Rev. Laura Shearer

Minister of Congregational Care 

Laura joined the First-Centenary clergy staff in July 2020, coming out of clergy retirement which followed 15 years of clergy service and a lifetime of service as laity.  She began in the United Methodist Church in Warrenton, Georgia, where she grew up and first sensed God’s presence and call as a child. Her call to ordained ministry was realized in the 1990s when she was working as a counselor in the Chattanooga area.

She graduated from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2003 and pastored congregations in Cleveland and Knoxville before serving for 14 years as Holston’s pastoral counselor to clergy families.
Laura is delighted to serve the congregation at First-Centenary.  Her interests include counseling and spiritual growth and development,  sacrament and worship.

Laura’s sense of her role is to help others sense God’s presence which is the strength of her own life.  Her favorite scripture passage is in 1 John, particularly chapter 4 verse 7: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Laura is wife to John, mother to her sons Robert, Christopher and Benjamin Whitelaw and their wives Michelle, Sofia and Jana, and grandmother to 7 delightful grandchildren.  She loves gardening, watercolor painting and visiting estate sales.  “Old things carry precious stories of the lives of people! I love to imagine what they have to say!