Rev. Lane Cotton Winn became lead pastor at St. John’s in July 2017. Previously she served as the senior pastor at Pearl River United Methodist Church (Pearl River, LA), associate pastor at Aldersgate UMC (Slidell, LA) and associate pastor at First UMC of Amite, LA. Lane earned her bachelor’s degree in communications, with a concentration in photojournalism, from Loyola University in New Orleans. Upon graduating, Lane moved to New York, where she was the staff photographer and audiovisual archivist for the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of The United Methodist Church. She earned her master of divinity from Emory University and is an ordained elder.
Lane’s husband, Ben Hartman, teaches 5th grade at the LSU Lab School, and together they have a 7-year-old daughter, Julian, and a four-legged “goldendoodle,” Hagrid. Both Julian and Hagrid are kind-hearted and quite precocious. Lane and Ben share a passion for travel, an appetite for delicious foods, an ear for good music, and enjoy the company of family and friends.
Rev. Deirdre’ Halliburton, Associate Pastor
Rev. Deirdre’ Halliburton provides oversight of our Christian Education programs, fellowship and connection opportunities, including Heavenly Hash, planning of special events, oversight of children and youth ministries alongside other staff and volunteers, and leadership recruitment and development of existing and new ministries. Sunday by Sunday, she adds to our worship services by assisting in vibrant ways of glorifying God with our St. John’s family of faith. Deirdre’s formative years were spent in South Africa where her parents were missionaries to the Zulu people. She attended German Lutheran boarding school while in Africa, and her family moved to America when she was 13 to settle in Mississippi. Deirdre’ graduated from high school at 16 and attended Mississippi College to earn her bachelor’s degree and RN credentials. She and her husband lived in Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee before moving to Louisiana in 1995. They have three beautiful children, Trey, Andree’ and Will. They have been members of St. John’s for about 20 years.
On staff since 2016, Deirdre’ graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in May 2019. In June 2019, Deirdre’ was commissioned as a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church and is in the process to become ordained. She received her appointment to St. John’s in 2018 and became full-time associate pastor on July 1, 2019. She loves the great outdoors, people, and books and is humbled and grateful to be on staff at St. John’s!
Lynn Cooper, Administrative Assistant
Lynn, a long-time member of St. John’s, joined the church staff in August 2014 after working 25 years in the non-profit field. She has two grown sons, Paul and Jody, two daughters-in-law, Natalie and Kimberly, and four grandchildren, Kellen, Madeline, Elizabeth and Ivy.
Dr. Terry Byars, Accompanist
Terry holds a B.S. in English Education from LSU and a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts also from LSU. He is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at River Parishes Community College. He has been the St. John’s organist since 2001.
Carrie Poynot, Director of Music Ministries
Carrie, a native of Arkansas, received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music Education from Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. She earned a Master of Music from LSU in Choral Conducting. Carrie taught choir (and an occasional speech and drama class) for six years to 5th-12th graders. She also worked as an activities director at a retirement home here in Baton Rouge. Carrie started at St. John’s in 2015 and now teaches K-2 Visual and Performing Arts at Democracy Prep Baton Rouge. She loves to sing, play fiddle and banjo and hang out with her three dogs Buckley, Elsee and Millie!
LeAnn Davis, Manager of Finance and Facilities
LeAnn joined St. John’s staff in December 2017.
Haleigh Schwartz, Youth Director
Haleigh comes to us from the Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT) as a Resident in Youth Ministry. CYMT residents earn a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary while also serving half-time at a local church during the three-year degree program. Haleigh grew up in Prairieville, graduated from St. Amant High School, and her parents currently live in Lottie. Her home church is First United Methodist Church in Gonzales. In 2019, Haleigh graduated from Louisiana Tech with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which includes minors in Exercise Science, Health Science, and Psychology. While at Louisiana Tech, she was active in the Wesley Foundation campus ministry. Through the Wesley Foundation, Haleigh served on three one-month-long mission trips during the summer to Cambodia in 2016 and Haiti in 2017 and 2018. These mission experiences helped her embrace her calling into youth ministry. After graduating Tech, Haleigh remained in Ruston to serve as a youth intern at Trinity United Methodist Church. Haleigh is a photographer, musician, and recreational athlete.
Bill Putzig, Custodian
Bill has been attending St. John’s for more than 12 years. He maintains our facilities and grounds and helps manage set up for all of our St. John’s worship services and events since 2017. He was born and raised in Florida and moved to Baton Rouge in 1997. Bill loves to hike and has two cats!