This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18 (NIV)

Acts of Love – Local

Acts of Love began in March 2020 as we began this journey into COVID-19. We opened the doors for an emergency food pantry to help others through this time. As God has allowed us we have continued to navigate and realize that our community needs more and more Acts of Love, and the church, our church should lead the way. These actions and acts will help us to embrace others around us not only with food but in ways that draws them to the life changing love of Jesus Christ. Everyone can be involved even in the simplest ways in Acts of Love, from caring and checking on your neighbor, to serving at the food pantry, to connecting and serving in our community. God has called us for such a time as this to love in actions and in truth.

We will lead others to Christ through our Acts of Love, and we know this love by Christ laying his life down his life for us. We are praying for others to join us as we stand in the gap during this time to share their lives and Acts of Love. Come be a part of Local Missions and Community Outreach through Acts of Love.

What’s Happening Now

A Christmas Coffee House: Peace on Earth | November 30 – December 17
During the month of December, First Woodway Missions will be offering A Christmas Coffee House: Peace on Earth. This cozy little coffee house will be a local outreach event and will be open Monday – Thursday, November 30 – December 17, from 6:30 – 10:30 am in The Venue foyer. Peace on Earth will be a warm gathering place for the community and our church family to enjoy coffee, tea, and breakfast items. This quiet location will be the perfect spot to meet friends, pray with someone, take a break from the holiday chaos, and connect with those within our church family and those looking for a church home. It will be free of charge; however, instead of donations to missions, we are asking those who come to then bless one of our food client families with a Christmas meal. In a time when fear and doubt fill our lives, this will be a place to embrace the peace of God. We hope to see you there! If you would like to volunteer at the coffee house then sign up here.

Christmas Missions Offering | Month of December
As a church, First Woodway has strongly supported missions projects through giving, including those promoted by the Southern Baptist Convention. This year we are combining these giving opportunities into one offering – the Christmas Missions Offering. Your designated gift to this offering will be divided among these four groups:
* 40% to Lottie Moon – benefits international missions
* 30% to Annie Armstrong – benefits North American missions
* 15% to Mary Hill Davis – benefits state missions
* 15% to First Woodway Missions – benefits local and international missions

Over the month of December, we ask that you remember the Christmas Missions Offering as you designate your gifts.

Acts of Love – Flu Shot Clinic | Thursday, December 3
We will be hosting an On-Site Flu Clinic on Thursday, December 3 at The Venue during our Coffee House time. It will be 8-12 pm. With COVID-19, it can be more difficult to go to a doctor’s office or pharmacy to receive a flu shot, so a clinic is a convenient way to help more individuals receive the flu immunization. More info coming soon. This is open to the community.

Church Under the Bridge Breakfast | Sunday, December 6
On Sunday, December 6, we will be serving breakfast at Church Under the Bridge at Magnolia Silos. We will serve breakfast at 10:00 am and then stay for the service at 10:30 am. Come join us as we serve our community through this Act of Love. Sign up here to serve.

Twelve Trees | Sunday, December 6
Every Christmas season we choose twelve ministries that serve the Waco community, and we ask our church family to bless them with gifts and donations. This year, we will celebrate the Twelve Trees during the Winter Wonderland taking place on December 6 at 5:00 pm.

Standing in the amphitheater by the Grove will be Twelve Trees, each representing an area ministry that serves our community. During the evening your family will have an opportunity to bless the ministry of your choosing by placing a gift under that tree.

If you would like to bring a gift for one of the Twelve Trees, each ministry has provided us with a “wish list” of the five items they most need. You can also provide gift cards or cash/checks. Click here for the list.

Neighbor Care-oling | Wednesday, December 9 
Come share the hope and joy of Christ with our neighbors and those in our community through caroling to them this Christmas season. We will sing a few songs, pray with them, and then give them a Christmas basket. We will meet in the commons/foyer area at 5:30 pm for a pizza dinner and a time of prayer. Sign up here. If you know someone – a friend, neighbor, shut-in, or senior adult – who may need this blessing this year, then please email with his/her name.

Blessing Thursday | Thursday, December 10 
You’ve heard of Black Friday, and Cyber Monday…how about Blessing Thursday! This Thursday make it a “Blessing Thursday” and bless others with the gifts God has given us just as God gave us his Son, Jesus. Consider giving something slightly used out of your closet or buying non-perishable groceries from the store or maybe donating something brand new like a coat or a car to someone in need. Bring your things to the trailers at the circle drive by the worship center on Thursday, December 10 from 8-5 pm. This Christmas season your gift will be a blessing and remind others of God’s love for all.

Anchor: Single Parent Ministry – Build a Gingerbread House Day! | Saturday, December 12 
Bring your family and create a gingerbread house. Everything is provided. There will be hot cocoa and cookies to eat while you create. This event will take place on December 12 from 2-4 pm. We will be gathering outside under the tent by the big playground.

Please RSVP to Lynn Brooks at and let her know how many members of your family will be participating. Come out and have some socially distanced outside fun!


What is VOMO? We have talked with a lot of you recently and have been incredibly encouraged by your faithfulness to care, serve, and proclaim the gospel. I’m convinced we have a church full of people passionate about the Great Commandment and Great Commission but sometimes are stuck and don’t know HOW to put our faith into action. That’s why First Woodway Missions signed up for a new technology platform called VOMO that will help our church serve better both inside and outside of our walls.

First Woodway is committed to taking the love and heart of Jesus to our neighborhoods and communities. We truly want to be a people who actively live out our faith throughout our day. Think of this new platform as our Church Hub for making an impact. It has mobile apps (both Android and Apple) that helps make serving as a church easy and fun. In just 3 clicks you will be able to see local service opportunities inside our church as well as ministries we consider partners.

Your invitation link is When you click this link it takes you to a form to create your volunteer account and profile. Once you have an account, you can then search and sign up for opportunities to serve, go, and be a witness.

Get connected to VOMO and be a part of the Acts of Love.

Apartments Cookouts 
Contact: René Maciel
Several times a year, we fire up the grill and spend a Sunday evening cooking out for a local apartment complex and getting to know others in our community. We provide hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips for the residents. Come and enjoy the food, the fellowship, and conversation with others.

Caritas of Waco
Contact: René Maciel
We minister in the welcome areas at Caritas every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 9:00-11:00 am. We will engage in conversations and pray with those who come to Caritas seeking help. We hope that these conversations and opportunities to pray with others will lead to sharing the gospel with many. The harvest is ripe to feed and share the gospel. While there we also assist with sorting and packaging food items as well as distributing groceries. Sign up to serve on VOMO.

Given in Jesus’ Name Food Pantry 
Contact: René Maciel
Looking for volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday! We need volunteers to run errands, receive and sanitize food that has been contributed, and give away donated food bags at the west doors of the main foyer. Want to serve! Sign up on VOMO. Contact us: René Maciel at or Lynn Brooks at lbrooks@firstwoodway.orgGiven in Jesus’ Name Food Pantry List: Every week we feed families from all over Central. We need your help in keeping our food pantry stocked. Please click here for a list of current food items needed.

God’s Toolbox
Contact: René Maciel
God’s Toolbox’s primary focus is to care for, share with, and serve others through home repair projects. They assist the elderly, people of low income, and the disabled, enabling them to live in warmth, safety and independence.

Prison Ministry
Contact: Betty at 254.744.3679
Men and women from the First Woodway family travel to the Gatesville women’s prison on Monday nights where they spend time with female inmates… sharing wisdom, providing encouragement, and praying together. Try visiting  a couple times to see if this ministry is a fit for you.

Wednesday Night Saints
Contact:  Ken & Wanda Glaze  (or call 254.666.8276)
Each Wednesday night during the school year, 30-40 people receive a warm meal along with a hug and a prayer. These homebound families love the conversation time the most, just knowing someone cares about them. Call and see how you can spend one hour each week to help deliver a meal to someone who is hurting and alone.  Learn more about ways you can serve here.

We have several MAC (ministry activity center) groups that meet both on and off campus:

Fitness Classes
84 Runners
Narrow Road Hiking Club
Bogey (Golf) Club
Park Ministry Team

To learn more about these clubs, click here.



We are excited to have Viento Fuerte holding Sunday morning worship services on the First Woodway campus. They have a bilingual worship service in Room A200 (MAC) at 11:00 am. We hope you will drop in some time to experience worship with them!

Pastors Tom and Elizabeth Gutierrez lead Viento Fuerte. To find out more information, please email Tom and/or Elizabeth at


Missions and Community Outreach Team

René Maciel-Missions and Community Outreach Pastor;
Mark Tate-International and Stateside Missions;
Case Smith-Director of Recreation/MAC;
Lynn Brooks-Administrative Assistant;
Sherrie Anderson-Missions Associate;
Paige Shellhorse-Missions Associate;
Brenda Lewis-Given in Jesus’ Name-Coordinator;
Rhonda Jones-Acteens Director;

Vision Statement

Open to God, open to people, open to the world.

1. Open to God – we are open to be led by His Spirit.

  • Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me. 2 Corinthians 2:12
  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

2. Open to people – we are open and want to be extended and ready to speak life into individuals.

  • We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 2 Corinthians 6:11
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

3. Open to the world – we are open and available to go and share the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

  • On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
  • Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

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Caritas of Waco
Caritas of Waco is a non-profit organization that was opened in 1967 to serve the needs of poverty-level individuals living in the Waco-McLennan County area. The mission of Caritas is to “provide urgent support to people in need in our community.” This is accomplished by offering emergency/supplemental assistance in the form of food, clothing and household items, utility assistance, prescription medication assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, emergency lodging and travel. The philosophy of Caritas is to move low income families “beyond hunger to hope” through a combination of urgent assistance (e.g., food) and the case management intervention. Caritas is effectively placing many individuals into employment positions and into vocational training programs through it case management program.

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