Galileo Church

Quirky church for spiritual refugees. Who would Jesus love?

Weekly worship, Sundays at 5 p.m.
at the Big Red Barn
5860 Interstate 20 service road
Fort Worth 76119
(use the zip code in your GPS for accuracy)

Mail comes here: 6563 Teague Road, Fort Worth, TX 76140

Contact us: 817-773-3147 | info@galileochurch.org

Our missional priorities:
1. We do justice for LGBTQ+ humans.
2. We do kindness for people with mental illness and in emotional distress, and celebrate neurodiversity.
3. We do beauty for our God-Who-Is-Beautiful.
4. We do real relationship, no bullshit, ever.

 

 

THIS IS US

Wanna know more about how all these people work together? The Missional Logistics Team (MLT) and the Spiritual Care Team (SCT) are described here.

 
  KATIE HAYS

KATIE HAYS

lead evangelist

KATIE went to M.I.T. before she moved on from engineering (which she was really terrible at, but really liked) to theology. She was educated for traditional church ministry at Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. She did traditional church ministry for almost 20 years. Galileo Church is her attempt to do something completely different, because she had an epiphany while sprawled on the floor of a Spring Creek BBQ. You can ask her about that when you meet her in person.

Katie has a husband of maaaaaaany years, Professor Lance Pape at Brite Divinity School, whom she has repeatedly asked to call her “Reverend Doctor.” And they have two kids, one in college (Lydia) and one in high school (Jack), who will make your life better just by knowing them.

Katie has learned to love it when God takes an unexpected hard left turn, tires squealing, seat belts locking, cars all around God honking in indignation. She imagines God shouting, “Buckle up, suckers!” every time God gets another one of us in God’s muscle car. Or does God drive a Subaru? She’s pretty sure it’s a Subaru.

Here is Katie's job description.

  STEPHANIE HORD

STEPHANIE HORD

worship architect

STEPHANIE is originally from Houston  and has been living in Mansfield since 2016. She got a B.A. in Music Business & Voice from  Hardin-Simmons U., and subsequently realized her love for songwriting.

She teaches lessons in voice, guitar, piano, and violin (to name a few); and enjoys helping her students grow in their love of music. She loves when her students practice but especially loves when they discover something new about themselves through their art.

Besides owning too much denim, listening to Julien Baker (because, she swears, sad songs make her feel so much better), perfectly timing her rap airhorn sound effect app, and making delicious gluten-free mac and cheese, Stephanie is passionate about God’s love and justice for all in the world. She is excited to continue being a Repairer of the Breach alongside the unique and loving family that is Galileo.

Here is Stephanie's job description.

  REV. DR. IRIE L. SESSION

REV. DR. IRIE L. SESSION

INTERIM LITURGY, PREACHING, & LEADERSHIP MINISTER

IRIE has a D.Min. in “Transformational Leadership and Prophetic Preaching,” which is perhaps all you need to know. Her M.Div. is from Brite, which has recently named her Alumnus of the Year. Her newest ecclesial endeavor is The Gathering, a community that embodies radical welcome and celebrates womanist preaching. Irie has worked as a spiritual director for women exiting the sex trade; a judicatory pastor for her denomination;  and a parole officer -- yeah, for real! She is a co-founder of POETIC, a trauma-therapy center and creative arts studio. And she is an accomplished author and sought-after speaker. (Check out this book, for example. Powerful.)

We could go on. But here’s the main thing: Irie and Katie have been walking the ministry path together for a couple of decades. The love and respect they have for each other is BIG. So while our Lead Evangelist is on Writing Leave for several months this year, we’re pleased to welcome Irie and hear her voice. 

 

  RYAN FELBER

RYAN FELBER

EVANGELIST FOR YOUNGSTERS & PUBLIC PROVOCATION

RYAN is a middle child, military brat, and pastor’s kid. With a bachelor’s degree in History and English Lit, Ryan has worked in higher ed, home health care, and event planning; and he spent two years as a cruise ship entertainer. He loves travel, high fantasy literature, and board games.

Ryan (re)joined Galileo after a year in LA in the XPLOR program. He’s passionate about LGBTQ+ inclusion and creating welcome, and he’s excited to encourage our kids in biblical education, inter-generational friendship, and inclusive everything. 

In early 2018 Galileo Church was pleased to commission Ryan for ministry in cooperation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest. What that means is, he’s listening to God’s call in his life; and that he wants us all to call him “Rev. Ryan.” We’ll try.

Here is Ryan's job description.

  KELLEY WHALEY

KELLEY WHALEY

KID WRANGLER

KELLEY is Sadie’s mom, and considers herself a fellow child of our amazing God. She grew up on a farm in the Texas panhandle, played saxophone in the marching band, competed on a junior rodeo circuit, and was a self-professed church camp nut. She grew up in the Disciples of Christ (DOC) tradition. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UT Dallas and is a math teacher in the Texas public school system. Kelley says she hopes the whole church can remember what it means to be young at heart, because we are all children of the God who loves us.

   JEN DAWSON

JEN DAWSON

CURRICULUM GURU, g-kids

Rev. Jennifer Dawson writes Galileo-specific curriculum for G-Kids as a gift to our church. She is a hope-speaking dream igniter who graduated from UNT. A teacher for years, she lately served as an administrator and curriculum specialist. Jennifer went to Brite Div. School and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. She pastors First Presbyterian Church Parsons, KS. Jennifer loves stirring up the waters of complacency by helping others to discover their own strengths, loves, and joys. She also really likes helping people to rethink Christian education because God is much bigger than we imagine. 

  CORINA SOSA

CORINA SOSA

PRESIDENT &
LEAD CONSPIRATOR

CORINA has lived in Arlington for most of her life (she moved there from San Antonio when she was almost two). She works for an app called Favor that basically lets her be her own boss. She is currently enrolled at UTA where she is majoring in theatre, and where she’s the President of the LGBTQ+ Association. Her hobbies include dancing, watching YouTube videos, hanging out with friends, and social media. She grew up Catholic and has always known and loved God, but in the past few years struggled with what that meant along with being part of the LGBTQ+ community. She looked for a church where she didn’t feel like she would have to snuff out a part of her identity. She loves being a part of Galileo, breaking down the norms of “traditional” church while still being traditional in its own way. 

  SUSAN CHIASSON

SUSAN CHIASSON

co-treasurer

SUSAN moved to Texas 32 years ago, having tried out DE, WV, MD, UT, CT, NY, MA, IL, and both ends of PA. Her family consists of husband Charlie, kids Christopher (and spouse Anita Lukic) and Melissa, with an opening for the position of Family Dog. She officially does qualitative social science research, but what she really likes to talk about is Lego Serious Play. Susan found the DOC by way of a crusty neighbor who wouldn’t put up with crap and went to a DOC church. She understands God to be an endlessly creative being, miracles and mutations and new things a part of it, with her job being to help those creations flourish. www.poweredbyplay.net

  KATIE OWENS, AKA KJO

KATIE OWENS, AKA KJO

co-treasurer

KATIE O is a student at Tarrant County College, soon to be transferring to a local university to complete her undergrad, on her way to an M.Div. for full-time ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). If she’s not there on a Sunday, she’s probably in St. Louis with our former cello player, Nathan Berry. The person sitting with her whose face is nearly identical is probably one of her siblings, Aidan, Libby, or Dawson. She loves reading, lately lots of non-fiction; and binge-watching Netflix, usually Gilmore Girls, Orange is the New Black, or How I Met Your Mother. She’s been learning about and fascinated by God the Liberator as the common thread that runs through the Bible, everything hanging off of it. She’s learning to look for this thread, in her life, in the Bible, and especially when she teaches or studies with her faith community.

  ASTREIA YATES

ASTREIA YATES

SECRETARY

ASTREIA is a (often tired) wife, mom of 2 teens and a preteen, teacher, grad student. Also: super self-critical, easily overwhelmed, crafting realist. She has no time for foolishness or coddling. (If that sounds mean, it’s because she’s more honest these days.) She loves alpacas! Seriously, the most perfect animal to walk the planet. Also: food, antique stores, traveling, and wondering how I can feel alone in a room full of people she loves. When it comes to God, Astreia says: “I’ve been confused and angry. I’m at a crossroads between what I accepted blindly early in my faith and now truly thinking about whether what I thought is actually true, and where does that exactly leave God in the grand scheme of my life? If people are the hands and feet of Jesus, then I've found a place where at least I feel hopeful again in a world that is imploding.”

  MARK WIKOFF

MARK WIKOFF

barn boss

MARK’s pronouns are he/his/him. He’s married to Melina (see this same page, later) and has 2 kids. His oldest came out as MTF transgender about 2 years ago. Both kids are attending UT Austin. He loves to work with his hands and be creative. He actually says: “Being Barn Boss for Galileo Church has allowed me to do more of what I love to do.” God has thrown some incredible curve balls Mark’s way in the past couple of years, which has completely challenged his theological thinking in so may ways.  Those certainties that propped up his faith are falling away. His conservative worldview has been tossed aside and he is seeing the world through a different lens. He’s eager to see what’s next!

  AISLING JONES

AISLING JONES

PURCHASING AGENT

AISLING comes from a large Irish Catholic family; she moved a lot growing up, but has been in Texas the longest. Married nearly as long as she's been in Texas, she has five kids ranging from 8 to 17 years, and spends most of her time keeping up with them, the house, the dog, and her husband. She loves babies, reading, writing, knitting, coffee, and baking. Aisling thinks God is so much bigger than the boxes people try to fit God into, and is fascinated by how everything was made to work together, but wishes guidelines for living were more clear. Since they aren’t, like everyone else in this world, she is stumbling through her sometimes messy life, sometimes doubting everything, and always grateful for God's grace and love.

  MISSY HOLTMAN

MISSY HOLTMAN

LADY JUSTICE

MISSY is a recent transplant to Texas, but has always lived in the South. “It’s a long story,” she says. She is a teacher and a learner; and her favorite things are books, making music, gardening, photography, and history. Missy strongly believes that we need to understand history in order to even begin to get a handle on the present. “I am forever seeking justice and an understanding of just what justice is.” Missy found Galileo through a sign at a booth that said “We Seek Spiritual Refugees.” “That’s me," she says. "I found out that I’m not alone. I don't even know what God is up to with me. All I know is that it should be interesting.  And there will be stories to tell later.”

  ALLISON JUSTUS-SMITH

ALLISON JUSTUS-SMITH

HUMAN RESOURCES

ALLISON was born and raised in Fort Worth with a 6 year hiatus on the East coast for college and graduate school. She holds a masters degree in Ancient Art History, though these days she works for a large technology firm. She married the love of her life, Cammie, and they welcomed their first child, Birch, in February of 2015. They have 3 sweet dogs and one large Belgian draft horse. Allison grew up in the DoC, the granddaughter of a DoC minister. But her faith has been deeply informed by the study of ancient religions, in particular medieval illuminated manuscripts. 

   KIMBERLY GROGAN

KIMBERLY GROGAN

MLT MEMBER

KIM is a Mama Bear parent, friend, ally, wife, realtor and kayaking hobbyist! She’s married to her favorite human in the world, David (see this page later) and has 3 fabulous kids, 2 by birth, 1 by choice. She loves her dog Buster (all animals really), good ’80s music, burning anything (she might have a problem), her 1966 Ford truck, and dreaming she’s in Colorado, listening to her husband sing. When it comes to God, she’s been expanding and opening her mind to new things that sometimes seem too good to be true. She finds herself saying, “Yes, why didn’t I see this before? So much wasted time worrying about all the wrong things. My eyes are open and my heart is bursting!”

  DAVID GROGAN

DAVID GROGAN

SCT MEMBER

DAVID has his doctorate in music  performance (DMA)  from UNT, and teaches voice at UTA. (Can you say “Tenure!”?) He’s married to the amazing Kimberly Grogan, who (he says, though we would disagree) he doesn’t deserve. He has two wonderful children, Kat and Aaron,  who live in Denton with Kat’s wife, Nova. David has a strong tendency to see the best in people. He loves dogs, his family, teaching, singing, and the occasional gin and tonic. (Okay, more than occasional lately.) He despises bigotry, people who hurt those who he loves, and paperwork. Finding Galileo has been a Godsend in David’s life, and they are trying their hardest to return some of the love they have received from the beautiful people here. He’s trying to sort out the mysteries of faith, and happy to learn with and from his G-Group.  

  FRANCINE SPEER

FRANCINE SPEER

SCT MEMBER

FRANCINE grew up in the DOC in Arlington. She went to Bethany College in West (By-God) Virginia. After getting her Political Science degree, she earned an M.Div. at Brite Div. School just in time to realize that full-time church pastor-ing was not her calling. But serving people through non-profit administration IS her calling, so she does that at Catholic Charities in Fort Worth.  She met Katie while soothing a distraught, partly undressed child under a table at a children's ministry event. She has happily hosted a group of lovely, inappropriate storytelling individuals in her home, and her pasta salad is quite famous. Francine has spent a lifetime practicing her faith and finds that  it all boils down to loving God and loving neighbor, even the punk neighbor who parks in your spot.

   MARILYN BYRUM

MARILYN BYRUM

SCT MEMBER

MARILYN is an AP English teacher at MHS, married to Chris, mom to Milena. She’a native FW-er with a master’s degree in education from Baylor. She used to be a dutiful Baptist pastor’s wife in a town of 351 people… and now mocks her thinking from that time period. She now has another master’s degree in theology, just because. Marilyn would love to be a park ranger, hiking every day, baking decadent desserts, and reading thrillers or mysteries in her down time.  In reality, she is passionate about helping emotionally distressed students and  teaching students to take stands on social justice issues. After feeling isolated in main-stream churches, she discovered Galileo when friends invited her. Marilyn is learning that God knows she is a person of dust, that self-care is a holy activity, that perfection is a trap, and legalism is a way of keeping the religious elite in power.

  MELINA WIKOFF

MELINA WIKOFF

SCT MEMBER

MELINA is a wife, mother of two exceptional young adults, and a therapist-in-training. Her kids are both at UT-Austin, and as she enters into this new “empty nest” season, she’s feeling anything but empty as she looks ahead with great expectation at the work that God is calling her to in caring for the world God loves. She loves singing karoake, especially of the disco variety; dessert of all kinds; and laughing out loud in appreciation of all joy that can be found in the world! When it comes to God, Melina has been challenged to bravely, and yet not without fear, step way out of her comfort zone to share the good news that God’s love is for everyone.

  ROSALIND EVANS

ROSALIND EVANS

SCT MEMBER

ROS received her BSW and MSW at the University of Oklahoma. While attending the University of Oklahoma she was hired to work with the GoodGuides Youth Mentoring program located in Oklahoma City. Rosalind received her PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2017. She now teaches Social Work courses at the university for MSW and BSW students face to face and online. During her time at the university she was a Safe Zone Ally Facilitator and Special Projects Chair for the LGBTQA program in the Multicultural Affairs department. Her research focuses on campus climate, coming out experiences, and dynamics of coming out and identity development of international students in the U.S.

   ELISABETH MILLER

ELISABETH MILLER

SCT MEMBER

ELISABETH is an introverted observer of the world; a natural mediator; and self-professed conflict avoider. Becoming a parent has forced her to come out of her shell and grapple with all of the BIG issues. Elisabeth grew up in St. Louis, but has been in Texas for long enough to be fully committed to “y’all” and the Tex Mex at Chuy’s. Elisabeth is happiest when playing with her toddler, Lucy. She found Galileo by happenstance at the Mansfield Pickle Parade. Elisabeth came to Galileo after seeing our rainbow flag waving in all its glory down Main Street. She grew up in church and church-hopped for many years, but never felt at home...till now.

   CORI ANGELINO

CORI ANGELINO

SCT MEMBER

CORI is a wife, mom to four kids, recent-ish transplant from California to Texas, and someone who knows a little bit about a bunch of stuff. Her faith-life started in childhood where “if the doors were open, her family was in a pew,” but she always had questions the church wasn’t answering to her satisfaction.  After a winding path away from church, then into one that betrayed her trust, she found Galileo — a space when she could doubt and question and listen without speaking and not feel ashamed for any of it. Right now, Cori and God are chewing on the idea that God deserves (and demands) space in her day-to-day when she is so easily caught up in the here-and-now.

  JENNIFER JACOBSON

JENNIFER JACOBSON

SCT MEMBER

JENNY has 50-something years as a mom, friend, grandma, and follower of Jesus. She couldn’t leave parts of herself out if she tried! She has an M.Div. from Brite, and is in the process of becoming a chaplain, most likely in a health care setting.
She loves her  9 grandkids and 4 kids;  Rangers baseball; reading Shakespeare aloud with friends over nosh and beer; crochet, sushi, Doctor Who, Hamilton; cats, dogs and baby goat videos on YouTube. Jenny drives across the Metroplex to be with Galileo, because she appreciates how far out of “the box” the Divine dwells. She heads toward those places outside her comfort zone where God is calling her.

   ORDINATION CANDIDATES

ORDINATION CANDIDATES

ORDINATION CANDIDATES

LAURA, TYLER, ELEANOR, ASHLEY, and JENNY (not pictured) are moving through the ordination process with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), sponsored by Galileo Church and several partner congregations. Four of them are students at Brite Div. School; one (Jenny) has graduated! They work variously as chaplains, youth ministers, educators, and Etsy storekeepers. Talk to them to find out which is which! And pray along with them as they continue down the path toward God’s idea of their best future.

 

© 2013 Galileo Church