Worship Ministry StaffDean Savage
Pastor of Worship Ministries
940.723.2764 ext 2151
Pastor of Contemporary Worship Ministries
940.723.2764 ext 2153
Director, Academy of Fine Arts
940.723.2764 ext 2152
940.723.2764 ext 2157
Children's Music Coordinator
940.723.2764 ext 2169
Worship Administrative Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2150
Contemporary Worship Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2082
Worship Administrative Assistant
940.723.2764 ext 2154
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:
Guitar / Percussion
Mr. 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, he spent over 30 years as a high school band director and woodwind specialist. Ed 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, and 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.
Clarinet / Flute / Saxophone
Geoffrey Martin is currently in his second year as the Assistant Director of Bands and Percussion Coordinator for Rider High School in Wichita Falls, TX. His responsibilities include teaching and designing for the Marching Band, Percussion Ensembles, and Jazz Band, as well as teaching the beginning percussion at McNiel Junior High School. Prior to teaching at Rider, Mr. Martin was a Marching Percussion Technician for several bands around the Tulsa, OK area, including Skiatook High School, Catoosa High School, and Broken Arrow High School. In addition to teaching and designing for marching band, Mr. Martin also taught private lessons and beginning percussion master classes.
Mr. Martin graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and studied percussion under the direction of Tom McGillen.
In addition to teaching percussion, Geoffrey is the Electronic Designer and Audio Consultant for the 2013 Drum Corps International World Champion, Carolina Crown.
Elton Milford is a retired teacher and director, now instructing in low brass and trumpet at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was a WFISD band director for 30 years at Hirschi and Barwise, preceded by 6 years at City View. He has earned Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Midwestern State University. Elton is a native Wichitan married to Patti Milford. They have been members of First Baptist Church for almost 40 years.
Trumpet / French Horn
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.
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 summa cum laude. She studied with Alfred Mouledous, Dr. David Karp and Dr. Janice Kay Hodges. She obtained her Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Texas in Austin with Dr. William Race. She was a church pianist and had a private studio in New Orleans. She was a choir director for Episcopal for the junior high and high school students. She is a member of the Wichita Falls Music Teachers Association, the Texas Music Association, and the Music Teachers National Association. She is also an accompanist for FHUMC Youth Choir and an active choir member of FHUMC and ENCORE!. She also plays the organ and the violin. She and her husband reside in Wichita Falls.
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. Her husband, Dr. James Schuppener, is Director of Choral Activities at Midwestern State University. The Schuppener's taught in Kansas for twenty years prior to moving to Wichita Falls. They have two children, Mark and Laura.
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. Melissa and her husband, Darren, have three children, Christopher, Joshua and Eliana.
French Horn / Trumpet