representatives Deacon Representative Members-at-large

Julie Glenn

Susan Reese

Martha Giarratano

 

 

 

Julie Odle

Craig Pember

Steve Richardson

Linda Sparkman