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.

Parent Newsletter

Stay up to date on everything happening
Quickly and easily sign up to receive email newsletters.

Student Newsletter

Stuff for students

Email Terri Jones and we’ll send you news printed on real paper.

Here’s what’s happening soon…

January 13-16, 2022

Registration for Chi Alpha is now closed.

Are you signed up already and looking for the details?  Click here for the participant letter!

Questions?  Contact Terri Jones.

Wondering what CHI ALPHA is exactly?  Here is the run down:  CHI ALPHA is a weekend where you are placed in a Host Home, along with about 10-15 of your peers (students from your grade).  These people literally become your “family” for the weekend.  There is a Leader in each house who will be leading and teaching your group about some relevant and crucial aspects of the Christian journey.  The purpose is to develop and empower you with a faith you can actually use.  It is a guarantee you will love this weekend.  Who knows? You may even be changed by it.

CHI ALPHA will kick off on Thursday, January 13th, with a “Get to Know Your Group Mixer.” That night you will find out your Host Home assignments, get your t-shirt and pick up the schedule for the weekend.  On Friday night, you will report directly to your Host Home and officially begin the CHI ALPHA experience.  Make every effort to spend this life-changing weekend with us.


Sunday Mornings
9:30am in The Venue

Sunday Morning Bible Study for youth is back in person! We will meet at 9:30am 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 this Fall
The MAC Room A200
Beginning Sunday, September 12

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.  It all takes place each Sunday at 7:37pm in The MAC room A200 on our campus.  From there we will break off into our small groups.  Spring Semester 2022 begins on January 23rd and ends on May 1st.


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 24, December 22, and December 29.

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

Spring Break Ski Trip
March 4-9, 2022
for grades 9th-12th
We are pumped to bring the ski trip back this year! Our destination is Copper Mountain.  We will leave late on Friday night, March 4th, returning on Wednesday afternoon.  It will be 3 full days of skiing and four nights lodging at one of Colorado’s premier ski areas.  You get all of that plus ski equipment and transportation for the low, low price of $595.  We do have limited space for this trip.  And it’s for high schoolers only.  To sign up, choose one of the following:

click here to download and print a paper registration form.  Complete and turn it is with a $50 deposit to anyone on youth staff

click here to pay the $50 deposit and complete the registration form online

Hurry! You do not want to miss this!

[All rights reserved. You’re on your own for meals, except for breakfast at the hotel. Fast food places are within walking distance of our lodge.  Beginner lessons (not included in the price) will be available and required of all brand new, never skied before skiers.  Snowboarders will have to pay an additional $30ish, a small price to pay to be way cooler!]

Hey Seniors!  It’s a page just for you!

Passion Conference 2022
January 2-4, 2022
Atlanta, Georgia
Even though this is a conference designed for college students, Passion allows high school seniors to participate.  That’s right, it is an unbelievable opportunity for you to participate in a collegiate setting that will blow you away.  The gathering is in The Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia with thousands of other students. The program will feature lots of big names…Louie & Shelley Giglio, Christian & Sadie Huff, Passion Music along with special guests Cody Karnes, Sean Curran, KB, Kari Jobe, David Platt, Christine Caine, Crowder, Jackie Hill Perry, Ben Stuart, Jennie Allen, Levi Lusko and much, much more.  You can go to passion2022.com to find out more details about the program.

Click here for important trip details!

Sondays Camp

Mark your calendar for Sondays Camp 2022:
July 10-15, 2022

Summer 2022 Youth Mission Opportunities:

We are busy planning our mission opportunities for next summer.  Check back here once fall is in full swing for all the details.

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 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, after graduating from 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 Texas A&M student) continue to daily rise up and call her blessed. She enjoys walking, reading, and baking.  Everyone loves Terri, mostly because of her pies.

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: Victor Lopez, Andrew Schmeltekopf
9th Grade Girls: Bailey Lopez, Kim Nesmith

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, Mark Tate
7th Grade Girls: Sarah Scott, Angie Wood

7:37 Team

High School Discipleship Leaders
12th Grade Guys: Calvin Atkinson, Nathan Smith
12th Grade Girls: Lily Cates, Katherine Moseman, Zoë Recks, Danelle Smith

11th Grade Guys: Jason Fletcher, Andy Gauer
11th Grade Girls:  Terri Jones, AnnaLouise Wages

10th Grade Guys: Harrison Escue, Peyton Hodges, Joey Leeper
10th Grade Girls:  Casey Hoffmire, Julianna Lewis, Lauren Mogg, Casey Sadler

9th Grade Guys: Michael Mize, Zach Smith
9th Grade Girls: Kylie Akin, Madelyn George

Junior High Discipleship Leaders
8th Grade Guys: Zach Brown, Mark Tate, Luke Wilson
8th Grade Girls: Meredith Bristow, Mariah Montgomery

7th Grade Guys: Walker Garrett, Blake George
7th Grade Girls: Hannah Bowden, Abby Grace Edwards

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, you are welcome to join SLT.  Meetings are typically held the 2nd Sunday of each month.

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