First Church welcomes Rev. Dr. Will Cotton

Passing the Baton

The baton has been passed! A successful first weekend in worship with Rev. Dr. Will Cotton

Passing the BatonA wonderful moment in worship this weekend…. First Church is blessed with many talented people, including Ed Roberts, a skilled woodworker. A few weeks ago, Rev. David Adkins asked Ed to craft a “baton” to represent the passing of the baton from one senior pastor to another. Today, Ed presented the “baton” to Rev. Dr. Will Cotton. The baton is made from wood from a recently downed pecan tree on our campus, wood from our historic Council Oak Tree, and joined in the middle with ebony from one of Rev. Adkins’ trips to Africa. A beautiful and symbolic piece of art. Thank you, Ed and David, and welcome to Will!

On his first Sunday, Rev. Dr. Cotton challenged us to get out of the boat and become water walkers. We look forward to his leadership and inspiration as we move forward in this new chapter at First Church.


Our next Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Will Cotton and his wife, Tina, are settling in Round Rock and are eager to get involved in the life and ministry of First Church. Rev. Dr. Cotton is originally from New Castle, PA and transferred to Central Texas from Northwest Texas/New Mexico area in 2010. Rev. Dr. Cotton’s most recent appointment, prior to coming here to First Church, was as Senior Pastor of St. Barnabas United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas. About St. Barnabus, Rev. Dr. Cotton says, “We served six great years with St. Barnabas, including a rebuild of the facilities there following a tornado. They are a warm, innovative and caring congregation with and a great passion for mission beyond the walls.”

Rev. Dr. Cotton has some previous ties to Round Rock. “Our son lived in Round Rock during his first year at UT Law School, and I did doctoral studies at Austin Presbyterian Seminary. Otherwise, Round Rock is a whole new adventure for us.”

Will and Tina CottonBrad Harwick, chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee at First Church, says, “Forty-seven other pastors have come and gone from First United Methodist Church of Round Rock. Each have brought unique gifts and graces to our Church at just the right moment. As we look to our future and our charge in this community and beyond, Rev. Dr. Will Cotton arrives at a pivotal point in our maturation as a church body and brings a unique set of skills to help us get to a new place that God already has planned.”

When asked about his hopes for ministry at First Church, Rev. Dr. Cotton says, “I am very excited to be serving such a great congregation at a time where Round Rock and the surrounding area are experiencing phenomenal growth.”

Rev. Dr. Cotton and his wife, Tina, have been married 32 years and have two sons, Tyler and Reece. Tyler and his wife Kristen live in Austin, and Reece lives in Ft. Worth. Tina will be a speech-language pathologist with Round Rock ISD this fall. They are also blessed with two dogs, Georgia and Layla.

We hope you will be here next weekend to give a big Round Rock welcome to Will and Tina Cotton.