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Rev. Paul L. Rasmussen, Senior Minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, will be Shelton's 2023 graduation speaker on Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on Shelton's football field (rain-out date is May 21). His speech at the 2022 Shelton Senior Luncheon about being the best you can be was so powerful that that Shelton administration wanted this year's graduating class to hear the same motivating message.

Before entering seminary in 2000, Paul served as an assistant men's basketball coach at Centenary College for five years. During his tenure, Centenary was one of seven NCAA schools to graduate 100 percent of its players. Paul left coaching in 1997 to pursue a career in sports marketing where he served as the National Sales Director for SportsCare USA, Inc. He began pursuing his call to ministry in 2000. He has served on the staff at Highland Park United Methodist Church since 2000.

Paul began an internship at HPUMC in 2000 while studying for his Master of Divinity from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. In 2001, he began preaching at Cornerstone, Highland Park United Methodist Church’s contemporary worship service. In 2013, Paul became the eleventh senior pastor to serve HPUMC congregation’s of over 15,000 members. Paul has overseen several new church plans. In 2011, Munger Place Church was renovated and reopened serving as an East Dallas satellite campus. The Grove Church launched in 2017 in North Dallas and Uptown Church began in 2021. He also played a key role in the opening of the Tolleson Family Activity Center in 2019, which is home to HPUMC’s Belong disAbility Ministry and Family Ministry.     

A native of Shreveport, La., Paul is a fourth-generation United Methodist minister. He holds an undergraduate degree in History from Centenary College of Louisiana, a Master of Arts from the University of Richmond and a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology.

Paul and his wife Ashley, a real estate agent in Dallas, have three children: Paul, Jr., Arden, and Luke, who is a member of Shelton's Class of 2023.

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