• Brandon Holiski - Lead Pastor

    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 is currently pursuing a PhD at Trinity International University (New Testament), under the supervision of D. A. Carson. 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.
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  • Tony Garrett - Associate Pastor

    Tony hails from Artesia, New Mexico, and joined the staff at Southern Oaks in June of 1989. Currently he serves as the Associate Pastor and Music Minister. 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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  • Derek Berry - Youth Pastor

    Derek Berry is an evangelistic, gospel-centered youth pastor who joined the staff at SOBC in May 2017 after moving from Houston, Texas with his wife and daughter, Krystal and Neriah. He and his wife have been married since January 2015. Derek has a strong vision to shape the lives of youth in Tyler, Texas with the Word of God and is passionate about winning souls for Christ and equipping young people to walk out their faith. Since 2010, he has worked with youth in various setting including youth groups, juvenile probation, and one-on-one discipleship. 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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  • Caden Crawford - Director of Contemporary Worship and Young Adults

    Caden Crawford was born and raised in Tyler, and graduated with a bachelor's in music media from the University of Texas at Arlington.  He has served in worship ministry as well as in production for the past several years with 3 other churches.  Caden enjoys leading through music and desires to see the church serve as one body and continually seek God through all things, understanding that through our toughest valleys and our most joyous times, Jesus is better. 
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  • Tamara Armstrong - Children's Director

    Tamara has been on staff since July 2013. She joined Southern Oaks after serving for 5 years at First Baptist Church of Beeville, TX, and 8 years at New Life Baptist Church in Beeville. She has been involved in Children's Ministry for over 20 years and has an undeniable desire to share Christ's love with children so that they will want to accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior and fulfill God's unique purpose for their lives. Tamara loves to sing, direct children's musicals, and teach Bible Drill and puppeteering. Tamara has a recently married daughter named Cassidy. Tamara enjoys watching movies, shopping for antiques, and restoring old things for a new purpose. 
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  • Renée French - Mother's Day Out Director

    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 realizes 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

    Charlotte is an experienced school teacher who teaches at one of Tyler ISD's elementary schools, who also stays busy raising her 4 children alongside her husband Drew.  She has always 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 - Financial/Pastor's Secretary

    Shannon joined the staff in August 2016. Shannon and her husband Brian have been members of Southern Oaks since 2006.  They have 3 sons, Wyatt, Samuel and Philip who are in the process of finishing college and high school, so they will soon be empty nesters.  She and Brian are active in the music ministry and have been on many mission trips.  Shannon also leads the children's choir and teaches Kindergarten Sunday School. 
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  • Rachel Hester - Church Secretary

    Rachel and her husband Chris have been members of Southern Oaks since 2014. They have one son, Elliott Jackson, who was born September 30, 2015, and is the 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. Rachel is 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. Her husband, Chris, graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2011 with a degree in Church Music. Together, Chris and Rachel serve the church by particiapting in music and children's ministries.
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