Dr. Ed Robb Announces Retirement
Dr. Edmund W. Robb III will be retiring as Senior Pastor of The Woodlands UMC effective June 30, 2021, at the end of the Texas Annual Conference year. Dr. Robb founded the church in 1978 when The Woodlands was only a fledgling community of families. He has remained as the pastor of the church for 43 years and has overseen the tremendous growth of church membership and outreach. Bishop Scott Jones will appoint Reverend Mark Sorensen to become the Senior Pastor upon the retirement of Dr. Robb.
Ed and Bev Robb arrived in The Woodlands in 1978 after he completed his Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. Dr. Robb was appointed to start a new Methodist Church in this growing community. He started knocking on doors as he worked to establish the new church. Over the years it’s grown from 160 members to its current status as the second largest church in Methodism with a membership of 14,000. Along the way, Ed and Bev have become an integral and beloved part of The Woodlands community. They have three married children: Nathanael and Karlie Robb; Edmund IV and Erin Robb; Ashley and John Ellis; and eight grandchildren.
Not only has Dr. Robb been a successful pastor, but he has been very active in the civic affairs of The Woodlands. For 20 years he served as an elected official of The Woodlands Township and its predecessor, TCID – Town Center Improvement District. During his tenure he led the way, along with State Senator Tommy Williams, in negotiating an agreement which allowed The Woodlands to become a Township. He was also instrumental in leading the TCID in partnering with private developers to build the Convention Center, develop Town Green Park and expand the Waterway.
He currently serves on the 25 member board of Houston Methodist Hospital, which is ranked among the elite hospitals in the world. He also serves as board chairman of A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE) which has provided over 160 fellowship grants to United Methodist doctoral students since 1977. He is a former trustee of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky and the author of The Wonder of Christmas, Under Wraps, Mountaintop Moments and Making Room: Sharing the Love of Christmas all published by Abingdon Press.
Reverend Mark Sorensen will become the Senior Pastor on July 1, 2021. Mark received his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and is the lead pastor of the Harvest community of The Woodlands UMC. He has served in the United Methodist Church for over 20 years in Texas and Louisiana. Dr. Robb invited him to join the pastoral staff at The Woodlands UMC seven years ago.
Under Mark’s leadership, the Harvest worship community has grown, adding a second worship service and averaging nearly 2,000 attendees each weekend. He looks forward to continuing the mission of the church to Win People to Jesus Christ, Disciple them in Faith and Help those in Need. He and his wife Nycki have two children: Nick and his wife Kristen, and Gabbi.
Stay tuned over the upcoming months for more information on how you can join us in celebrating Dr. Robb’s retirement and Mark Sorensen’s appointment.