Methodist churches meet new pastors

St. Andrew’s and St. John’s United Methodist churches in Baton Rouge and St. Francisville United Methodist Church in St. Francisville recently got new pastors.

At St. Andrew’s, the Rev. Juliet P. Spencer was appointed in June to replace the Rev. Larry O’Dell, who was appointed to Lea Joyner Memorial in Monroe.

At St. John’s, the Rev. Juan C. Huertas replaced the Rev. Tim Lawson, who was appointed to St. Charles United Methodist Church in Destrehan.

At St. Francisville, the Rev. Jan Holloway Curwick replaced the Rev. Danny Gleason, who was appointed to Benton United Methodist Church in Benton.

•Spencer has master of divinity and doctorate of ministry degrees from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. 

Growing up, her father’s work as a geologist kept the family moving often, so that she spent her childhood in many states, including three years in Ahwaz, Iran, before settling in Lafayette where she went to high school and college.

She has two daughters, Veronica Deschner, 18, and Jennifer Deschner, 14, and is married to Jimmy Spencer, who is retired.

•Huertas has a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana College in Pineville and master of divinity degree from Emory University’s Chandler School of Theology in Atlanta, Ga.

He and his wife of nine years, Shannon, a graduate student in counseling, have three children, Seth, 7, Isabelle, 4, and Lucas, 22 months. See his blog at

•Curwick has a law degree from LSU and a master of divinity degree from the Perkins School of Theology at SMU.

She most recently served as senior pastor at First United Methodist Church of Lafayette.

She has been married since October to Philip B. Curwick, a civil engineer with a business in Baton Rouge, Compliance Solutions Group, LLC., and has three adult stepchildren.

Catholic Charities, others give shoes

Catholic Charities helped 1,450 area students get new shoes for school by partnering in its Kicks for Kids program with area churches and such sponsors as Payless Shoe Source and the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation.

Since Kicks for Kids began in 2008, about 3,500 children have stepped into a new school year with new shoes thanks to the generosity of parishioners and program sponsors, agency officials said.

Most of the families receiving shoe vouchers are current or former clients of Catholic Charities, officials said.

“Other great organizations collect school supplies and uniforms,” said Deacon Richard Grant of Our Lady of Mercy, “but none were providing new shoes. That’s when our church approached Catholic Charities back in 2007, and we’ve never looked back.”

Payless Shoe Source gave a discount on the shoes, opened early with extra staff at five designated locations, and stocked up on popular styles for the Kicks for Kids program.

Berean church offers addiction recovery

The Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4555 Fairfields Ave., has begun offering an addiction recovering program.

The program, available at 7 p.m. Thursdays, is not limited to those with drug and alcohol addictions, church leaders said.

Contact Ralph Ford, (225) 356-0187, for more information.