Rev. Kyle Childress


Kyle Childress has been the pastor of Austin Heights Baptist Church since 1989. Kyle grew up in west Texas in the small town of Stamford, graduated from Baylor University in 1980 and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while he was also serving as pastor of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Franklin in central Texas. In 1985 Kyle moved to Atlanta, Georgia and Oakhurst Baptist Church where he was an intern with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and lived in an intentional Christian community called the Community of Hospitality which worked with homeless people. In 1986 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky to return to seminary at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he completed his Master of Divinity in 1989 before moving to Austin Heights. Since then he has continued his education primarily through Duke Divinity School. While in Louisville Kyle met Jane Webb at the Crescent Hill Baptist Church where they were married in May of 1988. While in Kentucky Kyle also served as the pastor of the Stewart’s Creek Baptist Church in Lebanon.

​Since moving to Nacogdoches, Kyle and Jane have had two daughters, Emily born in 1990 and Callie born in 1993, and Jane has become an adjunct professor of English at Stephen F. Austin State University. Kyle is a member of both the Nacogdoches Ministerial Alliance and the Interdenominational Ministers’ Alliance, the only white minister a member of both. Highly committed to racial reconciliation, he founded the community-wide annual Martin Luther King Commemoration Service in 1991. He was also the founding president of the East Texas AIDS Project (1991) now called Health Horizons, and the founding president of the Nacogdoches affiliate of Habitat for Humanity (1994). Kyle is a frequent contributing writer to The Christian Century as well as other journals and periodicals, and has contributed chapters in four books. He is also frequent guest preacher and in 2008 was named one of the preachers of the Great Preaching Series at Andover Newton Theological School in Boston during the school’s 200th anniversary celebration.

Kyle enjoys reading and considers his mentors to be writers Wendell Berry, Will Campbell, and Stanley Hauerwas. He also loves conversation especially on his back porch. He is a charter member of the National Association of Porching (NAP) and a member of the Neighborhood, six clergy friends who have gathered twice a year since 1989.


Publications by Kyle Childress


The Christian Century

The Christian Reflection

Sloth: Who Cares? Acedia Issue, 2013

Ties that Bind:Sharing a Common Rule of Life  Monasticism Old and New Issue, 2010

The Neighborhood: A Company of Friends Friendship Issue, 2008

Austin Heights and AIDs Health Issue, 2007

Live Large, Dream Small Inklings of Glory Issue, 2004

Other Articles and Publications

"Storm Cellars and Pentecost" (May 15, 2018) in online Faith and Leadership

"Voices: Pondering Ten Commandments for the Long Haul of Life" (Nov 21, 2016) The Baptist Standard

SB4 and 'Godless' Statement: Public Schools and Teachers Deserve Better (May 6, 2015) in The Daily Sentinel 

Knowing what the stakes are: Hauerwas questions and baptist answers. (Feb 2015) in the online Review and Expositor 

What is the Good News Anyway? (Nov. 13, 2013) in the online Ekklesia Project

Old Pickups and Advent (Dec. 3, 2013) in online Faith and Leadership

Books or Book Chapters

Slouching Toward Zion and More Lies by Robert Flynn, Foreword by Kyle Childress