My name is Donald Haywood, but I go by Donny. I am married to Christi, who is currently teaching English at Saint Jo High School. We have been married for 18 years, this October. We have 4 daughters- Cortney Sampert, and husband Thomas, Cassidy Berry, and husband Malik, Emily Austin, and husband Brian, and Megan Haywood, and her boyfriend Frankie.
I graduated high school in Sherman in 1986. I graduated from Texas A&M Commerce in 2011, with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and from SMU Perkins School of Theology in 2015, with my MDiv. Prior to ministry, I worked for Tom Thumb Food and Drug in management, and I was a driver/salesman for Blue Bell Creameries.
Start in Ministry
I began my ministry at First UMC of Van Alstyne in late 2005, as youth minister. I was appointed as Associate Pastor in 2009. I received my first Senior Pastor appointment at The First UMC of Tom Bean in 2011, where I served for 5.5 years. I was appointed mid-year to The First UMC of Nocona, March 2016, where I served until June 30, 2021. I was Ordained an Elder in Full Connection on June 5th, 2017.
Other Information about Me
I am the Board Chair for the Prothro Center on Lake Texoma and serve the Board of Camps and Retreats. I also serve as a coach to churches in the Northwest District assisting congregations to implement the SAS (Simple Accountable Structure) for their leadership structure.
I describe my leadership still to be vision based and collaboratively implemented. I believe it is vital that we continue to find ways to make the Scripture accessible to all persons and in a language that is understood, and to seek to include all ages in the life of the church to insure the future vitality of the church. I have a love for the youth of our society, and I am always excited to foster relationships to the church and to Jesus Christ. I am the kind of pastor that looks for ways of being in the community to make the church both recognizable and relevant.
Our family volunteers every year at SEEK Camp, and we participate in The Walk to Emmaus. In our free time we enjoy family time, traveling, and eating.
Reverend Donny Haywood
FUMC Decatur and the Community
I am excited for Decatur and Wise County. I have been in communities where increased population and growth are occurring. For people concerned with the spiritual health and well being of others, I know this church and other churches must remain aware that there are many who are searching for a place to experience God’s grace. I think this church has been such a place for more than 150 years. Our Biblical grounding, not to mention our understanding of our need to love God and neighbor, along with our experiences and respect of tradition, will serve God and this community for years to come. I believe we will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and our community.
Challenging all members at First UMC Decatur
I am eager to learn what God has in store for us as we continue to be the presence of Christ in Wise County. I would be honored to meet you personally and perhaps drink a cup of coffee with you if you want to get to know me better!