Bill and Dianna

My name is Bill Laubenberg. The lovely lady you see with me is my wife Dianna. This summer in July we will be celebrating 33 years together.

I have four children, all grown and 5 grandchildren. My family is spread all around the country. Nick, my son, is up in Massachusetts with his wife and 4 children. My oldest daughter, Amy, is still living with us. Mary, my middle daughter is in Austin with her husband and child. The youngest, Wendy, is in the United States Navy. She is currently in Virginia stationed aboard the USS Lincoln.

I was born in New York in the first bedroom community outside the city limits. I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church my mother attended. When I was five, Exxon Corporation decided to move their main headquarters down to Texas and my family was part of that move. I was raised in the Spring Branch area of Houston, graduating from Spring Woods High in 1973.

Following the call to ministry that I felt beginning in junior high, I attended Texas Lutheran College, now Texas Lutheran University. In three and a half years I received my BA in Theology. I attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and received my M. Div. from there in 1981.

I served as a Chaplain at Winnebago State Mental Institute in Winnebago, Wisconsin and at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska before returning to Texas. I returned to Texas to follow my calling into the parish ministry. My first call was at a two point parish in the Texas hill-country. After three years we moved to a Church down by Victoria, Texas and remained there for about three years.

At this time, we discovered that my oldest daughter was a child with special needs. In order to get her to a school system that could answer her needs, we needed to get to an urban school district. I was accepted at The Methodist Hospital Houston as a chaplain under a one year contract. During this time I also ministered at Ben Taub Hospital as a night chaplain. Ben Taub is a level one trauma hospital, which means the worst cases were brought there. I also helped out preaching at area churches. After my year contract at The Methodist Hospital was over, I attempted to return to parish ministry. This was not to be at this time.

Needing to support my family, I turned to retail sales. After a time in retail sales, I turned to teaching. I was a public school teacher for 15 years. My time was spent in special education. The last nine years were spent working with emotionally disturbed children. Through a good portion of this time I continued to actively preach and even took some long-term preaching positions.

While my mother was alive I remained in the Lutheran Church. When she died, I looked for a new home. While growing up, my father watched the First United Methodist Church of Houston broadcast on Sunday mornings Pastored by Dr. Charles L. Allen. This gave me a direction to follow. From the first day in my current home church, First United Methodist of Katy, I felt at home. In talks with my pastor I shared my desire to return to the ministry. He was very supportive in this. I went through the process and took classes at Asbury Theological Seminary to strengthen my knowledge of Methodist history and polity as well as a class in the theology of John Wesley. All this has lead me to where I am today; my first appointment as a licensed local pastor in the United Methodist Church.