First United Methodist Church of Holland, Texas
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Rev. Philip Shuler

Rev. Philip L. Shuler (Jr.)

Since I am the new (should I say, “most recent”) pastor of the Holland United Methodist Church, let me spend a little time introducing myself to the community. My name is Philip L. Shuler (Jr.).

First, I am a Texas boy, born the son of a Methodist parsonage family who then resided in Alvarado, TX. During the first 10 years of my life, my family’s residence moved from Alvarado to West, then to Ferris followed by Valley Mills. The next move was to Bangs, TX where my father died of leukemia. My mother completed her certification for teaching and taught first grade for the next 18 years at North Ward Elementary in Brownwood, TX. After graduating from Brownwood High, I earned degrees at Southern Methodist University (B.A. and Seminary), Claremont Graduate School (M.A. in New Testament), and McMaster University (Ph.D. in Religious Studies), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I began preaching at age 16; and following my ordination as a United Methodist minister, I served for 47 years in smaller congregations while holding the position as Professor of Religion at McMurry University, Abilene, TX (25 years).

Second, I am married to Dr. Anita Coffey who was recently hired as Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. Anita grew up in Baltimore, Md., and holds degrees from Parkville High School in Baltimore, McMurry University (B.A.), and two degrees from Texas Tech University (M.A. and Ph.D. – Spanish). This is the second marriage for both Anita and me, and this is our 17th year of marital bliss! Anita has three “perfect” children from her previous marriage: Jeni, who with her Norwegian husband and son (a daughter on the way) lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Africa; Ben who is in training as a medic for the Army Rangers; and Austin, who with his wife lives in Abilene, TX. Philip has three children by previous marriage: Joel, who with his wife and two boys lives in San Antonio; Lance, who with his wife, a son, and a daughter lives in Portland, Oregon; and Marley, who with her husband, a daughter, and a son lives in Allen, TX. Combined, we share (or will soon share) eight grandchildren.

Hobbies? We love our work which leaves little time for other activities. We love traveling (especially to see children and grandkids), hiking, and camping. Anita loves liturgical dancing. We look forward to serving together at Holland UMC.