Staff Mission: Our Christian Mission

Changing our world for Christ, one life at a time.


Meet Our Staff


Peyton , Steve-12

Rev. Steve Peyton, Senior Pastor
Steve grew up in Houston in a family as the oldest of five children.  After high school he attended the University of Houston then transferred to Lon Morris College in East Texas where he left college early to become a full time police officer.  During his seventeen years as a police officer he was involved in youth ministry and the church.  He left police work for a job in full time youth ministry in New Braunfels, TX.
After more than four years of full time youth ministry, he went back to school full time and graduated from Wayland Baptist University in San Antonio in 2005.  It was on to seminary in Kentucky where he graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2008 with a Masters of Divinity Degree.
Steve has served as Pastor of Mt. Edwin UMC in Kentucky, First United Methodist Church in Robert Lee, Texas beginning in January 2009 and formed a two-church circuit with Water Valley UMC in June 2010.  Steve was ordained as an Elder in full connection in 2012.  From July 2012 – June 2016, Steve served as pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pearsall, Texas. His first Sunday at FUMC Uvalde was July 1, 2016.
Pastor Steve and wife Sherry have been married for 27 years.  They have two children.  Sam is working in Austin and engaged in the live music scene.  Suzi is married to T.J. Wiley with daughters Haylie and Ella in Cibolo, Texas.  In their free time they love traveling with the travel trailer, Steve likes golf, and Sherry likes crafts. And of course, the grand kids!

Susan Lovelace-Gerrish, Director of Music & Church Administrator

Susan Lovelace-Gerrish has been Director of Music Ministries at FUMC Uvalde, TX since 1996, directing UM church choirs and handbell groups since 1980.  She is certified as an Associate in Music Ministry in the United Methodist Church, having successfully completed the requirements at Church Music Summer School at SMU Perkins School of Theology.

Susan conducts the Chancel Choir, Ring of Truth handbells, and God’s Kids. She has led the Chancel Choir in several community wide events.  In October 2006, she directed special music celebrating Uvalde’s sesquicentennial.
In February 2016, Susan led thirty-two Chancel Choir members and VIPs on a trip to New York City to perform for President’s Day at Carnegie Hall. The trip was so successful that the Chancel Choir was  invited to return to NYC to participate in the premier performance of Joseph Martin’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. The concert took place on Monday, November 27, 2017.

Susan, and her husband Jim, who is an accomplished keyboardist and graphic designer, enjoy RV camping in Colorado with their two-year old puppy, Anna Grace Coolidge (Annie).  They have a daughter and two grandsons.

Her e-mail:

Bethany Suarez, Director of Children’s Ministries
Bethany believes her calling to children’s ministry is not exclusive to children. She emphasizes the combined fellowship of believers regardless of age in order to edify and equip the Christian community.  It is her hope, with the help of God, to light a fire at FUMC, shedding Christ’s light in Uvalde as a guidepost for the lost who are seeking the Lord. 
Bethany has previously taught high school English, drama, and journalism and was a stay-at-home mother for several years.  She has also been director of FUMC’s children’s mid-week programs in the past as well as for the Faith-in-Action ministry.  Her husband is J.J. Suarez, a criminal justice instructor and division chair of allied health and human services at SWTJC, and they have two lively children, Aidan and Willa.
Sam Garza, Director of Youth Ministries
It really is something returning to the city of Uvalde after 10 years. It feels only like yesterday being sent out from here off to college and beginning my journey of faith as a young man. Now, through God’s amazing hand my family and I have been guided back to the place where the journey began.
For those who do not know me, my name is Sam Garza. I married my lovely wife, Eunice, five years ago this past July.  We have two amazing and beautiful children John and Samantha.  We are so blessed to be returning to a community that continues to feel like home.
I have no greater passion in my life than to work with young people. It was during High School where I surrendered my life to God’s work many years back while on a summer mission trip with FUMC Youth. Now I hope to be a hand in the lives of the students in our congregation, schools, and community to guide them closer to the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Schelle Redfearn, Administrative Assistant
Schelle began work here at FUMC in February 2014. She grew up in San Angelo and Abilene, TX. She met her husband, Todd, in the athletic training room at Hardin-Simmons University where she played volleyball and he played soccer.
Schelle completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Angelo State University in Kinesiology with a minor in English. After marrying and working in San Antonio for a few years, Todd & Schelle moved to Uvalde in 1994.
Schelle has been a teacher and a coach in public and private schools. Her favorite job is being mom to Daren & Savanna Redfearn and Payton Redfearn. She also enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, flying and exploring new places.
At FUMC, Schelle is the secretary for Rev. Steve Peyton, maintains the church wide calendar, puts together the Sunday slide presentation, assists with proofreading, printing, and troubleshooting of many other issues or needs that arise.
Schelle’s email address is the church office email:
Paula Colhour, Program Staff Assistant
Paula spent most of her childhood between Matamoros Tamaulipas Mexico and Central Mexico. At the age of eleven she had her first job in Matamoros as a housekeeper for a family. She continued that job through the sixth grade and then continued her housekeeping job in San Luis Potosi.
Between raising her two newborn nephews until the ages of six and seven, she managed to continue secondary school. Later, she would continue her studies in San Benito, TX after arriving in Texas in the 1980s in order to learn English at the San Benito Adult Learning Center.
After moving to Uvalde in the 1990s, she took her GED. After encouragement from an employer, Paula  attended SWTXJC graduating with an Associates of Office Systems Technology in 2006 and then in 2008 she graduated with an Associates of Art & Science. She then began to work on her Bachelors at Sul Ross Rio Grande College.
One of her greatest joys was coming to work at First United Methodist Church where, for the first time, she was able to experience God’s Love through its members. It was like landing in heaven.
Jason Schlichting, Church Organist & Pianist
Jason has been a passionate musician all his life, and in 2011, joined the staff of FUMC. This lifelong musician first stated playing piano when he was five years of age, and since his move to Uvalde, has been an active music minister for the last fifteen years.
Jason also loves teaching and provides accompaniment for the Uvalde High School Independent School District as well as teaching private lessons. He is a student at Sul Ross State University working on his Bachelor’s in Business. 
Alicia Ramirez, R. N., Wesley Nurse
Hello! My name is Alicia Ramirez and I am the new Wesley Nurse. I have been a Wesley Nurse for the past three years, but have been in the medical profession for more than 25 years.
I am the proud mother of a 18-year-old son who recently graduated Crystal City High School. I was raised in a small community just south of Uvalde.
La Pryor has been my hometown for many years. I am excited to be here and I look forward to working with the congregation and the community.  It is an honor and a privilege to serve our God while working in a profession that I truly love!
Her e-mail:
Sandra Cox – Treasurer
Sandra Cox, our Church Treasurer, was born and raised in Uvalde. She was baptized and confirmed at FUMC Uvalde and has been active in the church ministries her entire life.
Following in her grandfather and father’s footsteps, she has been the church treasurer for over thirty years.
Sandra retired from a highway construction company as office manager and bookkeeper after 30 
years of employment and then fifteen years later retired again from a local bank as a trust officer.
Sandra has three sons and five grandchildren and enjoys traveling in the United States and abroad with friends and relatives.
email Sandra:
Steven Sanchez, Facilities Manager & Maintenance
My name is Esteban Sanchez but I go by Steven.  Prior to beginning my journey here at FUMC I had been working 16 years as a correctional officer and tactical commander.
I am a proud father of 7 children from ages 28 down to 6 years old. Of the seven children, 3 are serving our great country in the United States Army. I also have 9 grandchildren. I am married to my wife Karie of 17 years and we moved back to my home town Uvalde, Texas about in 2018.
My hobbies include working out, playing video games with my 6 year old son, working on our land, and playing with my grandchildren. I am blessed to be part of the staff here at the church, and look forward to serving my community and sharing the Lords message.
Zarek & Cheyenne Munoz, Audio & Video Technicians