Rev. Melissa Dowling, Interim Minister to Younger Adults and Discipleship
Rev. Melissa Dowling and her husband, John, arrived in Austin during the summer of 2011. They quickly found a church home at First Baptist Church of Austin and Melissa joined the staff at First Austin in March 2013 as Interim Young Adult and Discipleship Minister.
A Missouri native, but spending most of her childhood in Arkansas, Melissa considers both Hot Springs, AR and Kansas City, MO as her "hometowns." Melissa returned to the Kansas City area to earn her Bachelors Degree in Religion at William Jewell College. She then enrolled at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, KS where she completed her Masters of Divinity.
Throughout her education years, Melissa was an active member at Second Baptist Church Liberty, MO where she served as the College Ministry Intern. During several summers she completed internships in Children's Ministry at First Baptist Church Hot Springs, AR and Central Baptist Church Springfield, IL. Melissa spent her first year in Austin completing her residency of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Seton Family of Hospitals. Upon the conclusion of the program, she was hired by Hospice Austin as a chaplain where she continues to serve part-time.
First Austin recognized Melissa's call to serve God in ministry and ordained her in March 2013. Melissa has a passion to connect and build relationships with people through authentic and compassionate pastoral care. In her role at First Austin, she seeks to live out this calling to serve the people of Austin.
Melissa finds joy in her new hobbies of gardening and sewing. A day on a patio in Austin is also one of her favorite experiences as well as paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake. Melissa loves to travel, she has been to Europe twice but also finds enjoyment in short road trips to the hill country of Texas. In addition, she has grown fond of cheering on the Longhorns at the University of Texas, where John earned his MBA. Above all, spending time with John, family, and friends is Melissa’s favorite activity.