Cross Tracks Church welcomes Rev. John Saint as new pastor

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By Rachel Madison

A passion for serving others, a love for Jesus Christ and the call to be a leader are just a few reasons why Rev. John Saint decided to become a pastor. And now he’s bringing his passion to Liberty Hill, where he will serve as senior pastor at Cross Tracks Church, a United Methodist community.

Saint and his wife, Alexis, both moved around Texas quite a bit as children, but met in high school at their church youth group in Houston. After high school, John attended the University of Texas in Austin and Alexis attended Southwestern University in Georgetown. John started a career at Dell as a consultant and project manager while Alexis continued her education in graduate school. During that time, the couple lived in Austin and had three children: Ian, 19; Read, 18; and Sarah, 15. Also during that time, the couple became very involved with their church in Austin — Tarrytown United Methodist.

“I felt called into ministry through our involvement at our home church,” he said. “That’s where we were nurtured in our faith and where we first started having adult experiences where we got to have service roles. I felt like it wasn’t enough for me to just be involved with church after work and on weekends. I felt called to be a leader in the church to teach and lead worship.”

Saint enrolled at Dallas-based Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology where he graduated in 2011. He served at churches in Taft, Texas, and Denver, Colo., and then spent the last four years in San Saba at the First United Methodist Church before moving to Liberty Hill and assuming his role at Cross Tracks on July 1.

Cross Tracks Church’s previous pastor, Rev. Steve Fieldcamp, retired and moved to East Texas to be closer to family.

“We’re excited to be a part of a growing and dynamic community,” Saint said. “San Saba was a beautiful place and it was a blessing to spend four years there and have two kids graduate high school there, but we’re grateful to be a little closer to home. We consider Austin home because we moved so much as kids. We spent 18 years in Austin.”

Currently, Cross Tracks Church is home to about 300 members, and the Saints are excited about growing that membership.

“We want to be a place where people can come and be nurtured,” Alexis said.

John added that they understand the realities of the world people live in today, meaning some people may not be interested in joining a church.

“We can understand where they are coming from, but they still have needs as families and individuals,” he said. “We hope to be able to help neighbors get to know one another, especially with people moving into Liberty Hill from all over the country. We want to help them find spiritual support even if they don’t want to become traditional members of a church.”

“We want to be a place where people who want to serve and give back can do that,” Alexis added. “This can be a place where they can realize those goals.”

Saint added that he hopes that as the congregation grows, the membership can reflect the diversity of people who are moving to Liberty Hill from all over.

“I want everyone in Liberty Hill to know this is the friendliest church in Texas,” he said, adding that he expects to provide several missions for the community to get involved in, even if they aren’t members of the congregation.

On Sundays, Saint said churchgoers can expect a lot of laughs, but also the chance to learn—even when it comes to difficult subjects.

“I like to approach difficult subjects and not shy away from them, but I like to do it in a way that’s not so darn serious,” he said. “In our world today so many subjects are taboo. They’re divisive. My goal is to give people the vocabulary to be able to talk about those things with friends, family and neighbors without conversations being so tense.”

Alexis said in her role as the pastor’s wife, she expects to have a lot of fun, but she also hopes to be relatable and a reflection of Jesus Christ and His love.

“I also want to be a mentor mom to young women who are super worried they are making parenting mistakes, because I’ve been there,” she said.

In her career, Alexis is a psychotherapist who works mostly with children in foster care. In addition to opening her own private practice in Liberty Hill, she and John also volunteer as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children.

“Now that we’re here, I’m going to have a private practice here in Liberty Hill. I’m going to get started in August. I want the ministry of my vocation to dovetail nicely with [Cross Tracks],” she said. “We want people to know that we care about what they’re going through in life. And because of the nature of our jobs, we can do even more. Those missions we do that are apart from church are still serving our church because those are real children who are traumatized.”

Outside of work and volunteering, the Saints enjoy camping, backpacking and hiking with their children. They frequently go on “expedition vacations” where they can fully enjoy the outdoors, Alexis said.

Overall, Saint said he is looking forward to his future at Cross Tracks and is especially excited about the congregation’s growth opportunities.

“In a few years, I see this church being twice as large as it is today and a place where young families can feel welcomed,” he said. “They will know they have a place that’s safe for their children, and a place where they can connect with each other and grow spiritually and serve their community.”

Cross Tracks Church has two Sunday services. The first is a traditional service at 9 a.m. and the other is a contemporary service at 11 a.m. Sunday School is at 10 a.m. A prayer and communion service is held weekly on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. The youth group meets Sundays at 5 p.m. and the senior citizens group, called Grandies, meets Wednesdays at 9 a.m.

The church is also home to Sonshine Friends Preschool and hosts the Boy Scouts of America.

Cross Tracks Church is located at 101 Church Street in Liberty Hill. For more information, visit
crosstrackschurchumc.org.

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