St. Andrew United Methodist Church celebrates with a grand reopening of campus including new construction, completed but not opened due to pandemic, while honoring the legacy of Founding Pastor Robert Hasley and leadership transition to Rev. Arthur Jones
Life begins anew at St. Andrew United Methodist Church with a historic 35th Anniversary and Open House Celebration, Sunday, August 15, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 5801 W. Plano Parkway. This milestone anniversary celebrates the grand reopening of campus (including new programming expansions from the capital campaign, completed at the start of pandemic but never fully opened); the legacy of Founding Pastor Rev. Robert Hasley; and the transition of leadership to Rev. Arthur Jones, only the second senior pastor in the church’s 35-year history.
“St. Andrew’s 35th anniversary will always be remembered as a time of new beginnings, the year life moved beyond the pandemic and people came together again,” said Rev. Arthur Jones, St. Andrew UMC. “We now see the light at the end of the tunnel, in-person worship is growing, programming is back, and the community will finally be able to enjoy the newly expanded areas. It has been an unprecedented time, but one in which we have learned, persevered, prayed, and supported one another. This anniversary celebration would not be possible without the vision, commitment, and dedication of Rev. Robert Hasley, who founded St. Andrew 35 years ago. Robert, my dear friend and mentor, is the perfect example of a servant leader who inspires us all to live out our faith and serve one another. As a good shepherd, he built this church so that we would be able to lean on one another in difficult times. This occasion will be a special time to come together and honor his legacy.”
As the church prepares to celebrate this milestone, Rev. Jones will become the second senior pastor of St. Andrew, effective July 1. Appointed by Bishop Mike McKee, Jones, a fifth-generation Methodist minister who began as associate pastor in 2010, succeeds St. Andrew’s Founding Pastor Robert Hasley. Rev. Jones has served in his present role as lead preaching pastor of both contemporary and traditional services at St. Andrew since 2018.With a passion for reaching and engaging younger generations, Jones was instrumental in the successful 2012 launch of the church’s contemporary services, which surpassed original growth expectations, outgrew the original space, and continue to thrive today along with St. Andrew’s traditional worship services. In Jones’ newest book, Solid Souls, released by Invite Press, St. Andrew’s publishing house, he emphasizes the importance of everyday small choices and how they can either lead to a more solid soul or a more shriveled soul – one isolated from others and God. In addition to his newest book, Jones and his father Bishop Scott Jones have co-authored two books together: Scripture & the Wesleyan Way: A Bible Study on Real Christianity in 2019 and ASK – Faith Questions in a Skeptical Age in 2015
“I have been praying about the future leadership of this church for years now, and I could not be more excited that Arthur Jones will lead St. Andrew into the future,” said Rev. Hasley. “Arthur embodies who we are called by God to be in a family of faith. We see the love of God in him as well as a pastoral presence. He is Christ-centered in his leadership, he is grace-filled, and he is biblically based. Every time he preaches, he challenges us to be all that God created us to be with grace and boldness.”
“Arthur has developed into an outstanding pastor with a deep love for St. Andrew,” said Gerald Smith, chair of St. Andrew’s Staff Parish Relations Committee. “Arthur and St. Andrew’s Founding Pastor Robert Hasley have an incredible partnership that we believe is a model for how churches can pass the baton from one generation of leadership to the next.”
“I am grateful for the privilege of serving at St. Andrew for the past 11 years and honored to be named the next senior pastor,” said Rev. Arthur Jones. “It is an honor because St. Andrew is such a special church. It is a privilege to be a part of this community and follow someone as grace-filled as Robert Hasley.”
Prior to coming to St. Andrew, Jones served on staff for ZOE Ministry – a United Methodist Ministry that empowers AIDS orphans in Africa to live lives free of the cycle of poverty and dependency. He
received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School. Jones, a native of Texas, grew up in Prosper, Howe, Commerce, and Highland Village, where his father was a pastor and professor at Southern Methodist University prior to being elected as a bishop in the United Methodist Church. Jones and his wife, Becky, have two children, Sam and Ella Reece.
“I know that God has great plans for us, and I’m excited to raise my family in this place we already call home,” said Jones. “I want Robert Hasley to know how much I, along with our entire church family, love and appreciate him. He has led this church for the past 34 ½ years, and it is such a blessing to look at all that has been accomplished under his leadership.”
“St. Andrew’s first service at Shepton High School with 500 attendees was a giant day in the life of St. Andrew, and so is today,” added Hasley. “When I think back to those first years as we were growing and expanding, I will always remember when the workers began digging to prepare the foundation for our second phase of building and found solid rock which required machinery to break through. St. Andrew is literally built upon solid rock, and spiritually that is what we have been built upon all these years. I believe that God calls each of us to be here at the time we are here, giving us the opportunity to play key roles in the growth and development of St. Andrew. This is Arthur’s time, and we could not be more excited about the future of St. Andrew.”
“As I think about stepping into this new role, I can’t help but reflect on the many changes and challenges churches experienced this past year,” said Jones. “At the start of the pandemic, we had no idea what its long-term effects might be on church attendance. As more and more people are vaccinated, we continue to watch our in-person worship numbers climb, and conversations with members affirm what we have always believed. Everyone re-discovered during this last year of distancing that being a part of a community is essential to living an excellent life. At St. Andrew, we believe that is best done in a faith community centered on Jesus and serving others. As senior pastor that is a key message I will always strive to share. Joining a community of faith will improve every part of your life. If you are looking for a new church home, come on August 15, and see all that St. Andrew has to offer. As we get back to school this August, let’s get back to church and back to living our lives to the fullest. We hope to see you.”
St. Andrew’s 35th Anniversary Celebration and Open House will feature food, fun, and tours of the newly expanded areas throughout the 21-acre campus, including the children and youth programs, sanctuary, The Storehouse of Collin County, and more. For more information visit https://www.standrewumc.org/news .
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St. Andrew United Methodist Church began in 1986 in the spirit of its namesake, a disciple of Jesus. The life of the Apostle Andrew embodies the church's mission, which is to invite the Christian-ish and the unchurched to become passionate servants of Christ. The congregation of St. Andrew follows Jesus, lives in relationship, serves others, and takes risks in faith. Worship includes four services each weekend on a 21.2-acre campus at the corner of Plano Parkway and Mira Vista in Plano, Texas, where more than 2,000 people gather each weekend. Recent renovation allows the Sanctuary to host worship in both Traditional style, with the classic pipe organ, and Contemporary style, with a new LED center screen and lighting technology. Small groups and Bible studies gather on campus and throughout the region every day of the week. Mission opportunities serve our local area, neighboring regions, and global communities. The church has been repeatedly selected as a "Best Place to Worship in Plano” by the readers of the Plano Star Courier. St. Andrew United Methodist Church is located at 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewumc.org; call 972-380-8001.