Church Staff

Senior Pastor

Pastor Mark Porterfield was born in Victoria, TX and baptized at FUMC Victoria. His family moved to Corpus Christi in the early 60’s, where he was confirmed at FUMC Corpus Christi and, years later, was recommended as a candidate for ordained ministry. Pastor Mark graduated from UT Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and worked briefly as an engineer for the Texas Highway Department before attending Perkins School of Theology at SMU. He began his pastoral ministry as an associate at Westlake UMC (3), followed by Manchaca UMC (3). He served as the Senior Pastor of Buda UMC (14), FUMC Portland (5) Port Lavaca UMC (3), and most recently Canyon Lake UMC (4).

Pastor Mark is married to the former Margot Gonzales. Margot was born and raised in San Antonio. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from UTSA and worked in that field until their second child was born. While in the Buda area, Margot worked for the local paper. While the family lived in Port Lavaca, Margot returned to the Human Resources field working for a non-profit organization called Mid-Coast Family Services. She most recently cared for her mother and stepfather until their deaths this past year.

The Porterfields have two daughters: The eldest, Maxwell, is 27 and has a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. She resides in New York City and does live musical theater (www.maxwellporterfield.com). The youngest, Magdalene, is 24 and has a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. She is a medical speech pathologist specializing in head and neck cancer at an ENT clinic in Fort Worth.

Grace UMC is her first formal appointment; she has previously served as an elementary-level Sunday school teacher at Highland Park UMC (Dallas) and a jack-of-all-trades intern at Grace Avenue UMC (Frisco). Rebekah is the eldest of five siblings, and has an adorable nephew. She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in Old Testament studies. When she’s not at church, Rebekah enjoys reading, watching movies, keeping up with archaeological discoveries, going on adventures, and all manner of musical and theatrical endeavors.

Associate Pastor

Pastor Rebekah Rochte spent her childhood on military posts in the U.S. and Germany before her family settled in Virginia. Despite her plans to be an archaeologist, Rebekah first heard the whispers of a call to ministry while she was a performer and small group leader for an ecumenical touring choir, and moved to Texas to pursue that call.

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Victoria Low

Youth Ministries

Victoria loves working with the Youth and teaching them how to get closer to Christ. She is married to David, a local elementary school principal, and has two children David Jr. and Naomi.
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Kristen Veit

Director of Communication

Kristen is a Corpus Christi native and graduate of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Kristen is passionate about all areas of communication and spreading the word of God through her skills as a video editor.
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Debbie Shannon

Children Ministries

Debbie answered the Spirit’s call leading her to her passion of working with children, and was ultimately blessed with becoming Grace’s Director of Children’s Ministries.
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Cathy Chaloupka

Finance

Cathy was born and raised in Corpus Christi and previously worked for Levi Strauss, Energy Industries, and Stripes (Susser) before starting work at Grace UMC & Asbury UMC.
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Michael Kris Perez

Music Director

Michael feels blessed to be a part of the Music Ministry at Grace UMC and that God has called him to use his skills and talents to serve God and God’s people.
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Ira Besse

Office Manager

Ira is an outgoing person who loves to be around people of God. Ira graduated from W.B. Ray High School in 1979. Ira has been married to her husband Allan since 1980 and has two sons, Paul & Brandon.
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Grace is a church that believes in Jesus, a church that loves God and people.

We believe the church is the community of faith where we connect with God and one another.  In this community, we put into action – supporting and caring for one another and our neighbors, growing in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ and leading others to become disciples. 

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