The Purpose of God
As a part of The United Methodist Church, Lakewood UMC stands in the broad tradition of the Christian faith, founded in the bedrock belief of the early church that Jesus Christ is Lord. This confession, expressed by Simon Peter in Matthew 16:16, is foundational to all other understandings, for it implies not merely that Jesus was the unique Son of the living God, but that He lives today, as well, calling men and women to follow Him as the Sovereign of their lives.
We believe that it is only through entering into a personal relationship with this Lord that life in its fullest measure is to be found, and that salvation comes wholly through the grace of God, and not through any deeds or works which we may perform.
This gift of grace is available unto all persons, however, for our Father in Heaven is not willing that any should be lost (Matthew 18:14). With St. Paul, thus, we affirm the proclamation found in Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
With those of other communions, we likewise confess our belief in the triune God consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Just as the Father is the Creator of all things, and the Son is the Redeemer, so too the Holy Spirit is the active presence of God in each of our lives, leading us into holy living and guiding us into the truth. We believe that the end result of His labors is our sanctification in Christ, as we become more and more like Jesus in our actions, in our thinking, and in our love towards others.
We believe in the Bible as the Word of God by which our lives are to be both informed and measured. We affirm the biblical witness to itself found in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness,” so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. While we do not take the Bible literally at all points (as it does not present itself in that fashion), we take it seriously at all times, and we believe, with the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, that we are indeed called to be “people of the one book.”
We believe that the true church of Jesus Christ extends far beyond our own denominational identity and we gladly join in love and in mission wherever possible with our sisters and brothers who may be a part of other expressions of the Body of Christ. As Ephesians 4:5-6 reminds us, there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Those who wish to become a part of our congregation who may have been baptized within another trinitarian Christian community are thus welcome.
Baptism is a sign of inclusion and incorporation within God’s family, and accordingly, as the vast majority of Christians throughout the centuries have agreed, the sacrament is open not just to those who may be able to profess their faith publicly, but to children of believers, as well, whom Christ has specifically set aside a place for within His Kingdom. Similarly, when we gather together to celebrate the other sacrament of the church, Holy Communion, we believe that the table of the Lord is open to all who may be present, too, irrespective of age, denominational affiliation, or church membership.
As followers of Christ, we affirm that our God-given task in the world is to be about sharing the good news of God’s grace, and the commitment that we ask of each of our members is to take seriously this responsibility, by not only growing in their own knowledge and love of God through worship, study, and fellowship with others, but also by supporting the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service.
From a small group of people holding worship services led by retired Methodist pastors at Matzke Elementary School, Lakewood United Methodist Church officially began with the appointment in 1976 of the Reverend Larry Sykora to begin a new "Room to Grow" church in the growing northwest Houston/Cypress/Tomball area. Thirty-five individuals met with Pastor Sykora at Spring Creek Park for a picnic and, after deciding to combine forces, the new congregation held its initial service on the first Sunday of October 1976. The fellowship then began meeting at T.S. Hancock Elementary School and on the day of its official charter, ninety-nine members joined to form the core group of LUMC
Since the church met in a public school, everything needed for worship and Sunday School, including the nursery, had to be brought in each week for the set-up, generally going home in each of the members' cars for storage during the week. Choir practice was held at the parsonage and meetings for such groups as the United Methodist Women and youth, along with each of the committees, were conducted in the homes of members. The inconvenience built character, of course, but it did occasionally create some problems, such as when the turkeys for the first church Thanksgiving meal had to wait on several members to go home and bring back their microwaves in order to finish the cooking!
With the help of the Texas Annual Conference, land was purchased on Highway 249 and Louetta as the site for Lakewood and, in best Methodist fashion, a bazaar and craft sale were held on the new property to begin raising funds for the facility. It soon became evident that the site was inadequate for the future ministry of LUMC, however, and so two parcels of property totaling 7.3 acres at the present location of Louetta and Jones were purchased as well. The congregation moved into the first permanent facility on the property in April 1980. Major additions followed in succeeding years, with the opening of the educational building in August 1987 and our present sanctuary on Easter Sunday 1997. Three additional acres lying between the church and Jones Road were purchased in the following year and in 2001 a parking lot was built upon the acreage. Our multi-purpose FAITH Center (Fellowship And Inspiration Through Him) was dedicated in May 2006, followed by the Scouting and Community Ministries Building the following spring. The newest addition to the church, our All Saints Garden, containing a columbarium and beautifully landscaped pond, was opened on the west side of the sanctuary in 2010 and has already become a special place for remembrance and reflection, expanding our ministries to now reach literally from the cradle to the grave.
From the original ninety-nine members, the membership of LUMC has grown to now more than 3,800. Similarly, the ministries of our congregation have expanded many-fold, and now include outreach programs stretching from our own part of Houston to Hong Kong and beyond, along with an excellent pre-school, exciting children's and youth activities, and a congregational care program founded in both lay and pastoral involvement.
Grateful for the strong foundation which has been laid here, we look forward to a future of growing even more in our service and love of Jesus Christ, and we invite any and all to join us in adding to the history of what God is doing in this place.
PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED OUR CHURCH
Larry Sykora, October 1976 - January 1982
T. Mac Hood, January 1982 - June 1985
Don Little, June 1985 - September 1991
Jack Cox, October 1992 - June 1995
Jerry House, June 1995 - June 1998
Lawrence Culbertson, June 1998 - June 2002
C. Chappell Temple, June 2002 - June 2014
Joe Fort, June 2014 - March 2020
John Stephenson, June 2020 - present
Richard Whorter, June 1978 - May 1980
Dan Jones, May 1980 - June 1982
B.T. Williamson, June 1982 - June 1987
Bill Haygood, June 1987 - June 1992
Diane Wimberley Caldwell, June 1992 - June 1995
Jack Worsham, June 1995 - May 2008
Nancy Ross Creason, June 2001 - December 2005
Ben Trammell, June 2006 - June 2011
Betsy Sutherland, August 2006 - December 2007 and April 2009 - May 2010
Rusty Watkins, June 2008 - April 2009
Elizabeth Duffin, - June 2010 - June 2015
Seann Duffin, - June 2011 - June 2015
Holly Wilson, June 2010 - August 2016
Daniel Childs, July 2015 - June 2018
Trish Woodruff, July 2015 - present
Pam Cline, October 2016 - present
Shuler Sitsch, July 2018 - present
Pastor in Residence
Jack Shelton, July 2009 - 2014