• June 4, 2020

Family inspired Garcia to serve - Odessa American: Religion

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Family inspired Garcia to serve

Highland UMC pastor’s husband, father and brother are ministers

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Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2020 3:30 am

In her sermons as pastor of Highland United Methodist Church, the Rev. Karen Garcia emphasizes the teachings and example of Jesus Christ to tell how people should relate to one another.

The 27-year-old native of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, says Jesus “is our teacher, our healer and our leader.

“He always focused on people and tried to teach us by his example of serving, teaching and healing,” the Rev. Garcia said. “He showed mercy, forgiveness and caring for others and we should do the same.”

She took a divinity degree at Juan Wesley Seminary in Monterrey and was pastor of Casa de Oracion UMC in Big Spring from 2013-15. Her husband Raul is associate pastor of St. Luke’s UMC in Midland. They have three children.

Garcia’s 1808 N. Dixie Blvd. church averages 60 people at its 10:30 a.m. Sunday services.

Her father, the Rev. Lorenzo Resendiz, is the Methodist district superintendent in Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, and her brother, the Rev. Caleb Resendiz, is a minister in Columbus, Ohio. Her mother, who was also a minister, died six years ago.

“I like to preach about focusing on God’s love and his grace for us and how we can respond to that love by going to church and being faithful,” Garcia said. “I love going back and forth from the Old Testament to the new.”

The pastor said she is particularly enjoying her association with the Odessa Ministerial Alliance, noting that she and her husband live here. “All the churches remain together in good times and bad,” she said.

“My father and mother marked my life with their example, always caring for people,” she said. “Taking us with them wherever they went, they were always preaching the word of God, visiting and teaching. So we got to learn from them.”

Like most area churches, Highland UMC was communicating with its members and holding worship services in mid-March by means other than the traditional in-person gatherings. “We continue to be the church outside our building so that we can worship God with our hearts and show his love to the people around us,” Garcia said.

Sonya Aycock is a member of St. Luke’s in Midland but has heard Garcia preach and has gotten to know her well. “Karen is a beautiful person who has a heart for missionary work and is good with children,” Aycock said.

“She created her own vacation Bible school with her own materials. She wants to preach the love of Jesus with everyone she knows.

“Karen has the gift of spreading the word in English or Spanish and is a delightful lady to be around.”

Odessa, TX

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