Rev. Clay Horton joined Vista Ridge UMC as Senior Pastor in 2019. He has a heart for helping people grow in their relationship with God and their neighbors. Clay is compassionate about mission work, believing we are all gifted to serve Christ and neighbor. He believes that Christ continually calls us to build relationships with people who look, believe, think, and act differently than ourselves. When empowered by the Holy Spirit, the church can and should be the greatest force for good in the world.
Prior to Vista Ridge UMC, Clay served four years as the Associate Pastor of Serving Ministries at Trietsch Memorial UMC in Flower Mound. During this time, he helped the church move to a model of mission that empowers each person to find their spot serving in the community and world. Clay also helped connect the church with a mentoring program that partners church members with a local elementary school. He has witnessed these relationships producing fruit for the school, the children, the church, and the mentors.
Clay also served two years as a church start pastor for Christ UMC Princeton, a plant of Christ UMC Plano. He did his internship at FUMC Allen. While in seminary, Clay was part of a new monastic community and participated in inner city youth ministry while developing a rhythm of prayer and focusing on community development and neighboring. Clay began his ministry as a youth director at A&M UMC in College Station. Clay is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BA in Communication and a minor in Business. He received his Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 2013. He was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in 2013 and was ordained as an Elder in 2016. He currently serves on the North Central District Committee on Ordained Ministry.
Clay and his wife, Errinne, grew up in Coppell, were high school sweethearts, and have been married since 2008. They have two young children, and a labradoodle named Amani (Swahili for peace). Clay likes outdoor activities such as hiking mountains, camping, cooking, traveling, bike rides, and spending time going on adventures with his family.