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Historic Hire | This Waco Church hires its first African American pastor

First Methodist Waco was formed in 1850 and was the first church organized in McLennan County.

WACO, Texas — After 171 years, First Methodist Waco on Cobbs Drive has appointed its first African American pastor.

“We are really excited to welcome Rev. Tynna Dixon on our staff. She is a gifted and transformational leader here in Waco. Her appointment by Bishop Mike Lowry represents the first appointment of an African American clergy person to serve at First Methodist Waco,” said Ryan Barnett, lead pastor at First Methodist Waco.

First Methodist Waco was formed in 1850 and was the first church organized in McLennan County. Barnett says having a diverse experience from all different backgrounds will help them better serve the city of Waco.

“I think it is of vital importance not only to have diversity in the body of Christ, but to have that diversity in senior leadership as well,” said Barnett.

Dixon has served as the Pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Waco since June 2012. 

“Rev. Dixon is well known throughout Central Texas for her powerful preaching and her work to empower all people to experience God's best for their lives. Like the earliest pastors, Rev. Dixon is a 'tentmaker' – holding a full-time job in the public sector while also practicing a vocation of ministry. Her role as a Training Specialist for the Texas Workforce Commission gives her unique insight and reach into the deepest needs of Waco residents," he said.

She holds an Associate Degree in Electronic Data Processing from Temple College, a Bachelor of General Technology from University of Mary Hardin Baylor, a Master of Theological Studies from Baylor University Truett Theological Seminary and a Master of Vocational Rehabilitation from University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. She was also the 2019 winner of the Central Texas Conference Award for Preaching Excellence.  

Dixon told 6 News she is very honored, humbled and excited to have the opportunity to be a pastor at First Methodist Waco.

"Today's historic announcement simply expands the understanding even further that everyone in Waco can find a place to belong at First Methodist Waco," Barnett said.

Dixon's appointment to First Methodist begins July 1.