Children & Youth Minister
Laura and I have deep roots in Albuquerque. We were born and raised in the south valley of Albuquerque; we are both third-generation Querquenos. We met doing musical theater in high school and were married in August of 2002 after I graduated from UNM.
In 2002, while serving at the Christian Student Center and attending UNM, I took a drive up to the crest of Sandia. I hiked out on a ledge that overlooked
Albuquerque and sat and prayed about my future and God’s calling for me. As I looked over my home, I prayed that God would use me to make a difference here— to make His name known in a city that desperately needed Him. But God had different plans for us by way of Dallas.
We moved to Dallas in that December. We worked a few odd jobs and became members at The Branch Church (Farmers Branch Church of Christ). A year later, I joined the staff and served in a variety of roles. Laura actively served in children's ministry and worship ministry.
God led us to Dallas for a 10-year journey of
trials, lessons, and opportunities— all made
to refine and prepare us for where He wanted
to use us next. In 2012 God was placing Albu-
querque, and more specifically Montgomery,
on my heart. I saw from a distance the great
restoration that was happening at Montgomery.
I continued to pray that God would open and close doors and make it obvious where he wanted us. In May of 2013, doors flew open. That summer we applied for the Lead Minister position, interviewed, were hired, sold our house and
moved in time to get our kids into school on August 12, 2013.
It is great to serve in a place where I can use my gifts of teaching and leadership and Laura can use her gifts of leading worship. We have both received gifts of grace, love, and healing from God through the local church, and we are passionate about sharing that with others through our ministry at Montgomery.
Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; my family and I moved back home to Ross, Ohio when I was almost ten years old. What I didn’t know then was that had we not moved to Ohio, I would have never met my wife, Shelby. We went to high school together and connected after high school through soccer. We both attended Cincinnati Christian University, where I studied Preaching and Congregational Ministry and she studied Early Childhood Education.
While in school, I went through many internships in Ohio, as well as one in Knoxville, Tennessee which was pivotal in my growth and development in Christ. Shelby and I were married in June of 2017 and adopted our dog, Thor, shortly thereafter. As we started our life together and bought a home closer to Cincinnati, we realized that all these pieces of our life happened to be scattered around in many directions and we prayed that God would bring the pieces all together, so that we could really dive into every aspect of life and ministry. While visiting Shelby’s sister in El Paso, Texas, we made a day trip to Las Cruces and felt like New Mexico might be a place we could call home one day - but we didn’t know then what God had in mind.
After a short visit to Albuquerque, Shelby and I both knew that this was a place we could easily call home. God had opened the door and we felt so welcomed and saw the potential to plant our roots here and really grow in community. Our hearts are passionate for our neighborhood and for developing relationships. We strive to love others like God loves us. We are expecting our first child this year, a little boy. We are so
thankful that God opened this door and we can't wait to see how we grow and are challenged in Albuquerque!
As you might assume from the last name and the photos above, Laura is the wife of our Lead Minister, Jason Burnett. And, since Jason tells their story--and not just his story--above, you already know that their lives have been intertwined since their teen years in Albuquerque's South Valley. What Jason doesn't tell you is that Laura has an amazing musical talent, and that she is truly blessing our church
with her voice, her ability at choosing the right music for each worship gathering and arranging it for our Praise Team, and especially how her faith and her love of God comes through every time the church gathers.
Children and Youth Ministry Director
I have served as a leader in children’s ministry at Montgomery since September of 2004. I came onto the staff in May of 2005 as the full-time Children’s Minister and served in that capacity until June 2014. The Lord called me back to again be on Montgomery’s staff in July of 2017. It seems that I just can’t stay away!
I attended Abilene Christian University as a Theater major and later Texas Tech University. I am a native west Texan but moved to our beloved New Mexico in 1995 with my husband, Rodney. We have been married for 22 years and have three children. Our oldest, Gillian, is a student at the University of New Mexico. Sage, is a junior in high school, and our youngest, Pax, is in elementary school.
If you’d asked me what I was going to do with my life back in my twenties, children’s ministry would never have crossed my mind. It was a beautiful woman of God named Lorene Brazell who saw a gift in me that I was unaware of. She asked me to lead a children’s program for the Ladies Bible class over and over until I finally said yes. It was then that I found my calling.
I believe children are the most vital ministry in the church because they are the future of the church. I love partnering with parents in teaching them to know God, love Him, and love others in His name for the rest of their lives.