Brandi grew up in the fourth most populous city in America: Houston, TX. After high school, she moved to Waco to attend Baylor University majoring in Special Education. While at Baylor as an undergraduate, she realized how much spiritual formation she received during her childhood catechesis in both the Episcopal and Lutheran church.
Waco grew on her and she and her husband put down roots, adding seven children along the way. After 18 years at a non-denominational church, her family felt a pull to something different. They visited Christ Church in August of 2016 and she immediately felt at home, once again worshipping with the liturgy almost identical to what she grew up with.
Currently, Brandi is working toward a master’s degree in Educational Psychology in order to use Applied Behavior Analysis to teach children with disabilities. She loves working with children, and takes joy in the fact that even little ones can drink deeply from the wells of theological truth, and that we don’t need to resort to entertaining children in order to keep their attention.
Brandi lives in the peaceful countryside just north of Waco with her husband, Eric, seven children, and roughly 40 chickens.
Cody Strecker hails from Cincinnati and serves as the Family Catechist at Christ Church. This means he helps families stay updated on what their children are learning in catechesis on Sunday mornings, so that they can better tie this in with their daily worship in the home. During the day, and occasionally also at night, he’s a doctoral student of theology and early Christianity within Baylor’s Religion department. After graduating from Hillsdale College in 2008, he stuck around for a few years to work as an admissions counselor and research assistant to the college president. It wasn’t until beginning a masters program at Duke Divinity School that he encountered the Anglican tradition, at All Saints Anglican Church in Durham. In the final year of his MTS degree he moved to southern Germany with his wife, Mary, and their two young sons to study at the University of Tübingen and the Reutlingen School of Theology. All four of them quickly came to cherish daily life lived on foot. They own a car again, thanks to Texas sprawl, but long-distance running and a third son, born in 2017, keep him plenty active.
Nursery Coordinator and Early Childhood Catechist
Kathryn Aughtry is from Little Rock, Arkansas, but her family roots run through the Red River Valley region between Oklahoma and Texas. Kathryn married Matthew in 2011 and soon headed west to Los Angeles so that Matthew could complete seminary. Their son, Ethan, was born in sunny California which, according to her Okie relatives makes him a “prune picker”—whatever that means! She’s sure that his little sister will have a thing or two to say about that since it looks like she will be born here in the Lone Star State.
Kathryn earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Family and Consumer Sciences—formerly known as Home Economics. Yes, she knows how to bake a cake, but her true passions lie in understanding the world from a child’s perspective and supporting healthy family dynamics and relationships. In her career, she has been able to focus her energies on supporting child and youth development through research and education programs. As Early Childhood Catechist, she hopes to serve children and their families by helping to foster a love for God’s Kingdom and Church which Jesus tells us is even—or especially—for the little children.
Paul and Paige Gutacker
Brazos Fellows, Director and Assistant Director
In 2014, Paul and Paige moved to Waco where Paul is a PhD candidate at Baylor University in History.
Paul's current research explores the cultural and political importance of nineteenth-century American interpretations of church history. He has published articles and book reviews in Crux, Fides et Historia, the Journal of Religious History, and the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Both his scholarship and his teaching are driven by a desire to see the church recover her historical memory. In his spare time, Paul enjoys reading fiction, running the Waco Riverwalk, cooking, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills.
Paige is passionate about people development and started her own life coaching business, Crossroads Coaching, in 2017. Paige previously worked in the non-profit sector and, together with Paul, co-authored an instructional text on mentoring for Christian educators. In addition to participating in a Spiritual Direction Training Program at Truett Seminary, she currently spends much of her time caring for James Brantley (born April 2017) and laughing at the antics of their rescued spaniel mix, Lila.
Stevi grew up in the Pacific Northwest and came to Waco after spending several years in Hillsdale, Michigan. Before coming to Christ Church, Stevi taught middle school and high school history, served in children's ministry, worked as an assistant to Hillsdale College's President, managed the marketing efforts of an architecture firm in Fort Worth, and now assists the staff, clergy, vestry and parishioners of Christ Church.
Her husband Michael, a graduate of Baylor and KU, is a high school English teacher. They are expecting with great joy their first child this fall.