The staff of Westoak Woods desires to serve. Our first priority is to be a servant of Jesus Christ. Other priorities include our families and our church. However, we also desire to serve you. We want to be available to provide you with quality programs that will help meet your needs. We, as a staff, desire to see you and your family succeed in the world around us. Today, society tends to tear down and report the negative side of children and youth. We want to build up and show our world the positive things they are doing.
Do you need someone to laugh or cry with you? Call on our church staff. We care about you!
Dr. Howard Daniel - Intentional Interim Senior Pastor
Dr.Daniel has been in pastoral ministry for over 33 years. He has received training from the Baptist General Convention of Texes in both Interim Pastoral Ministry and the Intentional Interim Ministry. Howard and his wife Lavonna have been married for 36 years and have 2 grown children.
Westoak Woods looks forward to Dr. Daniel's leadership and wisdom.
Chris Sanders - Executive Pastor
Chris Sanders is a proud native of Austin, Texas. Chris attended The University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Prior to following God's call to vocational ministry, Chris was a homebuilder in the Austin area. Since entering the ministry, he completed his Diploma in Education Ministries through the Seminary Extension Program of the SBC Seminaries.Chris married his wife Lynda, also of Austin, in 1970. They have three children; Ben, Andrea, and Lauren. Chris enjoys singing, playing guitar, traveling and the outdoors.
Matt DesAutels - Worship Pastor
Matt started at Westoak Woods in March of 2015 and has 12 years of music and youth leadership experience. He graduated from Midwestern State University in 2002 in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas and is currently studying at Truett Seminary. Matt married Kim in July of 2018. They are enjoying married life very much. His greatest joy is leading people to understand and participate in true worship, using all styles of music – and to recognize that worship is about so much more than music! In his spare time, Matt can often be found playing board or card games. Challenge him to a game, and his competitive nature will likely come out!
April Garza - Preschool Director
I grew up in Waco, Texas and moved to Austin in 1987 to attend the University of Texas. While going to school at UT, I started working with Dance Associates teaching developmentally appropriate dance, music and gymnastics to children on site at preschools and recreation centers all over Austin. After graduating in 1991 I kept working and advancing in that business.
Before long I was married and now have four beautiful children. When my oldest child Jacob was born in 1999 I worked just part time teaching dance and when he was one year old I began teaching music at Westoak Woods Baptist Preschool, and Jacob attended the school. All of my children have gone through the program at Westoak Woods, and I have never left.
In my experience as an early childhood educator working at Westoak Woods I have worn many hats: as music director for 18 years, pre-kindergarten teacher, threes classroom teacher, and as afterschool enrichment and summer camp owner and director. During my life experience as an educator I have developed a passion and personal commitment to three main things: providing a safe and Christian setting for young children, fostering a positive learning environment for students, and communicating the importance of those values to the parents of children in my care. In my many years at Westoak Woods, I have been blessed with strong and meaningful relationships with the preschool staff, the church staff and with church members as well as the children and parents of the school. Now, as director of Westoak Woods Baptist Preschool, I look forward to the new challenges, relationships and skill set that this position holds.
Rebecca Ramirez - Children’s Intern
Rebecca started attending Westoak Woods in June of 2011 and started serving on staff as the children's intern in April of 2018. She attends St. Edwards University and is studying psychology and religious studies. While serving at Westoak, she strives to strengthen the children's ministry through intentional service and discipleship to children and families alike.