Denton Wesley Foundation

April/May 2018 Newsletter

Celebrating the Past and Dreaming for the Future at the Annual Wesley Banquet

On a beautiful day in late April, Denton Wesley Foundation students from TWU and UNT and their supporters gathered together to celebrate another great year of Christian discipleship. Attendees posed for pictures and mingled on the deck, listened to live music from the Wesley Band, and heard reflections on what God has done at the Wesley throughout 2017-2018 school year from Campus Minister Haley Feuerbacher.


"Almost exactly one year ago, I entered this space for the first time, and I felt right then that it was special. I could not have predicted all that we have done and been through and seen and created and experienced and learned - but what I sensed in May 2017 was that I wanted to be here. Right here. With these students. In this community. And I was right. I still do. This is home," Feuerbacher said.


Following the opening remarks, the Wesley honored its staff, outgoing Lead Team members, and volunteers for their prayerful, faithful service and leadership. Brooke Yrigoyen of First Lewisville United Methodist Church, was awarded Alumna of the Year for her help leading worship at Unplugged, a small-group ministry, and at House Worship, our weekly all-Wesley worship service. In a special presentation, Paul and Sue Herring of Argyle United Methodist Church were named Volunteers of the Year for their dedicated work forging a partnership between Argyle and the Wesley, recruiting volunteers, organizing a Wesley Clean-Up Day, cooking and serving Free Lunch, stocking, working, and donating to the Shiloh Food Pantry at the Wesley, and more. As a token of appreciation, the Shiloh Room was dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Herring, and a plaque will be installed in their honor, officially renaming the space The Paul and Sue Herring Shiloh Room.


We also introduced the new 2018-2019 Lead Team, consisting of 14 gifted and passionate students, and presented our two student ministry interns, Ash Milam and Baylee Davis. Ash will be serving as our Praxis Intern, focusing on missions, theologically-driven social action, and justice initiatives and will be co-leading Intersect Faith and Social Justice Cohort and leading a weekly Bible Study next year. Baylee will be leading a Home Group and co-leading our Care Team, which provides prayer and pastoral care to our student community.


Finally, we honored and celebrated six graduates who will be sharing their knowledge and talents and spreading the love of Christ to the world after their time at the Denton Wesley Foundation. While continuing her role as a youth minister at First Frisco United Methodist Church, Sarah Rozeboom will be attending Perkins School of Theology to pursue ordination as a deacon. Lindsay Holifield will also be pursuing theological education, studying feminist trauma theology, and will begin the Master of Theological Studies program at Vanderbilt Divinity School in the fall. Garrett Crowe has accepted an excellent job offer at USAA and will be moving to Lewisville this summer. Alex Wilson completed a Master's degree in Political Science and will be marrying Marin Young in July. Also a graduate, Marin will be beginning her career as a science teacher after her upcoming nuptials to Alex. In addition, we also honored Haley Love, a December graduate, who is working as a youth minister at Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church and just accepted a job offer as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Kids Therapy by Design in Dallas. We ended our evening by laying hands on these powerful young people and praying for their witness and service in the name of Christ to the world and by watching a moving slideshow of the past year at the Wesley.


Thank you to all of our supporters, students, staff, prayer partners, and volunteers who have invested and believed in the work that the Lord is doing in and through the Denton Wesley Foundation. Here's to another wonderful school year!

#ChurchToo Conference Starts the Conversation in Denton Faith Communities about Assault and Abuse

When the #MeToo Movement was sweeping the nation this past fall, a couple of Christian women realized something important: their #MeToo stories took place either in church or with self-avowed Christians. Furthermore, they realized that they were tempted to blame themselves and feel ashamed for being victims both because of some of the messages and theologies they had been taught and because of the victim-blaming responses of their faith communities. And so, the #ChurchToo movement was born to be a call to churches to recognize how they often prop up abuses of power, protect perpetrators, and shame survivors.


Learning about this, UNT senior Lindsay Holifield and UNT junior Ash Milam proposed that we do something about this problem. Intersect Faith and Social Justice Cohort, a Bible study and action-planning group at the Denton Wesley Foundation that consists of members from our student community as well as from churches like Open Worship at FUMC-Denton, First Christian Church, and White's Chapel United Methodist Church, decided to make the campaign a movement by planning the first-ever #ChurchToo Mini Conference on April 14, 2018. Around 40 people gathered at First United Methodist Church-Denton to hear Keynote Speaker Hillarye Hightower of Denton County Friends of the Family train us to name and recognize abuse and how to support victims. The event also featured engaging and powerful workshops and breakout sessions, such as how to deconstruct problematic theologies, how to talk with children about abuse, and how to journey from victim to advocate, among others. Experts from various fields guided these discussions, while mental-health professionals provided free counseling. There was even a prayer labyrinth for quiet meditation.


Of the prayer labyrinth, one student volunteer said the experience was "life-changing."


Other participants spoke of how much they learned at the conference and how excited they already are for next year's event.


The day concluded with worship music led by the Open Worship and Denton Wesley Foundation bands and a rousing sermon on following Christ into action on behalf of the victims by Rev. Anna Marie Peterson.


Special thanks go to all of the #ChurchToo organizers and volunteers, including students Brianna Clarke, Baylee Davis, Terrell George, Sean Henderson, Lindsay Holifield, Kaleb Jones, Ash Milam, Josh Norman, Jordan Snow, Trevor Vaz, and Taylor Williams, and community and Intersect members Patty Bandy, Krystal Stroud, Jonathan Perry, Chuck Rives, Cynthia Rives, Clay Thurmond, and Russell VanHoose. Many others contributed to this event, including sponsors Open Worship and Decatur First United Methodist Church, volunteer musicians, workshop leaders including Debra Mitchell-Ibe of The Family Place, Anna Clark Miller, Marcia Seebachan, and Travis Weber, counselors from SMU's Master of Science in Counseling, and volunteers from First Christian Church in Denton. We will continue to plan actions to follow Christ in just such a way throughout the year, but we invite you to be a part of Intersect in the fall when we resume meeting in September and to help us plan our 2019 #ChurchToo Conference as we seek to take a strong stand as Christ-followers against abuses of power.

Youth Worship Night at the Wesley a Hit!

Take pizza, music, testimonies, games, conversation, and around 100 youth and youth workers, and what do you get? The 2018 Wesley Youth Worship Night!


Youth groups from Argyle United Methodist Church, Aubrey United Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church - Denton, First Frisco United Methodist Church, and Faith United Methodist Church joined us for an evening of worship and messages from Denton Wesley students about a God whose perfect love drives out our fear so that we can live bravely and boldly for this God. A huge thanks to the nearly 20 Wesley students who helped make this evening possible, the youth leaders and volunteers who dedicate their time and lives to navigate youth to God, and the wonderful kids who came together to worship at the Wesley.


We cannot wait for next year's Youth Worship Night!

The Summer at the Wesley!

If you were wondering - YES, the Denton Wesley Foundation will be open and active this summer! Starting in June, the building will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am-3pm. On Tuesday nights, we will gather for worship and Bible Study at 7:30pm, and on Thursdays, we will get together at 7:30pm for events like Rough Riders games, sand volleyball, movie nights, and more summer fun!


Shiloh Food Pantry will be open to anyone with a TWU, NCTC, or UNT student or staff ID on Friday, June 15, and on Friday, July 13, from 1-3pm both days.

New at the Wesley: New Website, New Ways to Help, New Ministries

Check out these new and exciting features of the Denton Wesley Foundation!


  • Our new website: www.thedentonwesley.org
  • Our new Student Ministry Interns, Ash Milam and Baylee Davis, are raising their own support this year! Please support them (see links and bios below).
  • Our new Perkins Intern, Thomas Borowski, will be joining us this fall to help with ministry at TWU, pastoral care, and advising students who are exploring calls to ministry. He will be splitting his time between the Wesley and Open Worship at FUMC.
  • The all-new student-led Care Team Ministry, which will consist of students providing peer support for one another through weekly prayer, hospital visits, grief support, monthly meals and meals on holidays, spiritual discipline and mental health education, survivor advocacy and more!
  • The all-new student-led Fellowship and Outreach Team, which will oversee our weekly fun events as well as expand the Denton Wesley Foundation's outreach to UNT, TWU, and NCTC through tabling, participation in college events, and more.



Opportunities for our community:


  • Adopt-a-Student Program - Want to be a surrogate family for a Wesley Foundation student? Email Haley at director@thedentonwesley.org, and she will send you more information on how you can support a student this school year.
  • Covenant Partners - Can you, your Sunday School class, or your church commit to supporting us with a monthly financial gift? We are currently raising funds for our ministry programs to college students, for the installation of showers in our bathrooms so we can better serve our students, and for a mission trip in May 2019!
  • Lawn Care Team - Can you commit one Saturday morning a month to helping us maintain our grass and bushes? This is a big and pressing need of ours!
  • Free Lunch Team in the Fall - Start talking to your friends and Sunday School peers about signing up to prepare and serve a free meal on a Thursday to some hungry college students this fall!
  • 1st Annual Wesley 5K (Official name pending!), Saturday, September 29! - Be a sponsor by donating money for shirts, prizes, or race organization/timing fees, and/or plan to run or walk the event!
  • Wesley Work Day, August, Date TBA - Stay tuned for more details as to how you can help get our building ready for another great school year!
  • Holiday Meal Team - Can you help us provide hospitality and "family" to students who cannot go home for holidays? Our new student Care Team is looking for people who are willing to cook and/or share a meal with our Denton-bound students. If you can help by bringing food to the Wesley on July 4 or hosting a few Wesley students in your home, please let me know!
  • Wesley's Friends - Love children? Then volunteer with Wesley's Friends, our special-needs ministry! It is especially crucial that we have non-student volunteers for Wesley's Friends on July 15 because many of our regular student helpers are out of town. The event is from 5-8pm on July 15, and volunteers must arrive at the Denton Wesley Foundation at 4:30pm for a brief orientation. Youth helpers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


If you are interested in any of these opportunities to support the work that the Lord is doing in and through the Denton Wesley Foundation, please contact Haley at director@thedentonwesley.org.

About Us

The Denton Wesley Foundation is an open and affirming, radically inclusive community of students from UNT, TWU, and NCTC who are passionately and compassionately stumbling towards Christ together. A ministry of the United Methodist Church, the Denton Wesley Foundation aims to engage, equip, and empower students to grow in their relationship with a loving and liberating God, to develop a grace-filled, compassionate, and close-knit community in which all are seen, welcomed, affirmed, and connected, and to facilitate their active ministry of love and liberation to a world in need of a Christianity that is a verb.