Chad MerrellCampus Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Chad, call 322-5104 or email CMerrell@firstwest.cc.
Chad is the campus pastor of First West Fairbanks, our multi-site campus in the Sterlington/Fairbanks community. Chad and his wife Tanisha (who serves as First West's Global Ministries assistant) have 5 children: Christopher, Carrington, Madeline, Kendal and Ava. Chad earned his Bachelor's Degree from Liberty University and prior to joining First West's staff spent 17 years in industrial operations management. Chad serves as chaplain to the Sterlington High School Panther Football team, loves to hunt and fish and travel with family, but his passion is to “see Sterlington, Louisiana, impacted by individuals and families who make Jesus LORD in every facet of their lives!" He wants to be known as a man who can be described like Barnabas in Acts 11:23-24, "When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord."
Neill RoshtoCampus Worship Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Neill, call 322-5104 or email
Neill Roshto, Worship Pastor for First West Fairbanks, joined our staff in October 2011. In addition to serving as worship pastor, Neill will be working with students and with young adult couples at First West Fairbanks. A native of Monroe, Neill graduated from ULM with a degree in Entrepreneurship and has also received a Bible Education Diploma from Faith Bible Institute in Monroe. Neill began leading worship as a teenager, traveling all over the south and later serving four years at FBC Sterlington. His passion is to see God's people engage in authentic worship that provokes a change in their whole life and those around them. Neill and his wife, Danielle are the proud parents of Laynie, who was born in April of 2010.
Cody KeysCampus Student & Collegiate Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Cody, contact
Helen Payton, Student Ministry Assistant, at HPayton@firstwest.cc or 398.9174.
A native of Calhoun, Cody has served at Cedar Crest Baptist Church as the Student and Music Associate and at First Baptist Church in Bastrop for three years as the Student Pastor. He graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Christian Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Christian Education from NOBTS. Cody loves playing the drums and guitar. He has toured the Southern U.S. playing music for different bands along the way. In addition to serving as collegiate pastor, Cody is the Student Worship Director. Cody's wife Magen is a registered nurse at St. Francis Medical Center where she works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Cody and Magen enjoy watching Sterlington football and baseball and are also fond of relaxing at home in front of their DVR.
Mark Fenn Global Ministries Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Mark, please contact Tanisha Merrell, Global Ministries Assistant, at email@example.com or 398.9280.
A Morgan City native, Mark Fenn joined the First West team in April of 1992 as youth pastor, serving in that ministry for 10 years. Following a year as young adult pastor, Mark served as senior adult pastor. In 2008, Mark assumed the role of global ministries pastor where he gives leadership to both our community and global transformation strategies. Mark has his masters of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently working on his doctor of ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In the community, Mark is known as a P.A. announcer for West Monroe Rebel football, and he serves on the Board of Commissioners for the West Ouachita Recreation District. Mark enjoys time with his family, riding horses with wife Ann, bowhunting, fishing, watching sports, and reading. Mark and Ann have one son, Caleb, a senior at WMHS. Ann is a gifted pianist and a member of the First West Praise Team.
Dr. Dwight Munn Education, Discipleship, & Median Adult Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Dwight, contact Amy Bowman, Education & Discipleship Administrator, at APBowman@firstwest.cc or 322-4257.
Dwight Munn is our Discipleship Pastor, giving leadership to the Christian Education Team. A native of South Carolina, Dwight came to First West after serving for six years as the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Luling, LA, just outside New Orleans on the Mississippi River. Dwight also served in student ministry for seven years prior to pastoring. Dwight is a graduate of Wingate University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dwight's hobbies include hunting, fishing, and hanging out with friends and family. His wife, Lissa, is a 5th grade school teacher. He has two daughters, Marissa and Malia.
Terry Young Family Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Terry, contact KayLeigh Seale, Family Ministry Assistant, at 318-398-9162 or KSeale@firstwest.cc.
Terry Young, a Monroe native, came to First West from Calvary Baptist in Shreveport where he served as Executive Pastor of Next Generation since 2006. Terry is responsible for our preschool and children's ministries (birth through 5th grade) as well as our Men's and Women's Ministries. Terry's educational background includes a B.A. in Religion and Religious Education from Louisiana College and a M.Div. with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written adult Sunday School literature, Discipleship Now curriculum, and three children's coloring books. Terry's hobbies include hunting, fishing and golf. Terry and Jennifer are the proud parents of Ashley Elizabeth, McKenzie Grace, Carson Lee, and John Thomas.
Michael WoodStudent Ministry Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Michael, contact
Helen Payton, Student Ministry Assistant, at HPayton@firstwest.cc or 398.9174.
Michael Wood, Student Ministry Pastor, began serving at First West in August 2009. Michael came to First West from Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, where he served on the Student Ministry staff for five years. He is originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Seminary. Michael's passion is seeing students become consumed with Christ, living it out among their peers, and sharing their story with those they encounter. He enjoys playing sports of all kinds, hunting, fishing, and pulling for the Texas Rangers. Michael and his wife Abby, a gifted photographer, are proud parents to their son Gavin, born in August 2009.
Carey Amos Worship Leader
To schedule a meeting with Carey, contact Dawn Holder, Worship Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carey Amos, a native of Crowville, Louisiana, joined the First West team as Worship Leader in November 2013. He studied music at The University of Louisiana at Monroe and received a degree in Music Theory and Composition. Carey’s passion is to see people have a Christ-centered life and to use the power of music and worship to experience the love and grace of God. Carey and wife Shelley have two beautiful children, Isabella Marie and Adrian Charles.
Dr. Woods Watson Senior & Single Adult Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Woods, contact Sue Russell, Senior and Single Adult Assistant, at 388.0906 or SRussell@firstwest.cc.
Woods Watson serves as the Senior Adult and Single Adult Pastor. Prior to coming on staff in the spring of 2004, he served for four years as senior church consultant with Cargill Associates, a church capital stewardship company. Woods has served for 30+ years in the local church ministry—15 years as senior pastor. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Woods received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University, the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; he also studied at the Torchbearer Bible schools in England (Capernwray) and Sweden (Holsby Brunn). Woods and Anita have six children. In his spare time, Woods likes running, reading, writing, helping Anita (who is principal at Northeast Baptist School), or playing with his boys at home.
Todd Sherwin Young Adult Pastor & Director of First West Counseling Center
To schedule a counseling session with Todd, call the First West Counseling Center at 322.1427.
To schedule a meeting with Todd, contact Lynne Carter, Young Adult Assistant, at 322-4257 or LCarter@firstwest.cc.
Todd serves as the Young Adult Pastor and the Director of First West Counseling Center. He brought his family to First West in 2007, where he began serving as Assistant Director at First West Counseling Center. Todd is a Marriage and Family Therapist with degrees in both ministry and counseling. In the past, he has served as an interim pastor and teaching pastor at other churches. His heart is to see people grow in healthy relationships with Jesus and others. He enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family. Todd and his wife Becky have two wonderful children, Karissa and Duston.
Richard Gates Local Ministries Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Richard, contact Amy P. Bowman, Local Ministries Assistant, at 322.5029 or Abowman@firstwest.cc.
A member of First West since 1982, he joined the staff in May, 2009 after a 37-year career in wood product sales. Richard and his wife Paula have four children and five grandchildren. They are committed to community transformation, especially in the lives of children, as seen in their long time involvement in F.A.N. Club and Kids Hope. Richard is a graduate of West Monroe High School and ULM. He enjoys the outdoors, especially if it involves a golf course! Please pray for Richard as he leads our local ministry leaders and others to a closer relationship with Christ.
Mark Parrish Community Transformation Pastor
To schedule a meeting with Mark, contact Kathy Gwin, Community Transformation Associate, at 322-5104 or KGwin@firstwest.cc.
Mark Parrish, Community Transformation Pastor, started coordinating First West's community transformation activities on a volunteer basis in 2008. Since then, he has organized several community project days, started Broaden Horizons (summer and after-school programs for teenage youth from the Riverbend neighborhood), and organized our ministry to hurricane evacuees. He continues to encourage members to find a place in the community where they can serve and help to transform an impoverished 50-block area in the vicinity of First West's buildings. Mark owns the company Ajasent, which hosts computer servers for about 800 businesses throughout the United States and Canada. He enjoys hunting, fishing, gourmet cooking, and working with law enforcement (he is a West Monroe Police Department Auxiliary Officer). Mark and his wife Skye have been married 33 years and have three children.