The youngest of "Preacher" P.G. and Paltha Warren’s three children, John graduated from Galena Park High School in the Houston area and attended college for 2½ years before leaving to work in advertising with the Weiner's Department Store chain. While there, he served as the youth director at Terrace UMC and experienced the call to enter the ministry. John graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and continued studies at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia graduating in 1986. He has served churches in Caldwell, Carthage, Houston, Jewett, Rockdale, and now Orange.
John and the churches he has served have received many honors over the years. In 1988 he was nominated by the Progressive Farmer Magazine as Pastor of the Year. His church was awarded The Church and Society Award by the Annual conference. One of his many awards includes the Annual Conference choosing his church as the Small Membership Church of the Year.
John’s many interesting hobbies including tubing, kayaking and sports car rallies, but most recently he enjoys spending time traveling with his wife, Sandra Valverde Warren. Sandra grew up in Houston and is a 1987 graduate of the University of Houston. She was a legal assistant for the law firm of Simmons and Fletcher for 12 years before changing careers. Sandra now teaches Spanish at LCM High School. John and Sandra were married at Fair Haven United Methodist Church on December 18, 2010.
While he first intended to be a youth minister, as a summer youth director (3 years) at Foundry United Methodist Church in Jersey Village, he found he loved people of all ages. Still being a child or youth at heart, he fit in with each group! At his first church near Caldwell—Cooks Point United Methodist Church—he served as the President of the Ministerial Alliance. He organized a food pantry/furniture store similar to Goodwill Industries, which has currently outgrown two buildings and is still growing! For this work, he was nominated for Minister of the Year and Cooks Point UMC won an award from the conference for its mission work.
He transferred to Rehobeth United Methodist Church in Carthage, Texas, but reoccurring eye problems sent him to Houston after three years. As Associate Minister of Evangelism, Youth and Pastoral Care at FairHaven United Methodist Church, he helped form the single's ministry, which has over 1,500 members and is where he met Sandra. He also experienced eight eye surgeries, a broken back and shoulder (from a fall off his roof), a near electrocution from an electric lawnmower and a near drowning from a white water rafting trip (a newfound sport) with the youth. If that wasn’t enough, he also took up sports car racing!
The tiny church of Jewett UMC became his next home for a student appointment; however, the church wanted a full-time pastor. Under John’s leadership, the church built a new sanctuary and started a men’s group, which received a new church van by winning a national bowl-a-thon. The church was awarded Church of the Year, and once again John was nominated for, but did not win, Minister of the Year. Instead, he won a higher honor—The Denman Evangelism Award. His adventures continued to take him to the mountains to snow ski and to the doctor with a cracked shoulder!
Early in John’s career (1987), he spoke at a Youth Rally at St. John’s UMC in Rockdale, at which time he asked God to let him serve there if that church ever came available. In 2003 unbeknownst to his District Superintendent, he got the call to Rockdale.
In 2011 John and Sandra moved to Orange to serve God on the coast and to serve Orange as a peace maker and to open new areas of ministry. “The people here have a wonderful spirit to serve God and change lives for Christ. I have grown in my faith being their shepherd.”John and Sandra enjoy people, laughter, and travel to Wimberley, Texas, where they will retire one day!
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