Rev. Drew Essen

Executive Pastor

With a passion for starting new ventures, growing ministries and helping systems run smoothly, Drew Essen brings years of administrative and pastoral experience to his role as Executive Pastor at The Woodlands Methodist Church (TWMC).

“I’m looking forward to seeing how my calling, specifically as an executive pastor, can work itself out here at TWMC,” says Drew. “I’m excited about bringing to the staff the pieces of who I am as a pastor into a very business-oriented, business-facing role.”

Answering a calling and bringing who he is into a role isn’t new to Drew. He has served the past nine years at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston, initially as worship leader and most recently as executive pastor.

He first received a call to ministry when he was 14 years old at his home church, Christ United Methodist Church in Sugarland. “The Methodist church was the church that helped me understand who Jesus was and what grace was,” he says. “I was always attracted to the Methodist church because of their understanding of grace.”

He applied that calling to his role as worship leader for his youth group, a role he held throughout high school and the first two years of college at the University of Houston, where he studied organizational leadership and supervision.

Drew, who graduated with the Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in May 2022, is hopeful about not only his future at TWMC, but also the future of the church itself.

“It’s one of the most exciting times in the life of the church,” he affirms. “I truly think that The Woodlands Methodist Church has positioned itself to be able to lean into whatever God has for the next 40 years.”

And Drew sees positive momentum in where the executive pastor position will lead: “Working with such high-capacity people on every level here at TWMC and getting to learn from them and discern with them where God is leading us as a church is an honor. When we talk about things like planting new churches and raising up 1,000 Next Gen leaders and what systems need to be in place to make that happen, the fact that I get to be part of that process is exciting.”

Drew and his wife, Kristen, live in The Woodlands with their three children: Wesley, Rhett and Ella.