Laura Merrill is Capital District Superintendent for the Rio Texas Conference of the UMC, in Austin, Texas. Her Cabinet experience also includes service as Assistant to the Bishop, Director of Clergy Excellence, and El Valle District Superintendent, on the Texas-Mexico border.
As a young adult, Laura served as a missionary in Chile and with the Desert Southwest Conference in Tucson, Arizona. After seminary, she pastored local churches in Victoria, Los Fresnos, and Wimberley, Texas, followed by her appointment to the Cabinet in 2010. She is fluent in Spanish and was actively involved in the unification of the Rio Texas Conference. Her experience working with the poor and in cross-cultural regions has shaped her approach to ministry in fundamental ways.
Laura is mother to Caroline, a college junior in San Marcos, Texas, and Joe, a graduate student in Boston. She enjoys music, theater, thrift shops, and daily walks with her curious dog.
Leadership & Service
- Endorsements by the Rio Texas Delegation (2020 & 2022) and the SCJ Women’s Leadership Team (2020)
- Member of the SCJ Committee on the Episcopacy and the Commission on General Conference
- Former member of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
- Board Secretary, Texas Methodist Foundation
Education & Academic Honors
- M.Div. | Candler School of Theology, Emory University
- Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership)
- Theta Alpha Kappa (Theology)
- B.A. in International Studies | Southwestern University
- Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)