Drew Witt - Lead Pastor
In addition to being a pastor, Drew is also a graphic designer, abstract painter, entrepreneur, musician, and general do-it-yourself builder. Since 2002, his main passion has been to creatively speak the words of life in a way that would produce mature disciples instead of religious nuts. Talking about Jesus and be a tour guide of the Bible are his favorite things to do.
In 2007, Drew & Shari moved to San Antonio to help John & Stephanie Van Pay start Gateway Fellowship in Helotes, TX. In 2012, the Witt’s and five friends started The Gathering Midtown Church in San Pedro Park while praying and eating a meal together. Their first prayer was “Lord, what are you already doing, and how can we join it?” The consistent goal has been to create a warm, loving, local, and compassionate expression of Jesus’ Church in the center city that would bring hope to people.
Along the way God blessed them with two boys - Hayden James and Grayson James. Oh boy!
Jake Aschbacher - Assistant Pastor in Residence
Jake Aschbacher is a true-blue Texas-Born Son. Birthed in Dallas and raised in San Antonio, Jake lives with his wife, Sydney, and daughter, Lydia, in the Dignowity Hill neighborhood. Jake and Sydney met in Austin, TX volunteering for Young Life, a high-school youth ministry based on outdoor adventure and the gospel of Jesus Christ. After his time with Young Life Jake spent 5 years working in the Special-Needs arena caring with two men, Drew Karakourtis and Thomas Mitchum. Through this experience and occupation Jake gained a deep and abiding understanding of what it means to love and care for people in the same ways Jesus talked about in his Gospel.
Jake’s deepest desire is to see people reaching their fullest and truest life in Jesus’ healing love and flawless character. The healing work of Jesus is something that Jake longs to see in everyone he meets. He also loves talking to folks about their passions and desires and how they can apply those to the Kingdom around them. His favorite past-times include fly-fishing, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Tiff Leavitt - Worship Director/Leader of Worship Experience
Tiffani Leavitt (Tiff) is a native Texan. She has lived in San Antonio for 15 years, but grew up in Houston. Tiff has been singing and playing music since she was 3 years old. She is extremely passionate about equity and racial reconciliation and believes that music can not only be an agent for change but can also help all people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and denominations connect with their Creator in profound and life changing ways. It is her life’s joy to participate in that at any opportunity. Tiff has a background in music education and has a passion for developing musicians young and old. In addition to directing the worship team at the Gathering Midtown, she is currently teaches choir during the week at KIPP: University Prep
Brandon Padier - Assistant Worship Leader
Born in San Antonio, raised in La Vernia, Brandon (Brando, Mustache, etc.) is a trueblue Texas son. Brandon and his wife McKinley met through mutual friends at a college young-adults group at the church they both attended. After a year of dating, they were engaged and married 5 months later.
Ever since he was young, Brandon has been singing, writing and playing music. While he loves singing music created for the church’s worship, Brandon also writes and performs his solo music act, and is a co-leader of the band Adopted Kids.
McKinley and Brandon are East Side dwellers (Denver Heights to be exact) and can usually be found searching for the coolest hole-in-the-wall restaurants, taquerias and bars, when they aren’t playing with their pup, Koda.
Bethany Engelking - Administrative Expert
Bethany Engelking was originally born to missionary parents in South Africa and the church was always a central part of her life. Bethany met Michael in Kansas City, and moved to Texas soon after their wedding in 2015.
They welcomed their first child, Aubriella in the beginning of 2018 and plan to add many more to their family through adoption in the years to come. Bethany is also a riding instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic horsemanship and has a passion for supporting and caring for those with special needs and their families. Michael and Bethany are so grateful to have found a home in the Gathering and Bethany is excited for the opportunity to serve by joining staff as administrative assistant.