Meet Our Staff
Committed to Instilling Faith into All Congregants
Rev. David Wakeland
David Wakeland was born in Hattiesburg, MS. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he graduated with a degree in history. After graduating he moved to St. Louis to attend Covenant Theological Seminary. During his seminary studies David took a year off for an internship with Dr. Joseph Pipa at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Houston. After graduating from seminary David accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church in Muscle Shoals, AL where he served as pastor from 1986-1992. David has been the pastor at Southwest since the spring of 1992. He is married to Melinda Montague and they have four sons.
Rev. Ken Thurman
Ken graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1973 and worked as a Mechanical Engineer for 30 years. He later graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS, in 1994 with a Master of Divinity. Ken joined Southwest PCA (SWPCA) as a member in 1997, then as a Ruling Elder in 2000, and then called by the congregation of SWPCA to his current role of Associate Pastor in 2003 on a part-time basis. Ken married Linda Dahmer Thurman in 1971 and they have two daughters, and three grandsons.
Scott has been a part of the Houston music scene for over 20 years. When Scott is not playing piano at our Sunday services he can be found playing at the Houston Symphony. Singing to God to the sound of Scott's masterful work is the best way to praise God on Sunday mornings.
Jess Wakeland, Office Director
Jess is Rev. Wakeland's fourth son, and he is the person who handles the day-to-day activities and keeps things running smoothly at the church. He is also an outstanding piano player and occasionally fills in for Scott for worship services.
If you would like to contact one of our elders or deacons please email the church at
"Faith of our fathers! living still in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword"
The History of Southwest Presbyterian Church
A home Bible study began in September 1988 for the specific purpose of planting a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church in the Texas Medical Center/Southwest Houston area. This Bible study, a church planting activity of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Houston, was led by Church Planting Pastor William Fitzhenry. The Bible study group was composed of twelve members of Covenant Presbyterian Church who expressed an interest in this endeavor.
Southwest Presbyterian Church celebrated its inaugural worship service in January 1989. This church gathered at the Sheltering Arms Day Center. Pastors Joseph Pipa, Thomas Hoolsema and Bill Fitzhenry participated in the service.
The Bible Study group was first called the Inner Loop Mission. The congregation chose the permanent name, Southwest Presbyterian Church (PCA), in August 1989 to denote a general location of present and future ministry in Houston.
Worship services were held on Sunday evenings from February through April 1989. Sunday morning worship services began in May 1989.
In October 1991, the mission church petitioned South Texas Presbytery to become a particular church. That petition was granted, and plans were made to organize, elect officers and call a full-time pastor. The church called Rev. David Wakeland, Muscle Shoals, AL, as Pastor; the church was formally organized; and Elders were elected in January 1992. The building in which we meet was purchased in 1994 and adjacent properties were acquired over the next several years. The church called Rev. Ken Thurman as Associate Pastor in July 2003. The church recently began efforts toward building a new structure to house offices and classrooms.
The current membership is about 175.