I have the bittersweet honor of announcing to you that Rev. Molly Simpson will be appointed Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Killeen. Her last day on staff at First Methodist Waco will be May 30.
Having worked alongside Pastor Molly during four of her five years at First Methodist, I can say with integrity that no associate pastor could ever be more equipped, prepared, and called to be a Senior Pastor. I think we all know what a tremendous success she will be in this new senior leadership role.
I will miss Molly’s wise counsel and genuine love for me, my family, and especially this church family. I know we will all miss her laughter, friendship, and leadership a lot! We all join together in praying for her and her family and this exciting new chapter in their lives.
Below you will see a note from Pastor Molly sharing her gratitude to you for your love and to Bishop Lowry for giving her this incredible opportunity to be the senior spiritual leader of the great church community in Killeen.
Our Pastor Staff Parish Relations Committee and I are grateful to Bishop Lowry for consulting with us on this appointment and taking such great care to ensure the health of our church before initiating any changes. We are pleased that he sees the same greatness in Molly that we do and is giving her this chance to step into this important leadership role.
Please SAVE THE DATE of Sunday, May 30 when we will have the opportunity to hear Pastor Molly preach on our Main Campus and thank her for her service at a reception following services.
In Christ,
Ryan Barnett
Lead Pastor

Dear Friends, 

I have the deepest appreciation and affection for you, the people of First Waco, and I have news to share that involves change for all of us.

Effective July 1, Bishop Lowry has appointed me to serve the people of First United Methodist Killeen as Senior Pastor. I am humbled and excited by this opportunity which will begin a new chapter in my ministry. This does mean, however, that my time of service with First Waco is coming to a close.

In the United Methodist Church, our elders promise to go where God sends us and to serve the church where there is need, trusting that the Holy Spirit will be at work in our congregations, district superintendents, and our bishops to make wise decisions about appointments. I have been deeply content at First Waco, and I have a deep love for this congregation and our staff. This has been a wonderful place to serve! 

During our annual discernment process that includes conversations with Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, our District Superintendent, I indicated I was happy to continue my service with First Waco. To my surprise, the call to First Killeen came. There was a need, and I am being sent. I trust our leaders. They are sending me forth to serve, and I will make every effort to do so faithfully. I’m thankful for the thoughtful and prayerful work of our District Superintendent, Cabinet, and Bishop, and for their confidence in me as I take up the work that is ahead. 

I’m grateful for the years spent with you and the incredible staff of First Waco. We’ve seen God’s faithfulness through both hard and happy days these last 5 years. I trust God will continue to be faithful to you and to me. Transition work has begun, and I will do all I can to empower and equip others to lead the ministry areas I have been responsible for.

Friendships will continue, though my role will change. I’ll still see you at Baylor sporting events, but I will shift from my pastoral role with First Waco when my new appointment takes effect July 1. As a pastor, a wise ministerial ethic that I have committed to observe is to shepherd the flock I am appointed to serve. This means that I will support and pray for the pastors who remain with First Waco, and where appropriate, will direct you to them for care and leadership. This will be a joy for me to do. You have some of the best pastors around! 

There will be formal opportunity for parting words and goodbyes at a later date. In the meantime, I’m grateful for your love and prayers. I offer the same to you! It has been a joy to serve you.

May the Lord bless you!

Pastor of Worship and Communications
First Methodist Waco Campuses
Main Campus: 4901 Cobbs Drive, Waco, TX 76710
Downtown Campus: 1300 Austin Avenue, Waco, TX 76701
South Campus: 2801 Robinson Drive, Waco, TX 76706
If you need to reach a staff member by phone, please call 254-772-5630.
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