our staff

  • Head Pastor

    Lisa, who came from the McCabe Roberts Avenue United Methodist Church in the Beaumont District, is our senior minister. Prior to that assignment, Lisa was an Associate at the First United Methodist Church of Sugar Land. She is in her 14th year at St. Philip’s.

  • Ryan Pennington

    Director of Outreach Ministries

    Ryan joined St. Philip’s on June 1, 2017, as the accompanist with degrees in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and Organ Performance at UCLA. He has taught instrumental and vocal music in  school programs for over 15 years. He now manages his own music studio here at the church (pennystudioshouston.org). Additionally, Ryan was hired as the Director of Outreach Ministries on June 17th, 2022

  • Shelly Straub


    Director of Youth Ministries
    Shelly Straub was hired as the Youth Director on June 17th, 2022. She has a passion for kids of all ages with a kind heart and big smile. She studied nursing and elementary education at University of Houston. She is married to her husband, Andy, and has three children: Emma, Lilly, and Wesley.

  • Daniel Zajicek

    Director of Music Ministries
    Daniel has a doctoral degree in music composition from Rice University. He currently is a bass player and singer for the bluegrass band Brazos River Pickers. He grew up in Columbia, Missouri, where he played piano, sang in choir, performed in plays, as well as with jazz and rock bands. He is married and has one child.

  • Day School Director
    Susan Smith joined the Day School as the new Director and has been a parent and a teacher in the school as well. In addition, she assisted in the day school office. She was the director of her own church’s Children Ministry. Susan is a graduate of The University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Her husband has been the Scout Leader at of the troop at St. Philip’s for a number of years.

  • Financial Administrator
    John and his wife, Barbara, have been members of St. Philips UMC for many years. They offer their voluntary services in Outreach, Children's Ministries, and help with accounting.