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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First Woodway Youth Ministry wants to connect with students!  During these days of shelter-in-place and social distancing, please connect with us in any of the following ways:

Sunday Nights
7:37 Zoom (small group discipleship for 7th-12th grades)
Every Sunday night at 7:30pm students are gathering using Zoom to connect with their 7:37 groups.  If you would like to be connected with a small group, please contact our Student Ministry Assistant Terri Jones.

Wednesday Night Live
Our midweek program for 7th-12th grades will be broadcast live on the First Woodway Youth Ministry YouTube channel every Wednesday at 7:00pm.  Watch it at the same time as your friends.  It is awesome!  Click here to watch on YouTube.  Be sure to subscribe to our channel!  We plan to continue to have a weekly podcast.  You can find our podcast on Spotify or iTunes.  Be sure to follow or subscribe to receive notifications when new episodes are available.

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

Instagram – @fbcwoodwayyouth

Facebook – First Woodway Youth Ministry page

YouTube – First Woodway Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry Staff
We would love to hear from you if you have any questions, concerns, or just need to chat!  Contact anyone on our staff via email:

Bob Johns – Youth Pastor
Mark Tate – Associate Youth Minister
Meredith Bristow – Youth Associate/Girls
Tanner Henry – Youth Associate
Terri Jones – Student Ministry Assistant
Jason Fletcher – Youth Intern
Mallory Ross – Youth Intern


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 one or two college leaders that help them to grow in Christian faith and practice.

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. Meet in the MAC. Spring 2020 semester dates are every Sunday night beginning January 26 and ending on May 10.


Junior High (7th-8th Grade)
Meet together on the second floor, Room 205, then move into small groups:
7th Grade Girls        Room 220
7th Grade Guys       Room A124
8th Grade Girls        Room 205
8th Grade Guys       Room 207

High School (9th-12th Grades)
Meet together in the MAC, Room A200, then break into small groups:
9th Grade Girls         Room A211
9th Grade Guys        Room A128 (MAC Party Room)
10th Grade Girls       Room A113
10th Grade Guys      Room A125
11th Grade Girls        Room A203 (MAC Game Room)
11th Grade Guys       Room 127
12th Grade Co-Ed     Room A210


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.  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 hope to see you there!

Weekly Schedule:
Prime Time (for Junior High) @ 7:00pm in the MAC/gym
Offers a sweet program just for middle schoolers – from an epic game to worship and a relevant talk.

WNL (Wednesday Night Live – for High School) @ 7:00pm in The Venue
Offers incredible worship, a brilliant skit, student testimonies and a talk geared more for older students.

Summer 2020 Youth Mission Opportunities:

June 12-23, 2020
Our preparation for this biennial mission trip to the United Kingdom is well under way and our team of 29 students and sponsors is all set.

July 26-August 1, 2020
Belize is a place we have come to love in this ministry.  We have a team of 41 students and sponsors lined up to go on our 6th annual trip to the dusty village of San Estevan.

La Grulla
June 21-27, 2020
We will be making our annual trek to the Rio Grande Valley to spend a week working with the Iglesia Bautista and ministering in this place we all have grown to love.  There’s nothing quite like Vacation Bible School in Alto Bonito park with all the beautiful children of La Grulla.  We’ll be loading up five vanloads of students on Sunday, June 21 and returning on June 27.  The cost of the trip will be $349 – which covers a week’s worth of lodging and meals at the Valley Baptist Retreat Center (in Mission) and transportation to and fro.  We will even throw in an evening on South Padre Island.  This trip sells out quickly, so don’t delay!  You can download an application here.  Or find one in A200 or The Venue welcome desk.  Complete it and turn it in with $25 deposit to anyone on youth staff.  This is a high school mission trip, but we are saving a few spots for incoming freshmen.

Jr. High Mission Trip
August 5-9, 2020
Look for details about Jr. High Mission Trip to Mission Arlington in late spring or early summer.

Sondays Camp – the best week of the year

Check back here for more details on Sondays Camp 2020.  But go ahead and put these dates on your calendar now!

July 12-17, 2020

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.

tannerHENRY (Youth Associate)
is the creative touch that this ministry needs. He grew up attending First Woodway and loves being able to serve the ministry that served him for so long. Tanner is currently a senior at Baylor University and is a Religion Major preparing for ministry. He is the head skit writer for the Wednesday Night Live youth service. Writing skits is a wonderful outlet for him to use his creative/comedic skills. He is in his third year as a 7:37 leader with his 9th grade guys.  He loves the God-given opportunity that he has been given to minister to youth and to teach them all he can about the LORD. In his free time he eats tacos with his fiancee and talks about podcasts that he enjoys.

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.”
Her parents met at First Woodway and therefore she has been here her entire life. She graduated from Lorena High School and had the privilege of enjoying Woodway’s youth ministry. She played volleyball and was a PAL her junior and senior year at Lorena.  She is currently working towards a marketing degree with a concentration in non-profit at Baylor University. She is also involved in Pi Beta Phi at Baylor.  Her interests are traveling, spending time with family, and watching Baylor football with friends.

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, John Nickell
9th Grade Girls: Jen Graham, Pam Weatherman

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

8th Grade Guys: Andrew Schmeltekopf, Chris Whitney
8th Grade Girls: Prissy Brown, Emily Baker

7th Grade Guys: Kyle Miller, Richie Scott
7th Grade Girls: Sarah Scott, Angie Wood

7:37 Team

High School Discipleship Leaders
12th Grade Guys: Andy Gauer, Mark Tate
12th Grade Girls: Meredith Bristow, Taylor Tate, Terri Jones

11th Grade Guys:  David Beggs, Chris Coley
11th Grade Girls:  Georgia Fair, Abigail Garrett, Bre Golding, Caroline Thompson

10th Grade Guys:  Calvin Atkinson, Cayson Buchle, Nathan Smith, Dylan Armendariz
10th Grade Girls:  Lily Cates, Katherine Moseman, Zoe Recks, Danelle Smith

9th Grade Guys: Jason Fletcher, Tanner Henry
9th Grade Girls: Taylor Marburger, Katy Taylor

Junior High Discipleship Leaders
8th Grade Guys: Harrison Escue, Peyton Hodges
8th Grade Girls: Bethany Johnson, Mallory Ross, Claire Schmeltekopf, Paige Shelton

7th Grade Guys: Michael Mize, Zach Smith
7th Grade Girls: Kylie Akin, Madelyn Hollingsworth

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. We get together every 2nd Sunday of the month for lunch at Raising Cane’s on Hewitt Drive.  Then come back to the MAC to meet and plan.

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