Rev. Dr. Howard White

Greeting From Pastor Alan



Rev. Dr. Howard White is the currently appointed Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Carbondale. He has a passion for the Wesleyan Means of Grace, with its twin focus on Works of Mercy and Spiritual Disciplines. He is delighted to return to Southern Illinois and looks forward to entering into community life along with his wife, Leah and their school aged children, Sophie and Dow.

Howard met Leah Farrar-White when both were involved in Community Theater in Springfield, Illinois. She taught Drama and Theatre in the Chatham school district, and has worked in a variety of teaching and theatre jobs since. They were married at Wesley’s Chapel in London, England in 2000. Sophie and Dow attend Carbondale Community High School where they are good students and enjoy a variety of activities.

Howard earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1993 and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2002. He also has a B.A. in Religion Studies from Texas Christian University and has done special studies at the Mar Thoma Theological Seminary in Kottayam, India and Durham University in England. He has taught classes in Preaching and Worship for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference School for License as a Local Pastor and the IGRC Course of Study School. He is a member of the Titanium Coaching Network of Church Leader Insights, and a former member of the National Speakers’ Association and the International Federation of Professional Speakers. Howard offers workshops in Assimilation and has helped multiple congregations with Stewardship. He is the author of “Next Steps on Your Faith Journey: 8 Next Steps for New Believers.” In college and graduate school, he served a number of ministry jobs, most notably as Associate Pastor of Wesley’s Chapel (the Mother Church of World Methodism) located in London, England. While there, he was also the Protestant Chaplain to the City University of London and the City of London Polytechnic.

Since returning to Illinois in 1993, Howard has served the following churches and ministries: Mt. Vernon First UMC — 1993-1995, Williamsville UMC — 1995-2000, Bethalto UMC — 2000-2003, Wesley UMC and the Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois — 2003-2011, Macomb Wesley UMC 2011-2019, and Carbondale First UMC since July, 2019. As a member of the Conference he has served on various committees and boards: The Board of Higher Education, Chair of Recruitment for the Board of Ordained Ministry, Chair of Worship for the Annual Conference Sessions Committee, The Wesley Village Board of Directors, The WIU Wesley Foundation Board, The Fellheimer Trust Committee, Representative to the World Methodist Council and Registrar for the Sangamon River District Committee on Ministry.

Howard’s interests include Music and Theater, and he has enjoyed opportunities to perform as a member of Starry Night Theatre in Macomb, the Alton Little Theater, the Springfield Choral Society, The Springfield Muni Opera, and the Springfield Theater Center, as well as performing in a number of fundraisers and recitals.