Our founder, Rev. Wes Seeliger, grew up in a sleepy town outside of Austin, TX. His religious experience was a kindly Methodist church. He became vibrantly awake to theology at the University of Texas in Austin as a member of the Christian Faith and Life Community. It was the first of an international student theological existential movement that challenged the political and social unrest of the time. It was supported by the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Austin, which influenced Wes to become an Episcopal priest. Bringing contemporary theology and theologians to the people in the pews became his goal. The Foundation was started in 1987 with the support of friends while serving a tiny parish in Houston. He published two books, “One Inch from the Fence”, a collection of spiritual anecdotes, and “Western Theology”, a comparison of his experience of the church with his pioneer vision of the Holy Spirit. FCT was a public expression of this vision through luncheon lecturers and major theologian events until his death in 2000.
Rev. Bob Tucker, Executive Director from 2000 until 2012, is retired from the First Congregational Church in Houston where he served from 1971 to 1999. His life experience has spanned five states from Minnesota to Texas and five years in Turkey. Turkey introduced him to Islam and another culture with its rich & diverse history. On his return to the States, he earned academic degrees in Library Science, Theology and Ministry. During his tenure as Executive Director with FCT, he organized yearly events into eight Luncheon Lectures featuring local theologians, clergy and philosophers of various disciplines and four major weekend events featuring theologians from the Jesus Seminar arm of the Westar Institute as well as others. He initiated clergy lunches with weekend speakers. His emphasis on non-literal interpretation of the Bible continues in his weekly study group. His work as Executive Director left us a rich heritage.
Rev. Les Switzer was Executive Director from 2013 through 2015. Les kept the luncheon lecture/weekend event format and added a focus on social issues being included with non-literal interpretation of Scripture. Prominent theologians addressed terrorism, animal abuse, capitalism, Faith and Science, psychology, the brain and God, ecology, views of evil, separation of church and state and more. Les was a journalist for nine years in the U.S. and S. Africa, a teacher of communication and history for 30 years in the U.S., Europe and S. Africa, and was ordained in the UCC church in 2007, after serving a year of chaplain residency at Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. He is a prolific published author of books and articles covering the varied areas of his life and is still writing! His tenure took us into theological aspects of the urgent issues of our time and created the space for the new format of Fish Bowl/Town Hall.