From the Christian Church in the Southwest moderator, Jeff Billings –
I am excited to give you the following report on the status of our efforts to find the next Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest.
Before beginning this search, your Search Committee sought input from individuals and congregations throughout the region by administering a survey and holding town hall meetings throughout the Region. The input we received confirmed that the search Team should seek out individuals who, at all levels, can focus on building relationships that will build ministry to the whole Region.
The challenges of a changing structure will require leadership that is shared with a larger, diverse staff using new ways to communicate, educate, and collaborate our missional goals. This new leadership will need to be receptive to exploring and implementing innovative and creative ideas. We also sought to find a leader who had demonstrated effective skills that will allow them to build relationships across ethnic, cultural and social differences. Once the study was completed, the committee developed a Regional Minister Position Description which was approved by the Regional Assembly in October of 2016.
On August 19, 2017 the CCSW Regional Council received a report from the CCSW Regional Minister Search Committee. We believe that we have found the person God is calling to be our new Regional Minister. After prayerful consideration of the committee’s report, the regional Council cast a unanimous vote to extend a call to Dr. Andy W. Mangum to be the Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest. Please see Rev. Mangum’s biography following this letter. His service as Regional Minister will begin on or before November 1, 2017. Please pray for our new Regional Minister and all of the ministries of the Southwest Region.
The Regional Council thanks the members of the Search Committee for their dedication and hard work. The members are: Jeff Billings; Sue Cobb; Dottie Cook; Olin Fregia; Arthur Stewart; Hector Velasquez; Bob Williams; and Tasha York.
- Jeff Billings, CCSW Moderator
Dr. Andy Mangum
Andy Mangum was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. He was raised in a moderate Southern Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Abilene. He received his sense of call to full-time Christian ministry at church camp. He has two older brothers—one is a biology professor at Midland College and the other is a computer support consultant/educator and runs a home restoration business in Austin, Texas. Andy attended West Texas State University (now WTAMU) following High School graduation. He met and married Lori Hollabaugh following graduation.
Lori spent fifteen years in elementary classrooms—Kindergarten, First and Second grades. In 2016, Lori earned a MEd from WTAMU (online) and became an educational diagnostician at Grand Prairie High School. Lori and Andy have three children. Madison Coleman married Taylor Coleman in August 2016. They are now expecting twins (due in December 2017). Madison earned a degree in Psychology and Communication from West Texas A&M University. She is currently enrolled in the PACE program to become a secondary English Language Arts teacher. Andrew Mangum graduated from Dubiski Career High School in 2016. He was in the engineering track. He will begin college at WTAMU in the fall of 2017. Andrew and Madison served on the Trinity Brazos/Tri-Area Youth Ministry Council. Joshua Mangum will be a seventh grader in the Fall of 2017. He attends Grand Prairie College Institute—a public charter school run by Grand Prairie Independent School District.
Andy graduated from West Texas with BA (’92) and MA (’94) in Speech Communication. In addition to ministry, Andy has taught speech at colleges and universities throughout his career. He graduated from Brite Divinity School (MDiv, ’98). In 2009, he earned his Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a concentration on worship and proclamation.
Andy joined the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) while serving as Youth Minister at First Christian Church in Amarillo, Texas (1992-1995). While in Amarillo, he led mission trips to Bluff, Utah and Orlando, Florida, participated in the Amarillo Christian Campaign for the Homeless, and served on the Hi-Plain Area Youth Ministry Council. He joined the staff of Central Christian Church in Weatherford, Texas when he started seminary (1995-1997). He also served on the Regional Youth Ministry Council (1997-1998). Andy served as pastor of the First Christian Church of DeSoto, Texas during his final year in seminary. He became pastor of the First Christian Church of Irving, Texas in November 1998. He was ordained in February 1999. Andy served First Christian Church, Irving for almost four years—(November 1998-August 2002). During that time, First Christian Church, Irving sent the youth to three fully-funded mission trips—Denver, Girrardville, PA, and Houston. They started an ESL ministry and engaged more directly with the Irving community and with Irving churches.
In 2002, Andy was called to serve at the Pastor of First Christian Church, Arlington, Texas—the position he currently holds. During that time, he has served as the Arlington Ministerial Association President, on the Board of Directors for the Arlington Martin Luther King Four Day Celebration (serving for eight years as the director of the Ecumenical service), Attending Clergy Association with Texas Health Resources and with the Arlington Resource Sharing Group, and the Arlington Clergy and Police Partnership. The church has maintained a covenant relationship with Blanton Elementary, a Title 1 school about one half-mile from First Christian. For the past seven years, the church has provided scholarship and logistical support for selected Blanton students to attend College for Kids at Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus. College for Kids is a summer enrichment program that extends for three weeks. Students get to choose from a range of age-appropriate but diverse classes. The program costs $200/student. Last year, First Christian Church provided 62 scholarships. In 2017, the Church provided 72 scholarships to College for Kids. The church started a Community Garden—Harvesting Hope. It has a partnership relationship with Tarrant Area Food Bank. First Christian Church nests a Spanish-speaking congregation Visión Mundial para la Familia. In 2017, VMF, First Christian Church and Tarrant County College entered a shared service to the community providing ESL classes and are looking toward additional job training classes offered at the Church. First Christian Church is currently seeking to be a better steward of its space and now hosts a volleyball team providing Club-level Volleyball for middle and lower income families, a Boy Scout Troop and a Home School consortium, Liber Academy. A quilting guild has met a First Christian Church for decades. First Christian Church provides service to Arlington Life Shelter, Arlington Charities, and Safe Haven of Arlington. It has a strong children and youth ministry, adult Sunday School program, multiple fellowship groups, vibrant worship, Stephen Ministry and other forms of congregational care.
Andy is an Eagle Scout. He was inducted into Alpha Chi Honor Society at West Texas. In 2014 he was inducted into the West Texas A&M University Communication Hall of Fame and in 2016 he was honored as by Brite Divinity School with the Distinguished Minister Award for Innovative Ministry. Andy is frequently on camp staffs as counselor, director or keynoter. He loves Niners best of all. He served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council on Christian Unity and served a six-year term on the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).