Our Staff

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Brandon Holiski

Lead Pastor

Office: (903) 561-8025

Brandon is an expository preacher with a clear passion for accurately explaining the Word of God in relevant ways. He has a bachelor's degree from Ouachita Baptist University (Biblical Studies), 2 master's degrees from Wheaton College (Biblical Greek and Hebrew Exegesis; Historical and Systematic Theology), and he has completed doctoral coursework at Trinity International University. Before coming to Southern Oaks in July of 2014 he served for over a decade as lead pastor at two other churches. He and Allison (his wife) have a son named Asher and two daughters from Uganda, Africa, named Dorea and Sophia, who they are raising to know the Lord and, secondarily, to root for the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Cubs.

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Tony Garrett

Associate Pastor (Music and Senior Adults)

Office: (903) 561-8025

Tony hails from Artesia, New Mexico, and joined the staff at Southern Oaks in June of 1989. Currently he serves as the Associate Pastor, with special attention directed to our Senior Adults and leading the Choir and Orchestra during the early service on Sunday. He has earned a bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his lovely wife, Teresa, have been married since 1982 and have a daughter named Taylor, who also lives in Tyler with her husband Hunter. Tony has a passion for a variety of musical styles and instruments. He especially enjoys musical mission trips with family and friends.

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Caden Crawford

Contemporary Worship and Young Adults

Office: (903) 561-8025

Caden was born and raised right here in Tyler and graduated with a bachelor's in music media from the University of Texas at Arlington.  He has served in worship ministry and in production for the past several years with various churches.  He and his wife Bailey were married in 2017. Together they enjoy leading in worship and hosting various small groups for young adults in the community. His passion is to see the church move together as one body in pursuit of glory of the God in all things and to see as many people as possible come to realize that, in good times or bad, Jesus is better!

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Derek Berry

Youth Pastor

Office: (903) 561-8025

Derek Berry is an evangelistic, gospel-centered youth pastor who joined our staff in May 2017 after moving from Houston, Texas, with his wife, Krystal, and daughter, Neriah. He and his wife have been married since January 2015. Derek has a strong vision to shape the lives of youth in Tyler with the Word of God and is passionate about winning souls for Christ and equipping young people to walk in the faith. Since 2010, he has worked with youth in various settings including youth groups, juvenile probation, and one-on-one discipleship relationships. Derek studied theology for two years at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston and is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys playing dominos and watching Marvel movies. 

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Rebecca Sorge

Children's Director

Office: (903) 561-8025

Rebecca has lived in Tyler most of her life and married the love of her life, David Sorge, a month after graduating from Robert E. Lee High School in 1984. Together they have two adult children and three grandchildren. She is known for her passionate study of God's Word and heart for evangelism. She felt called to missions while working in a day care center in North Tyler. During that time, she joined her church in adopting an elementary school for a Good News Club program designed to introduce children to Christ. Eventually she began working full time at Child Evangelism Fellowship in 2004 and graduated Children’s Ministry Institute in 2005. God has used her in our community to reach children with the Gospel through her years serving as director at CEF and in the fall of 2017 the Lord brought her to serve with us at Southern Oaks. God is continuing to use her sweet spirit, valuable experience, and loving expertise to bless and disciple children and families in our community.

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Renee French

Mother's Day Out Director

Office: (903) 561-8025

Renée has served as the Mother’s Day Out Director since 2012. After earning her degree from East Texas Baptist University, she worked in the mental health and foster care fields before joining the staff at Southern Oaks. Her passion for Christ and her love for people shine through her dedication to the MDO program. With four sons in tow, Renée knows firsthand what a gift children are from the Lord and how they should be trained up to follow Him. She also understands that such instruction could not take place without caring teachers who love and nurture the children that come through the door each morning. Renée wants every child to see that they are special and that God has a place for them in His kingdom.

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Charlotte Allen

Nursery Director

Office: (903) 561-8025

Charlotte is an experienced teacher at one of Tyler ISD's elementary schools.  She and her husband, Drew, have four children of their own. For many years she has felt called by God to work with kids, so she was thrilled when Southern Oaks gave her the opportunity to teach about God's love in our expanding nursery ministry. She feels strongly that at any age you can begin to lay a foundation of truth, based on the Word of God. In the nursery ministries this is done through offering music, Bible lessons, and crafts, even for our littlest ones! Charlotte would love to welcome you, pray for you, and serve you in any way that she can through the nursery ministries of SOBC.

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Shannon Cook

Lead Pastor Secretary and Financial Secretary

Office: (903) 561-8025

Shannon joined the staff in August 2016. She and her husband, Brian, have been members of Southern Oaks since 2006.  They have three college aged sons: Wyatt, Samuel and Philip.  Shannon is very active in the music, missions, and children's ministries at Southern Oaks.  She also leads the children's choir and teaches Kindergarten Sunday School. 

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Rachel Hester

Church Secretary

Office: (903) 561-8025

Rachel and her husband, Chris, have been members of Southern Oaks since 2014. They have one son, Elliott Jackson, who is a joy of their lives. Rachel graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a minor in Music. She is also a licensed Social Worker for the state of Texas, and is currently in graduate school to obtain her Masters in Social Work through the University of Texas at Arlington. Together, Chris and Rachel serve the church by participating in music and children's ministries.