First Baptist ChurchWichita Falls, TX

Worship Ministry Staff

Dean Savage
Pastor of Worship Ministries
940.723.2764 ext 2151 

Ben Prater
Pastor of Contemporary Worship Ministries
940.723.2764 ext 2153 

Ed Hefti
Worship Associate
Director, Academy of Fine Arts
940.723.2764 ext 2152 

Kyle Coker
Technical Coordinator
940.723.2764 ext 2157 

Stasha Savage
Childrens Music Coordinator
940.723.2764 ext 2169 

Tommie Briley
Worship Administrative Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2150 

Leland Wetzel
Contemporary Worship Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2082

Erica Deweber
Worship Administrative Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2154 

Melanie Jones
Worship Administrative Assistant/Academy of Fine Arts Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2155

Our Academy of Fine Arts Faculty

Our Academy of Fine Arts is fortunate to have such outstanding instructors as these:
Ed Hefti

Ed Hefti is the Academy director and also teaches Woodwinds in the Academy of Fine Arts. Prior to coming on staff as the Worship Associate for First Baptist, Ed spent over 30 years as a high school band director and woodwind specialist.   He has served as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church, Archer City as well as the interim music minister at First Baptist Church, Iowa Park and Lamar Baptist Church, Wichita Falls.  He has also worked as an adjunct faculty member at Midwestern State University assisting with the University Jazz Ensemble and teaching improvisation.   has also performed with numerous jazz artists and pop groups and opened for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and BTO.  Ed received a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in Performance from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He and his wife Dianne currently reside in Iowa Park.

Marlene Murphy
Ms. Murphy is teaching Piano and Voice in the Academy of Fine Arts.  Marlene received her Associate of Arts degree at Kilgore Junior College, her Bachelor of Music Education with piano concentration from the University of North Texas, and her Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University.  Having served as Music Specialist in various elementary, Jr. High and Sr. High schools around the state, she has served most recently as Choral Director for Wichita Falls High School.  In addition to private teaching, she has been involved extensively as a Kodaly specialist, and served as the Third Vice President for the Texas Choral Directors Association.  Ms. Murphy is a member of the Wichita Falls Music Teachers Association, the Texas Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.  Ms. Murphy will also be tutoring those Sr. High Students wishing to prepare for U.I.L. events.
Deborah Renton
Mrs. Renton is teaching Piano in the Academy of Fine Arts.  Debbie received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance and piano pedagogy from Southern Methodist University and her Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Texas in Austin.  She has taught preschool music and choir at local schools, taught piano in a private studio and has been the accompanist for a local church.  She and her husband Paul reside in Wichita Falls.
Louise Schuppener
Mrs. Schuppener is teaching Piano and Violin in the Academy of Fine Arts.  Having received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Northern Illinois University and her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, she has continued her education towards her doctorate degree at Northwestern University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Mrs. Schuppener is also the orchestra director at Wichita Falls High School, Zundy Junior High, Ben Franklin, and Crockett Elementary.  Her husband, Dr. James Schuppener, is Director of Choral Activities at Midwestern State University.  They have lived in Wichita Falls for one year after teaching in Kansas for twenty years.  They have two children, Mark and Laura, who live in Ann Arbor, MI.
Melissa Ward
Melissa Ward teaches Voice in the Academy of Fine Arts.  Mrs. Ward received her Bachelor of Music degree at Midwestern State University in 1996, where she received the Outstanding Music Student Award, the William V. Boland Voice Award and more.  She pursued graduate studies at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas where she was a Graduate Assistant in Voice.  She was also private voice instructor at the time in the Keller Independent School District.  She was the Music Assistant to the Choir Director and the Voice teacher at Rider High School here in Wichita Falls.  In addition to being soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, the Verdi Requiem, the Bach Christmas Oratorio and more, she was also the featured soloist for the Wichita Falls Chamber Orchestra and Chorus.  Having sung in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Rene Clausen, she continues to use her extraordinary gifts and is in demand as a featured soloist for many organizations and events.  She is currently involved in Amazing Grace Ministries with her husband, singing and ministering throughout Texas and Oklahoma.  She and her husband, Darren, have three children, Christopher, Joshua and Eliana.