Meet John

Campaign for Rey Feo LXXV

Early Years
John Switzer McFadden, Sr. was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri. In college, John was a cheerleader for the University of Missouri. He met his wife, Leslie, while cheering at a basketball game against Central Missouri State University. Leslie was a cheerleader for the other team!

“I met her at a basketball game on February 21, 1982, at 8:05pm. By 11pm that same night, I asked her to marry me! She said no… at first! Fortunately, she changed her mind.”

John earned his Master of Arts in Counseling from Wayland Baptist University in 2014 graduating as the Outstanding Graduate. He is currently working on his dissertation and will graduate from Trinity Theological Seminary in fall 2022 with a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. He has conducted thousands of hours of free counseling with his church and ministry.

After graduating college and getting married, John and Leslie moved to Ipswich, England. There, John spent his days patrolling the Iron Curtain from the skies as a United States Air Force fighter pilot. John has logged thousands of hours as an instructor pilot in the A-10, T-37, and T-38 aircraft. After retiring as a Lt. Colonel from the Air Force, John began flying for United Airlines. Over the 20+ years at United he has been assigned to the B-727, 737, 757, and 767 aircraft.

While working at United Airlines, John and Leslie started a successful venture called Water 2 Wine, a custom winery producing over 100 international wines. Serving as company’s President, John grew Water 2 Wine into a multi-million-dollar, multi-state franchise.

John then went on to co-found Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) based out of San Antonio, Texas. ADL Health is a high complexity CLIA laboratory capable of performing microbiology, toxicology and forensic testing plus next generation gene sequencing.


John is heavily involved with Open Hearts Ministry (OHM), headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. OHM provides healing and support groups for adult survivors of abuse. John is entering his 6th year serving as the Treasurer on the OHM National Board of Directors. Through this ministry, John developed a strong desire to help people heal from the wounds of their past. Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer has featured John on her television show Enjoying Your Everyday Life. John has also spoken on stage with Joyce Meyer at several of her conferences.

This year, John and Leslie will celebrate 39 wonderful years of marriage. They share a loving and happy marriage and strive to help others do the same. John and Leslie lead marriage ministry and pre-marital counseling classes at several churches around San Antonio.

John can’t wait to begin raising money for Rey Feo scholarships. “I consider higher education for the young men and women of Bexar County to be my highest priority right now,” John said. “The best way you can break the cycle of damage is to give people the opportunity for a better life through education.”

John and Leslie’s children and grandchildren have loved participating in Fiesta events for years. Their youngest daughter, Mary, was The Duchess of Revered Old World Traditions in the Order of The Alamo’s Court of America the Beautiful in 2019.

John is a member of the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation, a membership-based nonprofit composed of former Reyes Feo’s and business and civic leaders of San Antonio. Formerly, John served the Fiesta Commission on the Host Committee for several years and on the Membership Committee. John also served as an Elected Commissioner for the Fiesta Commission Board for 3 years.

John was a member of Rey Feo 73 Augie Cortez’ Court as the Safety Minister, a role created by the 73 Royal Court to ensure Fiesta remained safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this role, he conducted weekly COVID-19 testing for each court member and their significant others as well as discretionary additional testing if an exposure was suspected.

John S. McFadden, Sr.