Our staff and leadership team keep us running. Here are some of the faces you'll meet on a Sunday Morning!
Austin Nickel is the Pastor at First Lutheran Church in Waco, TX. Austin received his GED in 2004, and later attended The University of Sioux Falls; he graduated in 2011 with his Bachelor of Arts. While at USF he studied Theology and was a Youth Ministry major, was heavily involved with the music programs at USF and served 3 years as the Concert Choir Chaplain.
In 2011, Austin started his graduate studies at Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, TX. It was during this time that he walked through the front door of First Lutheran in Waco, and because of their incredible welcome and love he stayed with them as their Choir Director and Administrative Assistant. He graduated with his Master of Arts in Christian Ministries in 2014.
In 2015, he was given the opportunity to serve First Lutheran Church in Waco as their synodically-authorized worship leader (SAWL). In 2016 he attended The Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest for Theological Education for Emerging Ministries, he graduated in the spring of 2019. Austin was ordained on November 2, 2019 at Seventh and James Baptist Church (That’s right he had his Lutheran Ordination at a Baptist Church), and is currently serving as the called Pastor of First Lutheran Church of Waco.
Some of Austin’s favorite things include movies, nature, good food, time with family, friends, and colleagues, learning and advocating for social justice.
Melissa Loudermilk was born in Oakland, California and later moved with her family to Yell County Arkansas where she has just about more cousins than she can count. Melissa is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University where she studied piano and organ. She taught elementary school music in Dardanelle, Arkansas and Waco, Texas and has played organ for Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian congregation before coming to First Lutheran in 2006.
She lives in China Spring with husband, Mike, and daughter, Daphne. Mike and Melissa have 2 grown children. Katherine lives in Acton, Massachusetts with her husband Jianfa and Michael is in San Antonio. As a new grandmother in 2021, Melissa enjoys traveling to Massachusetts whenever possible.
Council President: Shelly Tanabe
Vice President: Jim Alvarado
Secretary: Kathi Quinn
Treasurer: Dawn Alvarado
Stewardship & Evangelism: Sandy Geier
Worship: Kathi Quinn
Social Ministry: Phyllis Olson