Allen Carson

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Pastor Allen was appointed to First United Methodist Church-Durant in June of 2022. Allen and his wife Katharine have two sons, Cal and Alex, and one daughter, Molly Grace. He has served United Methodist Churches across Oklahoma for the past 31 years as children, youth, and family minister, and as senior pastor for the past 21 years. He earned his undergraduate degree in Family, Marriage Relations, and Child Development from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master of Divinity Degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Over the past 32 years, Allen has also worked with children, youth, and young adults in foster care and juvenile justice programs. He has tutored and mentored in juvenile detention centers and alternative schools, and currently serves as a trainer and consultant with the Evolution Foundation and Oklahoma Systems of Care. He leads independent living workshops and training sessions for youth and adults. His work within the church has focused on strengthening churches’ relationships with people at the margins to offer spiritual, emotional, and material resources. As an Oklahoma Foster Care Alum, he often speaks on issues related to the foster care system, shares ways communities can help youth and young adults with behavioral and mental health issues, and shares his personal story. The Church, Teachers, and Mentors had a profound impact on Allen’s journey from foster care into adulthood.

Pastor Allen currently serves as Co-Chair of the State Advisory Team for Oklahoma Systems of Care, Oklahoma UM Local Church Transformation Team, and Dean of Confirmation Camp.

In his free time, Allen enjoys spending time with family, working on cars, and binge-watching streaming services.

Financial Secretary

Kay Eggleton

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Kay has blessed the ministry of First United Methodist Church for many years. She is presently our Financial Secretary. She will be sending out quarterly statements of your giving to FUMC. If you have any questions about your giving records or how to give online or by texting please call her at the church office on Monday mornings or contact her by email or at home at 580-380-0097.

Director of Music

Dr. Lisa Thomas

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We are excited to welcome Dr. Lisa Thomas as the new Director of Music at FUMC-Durant. Lisa has been active in church music from a very early age as the daughter of a Minister of Music father in the Baptist church, and a children’s choir leader mother. Originally from Tulsa, OK, she attended Ouachita Baptist University, majoring in choral music education, and Southern Methodist University, majoring in piano performance. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of North Texas in 2010.


Dr. Thomas served as the music director at Wesley UMC in McKinney for nine years as well as in other denominations during her career. Most recently, she has served as the organist, pianist, and bell choir director for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sherman, and is currently the Organist for Austin College.


Throughout her career, Dr. Thomas has given lecture-recitals and performances across the globe. She has received numerous awards and honors in the music field. She has a special interest in North American indigenous music and culture and continues giving presentations, and performances of solo piano and chamber music. She also enjoys water skiing, snow skiing and riding her horses.


Lisa currently resides in Van Alstyne, TX. She has two sons; Orion, who lives with his wife in Maine, and Hearth, who lives in Dallas. 

Children’s Ministry Director

Mardi Dunn

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I am Ms. Mardi, your new Children’s Ministry Director. My husband Brandon and I have 2 daughters, AJ and Orlena. We have 2 poodles, Daisy and Tina. We love camping and going to the lake. My favorite thing about camping is hiking and building campfires. I love coffee, movies, antiques, frogs, books, and plants.

I am so very excited to start this new journey with all of you. Working with children and helping them with their journey through Christ will be such a blessing in so many ways.