Pastor Debbie Cummins
Pastor Debbie is originally from Louisiana. Raised in a Southern Baptist church, she became curious about
the gift of the Holy Spirit after reading the book of Acts. She began to seek God for the Holy Spirit in her
own life at the age of sixteen. God answered her prayers in May, 1974, when she attended a Dottie Rambo
concert. She recalls Dottie Rambo stepping to the mic to pray, raising both arms and saying "Oh, God..."
At that point, Pastor Debbie heard the sound of rushing wind just like in the book of Acts and began to
speak in tongues as she felt the Holy Ghost drop over her like a sheet. She shook under the anointing for
several hours after the service. She could only hope that this was the book of Acts experience since she
had never seen nor heard anyone else receive the gift of the Holy Ghost or speak in tongues.
Pastor Debbie wanted to learn more about her new gift from God, however information was unavailable in
the Baptist church. Once she had graduated from high school, she moved from her childhood home to a
larger town to attend college. She noticed a tent revival on the roadside and decided to attend. This was
her first time to be in a Pentecostal service. She remembers the minister laying hands on people and them
being slain in the Spirit as the power of God fell on them. She had never seen anything like this before, so
she asked someone who was at the meeting to explain what was going on. A lady minister in attendance
shared her insight into being slain in the Spirit which further sparked Pastor Debbie's interest. Within just a
few weeks Pastor Debbie began attending church services in the lady's home and was soon assisting as a
minister in the services. Since the lady minister operated in gifts of healing and deliverance, Pastor Debbie
soon encountered a wide variety of experiences in the Holy Ghost. This was a great time of training.
Once Pastor Debbie had completed her education, she returned to her home town to work and attend a
United Pentecostal Church. However, the call God had placed on her life began to tug at her heart and led
her to spend a summer working with home missions work on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Tohatchi, NM.
While on the reservation, an opportunity presented itself to work in the UPC in Odessa training teachers for
Sunday school. She continued ministering and working in various capacities within the UPC for several
years. After much prayer and soul searching, Pastor Debbie decided to leave the UPC in the early 1990's.
At that time, while seeking another church organization that embraced the book of Acts teachings, she
contacted the fellowship of Reconciling Pentecostals International (RPI). Pastor Debbie later received her
ordination with RPI as a charter member, being part of the first group of ministers ordained into RPI.
After ordination, Pastor Debbie felt that God was calling her to begin a work for ALL people in the Odessa
area. New Song Fellowship was born in May of 2002. Her dedication to God's people, coupled with her
knowledge of God's word, make her an awesome Pastor and minister. Under her leadership, New Song
Fellowship continues to grow and become all God wants it to be. In addition to pastoring the church,
Pastor Debbie served for several years as the national secretary for RPI. She resigned that position in May,
2007, in order to dedicate more time to the local church, but continues to serve as a national presbyter on
the RPI General Board of Presbyters. She currently is the head of the education committee and is involved
with training and licensing ministers into RPI.
Pastor Laveta Shelton
Pastor Laveta is a native Texan born here in Odessa. Growing up in a home where her parents
had been offended by the church, she was not allowed to attend church services. However, God
always has a plan, and Pastor Laveta's grandmother was a faithful Christian who held strong to her
beliefs. She took every opportunity to teach Pastor Laveta about the things of God, often bringing
home extra Sunday School material which she used to teach her granddaughter after returning
from church on Sunday mornings. She often read to Pastor Laveta from the small Bible she was
never without. Pastor Laveta has many fond memories of those Sunday "lessons" and of hours
spent listening to her grandmother reading from the small Bible, often by the light of a flashlight.
As she grew up, Pastor Laveta always knew that there was something that made her seem to not
exactly fit in with everyone around her. When she reached her adolescent years she got involved
with the wrong things... some would say that she became involved with the wrong people. However,
she would be quick to tell you that it wasn't the people that were wrong, just the things they had
become involved with. Even as a child, she had a love and compassion for people.
Pastor Laveta first felt the call of God on her life at a young age, however it scared her because
she didn't fully understand this call. She did not want to go overseas as a missionary and serving as
a missionary was the only way that she could imagine God being able to use her. After dropping
out of school in the 10th grade, Pastor Laveta continued to run from God's call until she ran into a
stopping point as she began attending Redeemer Temple Christian Outreach at the demand of a
friend's mother. In order to maintain their friendship the girl's mother insisted that both girls had to
attend Church. At Church she met a very determined Sunday school teacher that wouldn't take
"no" for an answer. On the days she decided not to go to Church, Pastor Laveta was greeted early
in the morning with a Volkswagen horn steadily honking under her bedroom window until she got up,
dressed and went to Church. While she was in attendance there, Pastor Laveta was baptized and
received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Being a teenager and finding herself in love, Pastor Laveta's parents decided to allow her to marry
at the age of 15. She became involved in being a wife and soon had two children which kept her
very busy, allowing no time for church. However, God would not give up on her. At the age of 20,
she once again started searching for that feeling she had experienced when she received the Holy
Spirit as a teenager. After attending numerous churches and finally giving up on finding the same
experience again, she received a phone call from her old Sunday School teacher ( the one who
couldn't take no for an answer). She invited Pastor Laveta to attend a Church which was holding
meetings in the Odd Fellows Lodge. As she approached the door, Pastor Laveta heard the familiar
sound of praise and worship and people speaking in tongues. However, fear gripped her as she
once again felt that tug of God to move into the call He had placed on her life. That night, at her
first visit to the church, the belief that God had placed a call on her life was confirmed. The pastor,
who did not know her, spoke to her with a word of knowledge stating that she had been praying
that she would do anything that God wanted her to do. She just didn't want to go to the Philippines
(the only reference that she had of someone being called by God was a young man whom she had
known growing up that was called as missionary to the Philippines.) The Pastor confirmed that God
did have a call on her life, however God was not asking her to go overseas as a missionary.
The next several years Pastor Laveta became closer to God and learned much about the things of
God. She learned about prayer, healing, deliverance, and faith. From a special lady minister that
God placed in her life, she learned a lot about Grace... She studied the Word and received training
as a minister through RHEAMA Bible training school through their home training program. In
addition to much prayer and study, Pastor Laveta gained experience in the ministry by serving as a
youth minister for three years. Later, the church that she was attending closed. Pastor Laveta
began having services in her home as she waited on direction from God.
Even though she had received the Holy Ghost and was being used by God in the ministry, it was not
until later that Pastor Laveta finally began to deal with and accept the realization that she was gay.
With all the wonderful teaching that Pastor Laveta received no one was able to help her deal with
this. The one thing that had never been taught in the churches she attended was that God would
still love her even after she finally accepted the fact that she was gay. Instead, she was taught that
God wouldn't love her. She was told that she could not live for God or walk in a ministry once she
had accepted the truth about herself and had begun to be who she really was. So, believing that
God didn't or couldn't love her, Pastor Laveta left the church. For the next several years she was
involved in a number of life experiences that took her away from the walk with God that she had so
loved and embraced. However, God always has a way of making the most of anything we give to
Him. The experiences she had while away from the church, God now uses to help her minister to
those who are lost and hurting like she was.
In 2005, after years of feeling rejected, Pastor Laveta was invited to attend New Song Fellowship,
an affirming church where all people are welcome. Upon entering the church, she felt that same
familiar feeling of the Holy Spirit and the Agape Love of God. This was the beginning of her journey
back to God and back to the acceptance of the call God had placed on her life. In June 2005, while
attending a camp meeting at Fellowship of Love Outreach in Ft.Worth, Texas, God once again
stirred up the call to the ministry. A lady minister who had never met Pastor Laveta prophesied to
her saying, "You are a woman of God. Why are you not walking in your call?" God was once again
confirming things that had been prophesied before, including the fact that Pastor Laveta had been
called to the five fold ministry. It was then that she realized that not only did God still love her, but
also that His call was still very real and that the things prophesied to her through the years were still
valid even today.
In February 2006, Pastor Laveta was licensed as a minister with RPI. She received her full
ordination in February 2007. She now serves as the Associate pastor of New Song Fellowship and
also provides counseling through the church to hurting individuals.
Pastor Laveta received her Bachelors degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Art from the
University of Texas of the Permian Basin in August 2006.
Having a heart for people and a God given gift to minister to those who are hurting, she feels
honored and blessed to be a part of New Song Fellowship and RPI...