Meet the Pastor
Senior Pastor Dr. Bill La Barr
William Eugene (Bill) La Barr was born in Clovis, New Mexico. He graduated from Bentonville (AR) High School in 1968. A second career minister, Bill followed the call to ministry after an almost 20-year career in retail. He worked for C. R. Anthony Co., Montgomery Ward, and Payless Cashways Lumber Company.
Dr. La Barr graduated with a B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Texas, in May 1991. He received his Master of Divinity degree, Brite Divinity School, TCU, May 1995. He completed work on the Doctor of Ministry degree in homiletics in December 2000, also at Brite Divinity School.
Dr. La Barr was ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church in 1997.
Dr. La Barr has served as a student pastor of Callisburg and Mission UMCs, a two-point charge in Cooke County. He also served Bellevue UMC, and the Holliday/Dundee charge for six years. He served Lake Cities United Methodist Church from 1997 to June 2005. During his tenure, Lake Cities UMC grew from 469 members to just over 800, and completed several building projects, including a 9,000 sq. ft. Family Life Center which was brought in on plan and under budget.
Dr. La Barr was appointed Senior Pastor of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in June 2005. Plymouth Park UMC is a 1,000-plus member congregation in Irving, Texas, one of the older Dallas suburbs. Under his leadership, PPUMC has revitalized from a congregation worshiping an average of 320 to one which worships an average of 450, and which has significant outreach to the community of Irving and beyond.
Professionally, Dr. La Barr served Brite Divinity School for four years as an Adjunct Professor of Supervised Ministry. He was a regular contributor to Biblical Preaching Journal, and had a series of funeral sermons published in Life Everlasting, a funeral resource for preachers. Dr. La Barr has been recognized by Brite Divinity School, TCU, for his commitment to theological education.
In service to the United Methodist church, Bill served ten years on the Town and Country Task Force, one year on the Conference Leadership Team, and was on the Board of Directors of the Denton Wesley Foundation, UNT, for four years. He also served on the Dallas/Denton District Committee on Ministry for ten years, chair of that committee for five years. He now serves on the Board of Ministry, as secretary to the Committee on Preparations and Qualifications and as head of the “theology” group. He was part of the pilot group involved in the Healthy Church Initiative, and is a member of the annual conference’s task force for church growth and transformation.
In service to the community outside of the United Methodist Church, Dr. La Barr served six years as a Director of the Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce. He has been an active member of the Irving/Las Colinas Rotary. He publishes the weekly bulletin for the Rotary Club, and is a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. La Barr also serves on the Irving Healthcare Foundation board. He is also a director of the Pastoral Counseling Center.
Dr. La Barr is married to Dr. Joan La Barr, a retired ordained Elder in the UMC. Bill and Joan have three children: Cheramie Jordan, and her husband, Jeff, and their grandsons, Austin and Jake, live in Daphne, AL. Damien Gray lives in Leander, TX, and is the father of Hannah and Madision. Bill’s son, Aaron La Barr, lives in Geogetown, TX, and is anticipating getting married in May 2015.