Our Team



I grew up in the Dallas area and graduated from Richardson High School. I then went on to Receive a BA from McMurry University and a Master’s of Divinity from SMU Perkins School of Theology. I loved playing soccer and was in band and choir in high school. I also sang in choir through most of my college career, including a trip to sing in the Cathedrals and Churches in England. I like to play racquetball and love the mountains and the beach. I have been married for 30 years and have three children, ages 16, 19 & 21. I am the Senior Pastor at Austin Avenue UMC. My primary responsibilities are leadership, preaching and teaching, coordinating staff and visioning for the future.



As a native Wacoan, I have been a benefactor to many of the Community Resources in our Great City. Now, as a professional I have had the opportunity to give back to our children, serving seven years as a classroom teacher for Waco ISD. Because of my tutelage, educational attainment has been one of my many goals. I am a graduate of Tarleton State University, Waco Campus, with a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and McLennan Community College Teacher Certification program. I am wife to a retired Army Serviceman and a mother of three awesome children, two of which participated in the Parents Day out Program. As Director, I hope to serve the children and families with experiences that are life changing for all stakeholders. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.



Julia Castleman

Director of Family Ministries

I grew up in Houston, TX, but moved to Waco for Baylor. I graduated Baylor in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion. Raised a Baptist, I came to love the Methodist Church through my relationship with FUMC Waco, and have since joined the Methodist Community to further my relationship with Jesus. I started working for churches when I was only 14! I would refill the vending machine of my church back home twice a month! Since those days I’ve worked in children’s and youth ministries extensively, and have even interned with College ministry. I love the Church and watching it be what Christ intended it to be. Come to any of our youth or children’s events and you’ll probably see me and my dog. We’d love to chat!

Elaine Karban

Volunteer Coordinator