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Claire Helton


Claire began at Northminster in 2018 after serving as children's pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, TX, where she was also ordained. She holds an M.Div from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Religious Studies and English from Stetson University.

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Zachary Helton


Zachary began at Northminster in 2018. Previously he served as the youth pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco, TX, where he was also ordained. He holds an M.Div. from George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and a B.A.  in documentary filmmaking and theatre from the University of Alabama. 

Dr. Deborah Chandler

Director of Music

Dr. Chandler accepted the call to service as Director of Music in 2006. She has a rich experience of leadership in church music, having served as the Minister of Music for 18 years in a Presbyterian church in Tallahassee, Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in conducting from Florida State University and is presently on the faculty of the University of Louisiana at Monroe as Director of Choral Activities. Additionally, Debi directs the Concert Choir, the University Chorale and the Chamber Singers. She is musical director and conductor for the Monroe Symphony Orchestra Chorus and host of Limelight and Vocal Vibes on KEDM radio.

Dr. D.H. Clark

Organist and Musician in Residence

D.H. is a founding member of Northminster and began serving as the church as Director of Music in 1997. He recently retired from a long career as a physician with the Women's Clinic of Monroe-West Monroe, and has served as organist/director of music at Parkview Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, and St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Monroe. During his military service, he served as organist at the base chapel at Scott Air Force Base in St. Louis. Dr. Clark is the founder of the Masterworks Chorus, Monroe's community chorus, and was its music director for 12 years. 

Justin Havard

Pianist, Music Associate

Justin Havard is an accomplished director, pianist, and singer who has spent the last 13 years making music in the Tampa Bay area.  Originally from Mobile, Alabama, he received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Choral Music Education from Florida State University with an emphasis on Piano. He was the collaborative pianist for the Florida All-State Men’s Choir in 2017 and 2018, and he has played for many national tours including The Book of Mormon, Wicked, and Spamalot. Mr. Havard is particularly known for his work with Acapella Groups and Musical Theatre, and he has presented at both the Florida Music Educators’ Association Conference and the Florida State Thespian Conference.  He has worked as a music director for theatrical productions both equity and amateur, and his theatrical work at the high school level is well-known in the state.  

Renee Decker

Administrative Assistant

Renee joined the Northminster staff in 2016. She is a graduate of ULM with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, and served as an Investigator for the District Attorney's Office, and a Narcotics Investigator for the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Department (MPSO). She was a founding member of the Louisiana Sheriff's Associations Narcotics Task Force as well as the MPSO Narcotics Division and the North Louisiana Drug Enforcement Bureau. After leaving law enforcement, Renee worked sixteen years with International Paper where she served as the Louisiana Mill's Export Shipment Planner before the mill's closure in 2009. She enjoys singing and playing percussion and trumpet with her band, Homegrown, going on cruises, and taking trips to the beach.

Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

Pastor Emeritus

Dr. Gaddy served as senior pastor of Northminster for over 24 years, retiring in 2016. Author of over 20 books, he is also the former president of the Interfaith Alliance in Washington DC. Weekly, Dr. Gaddy hosts State of Belief, a radio show and podcast on the place of religion in the life of the United States. Dr. Gaddy is recognized as a leading advocate for protecting the boundaries between religion and government. Dr. Gaddy received his undergraduate degree from Union University in Tennessee and his doctoral degree and divinity training from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Among his many leadership roles, he is a past President of the Alliance of Baptists. He has been a member of the Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance for over two decades. His past leadership roles include serving as a member of the General Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World Alliance and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100.

You can read more about State of Belief Radio at https://stateofbelief.com, or you can listen here.


Northminster puts a high value on lay-leadership. The various expressions of our ministry are led by the following commissions.

The Coordinating Council

The Coordinating Council is responsible for the engage in a fellowship of worship, witness, education, ministry and missions, as well as financial and business affairs.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Peggy Burns (chair)

  • Carol Ann Tubbs (vice chair)

  • D.H. Clark (secretary)​

  • Marilyn Decker​

  • Ellen Prather​

  • Page Atkins​

  • Bill Kight​

  • David Culp​

  • Patti Pate


The Properties Commission is responsible for the upkeep of the church's property.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Bill Kight

  • Larry Prather (vice chair)

  • Hannah Clark (chair)

  • Al Peterson

  • Susan Curry (secretary)

  • Robert Crawford


The Worship Commission is responsible for interpreting the worship needs of the congregation and assisting the staff in fulfilling those needs.

This year, it is made up of:

  •  Mark Windham

  • Patti Pate  (chair)

  • Mary Delancy 

  • Marilyn Decker (vice chair)

  • Brian Evans (secretary)

  • Tim Jaquess


The Arts Commission is responsible for incorporating the arts into the ministries of the church.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Scott Higginbotham 

  • Mara Loeb (chair)

  • Julia Wilhite (secretary)

  • Anita Breen

  • Craig Henry (vice chair)

  • Judy Gaddy


The Hospitality Commission is responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the hospitality element of fellowship activities.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Bobbye Legan (chair)

  • Marilyn Decker  (secretary)

  • Marissa Jaquess

  • Hannah Clark

  • Carol Ann Tubbs (vice chair)

  • Sandy Harrington


The Missions Commission is responsible for helping members identify and act upon their unique gifts for ministry.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Kyle Gregory (chair)

  • Sherry Free

  • Laura Duke (vice chair)

  • Charles Creech (secretary)

  • Claire Carrington

  • Ken McKenzie


The Outreach Commission is responsible for facilitating outreach to the community.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Page Atkins - C

  • David Culp

  • Cynthia Rodriguez - S

  • Ray Roberson - VC

  • Elvis Stelly

  • Debbie O'Neal

Family Ministries

The Family Ministries Commission is responsible for organizing and equipping members of the Northminster community to minister to each other.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Sandy Harrington (secretary)

  • Marsha McGee

  • Pat Hayes (chair)

  • David Culp

  • Ellen Yeldell

  • Hannah Clark


The Education Commission is responsible for assisting the ministerial staff in creating spaces for education and faith formation.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Susan Roberts

  • Cayce Roberts

  • Welton Gaddy

  • Julia Wilhite (secretary)

  • Craig Henry (chair)

  • Laura Duke (vice chair)

  • Peggy Burns

  • Jo Ann Alley


The Columbarium Commission is responsible for overseeing the Northminster Memorial Garden

This year, it is made up of:

  • Robert Crawford (vice chair)

  • Scott Higginbotham (secretary)

  • Peggy Burns

  • Mark Windham

  • Charles Creech (chair)

  • Tim Jaquess


The Stewardship Commission is responsible for designing, implementing, and supervising a comprehensive stewardship plan for the church.

This year, it is made up of:

  • Ellen Prather (chair)

  • Mara Loeb (vice chair)

  • Ray Roberson (secretary)

  • Carol Ann Tubbs

  • Mark Windham

  • Arturo Rodriguez




2701 Lamy Ln.

Monroe, LA 71201

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