Leadership Team

Since mid-summer of 2018, our church has been utilizing the services of a Preaching Team to assist Pastor Mary Breden in the delivery of sermons to the congregation.  Our Preaching team consists of Pastor Mary Breden, Certified Ruling Elder Beth Truax, and Ruling Elder Charley Kidder.   We recently added a new member Rev. Dr. Paula J. Sanders,  and renamed the group as the Leadership Team.


Rev. Mary Breden earned her Master of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She was ordained by Tres Rios Presbytery and called as the Pastor of Andrews Presbyterian Church in Andrews, Texas. She moved to the Rio Grande Valley after retiring, where she met the good people who are New Hope, La Feria. She has served them as Pulpit Supply, then as Interim Pastor, and finally as Stated Supply Pastor. She is married to Erik. They are the proud parents of Ceilidh, Sandy, and Boadicea – a cat and two dogs.


Beth Truax is one of the original Children of our Church since she began attending First Presbyterian Church of Harlingen in the early 60's.   A couple of years ago, she felt a calling to become a preacher and upon receiving approval of the congregation she began attending an online educational school, Union Presbyterian Seminary, for a period of two years.   She completed that study in May, 2019, earning the title of Certified Ruling Elder.  Beth achieved Commissioned Pastor on October 24, 2020.

Beth was baptized and raised Presbyterian. She was our Sunday School Teacher ages Kinder through Adult.  She either Chaired or Co-chaired just about every church committee including,  Finance, Christian Education, Worship, Fellowship, Property, Mission/Outreach, and Youth Group.  She was Moderator for Presbyterian Women, she sat on the Board for Su Casa de Esperanza, and many time Presbyter at Presbytery Meetings.  She sat on numerous Sessions as a Ruling Elder, and is a Past Clerk of Session.  She has held the office of Treasurer of the corporate company of First Presbyterian Church dba new Hope Presbyterian Church, La Feria since Jnauary, 2018.  Received Certification as Certified Ruling Elder from Union Presbyterian Seminary May 2019. She has been married to Rusty Truax for 45 years, they both live on the family farm, and they have been blessed with six adult children, five heart (in law) children, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Rev. Dr. Paula Sanders earned her Doctor of Ministry degree in feminist theology at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.  She was ordained as leader of the Lydia Women’s Empowerment Project of North Minneapolis in October 2006 and served as the Executive Coordinator of the 219th PCUSA General Assembly held in Minneapolis in 2010.  In September 2019, Rev. Sanders moved to Texas to join the group Angry Tias & Abuelas of the RGV engaging in person-to-person ministry on the U.S/Mexico border.  Rev. Sanders is proud “Nana” to eight exceptional grandchildren.


Charley Kidder, who has never declared a desire to be a full-time preacher nor take on a church, has nonetheless been involved in the preaching team and must be enjoying it since he continues to do it to this day.  He did attend one year of the online study at Union Presbyterian Seminary but only for personal enrichment and completed that study in May, 2019.

However, due to nudging from our Heavenly Father, he has returned to Union Presbyterian Seminary for second year set to complete by May, 2021.

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