We’re fortunate to have excellent, experienced leaders to mentor, pray over and guide decision-making for all that God has called us to do.
Jimmy Dorrell is Co-founder and President Emeritus of Mission Waco Mission World. He grew up in Conroe, Texas and attended Baylor University, where he received a BA in religion in 1972. He earned his M. Div. in 1978 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He later received an MA in Environmental Studies from Baylor in 1993 and in 2001, a Doctor of Ministry from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
After graduating from seminary in 1978, he and his wife Janet traveled the world to work among the poor. They then planted roots in North Waco, where they began their call to incarnational ministry: to live among the poor and help bring “good news” through relationships and empowerment opportunities. Dorrell’s passion for the poor and mobilizing the middle-class to become involved in the lives of the poor became the strategy for Mission Waco Mission World that continues today.
Dorrell has served as pastor of Church Under the Bridge since 1992 while also teaching classes at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco. He has served on several boards, including Texas Christian Community Development Network and helped found three other non-profit organizations. Dorrell has been honored through awards such as the Family of the Year Award from the Waco Conference of Christians & Jews, Whataburger Hometown Hero, Citizen of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers (Waco Unit), Baylor University Alumni’s Abner V. McCall Humanitarian Award, both the Wacoan Magazine and Waco Tribune-Herald “Person of the Year” and the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award (2017).
John Calaway is our President and Executive Director. He graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2006 and promptly moved to Nepal to live and work among the Sherpa people and start a business, plant churches, train pastors and host medical clinics in remote villages. It was in Nepal that God began to develop his heart for the local church and those living in poverty.
Upon his return to the U.S., John attended Baylor University’s Truett Seminary where he received his M. Div. with a concentration in Missions and World Christianity in 2011. While in graduate school he became actively engaged with Church Under the Bridge and Mission Waco. It was here that he learned about Christian community development and how to consider addressing systemic issues surrounding poverty. After graduating, he moved to Austin and was a Missions Pastor for six years before returning to Waco to join our staff in early 2017.
John has led multiple workshops for the No Need Among You Conference, served as a speaker for the Texas Christian Community Development Network and is active in the Christian Community Development Association. He has sat on different boards for nonprofit organizations and traveled all over the world leading hundreds of people to serve the poor.
He loves to go mountain biking in Cameron Park, competing in triathlons, mountain climbing and backpacking all over the U.S. and traveling around the world. His wife, Sarah, is a pediatric physical therapist and is passionate about advocating for children with special needs. They both love having fun with their two young kids, Cohen and Cora.
Janet Dorrell serves as Mission World director, Poverty Simulation trainer and Exposure Trip leader for Mission Waco Mission World. She grew up in Oklahoma City and attended Baylor University where she received her Bachelors of Science and Education degree. For 15 years she homeschooled her four children. Traveling the world, she later embarked on her anthropological thesis research in Punjab, India among nomadic peoples and received her Masters of Science in 2002 from Baylor.
Janet currently teaches at Baylor University while leading exposure trips to India, Haiti and Mexico City. Ten weekends each year, she leads participants in Mission Waco Mission World’s poverty simulation to help mobilize middle-class people in becoming compassionately invested in the lives of the poor.
For fun, Janet celebrates life with her husband, Jimmy, considering it a gift and privilege to be on a mission together. Her four children and their spouses, Seth and Sarah, Josh and Danielle, Zach and Jackie, and Christy and Angelo bring her immense joy as well as her 11 grandchildren, Zoe, Finley, Zane, Nielah, Zeke, Angelo, Ziah, Miley, Katherine Ivy, Evelyn, and Andrés Seth. She loves training Magic, her miniature horse and playing with her dog, Samwise.
Kathy Wise is Associate Executive Director of Mission Waco Mission World. She grew up in Gatesville, Texas, graduated from Baylor with a BBA degree and moved to Alexandria, Virginia where she worked in business for 10 years followed by five years on staff at First Baptist Alexandria (community ministries, single adult ministry). She returned to Waco to attend Baylor’s Truett Seminary where she earned her M. Div. in Theology, including a mentorship semester in Clinical Pastoral Education/chaplaincy at Hillcrest Hospital.
Kathy began volunteering with Mission Waco in 1998 to learn more about cross-cultural relationships, completed Mission Waco’s Urban Ministry Institute in 2000 (including a 2-month “urban placement” with the Jesus People in Chicago that opened her eyes to community living), and then joined Mission Waco staff in May 2000. She oversees much of the operational side of Mission Waco, managing the workgroup and intern programs as well as acting as a staff liaison with The Ark Apartments.
Kathy enjoys being part of Church Under the Bridge, hiking, biking, participating in entrepreneurship and redevelopment in Waco and introducing people to Waco.
Carlton Willis is our Associate Executive Director of Programs, overseeing Children, Youth and Adult Programs. Carlton is a native of Abbeville, SC and attended Anderson College where he received a BA Degree in music with a concentration in business. After graduation, Carlton became Evening Director of Student Activities and worked in Admissions and Residence Life. After a year, he joined Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee where he was Assistant Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Minority Recruitment for seven and a half years. He also served as Director of Music at Oak Valley Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, TN for two years. Carlton joined Mission Waco as Director of the MPowerment Program in December of 2000.
Carlton enjoys singing, traveling, meeting people and hanging out with family and friends. He attends Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as Co-Choir Director, Praise Team Leader and Trustee.
Taylor Bradley is the Finance Director of Mission Waco Mission World. She grew up throughout Texas but considers Lometa her hometown. She attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where she received a BBA degree in Accounting and Management. After graduation, Taylor moved to Waco to work as an Auditor with Pattillo, Brown & Hill accounting firm and later with the Accounting Services department of Baylor Scott & White Health. During this time, Taylor began studying for the CPA exam and received her CPA license in 2016.
Thanks to her involvement with her church and the local chapter of Texas Society of CPAs, Taylor was introduced to Mission Waco in 2013 through service opportunities with Mission Waco’s Toy and School Supply Stores and began serving regularly. She joined Mission Waco staff in 2020.
Taylor attends Harris Creek Baptist Church where she serves as a volunteer teacher in the preschool ministry. She enjoys hiking in the great outdoors, traveling to new places, trying new foods and live music.
Mission Waco Mission World Team
MBK Night Monitor
Jubilee Food Market Meat Manager
Jubilee Food Market Central Service Lead
Jubilee Food Market Produce Manager
Board of Directors
Kristen Thompson, Chairwoman
Autumn Outlaw, Vice-Chairwoman
Dr. Ronda McCarthy
John Calaway, President
Kristen Thompson, Vice President
Megan Snipes, Secretary
Sue Parrigin, Treasurer
John Calaway, Executive Director