Staff & Lay Leaders


Rev. Bruce Beisner

Senior Minister

You will immediately feel Rev. Bruce Beisner's warmth and calm guiding nature. He is a gifted and authentic preacher with a friendly and flexible leadership style. Bruce served in ministry at several Unitarian Universalist churches in southwest Ohio before coming to Houston in August 2012. He and his husband, Jim Beisner, are the proud "parents" of a basset hound named Daisy. Read more about Rev. Beisner.

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Patti Withers

Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Patti has been a Unitarian Universalist religious educator for more than 14 years and has served as a Religious Education Director at congregations in Rochester, NY and in Houston before coming to BAUUC. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Southwest UU District Board and is active in the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). Patti is credentialled by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a Master Level Religious Educator and brings knowledge, experience and commitment to her leadership of our church programs for children, teens and adults.
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Sharlene Rochen


Sharlene retired from the Texas Department of Transportation in 2013 after a career that began in Information Technology and ended in Administrative Management. After taking time off to pursue her hobbies of photography, knitting and dog training, she's excited to be working as our new BAUUC part-time Administrator/Bookkeeper.

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Beth Jordan

Music Director

Beth is rock n’ roll and classical and everything in between. She has a BS in Special Education, with a minor in Music from Avila College in Kansas City. After spending a decade touring with a rock band, she eventually turned to her favorite love – teaching children. Beth has directed the BAUUC Choir for over 10 years. She continues to perform with her trio, Just Us.  As often as not you can hear almost as much laughter as singing coming from the choir loft during the Wednesday rehearsals. Join us! While reading music is helpful, the only real requirement is that you can carry a tune. 


Lillian Bell


Lillian is responsible for clean-up and setup for events. If you haven't met her , she looks forward to getting to know you. Lillian is a very proud grandmother of eight grandchildren who enjoys spending time with them. She says that BAUUC plays a very important role in who she is and who she hopes to become.

Gillian Wells

Youth Director

Gillian Wells has been part of the BAUUC community since the fall of 2014.  She and her family, which includes two young boys, moved here from Rochester NY in the summer of 2014.  For almost 15 years her career centered around directing programs that addressed homelessness and housing issues; she also worked in the HIV/AIDS field for about five years.  This role as the Youth Director is her first foray back into the workforce after staying at home with her sons for 7 years.  Gillian has a lot of appreciation for Texas, primarily the friendliness of people here.  However, she remains a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan!


Kristin Gates

Child Care Provider

We trust Kristi with our youngest UUs. Our children adore her. Kristi has a life-time of professional experience with special needs education and a passion for taking care of children. Kristi makes childcare seem effortless because of her warmth and careful attention.

Volunteer Leaders

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Judy Bergman

President of the Board

Judy has been a member of BAUUC for 15 years.  She is a retired university instructor who has been involved in many areas of the church, including RE, stewardship, ministerial search, treasurer, and choir.  She loves music and travel.

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Rusty Cockrell

Vice President

Rusty was born and raised in the Church.  He has been an active member for over 30 yrs and cherishes the Lifespan RE circle from wild little boy of the early 70's to teaching Junior High and High School in the 90's and early 2000 yrs.  He has taught OWL numerous times and feels honored to be part of that educational experience.  He enjoys traveling, especially with his father to Major League Baseball Stadiums.  He also enjoys fishing, skiing, golfing, or just being in the water anywhere.  This Church is like my extended family, and I am truly honored to be in fellowship with and serve it!
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Paul Dum


Paul joined BAUUC in late 2013 and joined the Board in 2015.  A NASA instructor and flight controller specializing in EVA (spacewalking) operations, he became treasurer in 2016. He has also been involved with the greeting team, Chalice Circles, and lawn maintenance at the church. His other interests include traveling, hiking, camping, backpacking, and reading.
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Judy Heilig

Finance Ministry Lead

Judy is the team lead of the Finance Ministry that looks after the financial health of the Church.  She and her team maintain fundraising events including the annual Stewardship  Campaign.  Judy has been a member of BAUUC since 1969 and has worked on most all the Ministries on behalf of BAUUC.  Since retiring from NASA Training Division she has traveled much and enjoys the company of dear friends she has made here at BAUUC.

LaVerne Nash

Care Ministry Team Lead

Asking for help is a sign of strength. The Care Team confidentially supports our congregation and friends by listening for the best way to help. LaVerne heads our Care Team and works closely with our Minister to provide meals, cards, phone calls and compassionate assistance to our members in times of need.



Butch Cockrell

Building and Grounds Ministry Team Lead

Butch leads a team of church volunteers who help maintain our building and grounds. This group cuts the grass, plans new landscape projects or assists our Sexton, Lillian Bell, with repairs to our building. Butch has been an active member of BAUUC for over four decades and has shared his passion for Unitarian Universalism through his involvement in just about every aspect of our ministries.

Thalia Parker

Hospitality Ministry Team Lead

Thalia, along with her team, organizes many of our weekly, monthly and annual social events at BAUUC. Sunday Lunches, End of the Month Parties, Wednesday Night Dinners and the UU Camping Group are just some of the many activities which help strengthen our community and offer fun ways to connect and meet new people.


Jeff Boxell

Community Service Ministry Team Lead

Reaching out in service to others is a passion for Jeff. As head of our Community Service Team, he organizes many of the numerous BAUUC service projects in our local community.  Jeff helps keep us connected to many local partners such as Bay Area Turning Point, Baybrook Nursing Home, and Interfaith Caring Ministries. Jeff invites you to sign up for a project that helps our community today!


Jane Malin

Service & Justice Ministry Team Lead

Want to help change the world? Jane works to support BAUUC's talent and treasure donations and hands-on service and advocacy. Among the many service and justice projects she oversees are our Community Service Team, Sustainability/Simplicity book group, One-Gay and Straight Together group, Neighborhood Project  activities and Mental Health Action outreach.

Bob Handy

Personal Finance Ministry Team Lead

Bob built his career helping people invest correctly and volunteers his talents at BAUUC by leading our Personal Finance Team. This Team helps coordinate our efforts to educate our members about retirement planning and investing.

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Kathy Johnson-Throop

Religious Education Ministry Lead

Kathy has been a member for more than 10 years. She's married to David Throop and has 4 children who also attend BAUUC. She has a background in computer science and she has served as the BAUUC Treasurer, and Finance Ministry Team Lead before taking over leadership of our Religious Education Ministry Team. She also sings in the choir, and assists with the youth choir.

Brenda Cockrell

Membership Ministry Team Lead

Brenda is one BAUUC's longest-term and most dedicated members. She works with our Membership Ministry Team to warmly welcome visitors and to assist newcomers in getting to know our church. Brenda served as our Director of Religious Education from 1993 to 2007 and as our Acting DRE for a period of 8 months in 2012-2013 during a transition in leadership. She and her husband Butch have been active members of the congregation for over 40 years.