United Methodist Church of Livonia
From Pastor Hoyt Brown
Let me tell you a bit about my story, and how I come to be pastor at UMCL.
First, the statistics. I studied at Southern Methodist University where I received my B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Counseling. I did my doctoral work in Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland. I completed my M.Div. at United Theological Seminary.
I am married to Sandy and have two boys. I wake everyday grateful to have my family. Prior to New York we lived in southwest Ohio. I have been a school psychologist, and administrator at several large universities. All in all, I worked in Higher Education for 23 years, serving in various capacities in Student Affairs.
I have served small rural churches, suburban churches, university churches, and city churches. Along the way I merged two churches and planted another. I have been fortunate to serve in so many settings and be a part of God’s work.
My life as a Christ Follower is best understood as a story of relationships and music. To tell the story I would tell you about Winnie Couchman, or Greg and Eric Jones, or Dr. Sargent, and certainly my wife. Each of these relationships has served to deepen my relationship with Christ.
I was given my first guitar by some of my Methodist Youth Fellowship friends. The gift of that guitar gave me my principal way of expressing my faith and drawing near to God. Since that time my guitar has allowed me to worship with many people, in many different settings.
I must confess that I do not often use the term “Christian”. The label is far too easy to claim. Those who admit that they go to church on Christmas and Easter feel their sporadic attendance allows them to claim the name. The label has also come to be associated with various political parties irrespective of the group’s devotion to Christ. I find that a much more difficult name to claim is that of Christ Follower. I feel the name is indicative of the commitment required and the process to which we are called.
While I was born and raised a Methodist, I have not always attended Methodist churches. I have experienced God in large churches and small ones. I have worshiped in nondenominational and a variety of denominations and found Christ in all. But in the end, I realized that the United Methodist Church was my home.
Christian musician Mark Schultz writes a beautiful description I think describes me,
I have spent so much of my time like most people living as the main character of my own small story. Through the struggles of growing and maturing over the last two years God as allowed me to see that He is inviting me to take part in His larger story. One where He is the main character and the focus and where I play a smaller yet crucial role that He wrote specifically for me.
I look forward to the days ahead as together we learn what it means to be a Christ Follower.
Office Manager – Shari Nichols
Shari is the friendly, welcoming voice you hear if you call the church office Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, 9 to 12 Noon (Tuesday and Thursday the office is staffed by a volunteer). She manages the office, creates the awesome weekly email update, prepares the Sunday bulletin (program), and does many, many other things to keep the church running smoothly. On top of that, Shari and her husband, Dan, prepare breakfast at the church every Sunday 8 – 9:00 AM. When not working, Shari checks messages frequently and will notify the pastor of urgent needs. Shari holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo in Secondary Education, 6-12 math.
Church Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 AM to Noon
Ministry and Other Staff
Youth Ministry – Christine Cruso
- Choir Director – Bunny Harrer Gibson
- Organist – Lucile LeFeber
- Praise Team Coordinator – Dan Nichols
Custodian – Gary Woodruff
Building Managers – Tim Lasch and Trustees