Lead Pastor

Tori Butler

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Rev. Tori Butler was born and raised by her mother Coretha “Coty” Corry in Baltimore, MD. Ms. Corry taught her that education is of great importance and would be the passport to her future. She would often tell her, “If you are bored, go read a book. It can take you wherever you want to go.” Ms. Corry's encouragement in education translated in Tori being the first person in her peer group ―from her neighborhood― to graduate with a college degree. Rev. Butler received a BA in History and International Relations from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She received her call to ministry following a semester abroad in Argentina. Initially, she did not know what she was called to do; but, as the old song says, “Something’s gotta a hold of me and it must be the Spirit of the Lord.” She followed the Spirit of the Lord to The Divinity School at Duke University. It was at Duke where she was afforded the opportunity to serve in various ministry capacities: from a parachurch organization in Brazil to a multicultural church in Durham, NC to a non-profit on Capitol Hill. It was through these experiences that she felt a strong call to the pastorate, to be the balm of Gilead to all people regardless of race or socio- economic background. She graduated from Duke with a Master of Divinity in 2010.

Following graduation, she took a huge leap of faith and moved to Orange, TX where she served as the first African-American program staff member at First United Methodist Church of Orange. As the Director of Outreach and Discipleship Ministries, Rev. Butler had the unique opportunity to serve as a bridge between the predominately Anglo church and the African-American community around it. She helped build a foundation for First Orange to truly be the local church in mission. Rev. Butler also served as the Associate Pastor of Bellaire United Methodist Church. In this position, she has had the opportunity to lead the international worship service, to organize mission projects, to start a women’s ministry, and to equip laity to serve in various ministries of the church. Bellaire was definitely a place of preparation for future ministerial responsibilities.

Rev. Butler has served as the Chaplain of Wiley College. As the chaplain, she was able to encourage young adults to live into their identity as co-heirs with Christ. Under her leadership, four students went on to pursue a seminary education. At Wiley, she was able to remind students, faculty, and staff that they serve a God who loves them, who cares about their situation, and wants to heal their brokenness through the power of the Holy Spirit. At Wiley, Rev. Butler was able to develop her gifts in preaching, pastoral care, counseling, and administration. Following her ministry at Wiley, Rev. Butler became the Executive Pastor of Williams Memorial United Methodist Church in Texarkana, TX.

Rev.Tori Butler’s calling was affirmed by the Texas Annual Conference in May of 2014 when she was ordained by Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. As of this year, she is still the youngest African-American ordained clergy in the Texas Annual Conference. She is published in Do Not Be Afraid: Bishops & Young Clergy Share Signs of Resurrection & Words of Hope. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry degree from Emory University with a concentration in Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation. She is excited to step into her role as the Lead Pastor of Good Hope Union United Methodist Church. She gives praises to God for the opportunity to serve in her home conference and believes that God is up to something good and can’t wait to see what it is.  

Rev. Butler is passionately in love with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She seeks to honor Him in everything that she does. Her goal in life is to be his hands and feet in the world. She sincerely prays that God will use her as a prophet, teacher, preacher, activist, evangelist, counselor, shouter, and dancer all for the glory of God.

  May 2020  
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