We believe the answer to a congregation’s vitality is within the congregation and results in the congregation being the unique church it was meant to be. We see too much “church envy” leading to unnecessary mimicking of ministry and programs and not enough “playing to strengths” and moving in the direction the Holy Spirit is leading.
Through our mentoring services and Transformative Leadership Training event, leaders can identify God’s call on their lives as well as their church’s unique Kingdom of God Business within their community.
Dr. Stan Copeland discusses the challenges, transitions and opportunities that gave birth to Colinasway.
A vision-driven plan for ministry and pursuit of unique Kingdom of God business must be driven by an organized season of directed prayer.
We want every church to be able to afford a Colinasway mentorship. The non-profit approach will allow supporters to participate in funding mentorships through providing grants.
We believe in working together with other church-related businesses and denominational programs that complement our mentoring approach toward vitality.
We believe in teams of one clergy and one lay mentor working with Pastor/Lay Leadership teams in congregations.
Each mentorship is a one-of-a-kind plan, taking into account both “best practices” and a congregation’s unique setting and vision.
We come alongside to help develop the Plan of Ministry and stay for a defined period of time as Steps of Action are pursued.
Dr. Stan Copeland and his wife Tammy have been a team in ministry for 32 years. They married in 1981 and moved from their rural East Texas home to Kansas City, Missouri where Stan attended Saint Paul School of Theology. He graduated with honors and the coveted Brady preaching award and returned to Texas to be the Associate Pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Henderson.In Henderson (1984-1986) he made an impact on the church and the larger community, which awarded him the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year award at the age of 26. Days after receiving that award he was diagnosed with a terminal form of leukemia. He moved to First United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas which was closer to MD Anderson hospital where he underwent an experimental drug treatment. The protocol was not successful overall, with only 8% of the participants responding positively, but Copeland was cured. This experience forever fused in his heart the belief of facing Colinas~hills~challenges and calling on the Lord who is found in the midst of the hills of our lives. Psalm 121
At First Church in Houston, Stan Copeland became known for his effective team building, evangelism and small group work. The church averaged nearly 700 new members each year that Stan oversaw the evangelism ministry. He was also tapped to oversee the West Campus initiative, in 1991, which was the first United Methodist church to attempt to do worship and ministry from two locations. Small group ministry was the driver of this new approach and he trained leaders for over 150 small groups. Dr. Copeland completed his doctorate at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio writing his dissertation entitled “Field Preaching in a Post-Modern World” on the dual-campus, extended ministry approach.
In 1992 Stan was appointed to his first Senior Pastor post at Pollard United Methodist Church in Tyler, Texas. Under his leadership the congregation grew from 1,500 to 2,000 in membership. Every inch of the campus was renovated and considerable new space was added as he led the congregation in two capital campaigns in five years and established an endowment.
In 1998, at the age of 38, Stan was appointed to the North Texas Conference, to become the fourth pastor of the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. In his ministry at Lovers Lane he has become well known as a visionary leader with an understanding of the church as “business as unusual.” Building a church from 900 in weekly worship attendance to a multi-cultural, multi-worship service, small group based, one-on-one disciple-making congregation with nearly 1500 in weekly worshippers from over 20 different countries of the world, has been his legacy. The church is known for its incredible call to missions and other-oriented generosity. Stan Copeland has led Lovers Lane to raise over $35 million in two capital campaigns and has nearly tripled the budget to $4.5 million. In addition the church has started five 501c(3)s that account for another $3 million in operations.
In 2006 Stan wrote a book about his mentor, Dr. William H. Hinson entitled Lord, He Went: Remembering William H. Hinson.He then began to dream of a church full of mentors: clergy and consummate lay church leaders who would mentor in what he has come to call the Colinasway method. His newest book Our Story, Our Song about Lovers Lane is an example of what Dr. Stan Copeland and his colleagues believe all churches have in them: a life-changing story and a unique vision of making disciples that can change the planet.
Tammy and Stan have two children Zach (26) and Emily Grace (19) and one daughter-in-law Emily Marie (26). Tammy, who is an elementary public school teacher, is quick to say, “Stan is the only Colinasway mentor in the family and it’s my second job to keep him well-grounded and about the work of the Lord on this planet. His vision and ideas keep us all hopping. He’s a ‘blessed’ handful.” To which he could simply say, “Amen.”
Rev. Donna Whitehead and her husband Don have been married for 46 years. After their wedding in November 1965, Donna joined Don in Dallas, Texas where she taught Jr. High math and English to eighth and ninth graders. After obtaining a Masters of Liberal Arts degree from Southern Methodist University (1975), she entered Perkins School of Theology where she was among the first women to be enrolled in Seminary as well as one of the first eight women to be ordained in the North Texas Conference. She graduated from Perkins with honors and began her ministry as the Associate Pastor at the newly-formed Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Donna quickly became a leader in the Plano community and served as the first woman to be chair of the Ministerial Alliance. At Custer Road she became known as a starter of new ministries, a catalyst for growth, and a strong preacher as well as pastor. In the conference she served as the first woman to be chair of the Council on Finance and Administration and thrived in her role as pioneer and trailblazer in her field.
One of her strong passions is reaching new people, and the church was listed as one of the top ten fastest growing United Methodist Churches during her tenure. She led the effort to add a worship service for the church while at the same time doubling the number of adult Sunday School classes from 22 to 45. This was one of the reasons that she taught workshops all over the country and was seen as a true expert in church growth.
In June 2000 Donna made a pastoral change and was appointed Executive Pastor for Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. She moved from a suburban church to an urban church, from a neighborhood church to a regional church, from a new “church start” to a mature settled 55-year old church. Because she has the ability to see the Big Picture of the church along with the gift of bringing out the best in people, she soon became known as someone who could get the job done by doing whatever was necessary for the church to be a success. She excelled in growing and maturing gifted Christian leaders and growing the church’s stewardship. She also served as the first full-time director of the Lovers Lane Foundation, a time in which the assets doubled and the number of donors tripled.
Donna was featured in Unstoppable Woman: Stories of American Character from North Texas published in 1998. This book shares the stories of women who have overcome obstacles, challenges, and discrimination. Just as others have mentored her, Donna has a strong calling to equip, empower, and mentor men and women as they find the unique assignment God has for them. She wants to help others to dream big dreams and enlarge their vision—to live with expectancy and anticipation of what can be ahead.
Donna and Don have two children, Wendi, (with husband Bryan) and Trey, (with wife Kylie) and five grandchildren. Donna comments: “We must advance and see the world changed for this next generation. I want to do my part and work together with others to change the status quo and renew God’s church, one leader at a time, one church at a time so that my grandchildren along with others can come to know God.”
Cyndy Pierson is a native of Dallas, having lived all of her life in the metroplex area. She and her husband, Bill, have been married for 36 years, and have three children and three grandchildren. Raised in the United Methodist Church, Cyndy has a long history of love for the church.
Cyndy is a “preacher’s kid”, as her father was a United Methodist pastor in the North Texas Conference. As a result of this close connection to the church, she knows the value of the church as the foundation of living a Christian life. It is her belief that through the church, people come to know Christ on a personal level and find the support to live their faith on a daily basis.
Professionally, Cyndy has spent 39 years working in public education, first as a teacher, then High School Counselor, Campus Administrator, and finally as a Consultant for Academic Development. Working with organizations such as schools has provided her with many opportunities to help others identify their goals and vision, and then create plans to accomplish such goals.
As the Director of Guidance at Plano Senior High School, she was awarded the Eisenhower Award, given by the alumni of West Point Academy to a counselor in the Dallas area in recognition of service to students through public education. Her dedication to the students led her to work with curriculum and instruction, emphasizing the various learning styles of students in the classroom. As the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction at Plano West Senior High, she worked to find innovative ways to provide low performing students with an opportunity to find success. Her ministry has always been focused on the needs of the individuals with whom she works, and finding ways to move them toward their goals in a positive environment.
Family is very important to Cyndy. She and her husband are helping to raise her three-year-old grandson. It is the greatest gift and challenge of her life. She sees this as a blessing and loves every minute of it! Watching a grandchild grow and develop from close up is truly special!
Martha Myre was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Her family has been Methodist for several generations; her great-uncle Rev. Henry Vail a Minister in the North Texas Conference for many years. Martha graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1980 with a degree in Molecular Biology. She married Chris in 1981 and they began their family with the births of Amanda in 1985 and Rachel in 1987. Though she had two young children, a husband and a mortgage, Martha finally heard God’s call into ministry and entered Perkins School of Theology in 1989. She received a Masters of Theological Studies in 1996 and a PhD in Hebrew Bible in 2000.
Martha’s first appointment was as a Student Pastor to the Windom Charge in Fannin County where she pastored four small churches from 1991 to 1993 and had a third child, Christopher. She moved to Greenland Hills United Methodist Church in 1993 as the Youth Pastor, built the children’s program as the Minister to Children and then worked as an Intern Pastor. Martha spent 5 months in Horatio, Arkansas in 1996 as an Interim Pastor and then returned to the North Texas area. After finishing her dissertation in 2000 and receiving the PhD in Hebrew Bible, she began as a part-time Pastor at Oak Grove United Methodist Church. A small rural church in the path of growth, Oak Grove doubled its worship attendance in two years, built a new sanctuary, and decided to move to a full-time pastor. Martha was appointed as that pastor and the church continued to grow for the next 4 years.
In June of 2006, Martha was appointed as Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Bowie, and moved there with her husband Chris and son Christopher, the only child left at home. During her tenure at Bowie, Martha concentrated on building the youth program and bringing new and younger people into the church. She also became heavily involved in the community as a member of Rotary, a volunteer at the Bowie Mission, a cheering fan at football games, and Cubmaster of the Cub Scout Pack among other things.
After a brief appointment at Spring Valley UMC as the Associate Pastor, Martha came to Leonard in July 2010.
Now in her third year at FUMC Leonard, Martha is enjoying the community and the congregation. She is leading the congregation to a renewed focus on reaching out to the community and to those who have no church home. Her passion is to introduce people to Jesus Christ whether through preaching, teaching, mission work or social media.
Much of Martha’s post-seminary education has been in the areas of Family Systems as applied to the church including Religion and Dispute Resolution at SMU-in-Legacy. She was one of the first in the North Texas Conference to go through the New Church Start Institute.
While a baby boomer by birth, Martha has embraced the digital age with enthusiasm. She has developed websites at three of the small churches she has pastored that have attracted younger people to the church. She has taught online courses for BeADisciple.com and is developing an online bible study for youth at Leonard. Currently fluent in blogging, facebooking, texting, and tweeting Martha looks forward to whatever the next way of communicating will be!
Skeeter White has a passion for helping people reach their fullest potential in their work and personal lives. Helping them realize and achieve their dreams allows them to claim the abundance of the universe in their lives. Skeeter values teamwork and collaboration, trust, commitment, honesty, directness, innovation, and fun.
Skeeter has been a member of The United Methodist Church since 1972. He has served at various leadership positions in the church and has coached Pastors in leadership and organizational matters. He provides leadership in helping churches create vision and strategic plans. He regularly participates in worship as a member of a praise team with vocals and playing the guitar.
Skeeter holds a B.S. in Organizational Development and Leadership from Friends University. Skeeter has a unique combination of large organization management and significant project management skills and experience. His extensive knowledge and experience using organizational development practices and tools makes him a dynamic leader and team builder relating to organizational and enterprise–wide cross-functional environments. He has a proven record of accomplishment in business problem-solving based on process deployment and management.
Skeeter works with leaders and organizations to bring about new organizational cultures. He embraces change as a means for organizations and individuals to grow and prosper. His 37+ years of business experience has centered on delivering leading-edge computing products and services in both administrative and manufacturing environments. He has worked closely with producing-units in four different company environments. Whether working on a global or an individual-site basis he focuses on positively affecting economic profit through the achievement of business goals. He has extensive experience creating new organizational cultural norms driven by Acquisitions, Mergers, Divestitures, Corporate Initiatives, and Major Organizational Change.
During the last thirty years, Skeeter has effectively managed organizations within Boeing and Spirit Aerosystems. His last role at Spirit was as Chief Information Officer (CIO). His preferred approach to leadership and management has been to use organizational development and teaming practices and tools.
Skeeter has significant experience as a facilitator in the use of Organizational Development, Change Management, Quality Management, and Team Building practices and tools. At Boeing’s Leadership Center, as Manager Practitioner, he taught and facilitated classes pertaining to Economic Profit to middle level managers, Strategic Leadership, and Business Simulations for Senior Managers and Executives. In addition, over a five-year period as an Adjunct Professor, he taught classes in Telecommunications Management and Project Management.
He has been married to his wife Millie for over 40 Years. They have two grown children Heather and Matt and four grandchildren: Tyler, Trevor, Samantha, and Willow.
Carmyn Neely has 40-plus years of experience in the education field. She has served as a classroom teacher, an adjunct professor, and an administrator at the school campus, district and state levels. Carmyn received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of North Texas in Denton. She has done post-master’s coursework at Texas A&M University at Commerce, the University of North Texas and Texas Tech University.
Throughout her career, Carmyn has focused on curriculum and instruction at the school and administration levels in districts throughout the state of Texas. She was Deputy Director of Statewide Initiatives, working with Regional Education Service Centers and the Texas Education Agency. In this role, she identified exemplary programs and best practices. Carmyn has served as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for the Lubbock Independent School District and as Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Dallas Independent School District. She served on the State Board of Directors and was a member of the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has held membership in the state and national Associations for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Phi Delta Kappa. In 2003 Carmyn was the recipient of the Bayard H. Friedman Hero Award given at Southern Methodist University in recognition of her contributions to the improvement of public education.
Carmyn’s dedication to improving public education within the state of Texas led her to the Foundation for the Education of Young Women (FEYW). In October of 2006, Carmyn assumed the position of Executive Director of the Foundation. Under Carmyn’s leadership and direction, the Foundation has formed partnerships with urban school districts throughout the state to open all-girl public schools in Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Houston. The goal of Carmyn and FEYW is to have one hundred percent of the students in the sponsored schools not only graduate from high school, but attend and graduate from college.
Mike Renquist is an author, keynoter and change agent, serving in the areas of training and human and organization development. Originally educated as a Presbyterian minister, he has a degree in Speech and Theatre from Austin College, in Sherman, Texas, and a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas.
After serving numerous churches in Texas and Missouri, he successfully transitioned to business consulting and training, both as an internal and external consultant. He has served as consultant or trainer in over 165 different corporations, many singular locations and settings, domestic and international.
For Colinasway, he can mentor from the perspective of a pastor and/or a business consultant. He is a certified practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and his specialty in training is presentation and communication skills, having brought new competencies to thousands in the last twenty-five years. He is affiliated with Greenlights for Non-profit Success in Austin as an Interim Executive Director of NPs in transition, and has had four placements since 2010.
Married to a United Methodist minister, The Rev. Dr. Georjean Blanton, a spiritual director in private practice in Austin, they have three adult children, and immensely enjoy their two grandsons.
David Wire David has a diverse and rich spiritual background. He was raised a Lutheran in New Orleans, La; attended a Catholic High School and became a Methodist 40 years ago at First Church Richardson. He was a member of Custer Road United Methodist Church (CRUMC) as well as the Friendship Sunday School Class for over 20 years. For the past 8 years David and his wife Lorraine have been members of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, TX.
David and Lorraine were married in Custer Road’s Chapel and have been blessed with 3 grown children and 11 grandchildren. The grandchildren are all under the ages of 15; 5 girls and 6 boys. Their oldest son is an entrepreneur in the Auto Industry who attends Custer Road Methodist with his wife and 2 girls; their middle son a Marine Officer, who served 9 months in Afghanistan after 2 tours in Iraq, is also a Methodist family with his wife and 4 boys; and their youngest daughter is a Nurse Practitioner with 5 children. Her husband teaches at TCA in Dallas and they worship at Northwest Bible Church.
At First Church Richardson (1970 – 1984), David taught Sunday School and Adult Education classes on a regular basis. Along with 3 other church members founded the first Christian singles program in North Dallas. It was modeled after LLUMC singles program. Recognizing a need to reach out to singles, First Church Richardson sponsored a social that attracted over 300 singles. They were seeking a Christian home that would welcome them, which did not exist at that time. We filled a need for these singles.
From 1985 – 2005 (20 years), David was an active member and lay leader at CRUMC. Some of his lay leadership includes: annual blood drive, operational campaigns and capital campaigns, PPR, Sunday School Class Officer, Couples and Single Sunday School Class Teacher, Graduate of Disciple Bible Study, Walk to Emmaus Retreat, and Adult Bible Studies. In 2000 he was one of 4 founders of an out-reach mission project at CRUMC for individuals in the community who were in job transition. They needed a new career vision which included coaching and training to find a new job. From this mission program he began coaching and mentoring individuals as a lay leader through the church and community organizations. What started then, he has continued through the past 14 years and now has come full circle.
As members Stonebriar Community Church (SCC) in Frisco, TX, David and Lorraine completed the Lay Leadership Program and then formed a Home Adult Fellowship group. They opened their home on Thursday evenings and lead a bible study with adults that were new to SCC and/or the community. Also, they have supported mission projects including feeding children in foreign countries and helping special needs children. Lorraine volunteer teaches in the Wednesday nights youth program, taking our 2 oldest grand-daughters.
Personally David and Lorraine feel that God has blessed them with a covenant relationship. They strive to be legacy parents and grand-parents to their immediate family and extended family and friends. For David few life experiences have passed him by; both joyous and tribulation ones. Throughout, his Christian faith has been the constant source of strength which is best described as Bible-Based, Christ-Centered and Spirit-Led. David possesses knowledge, maturity and wisdom from his Christian background. His purpose in life is to help and serve others in need; one way is as a Colinasway lay mentor.
Professionally David is a Sales and Business Development Leader having worked for companies like: EDS, KPMG, Nortel Networks and Management Consulting firms. He served his country with an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy; graduated from UL – Lafayette with a B.S. in Physics; and holds several certifications in technology, business and sales. He is active in his community and charitable organizations. He and Lorraine live in Frisco, TX.