The Rev. Henry L. Masters Sr., confirmed an announcement by St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas that he will be its new pastor.
Dr. Masters said by phone from Los Angeles, where he is longtime pastor of Holman UMC, that both he and his wife, the Rev. S. Dianna Masters, will join the St. Luke staff in early July.
With 5,000 members, St. Luke is one of the largest predominantly African American churches in the UMC, but was rocked earlier this year by clergy sex abuse allegations.
“We’re very much aware of the struggles of St. Luke,” Dr. Masters said. “I don’t come with any specific agenda, other than my wife and I becoming a team to offer our skill set to enable this church to rebound.”
Dr. Masters said he met with a church committee and with North Texas Conference Bishop Earl Bledsoe, and that Bishop Bledsoe appointed him as senior pastor and Ms. Masters as associate pastor.
Dr. Masters, a 65-year-old Waco native, spent much of his career in the North Texas Conference, serving as pastor at Hamilton Park UMC, among others, and as a district superintendent. He studied for the ministry at Dallas’ Perkins School of Theology.
Dr. Masters said he was drawn back to Texas by family, the chance to work with his wife in ministry, and the chance to lead St. Luke.
“St. Luke is a flagship church in many ways,” he said.
In January, the Rev. Tyrone Gordon resigned as pastor of St. Luke and surrendered his UMC credentials, ending a conference investigation. Two men have filed suit, claiming sexual harassment by Mr. Gordon and failure of the church and conference to supervise him properly.
Mr. Gordon has denied any wrongdoing and resumed ministry in a new non-denominational church.
Same Hodges, Managing Editor – firstname.lastname@example.org