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Derek Mathews

Director of Teaching Ministries

Meet Derek

I have lived in Texas all my life. I grew up in Houston, went to school in College Station (at the Texas A&M University), met my wife, Mikaela, who grew up in Austin and we ended up in Dallas. Basically I am touring Texas. I grew up in a loving home with great parents and two older siblings. The church we went to, however, was very ritualistic. Stand up. Sit down. Eat a cracker. See you next week. From my earliest memories, I always knew there was a God. I just wasn’t sure if he loved me.

I heard the gospel clearly in seventh grade and trusted in Christ but did not know what to do afterwards. For years I was just a “good little kid” who looked great on the outside but struggled on the inside with legalism and melancholy. In college, I got linked up with a ministry called Breakaway and began to hear the gospel clearly presented week after week. God radically changed my life when I stopped striving to earn his approval and began resting in the fact that I already had it in Christ.

My wife, Mikaela, and I married in 2010 while I was working full time at a church in Mansfield, Texas and about to start seminary at DTS. In 2015, we felt called to leave our church, join the Institute Program at Watermark and finish out school. Since then, I have had several roles at Watermark, all centering on helping people learn, love, and live out God’s Word. In 2020, God blessed us with a son, Judah, whose name means “Praise.”

When I am not at the Plano campus, you can typically find me watching a movie, woodworking, DIYing a house project, reading, or being out in nature with my wife, son, and two high energy dogs, Mishka and Lulu. We love being at Watermark and seeing what God continues to do through broken people whose hearts are his.

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