Matt Stone - Pastor
Matt was appointed as Dayspring’s pastor after serving in the United Methodist church for 8 years in Dallas, Kansas and Houston. After leaving Tyler as a proud graduate of the second grade at Andy Woods Elementary, Matt graduated from high school in Beaumont, TX before attending The University of Texas. Having received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Religious Studies (and an utterly useful minor in French), Matt attended seminary at Southern Methodist University where he received a Master of Divinity.
Matt met his wife, Margaret, in Perkins Chapel on SMU's campus where they were married 2 years later in 2007. She is a constant source of encouragement and blessing, without whom Matt would be lost! Margaret and Matt have two children: Charlotte who was born in 2010 and her brother Jackson, who was born 14 months (!!) later. They challenge and bless their parents daily in ways they never dreamed possible!
In the words of his close friend, Matt is passionate about Wesleyan expressions of faith that hold together the ideas of personal faith and social responsibility. We live the gospel most fully when we pay attention to both our relationship with Christ AND our call to love the world in ways that bring about the Kingdom of God on earth.
Aaron Laird - Director of Worship and Creative Arts
Psalm 40:3 says: "And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord."
As our worship leader, it is my goal that we see our portion of the body of Christ (Dayspring) empowered to worship God in spirit and in truth, with freedom, and in awe of who He is, and what He has done and can do in our lives. Through this, Dayspring UMC will fulfill Psalm 40:3 in Tyler Texas.
This is much more than what we do on Sunday morning. Our lives should reflect God's truth throughout the week, as well. Dayspring has been blessed with a gifted worship team, and I ask each of them to consider their part in the service a 'gift' rather than a talent. The word 'talent' suggests that the music is something of us, rather than something given by God. Throughout scripture, God asks us to use our gifts for his glory. When this is our vision, it is then truly God's work.
Aaron and Tara were married in 2002. They have two boys - Avery and Landon. Tara is a full time wife and mother. Aaron loves to fish and is constantly in search of a new place to hunt. He earned his B.S. degree in Kinesiology from East Texas Baptist University.
Jeff Sparks - Director of Student Ministries
As Dayspring’s Youth Director it is my goal to facilitate a welcoming community for students to mature in their Christian faith and empower future leaders of the Church. I was “called” to this position later in life (ask me to tell you the story some time). With college degrees in wildlife management and forestry and 20 years managing both wildfires and controlled burns, this role was never on my radar. Since 1998 I have worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department managing wildland fire operations on Texas State Parks. Sounds like two drastically different lives! But, God has allowed the two to mesh together very well, and it is truly a blessing working with the Dayspring youth and their families.
Jeff and his wife Jennifer have been married since 1994 and have two daughters, Madelyn and Emma. Jeff loves anything and everything about the outdoors and especially loves spending time with family and friends camping, hiking, fishing and hunting.
Esther Brown - Director of Children's Ministries
Our worship on Sunday morning includes curriculum that is age-appropriate and engaging, volunteers that are inspiring and activities that are meaningful. Our special events, such as Vacation Bible School and Parent’s Night Out, allows our kids to get to know one another and fosters a sense of belonging within the church community.
Pete Aubin - Director of Small Groups and Serving
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
As the Director of Small Groups and Serving, I see my role as one who seeks to help people find a way to connect with each other, grow in their relationship with the Lord, and love others as Christ loves us. Here at Dayspring we feel that the foundational elements for small groups, found in Acts 2:41-47, are keys to helping us to find the healthy community most of us seek and all of us need.
Small groups are much more than getting together to discuss a particular bible passage or glean insights from great books, they are also about finding a community of believers that can challenge you, affirm you, support you, and even hold you accountable with fellowship and service also being vital parts of each group’s makeup.
I believe we are blessed here at Dayspring to have, in our DNA, the mindset that we are a “church of small groups” and not “a church with small groups.” The difference being that everything we do involves groups of people who seek to connect, grow and love. Since we are the “body of Christ” it is our mandate to help create opportunities for people to find meaning and purpose though community and connection.
Pete and Sharon have been married for more than 35 years. They have two sons – Stephen and Mathew. Pete loves to teach, loves spending time with his family and is an avid sports fan. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Tampa and has ministered in the United Methodist Church for more than 30 years.