Director of Music Ministries
Lynne Jackson is the Director of Music Ministries at West U Methodist. Lynne has Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Church Music as well as Master’s degrees in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting.
Since her arrival in 1993, Lynne has developed choir programs for all ages— from toddlers through adults—added bell choirs and founded the highly successful School of Fine Arts. Thanks to her community service vision, the school halls are alive with sounds of cello, guitar, piano, violin and voice lessons every afternoon.
She balances between her work life and family life with her husband and two college children with cycling, yoga, gym workouts, and travel filling up the spaces in between.
At work or play, Lynne serves the Lord with joy and demonstrates how powerfully God works through music.
Moria Bell, the Office Manager at West U Methodist, has brought a calm sense of order to keeping the church up and running. A B.S. degree in merchandising and experience managing a Palais Royal store was early preparation for this job. However, she names her eleven years as a Residential Manager (aka Executive Mom) as the experience that helps most in daily crisis resolution and dealings with people.
In her down time, her two children have learned to expect Mom to be at Home Depot planning a project or at home executing almost any task, including installing appliances. Nine moves to three states have made them resilient and able to rebuild quickly. They also love travel, especially to Disney World, a beloved destination, with the one trip occurring four months after her son was born.
Moria considers it a good day at work when “nothing breaks, no alarms go off, and everyone laughs.”
Director of West U Methodist School/ Wedding Coordinator
Cara Bevill has been the Director of the West U Methodist School since 2005. No one who has watched her in action can imagine doing without her efficient management of the staff of more than forty teachers. Thanks largely to the great reputation and program growth she has fostered here, the school is highly sought-after in the community for children 12 months to five years old. She has a B. S. in Family and Child Development and was a teacher in our preschool and other local preschools for twelve years before becoming our director.
“Miss Cara” is always in the halls as more than 220 children come and go. The children seem to know that she especially loves young children and understands their needs. With an avid teen-age baseball player at home, she is very happy to have a schedule that fits neatly around his many games. She also works as the wedding coordinator at West U Methodist. Today, she is most proud that for the past two years the preschool has met the high national accreditation standards for early childhood education. Cara says, “I love working with preschool children and wouldn’t be surprised to see myself still at West U Methodist School twenty years from now.”
Contemporary Worship Leader
Brian Davis, our Contemporary Worship Leader, is a talented musician who sings, plays piano, keyboard and guitar in a variety of styles, composes music and leads the Worship Band at 11:00 am worship every Sunday. Brian pulls together volunteers and professionals to play for special concert events at the church. He graduated in music from Baylor University, but like many musicians, he had to get a “real” job –in his case working for technology companies in Austin—before getting the chance to launch his career in music right here at West U Methodist.
Brian is well-rounded, completely easy with popular styles as well as rigorous in his classical performances. He was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Bosendorfer Vienna International Piano Competition and teaches piano for West U Methodist’s School of Fine Arts. To complete the picture, imagine Brian and his wife driving miles and miles of Texas highway to check out BBQ places and compare them to his favorites: Cooper’s in Llano or Black’s in Lockhart. They are, after all, true Texans, from families long rooted in central Texas.
Get to know Brian’s infectious laugh and exciting music. God has blessed us all with his talents.
Finance and Business Administrator
Mary Farley is the Finance-Business Administrator for West U Methodist and is involved in finances, human resources, benefits and contracts. She has a background in accounting, having specialized in non-profit accounts.
Mary has three teenagers, working alongside each of them as they advanced through Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She currently has an Eagle Scout-attending college, a Future Farmer of America (with show heifer), and a talented dancer. During her time volunteering for Scouts, Mary has completed her WoodBadge and has earned the District Award of Merit.
Her other enthusiasms include: “Doc Martin” (the PBS television series), especially the viewing marathons; camping, reading, baking and sharing her own signature loaf of bread.
Director of Children's Ministries
Vicky Savage, Director of Children’s Ministries, answers to “Miss Vicky”, a name that instantly suggests the happy comfortable feeling she transmits to children of all ages. For 27 years, Vicky has developed the existing activities and added programs like Summer Camp and Mission Clubs. Her sense of fun is apparent in new events like Blessing of the Backpacks, the October Costume Party, and the “Happy Birthday, Jesus” Party held alongside our annual “Christmas Alive” pageant.
Miss Vicky is most famous in the church and community for Pudding Day, a very visible rite of passage for fifth graders moving on to the sixth grade. Every spring, plastic pools are filled with 125 commercial-size cans of chocolate pudding and put out on the front lawn for a great messy celebration involving rolling, slipping, sliding and covering each other in the sticky stuff. It’s a memorable “graduation” day.
It helps that Vicky is an outdoor girl: loves fishing, mowing the grass and gathering her extended family of sisters, a brother, a son, a mom and a husband for trips to the beach. At home or at work, she is thankful that God prepared her for this life and gave her the support of the church and countless volunteers to keep her energized. “My passion,” Vicky says, “is for children to love the church, love being here and love having God in their lives.”
Director of Student Ministries
A lifelong member, baptized and confirmed at West U Methodist, Shelby Smolen is uniquely familiar with the Student Ministries program she is leading. For three years she served as the Student Ministries Intern here and was able to step into the Director’s role without missing a beat. As the Student Director at West U Methodist, she spends her afternoons and evenings with 6th through 12th graders primarily, but also is involved with students who are in college. Shelby has many roles: strengthening relationships with students, leading small groups, Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) and Hangtime, as well as teaching Sunday School and Bible study. She believes her overall guiding mission is to help young people grow as disciples of Christ.
Shelby has a B. A. degree in Theatre and Dance and a B. S. in Radio-Television, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Many of the student activities at West U Methodist make good use of her skills in these areas. The Student Ministries annual mission trip to Costa Rica has been a favorite of hers for the past five years, and she has expanded her world view with trips to Japan, Malaysia, Ireland, France and England.
Shelby considers West U Methodist her church home and is very happy to be working here, serving the Lord alongside all her church family members and friends .