The Commerce Journal

Local News

July 11, 2014

Meet new pastor Dr. Gregory Neal, enjoy FUMC Commerce ‘Jeopardy’

COMMERCE — “What is a fun way to meet the new pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce?”

The answer is a “Jeopardy”-style game show and luncheon immediately following the 11 a.m. July 13 worship service.  

The guest of honor is The Rev. Dr. Gregory S. Neal, recently appointed senior pastor of the church.  Lunch will be provided by the church’s youth mission group that will travel to Lubbock later in the month to repair the homes of low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners as part of U.M. ARMY (United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth).

Everyone is welcome to join in the fun and fellowship, and to learn about how FUMC-Commerce members connect with each other, grow in their faith and serve the community. The church is located at 1709 State Highway 50, across from Texas A&M University-Commerce. More information on FUMC Commerce is available at and by calling 903-886-3220.

Introducing himself to the FUMC Commerce congregation, Dr. Neal said: “’Putting one’s best foot forward’ is a challenge in the best of times, for first impressions are invariably the longest lasting ones.  Over the past 22 years of my ministry in the North Texas Conference, across six full-time appointments, I have come to the conclusion that, for me, the best approach is to simply be myself.”

Most recently before coming to Commerce, Dr. Neal served as the senior pastor at Northgate United Methodist Church in Irving. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and Duke University where his studies included extensive work in biblical studies, languages, systematic theology, worship and the sacraments. He has served for 24 years as the pastor of churches in North Carolina and North Texas.   

To take his teaching and preaching onto the worldwide web, in 1999 Dr. Neal founded Grace Incarnate Ministries (, which serves audio and video sermons, audio Bible studies, written theological papers and articles, to an Internet-based audience numbering in the tens of thousands. The purpose of Dr. Neal’s ministry is “to share the real presence of Jesus Christ through word and sacrament, creed and deed, with all of God’s children.”  

As a popular teacher, preacher, and retreat leader, Dr. Neal is known for his ability to translate complex theological concepts into common, everyday terms. He has spoken on many topics before thousands in churches and at conferences all over the world, but his area of specialization is the Theology of the Sacraments. Dr. Neal is the author of several books, including “Grace Upon Grace: Sacramental Theology and the Christian Life” and “Seeking the Shepherd’s Arms: Reflections from the Pastoral Side of Life.”

He has led several pilgrimages to Israel, has traveled widely to teach for the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Discipleship, and  enjoys volunteering his time as a Protestant chaplain for the Holland America Cruise Line. In addition to travel, his interests include astronomy, photography, music, hiking, sailing, reading, computers, and the Internet.


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