United Methodist Church
A Brief History
Windcrest United Methodist Church was founded in the fall of 1964, and services were first held in a ranch house located on the corner of Midcrown and Crestway. Rev. Roy Hilliard was the initial pastor, and literally walked door to door through Windcrest inviting families to be a part of this new Methodist congregation.
The first building constructed was the Hilliard Building, built in 1965. The new congregation, which had grown to 140 members, moved in on Valentine's Day.
In June 1965 Rev. Dan Baker was appointed to the church, bringing an enthusiastic preaching style. Dan ministered here until April of 1969. During the three-month interim, Chuck Clontz ably filled the pulpit.
From 1969 to 1975 Rev. Luster Lockett served the church. During this time a new, innovative and unique Sanctuary, now known as the Gathering Place, was constructed.
Rev. John Donaho succeeded Lockett. He served the church for three years, from 1975 to 1978. The Donaho Library is named after John.
Rev. Dan Bazar was named the senior pastor from 1978 to 1980.
Rev. Tom McClung came to Windcrest in the fall of 1980 and remained here for nine years. The church saw significant growth during Tom's tenure, making improvements to the current Sanctuary, Jones and McClung buildings. Tom was named as District Superintendent of the Corpus Christi District before the actual completion of the Sanctuary. The congregation responded by taking a panoramic photo for Tom on the first Sunday the Sanctuary was occupied.
Rev. Bill Huth replaced McClung as pastor and served from 1989 to 1994. Bill had a love of theater and a sincere and loving demeanor. Bill received an opportunity to serve as Chaplain to the YMCA of the Rockies in 1994.
Rev. Bob Allen served the congregation from 1994 to 1998, helping establish the church as a leader in the San Antonio area. With his dynamic preaching he welcomed some of the largest worshiping congregations in the history of the church.
Rev. Howard Surber replaced Allen in 1998 and served for two years. Howard worked at moving the church beyond its walls and into the community at large.
Rev. Greg Hackett arrived in 2000 and served until June 2008. Greg served the second-longest tenure with eight years as senior pastor of WUMC and led the church to its first million dollar budget. The "footprint" of the church property increased as the church purchased the two buildings of eastern 2.2 acres of the Red Tree Square Shopping Center next door to the church in 2005. Two additional buildings and the remaining 5.1 acres of Red Tree were later purchased in 2007.
Rev. Lonnie Phillips was appointed Senior Pastor in June 2008 and served until June 2014. Lonnie's passion in life is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to help others discover their own ministry.
Rev. Terrence Hayes was appointed Senior Pastor in July 2014 and retired in June 2018, having
previously served as District Superintendent in the Victoria District. He
came to Windcrest United Methodist Church with extensive experience in
leadership and administration within the United Methodist organization.
Rev. James McClain was appointed Senior Pastor in July 2018, Reverend McClain loves serving churches who are called to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ’ by being in ministry with the community “for the transformation of the world”. When asked to share one gift he has witnessed in congregations and communities where they have served, he says it would be people who have experienced transformation through the personal knowledge of “The Peace of Christ that passes all understanding.”
Associate Pastors who have served the church include: Rev. Ted Richardson, who founded R.O.O.T.S. (our senior adult ministry); Elia Torres and Germaine Tropez Mathis; Rev. Ray Davis who served the church for over 27 years; Rev. Linda Gwathmey who served for 14 years; Rev. Tamara Strehli who served for 3-1/2 years, and Rev. Joan Ahrens is currently serving as Associate Pastor.