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50th Year Anniversary


2806 Appleby Sand Rd. Nacogdoches, TX 75965            (936) 564-0818  

“Our sign and logo of a shepherd’s staff with our congregation’s name written beside it was designed by Suzii Paynter and approved by the church council as our official logo in 1979; it was further refined by graphic artist Kerri Tate, and under Jim Denham’s leadership the sign bearing this logo was erected alongside Appleby Sand Road. The shepherd’s staff sign and logo has withstood the test of time well; it still catches the eye with its pleasing design and simple blue coloring on a clean white background…From the beginning in 1968, Austin Heights Baptist Church has been a gathering for lost sheep, black sheep, burned-out and beaten-up sheep, with a few old goats thrown in as well. Author and church founder Archie McDonald mentions that we have been known as an ‘Amazing Grace Church.’ A lot of us were lost, but here at Austin Heights, by the grace of the loving shepherd, we have been found. Furthermore, because of our own experiences, we have sought to make this congregation a body, or flock, where other lost sheep can find a home” (Kyle Chidress, Epiphany, 2007)
In the decades following the formation of the church, Austin Heights continued to embrace diversity and inclusiveness. In 1991 we organized our first “Service of Hope for Persons Whose Lives Have Been Touched By AIDS.” We began organizing food drives, taking people infected with AIDS to the doctor, and helped to form the East Texas AIDS Project now known as Health Horizons. In 1993 we helped to start the Nacogdoches County Habitat for Humanity affiliate and by 1995 we were building the first Habitat house in Nacogdoches. 


Our Logo

History Continued

“Five families chartered Austin Heights Baptist Church on April 7, 1968, to provide a place of worship in the northeast quadrant of Nacodgoches and because they believed that houses of worship must be open and available to all persons regardless of race or gender. Members of Austin Heights met in facilities rented from Redeemer Lutheran Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church until they completed a permanent home at 2806 Appleby Sand Road. 
​The Reverends Jerry Self, Roger Paynter, Kenny Wood, Jim Denham, and Kyle Childress pastored the church—one for less than a year and one for 18 years and continuing—and each made a profound impression on the ever changing congregation.”
​ (from the dust jacket of The Amazing Grace Baptist Church (2008) compiled by Archie P. McDonald)

A Brief History of

Austin Heights Baptist Church