Take time to explore and find out ways you can get involved in all that’s happening here, because there’s a lot – and this is a place for you.

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Here’s what’s happening soon….

January 14-17, 2021
Are you ready for some good news?  Well, here it is – Chi Alpha is coming!  That’s right, this beloved weekend is all set for January 14-17, 2021.  In spite of all the circumstances surrounding us right now, we have figured out a way to still have Chi Alpha – and isn’t that great news?

Here’s the scoop:  XA will look a little different this year, because we want to have a safe and effective weekend.  But it will also look very much the same.  There will still be family groups.  There will still be excellent teachers coming from all over the state and beyond to teach you important aspects of the Christian life.   There will still be Xgames and a canned food drive and cool t-shirts and lots of food and video competitions and the really cool Saturday night worship thing with the Art Wellborn Band.  Yes, we will be having all of that and much more.

You might be tempted to ask, “What will be different about Chi Alpha?”  Sit down before you read this, because it will be completely different.  Even though you may be getting ready to be shocked, just make sure you keep reading to get the whole story.  This year, and this year only, we will have the entire weekend at the church.  Now stop, don’t start panicking.  It’s gonna be okay.  In fact, we think it’s going to be pretty cool.  Of course, we’re sad that we won’t be spreading out to all the fabulous homes that have hosted us throughout the years.  But to have a great Chi Alpha and still stay safe, we think we can pull it off rather nicely by doing it all at the church.  The biggest difference is that we will all go back home to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights.  We’re kind of bummed about that, but it seems the right thing to do this time around to keep the weekend safe for everyone.

Each XA family will be assigned a room at the church to use throughout the weekend.  In that very room, you’ll be able to have your sessions and really get to know your new “family”.  But you’ll also have the opportunity to meet together in the main worship center for some really cool large group time.  Snack break times scattered throughout the campus, an old-fashioned hamburger cook-out on the church parking lot, the usual Xgames – we’ve got it all for you for this edition of Chi Alpha.  It’s going to be a great experience, just trust us.

We will have a sign-up rally on Wednesday night, December 2 at 7:00 in the Venue.  This will be your first time to sign up and save a few bucks.  The cost at the rally will be $49.  Afterwards, the price will be $55.  The family price for two or more students from the same First Woodway family will be $89.   Just show up that night with your completed form (click here to print one) and your forty-nine dollars and reserve your spot for Chi Alpha 2021.   After December 2, you’ll be able register right here.

Attention:  As usual, we will be abiding by all appropriate guidelines as dictated by the state in regards to conducting day camps.  


Sunday Mornings
9:45am in The Venue

Sunday Morning Bible Study for youth is back in person on Sunday, September 13.  We will be meeting at 9:45am in The Venue – except for the seniors who will continue to meet in The MAC game room.  Same great teachers (you can check out who they are on the Youth Staff tab) and the same great opportunity to explore the Bible together.

Sunday Nights
Main Worship Center

CONNECT.with a core group.
GROW.through discipleship.
SERVE.as Christ teaches.

Here at First Woodway, we take discipleship ministry very seriously.  In our 7:37 Discipleship Groups, students meet with a group of peers…his or her age and his or her gender.  Each group has two college leaders that help them to grow in Christian faith and practice.  Check out our great line up of leaders on the Youth Staff page.

Come and be a part of the spiritual backbone of our entire ministry.  It is your chance to mature into a faith that you can use.  Our fall 2020 semester kicks off on Sunday, September 13 at 7:37pm in the main Worship Center on our campus.  This will give use plenty of room to spread out and be safe.  From there we will break off into our small groups.  We do ask that you wear a mask and practice physical distancing in worship and in your small groups.  Please plan to use the MAC entrance to enter the building.  The last 7:37 for the fall semester will be Sunday, December 6.


Wednesday Night Live
7:00pm in The Venue

This is just what you need in the middle of the week – a time to gather with other students for authentic worship through music, drama, games, videos, testimonies and a talk that will give solid direction for living out your faith commitment.  Our midweek program for 7th-12th grades is live and in person…from a safe distance of course!. Join us in The Venue every Wednesday at 7:00pm.  We have plenty of room to invite your friends, so get the word out!  This is the place for you to learn, grow, and reach out to your friends throughout the school year.  We will not have WNL on the following dates due to holidays:  November 25, December 23, and December 30.

Social Media
To keep up with all the latest, follow our youth pages on the following social media platforms:

Instagram – @firstwoodwayyouth

Facebook – First Woodway Youth Ministry page

YouTube – First Woodway Youth Ministry

Youth Staff

Bob Johns

bobJOHNS (Youth Pastor)
is our Youth Pastor. He has given overall leadership to this ministry since coming to First Woodway in 1984 (before any of his associates were born). He is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan College and Southwestern Seminary. Bob is married to Debbie, and they have one daughter, Hannah (a Baylor and Columbia graduate). He loves golf, skiing, reading, and playing his Gibson J-45. He is also the director of SonDays Camp, supervises interns for the Baylor Religion department, on the board of directors for several ministries, and has written curriculum, articles, and devotional materials for various publications.  He is not a celebrated speaker and never speaks at camps, retreats, or conferences, but he does love speaking to his high school students every week.  He has written one book on long term youth ministry (still to be published) entitled They Say I’m Crazy. Bob is also a licensed motor vehicle operator in the state of Texas and drives a truck.

Mark Tate

markTATE (Associate Youth Minister)
works with those amazing and always challenging 7th and 8th graders and has been doing that since 2011. He grew up in Lockhart where he claims the best barbeque in the world resides. He completed his degree at Baylor in 2013 and has a Master’s degree from DBU.  Mark is married to Taylor (who grew up at FW and leads a small group of senior girls), and they have a brand new baby girl named Nora.  He loves his Baylor Bears but not as much as speaking to his middle school students every Wednesday night.   Mark loves to play golf with his dad, because he is the kind of golfer only a father could love. One cool thing about Mark is that he is totally into traveling around the globe and learning about/experiencing other cultures and working among them. You could say his two real passions are missions and working (in a most excellent way) with junior high critters.  Mark also drives a truck.

meredithBRISTOW (Youth Associate/Girls)
starting as the cutest little 7th grader, Meredith grew up in the ministry before departing for the mountains and the University of Arkansas – ending up with a degree in International Relations.  Now she is back attending Truett Seminary and serving on our staff – giving leadership to our ministry to girls. In the middle of all that, she spent a year studying in the Kanakuk Institute.  We couldn’t be more happy to have Meredith with us.  She’s definitely the second best athlete on the staff (hint: Bob), having excelled at volleyball, basketball, and softball in high school.  Meredith loves reading, hanging out with friends, and spontaneous adventures of any kind.  She is passionate about the opportunity to walk alongside girls through the joys and struggles of this life.

terriJONES (Student Ministry Assistant)
came on board in this important position in 2013.  She keeps all of this madness so very well organized, and we love her for it.  Terri comes from Sweetwater, where she hung out at the Dairy Queen on weekends.  After graduating from Angelo State University, she made a choice to move to Dallas. It was there that she met her future husband, David.  Her present children, Allison (a Texas A&M graduate) and Sam (a senior at Midway) continue to daily rise up and call her blessed. She enjoys walking, reading, and baking.  Everyone loves Terri, mostly because of her pies.

Youth Staff Interns

grew up in Arlington and is completing his senior year at Baylor. He has already been heavily involved in the life of First Woodway since his freshman year and loves everything about this church: its mission, its people, and its heart for the gospel. He loves youth ministry and has a heart for seeing students grow in their relationship with the Lord. A fun fact about Jason is that he says he always looks sunburnt and that’s just his face.  His words, “I try to always have a smile on my sunburnt face.”

Sunday Morning Team

High School Teachers
High School Department Director: Rodney Bowden
Assistant:  Heather Bowden

12th Grade: Darrell Janecka and Terri Jones

11th Grade Guys: Rodney Bowden, Jon Edwards
11th Grade Girls:  Cindy Janecka, Niki Edwards

10th Grade Guys: Brent Baker, Alan Bowden
10th Grade Girls: Laura Schmeltekopf, Lisa Lewis

9th Grade Guys: Jerry Weatherman, Andrew Schmeltekopf
9th Grade Girls: Pam Weatherman, Shannon Johnson

Junior High Teachers
Junior High Department Directors: Tommy Ross, Brandi Ross

8th Grade Guys: Kyle Miller, Jay Fischer
8th Grade Girls: Emily Baker, LeighAnne Fischer

7th Grade Guys: Richie Scott, Tommy Ross
7th Grade Girls: Sarah Scott, Angie Wood

7:37 Team

High School Discipleship Leaders
12th Grade Guys: David Beggs, Chris Coley
12th Grade Girls: Meredith Bristow, Abigail Garrett, Becca Gonzales, Caroline Thompson

11th Grade Guys: Calvin Atkinson
11th Grade Girls:  Lily Cates, Katherine Moseman, Zoë Recks, Danelle Smith

10th Grade Guys: Jason Fletcher, Andy Gauer
10th Grade Girls: Hannah Atkinson, Terri Jones

9th Grade Guys: Harrison Escue, Peyton Hodges
9th Grade Girls: Morgan Laurence, Julianna Lewis, Lauren Mogg, Casey Sadler

Junior High Discipleship Leaders
8th Grade Guys: Michael Mize, Zach Smith
8th Grade Girls: Kylie Akin, Madelyn Hollingsworth

7th Grade Guys: Zach Brown, Mark Tate
7th Grade Girls: Mariah Montgomery, Cayleigh Shaw

SLT (Student Leadership Team)

Every year we invite any and all of our juniors and seniors to join us in the leadership of our ministry through our SLT (Student Leadership Team).

Ministry is only effective if the students get involved and claim it as their own. We invite students to serve on a few different focus groups according to their interests. Groups typically meet one Sunday a month to talk over ideas and important events.

Here the areas of involvement:

If you are a junior or senior in high school, seriously consider joining one of these teams. Look for information coming soon about our annual SLT retreat.

Sondays Camp

Save the date for Sondays Camp @ Mt. Lebanon in 2021!

July 11-16, 2021

Summer 2021 Youth Mission Opportunities:

Check back later in the fall for all the details on our mission trips next summer!

In the vault we have the latest First Woodway youth videos. All available for your viewing pleasure… or mozy on over to youtube to watch some of our classics.

Follow First Woodway Youth on Social Media

First Woodway  |  101 Ritchie Road, Waco TX 76712  |  254.772.9696