Our Pastoral Staff
Rev. Dr. Paul L. Escamilla
Rev. Dr. Paul L. Escamilla, who studied at Emory University in Atlanta, served as senior pastor at several Texas congregations before being appointed to Laurel Heights in July 2018. He has also taught preaching, worship, and administration at Perkins School of Theology, SMU. In his pastoral ministry, he especially enjoys the work of preaching and worship, congregational discernment and visioning, and community and missional outreach.
Paul’s publications include Seasons of Communion, Longing for Enough in a Culture of More, and True When Whispered. He has contributed to The Wesley Study Bible, the Upper Room Disciplines, At Home with God, and numerous periodicals.
He has served the Río Texas Annual Conference on the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Episcopacy Committee, annual conference worship design teams, and Jurisdictional Conference delegations. He is conversant in Spanish, and enjoys biking, birding, music, and reading. A native of San Antonio, Paul is delighted to be back in his home town after moving away at the age of three!
Paul is married to Liz, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. They have three grown children, Sarah (Matt), David, and Anna, and a granddaughter Annie.
Rev. Jim Carr
Minister of Pastoral Care
My name is Jim Carr. I recently retired after being a chaplain at Methodist Hospital for over 13 years (1998-2011). I spent six years in Methodist Children’s Hospital and over seven years in Methodist Hospital. I earned the credentials which enabled me to serve competently in the specialty of hospital ministry (DMin, CPE, BCC). I am grateful that I was appointed to serve there. My experiences in the hospital affected me at every level of myself. In a setting where healing is the main issue, I was healed. In crises where we all call upon God, I learned to trust God in ways I had never known. In the day-to-day work of being a chaplain, I discovered where my own giftedness lies. I came to know and to respect the front line nurses, doctors, and hospital staff in new and profound ways. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served as a hospital chaplain.
Before I was a chaplain, I served churches in the Southwest Texas Annual Conference as associate pastor, minister of education, and pastor. I was at Laurel Heights as a minister of education for five years (1988-1993). While I was here, Godly Play was introduced. More recently, due to my training and experience with Godly Play, Kercida McClain asked me to help with training new Godly Play teachers. I have been able to rediscover the deep influence of Godly Play in my own life.
For the past several years, I have been meeting with the Stephen Ministers and I have become a Stephen Minister. I recently attended a Leadership Training Conference for Stephen Ministry and I hope to help support and strengthen the program here.
Our Programming Staff
Director of Program Ministries
In September 2019, Laura Healy joined the Laurel Heights staff as Director of Program Ministries, with a focus on ministries with children and youth. Laura brings years of teaching experience to her role and holds two degrees from the University of Maine. She and her husband, Frank, along with their son, Max, have been a beloved part of the Laurel Heights congregation for many years.
Director of Super Adults
Susan Holloway was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, but has lived in San Antonio since she was very young. She is a graduate of Alamo Heights High School and Trinity University and did graduate work at The University of Texas at Austin.
In 1968, Susan married Henry Holloway, Director of Music at Laurel Heights and founder and first director of Super Adults. They have two children and four grandchildren. Susan has been a member of Laurel Heights since 1954 and has been active in all phases of lay work at the church. She became Director of the Super Adult Program of Laurel Heights in 1998 after Henry’s retirement.
Susan is also an independent tour conductor and works with several groups in San Antonio, developing and guiding tours.Call the Super Adult office, 733-6482 for information about Super Adults on the Go.
Director of Music
Geoffrey Waite began his music ministry at Laurel Heights UMC on March 26, 2008 as church organist and music associate. In April of 2010 Geoffrey became full-time staff when he was named Director of Music following Jerome Malek’s retirement. Geoffrey is an experienced choral director, as well as an accomplished and versatile organist.
Geoffrey received his B.M. in Organ Performance from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and his M.M. in Organ Performance from Syracuse University in New York State. He is the principal pianist for the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers chorus and has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Lyric Opera, the San Antonio Choral Society, and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. Moreover, he has shared the recital stage with numerous regionally and nationally known artists.
Yvonne Garcia, R.N.
(210) 733-7156 ext. 202
My name is Yvonne Garcia and I am blessed and honored to be the Wesley Nurse here at Laurel Heights UMC. I am a native San Antonian and an RN for over 30 years. I am married to my husband Norm and we have 3 children, Josh, Caitie and Cami and 1 grandson, Ethan.
Weekday School Director
Laurie Miracle has worked in Early Childhood for over 25 years. She has worked as an early childhood interventionist, classroom teacher in Coppell I.S.D. and Alamo Heights I.S.D., and as a private consultant and coach providing staff development for San Antonio area preschools as well as parent training and private behavioral support. Laurie is passionate about encouraging children to learn and grow in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. Equipping parents and teachers on this journey is a great privilege.