MaryKaye Cochran joins conference center staff


Article published: April 24, 2018
By Forrest White

After 16 years as a Christian educator in local churches, MaryKaye Cochran joined the Virginia Conference administrative staff team on April 2 and hit the ground running.

That didn’t come as a surprise to the Rev. Mark Ogren, conference Director of Congregational Excellence, who has known Cochran for 30 years.

“She’s very well-organized, and she greets people well,” he said.

Cochran came to the conference position after nearly 12 years at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield where she served as Director of Discipleship. Her primary responsibilities there included children, youth and adult ministries, with direct supervision of staff for those ministries. She also worked with welcome ministries – guest follow up, greeters, ushers, parking and new member classes.

“It was a big job,” she said, with a laugh.

The heavy administrative load prepared her well for the new position.

Before Woodlake, Cochran served on staff at Farmville UMC and Duncan Memorial UMC in Ashland.

Why the move from the local church to the conference position?


Her husband Larry is pastor at Belmont UMC located in Richmond.

“I felt God moving me to be at Larry’s church,” Cochran said. “I had to be at Woodlake on Sundays. I tried to go to Belmont one Sunday a month. When I saw this position, Larry and I talked and thought a Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. job, might be good for our family. I can be a pastor’s wife. I love to sing in the choir. I can do that every Sunday now and go to choir practice every week!”

Cochran cited organization as one of her biggest strengths. She said she is looking forward to supporting training events and planning and coordinating events, among her many responsibilities.

Having served on the Board of Higher Education, the Virginia Christian Educators Fellowship and the Richmond District leadership training team, Cochran already knew several of the administrators who are now here teammates.

“I know I have a lot to learn, but I believe I have a good framework in place,” she said.

Ogren was pastor at Farmville UMC when Cochran joined the church in 1988.

“She has a passion for the United Methodist Church,” he said. “MaryKaye and Larry are two of the most deeply spiritual people I know.”

You can reach the Center for Congregational Excellence at (804) 521-1100 and ext. 156 for Ogren and ext. 155 for Cochran.

-Forrest White is a news associate with the Virginia Conference Communications office.


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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100
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