Rev. Sonya Renee Lars
Memorial United Methodist Church
Sonya Renee Lars was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and attended the
Smith Chapel CME Church in her formative years.
As the oldest of three children, she has always been a leader
in many environments and situations.
As a woman in ministry, she draws upon a lifetime of living as
an African American woman in a world that has not always recognized
the gifts and skills that God has blessed her with.
Sonya understands that whether those in power recognized our
gifts and graces does not matter as long as we use what God has given
us to build His Kingdom! Pastor
Lars loves to sing, dabbles in baking and loves to dance.
When personal time was more plentiful, she was a promising
seamstress and an avid reader, but now spends most of her time focused
on the ministry at hand. While
working for the State of Louisiana and serving as a part-time Local
Pastor, her attention was split between working, pastoring, and
spending time with family and friends.
Since July 1,
2012, she has focused all of her energy and attention on working
alongside the members of Mount Zion (New Orleans) to continue
rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Mount Zionís existing Good Samaritan Program to assist the
homeless has helped her to continue to reach out to the marginalized
and forgotten people that are all around us.
The United Methodist Church has worldwide mission initiatives,
but her heart remains with the forgotten among us.
Pastor Lars wants to empower the disenfranchised, educate those
left behind and nurture those that were wrongly told that they do not
matter. Jeremiah 29:11
reminds us that God has a plan for each of us.
celebrated her 50th birthday in 2013, she could see the
edge of the plan that God has in store for her and those that she
ministers to and with. She
is grateful for the nurturing and guidance she received from her home
church (Saint Mark UMC, Baton Rouge) and from the members of her first
appointment to a two point charge consisting of the Lutcher Chapel
(Lutcher) and St. Peter (Donaldsonville) churches.
A product of the Caddo Parish School System, she understands
the value of participating in the alumni associations of Green Oaks
High School (Shreveport, LA), Southern University Ė Baton Rouge
(B.S. and M.P.A.) and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
for Pastor Lars took many twists and turns.
She realized her call to ministry in the 1990ís, but was slow
to answer Godís call. She
completed License to Preach School in 2003.
After completing her M.Div. she entered the Residents in
Ministry program as a Provisional Elder as she moved to New Orleans to
pastor Mount Zion. She was
ordained in 2015 as an Elder in Full Connection.
Godís plans for each of us reveal the depth of his love and
concern for us. We need to
be ready to respond to where His plans will send us.