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About Us

About Our Church

At St. Paul UMC, our vision and our mission is to be a community of faith where God’s love and grace can and will flow to you, in you and through you. We could have easily decided to use the word “us” in our vision statement, but we acknowledge that the church is not here just for us. Therefore we extend an open invitation to all persons to experience being part of this faith community. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that corporate worship and the celebration of the sacraments are primary means through which God’s love and grace are available to us and so we gather as the body of Christ to receive and give thanks and praise for God’s wonderful gifts. We also believe that as followers of Christ it is not merely enough to come and receive, for we are called to dive deeper and grow stronger in our love for God and our knowledge and understanding of God’s desire for our lives. So in addition to worship, St. Paul offers avenues and opportunities for spiritual growth, Christian education, and healthy fellowship, all of which are intended to help us grow in God’s love and grace as individuals and as a community of faith. We also believe that as recipients of God’s love and grace, our hearts and lives are transformed in ways that create a desire to share God’s gifts with others; to become instruments that allow that love and grace to flow through us in service, ministry and mission. St. Paul has a wonderful history of reaching out in service to our neighbors in need and we have several ongoing ministries to and with our community.

We thank you again for your interest in St. Paul UMC and we invite you to worship with us, grow with us, and serve with us, for we believe that this truly is a community of faith where God’s love and grace can and will flow to YOU, in YOU, and through YOU!

Rev. Steve Poarch

Lead Pastor Contact

Rev. Steve Poarch arrived at St. Paul UMC in June of 2008, bringing with him an excitement and enthusiasm for ministry with this congregation in the Ft. Smith area and beyond. Steve's passion in ministry is to share the overwhelming love of Jesus Christ and spread the hope of the Gospel, so that disciples can be formed and lives changed for the glory of God. He believes that in order to be a leader, one must first "Listen to, Learn from, and Love" the people one is called to lead. After 9 years as a fisheries biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, Steve followed the call into vocational ministry and earned a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology (SMU) in 2004. He was ordained an Elder in the Arkansas Conference in June 2007. He has served as Youth Pastor at Axe Memorial UMC in Garland, TX, as Associate Pastor at Christ of the Hills UMC in Hot Springs Village, AR, and, prior to his appointment to St. Paul, as Pastor of Mt. Tabor UMC in Cabot, AR.

Along with his loving wife of 32 years, Marie, Steve loves living in Ft. Smith. Steve and Marie have 2 grown children, Stephanie who lives in NWA and Andrew who is attending Arkansas Tech University.  Steve's interests include fishing, hunting, watching sports and spending time in God's great outdoors.

Mark Waynick

Director of Music Ministries Contact

Mark is the Director of Music Ministries at St. Paul. He graduated from Central Methodist University in Missouri and University of Memphis with degrees in music. After taking foundational classes from Perkins School of Theology, Mark was ordained a deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2001. Mark's wife, Sandi, teaches school and sings with one of the adult praise teams. Mark and Sandi have one son, Adam, who plays drums in a local church praise band where he attends college as a sophomore. Mark enjoys many kinds of music, but music for praise and worship is his passion.

Frances Baker

Office Manager Contact

Frances has been a member of St. Paul UMC for 20 years. She joined the staff as our Office Manager in May of 2008, after working at her previous job for 30 years. According to her, "The change has been a wonderful thing in my life" that has worked out "for the best." The people of St. Paul UMC would agree! Frances has a daughter (Dana Gilbert), a son (Christopher Moore), a step-son, (Mark Baker) and 3 grandchildren (Morgan Lockwood, Wyatt Gilbert and Zane Gilbert).

Heather Paulus

Treasurer & Director of Children's Ministries Contact

Heather has worshipped at St. Paul for nine years. Within the past 4 years, she has taken on a dual role with the St. Paul staff, serving as both “Treasurer” and “Director of Children’s Ministry.” She grew up in Memphis and attended the University of Tennesee, Knoxville where she earned a Master's Degree in education. She was a sixth grade teacher before having children of her own. Heather and her husband, David, have a son (Luke) and two daughters (Emma and Julia) who love participating in the children and youth ministries. Heather's favorite thing about St. Paul is that she feels like she is part of a family when she is here.

Sarah Reynolds

Director of Youth Ministries Contact




Service Times & Directions

Sunday Activities

Traditional Service: 8:30 am
Sunday School: 9:30 am
"The Current" Service: 10:30 am
S.P.Y (St. Paul Youth): 5:30-7:00 pm

Spirit-Led, Soul-Fed Wednesday Activites

Fellowship Cafe: 6:00pm
Children's Activities: 6:30pm
Adult Studies: 6:45pm

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4100 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72904-7024
(479) 783-5908