Our shepherds

We have shepherds who are entrusted by the congregation to lead, direct, teach, serve, and pray.


Michael Tucker

Michael Tucker has a long association with the congregation.  He began attending Central while a student at Rice University.  He and Laure met when she came to Central after graduating from ACU and completing an internship with the MARK program in Bogotá, Colombia.  Their marriage in 1984 was the first for the newly merged congregation. Shortly after, Michael and Laure began a seven-year hiatus away from Southwest Central.  They moved to Ulsan, Korea for four years, and after that lived in the Corpus Christi area.  During that time their two daughters, Sylvia and Cami, were born.  The Tuckers returned to Houston in 1992.

Michael is an engineer in the offshore oil and gas business.

Michael and Laure have often been involved with the education programs at Southwest Central.  Michael is a regular teacher in the adult Sunday morning classes.  Both have taught Vacation Bible School and also teenagers. Michael joined our elders in 2000.  He has a strong interest in the place of the Lord’s Supper in our congregational life.  Given an opportunity, he might say something like this:

“Jesus wanted his disciples to eat together.  The intent was — and is — that they come together around His Table, in spite of all factors that separate people in this world: ethnicity, economics, gender.  The Scriptures use words like ‘all nations’, ‘men and women’, ‘slave and free’… yet over the centuries a joyous feast of unity became a somber and purely personal observance, in a setting where we can remain strangers.  Ultimately the Lord’s Table has become the Lord’s Pew.  I think this shift was a great loss, a detriment to our life as the Body of Christ.  We have prided ourselves in ‘restoration of the New Testament Church,’ but we have a way to go in this area…”

Larry Watson

Studying the Bible and worshiping God with an open mind and heart best characterizes Larry Watson.  “I believe that God works in greater ways than we let Him,” he says. “We refuse to let God bless us the way He can if we would only let Him out of our box. Let’s not be limiting to God.”

Larry and Martha met at the Central church in the 1970s, where they were in the singles group and have been active members of Southwest Central since the merger in 1983. They have two grown children, Daniel and Stephanie. The family is committed to their church home and it is evident by their involvement.

Larry leads singing on occasion and regularly teaches an adult Bible Class.  Larry is the primary organizer for the Care Groups, preparing lesson plans for these meetings each month.  Martha is a leader on the Children’s Ministry Team, and has been active on mission trips, directing VBS and teaching Ladies Bible Class.

Ministers and Staff

Steve Sargent – Senior Minister

Steve was hired by Southwest Central as the Youth & Family Minister in 2007 and served as such for 8 years. In 2015 Steve transitioned to the senior minister role. Steve has a passion for working with the marginalized, and for creating environments of peace and community through worship.

Steve’s 5 main areas of ministerial focus are:

   Pray (committing to prayer each day)

   Pastor (spiritual formation and discipleship within the congregation)

   Presence (building community-oriented relationships with neighbors, businesses, ministry partners, and area congregations)

   Preach (preaching 1-2 times per month)

   Plan (specifically regarding Sunday morning gatherings; since we have chosen not to hire a one-voice preacher, Steve intentionally plans multi-voiced services, varying from week based on the Common Lectionary)

Steve has been married to Chelsie since 2005. Chelsie is a Licensed Professional Counselor. When they are not hanging out in Houston they can be found traveling, hiking, reading a good book, or hunting down the best vegetarian food they can find. They have one daughter, born into the family in 2011.

King Mbani – Ministry Assistant and Keymaster

King started working at SWC in 2016, turning on the AC, unlocking doors, preparing the Lord’s Supper, closing down the building. In 2018 King became the ministry assistant – answering phones, weekly newsletters, put together materials for Sunday mornings.

Antonio Zapata – Head of Maintenance

Antonio joined the SWC staff in 2006. He tends to the building and grounds, and serves the people of the congregation and neighborhood with his kind heart.

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