Welcome Barbecue for Pastor Brandon Zieske

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Join us for a barbecue lunch on Sunday, October 1 following a special service to welcome our new Senior Pastor Brandon Zieske. We'll gather in the courtyard for a catered lunch from Poke-E-Joe's and extend a warm Austin welcome to the Zieske family.

Tickets: $11/adults, $6/children, children under 3 eat free.

Tickets must be purchased by September 27 so we can be sure we have enough food for everyone. A limited number of tickets will be available on October 1 for $12/each.

Purchase your tickets today.

It is my passion and my desire to see every generation made alive in Christ.
— Brandon Zieske

Welcome Austin Oaks church Senior Pastor Brandon Zieske

We are overjoyed and grateful to welcome Pastor Brandon Zieske as our new Senior Pastor at Austin Oaks Church. On Sunday, August 6, AOC members voted 99% in favor of calling Pastor Brandon Zieske to lead our congregation. Now we begin preparing to launch a new chapter of the AOC story under Pastor Zieske's leadership.  We can't wait to see what God has in store!

October 1 begins a New chapter with a new leader

Pastor Zieske will lead our Sunday morning services beginning October 1.  He and his family plan to arrive in Austin in mid-September, following their move from Winona, Minnesota.  Stay tuned for specific dates on when he will start work in the AOC offices and how we can best help the Zieske family get settled into this new chapter of their lives.

CANDIDATING SERMON: "DISTINCT" - Sunday, August 6, 2017



Brandon Zieske currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Pleasant Valley Evangelical Free Church of Winona, MN. The previous Senior Pastor served there for 20 years. During the past three years, under Brandon’s leadership, his 122 year-old, multi-generational church transitioned from a congregation in decline to one that now attracts a 1,000 people, in a community of 30,000.

Leadership development and an attraction for the lost are hallmarks of Brandon’s service to God. He has cultivated a staff that is collaborative with its members and multiplies capabilities and engages volunteers as leaders.

His winsome way championed a multi-million dollar capital campaign that eliminated debt and expanded the church’s facility. He also expanded the attractiveness of his church, introducing an evening worship service and a traditional music venue.


Prior to becoming a Senior Pastor, Brandon served as the College Pastor for his church. He has been in ministry for more than 14 years.

Brandon received his Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Leadership Transformation in 2013 from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Winona State University.

He is 35 years old, and he and his wife Carissa have three children: Cora (9), Brayden (6), and Adalyn (1). When time allows, Brandon loves riding motorcycles, golfing, working out or settling into a good book.

Brandon loves the legacy of Austin Oaks and the fact that it is a multi-generational and multi-ethnic church. The idea of taking on the challenge to help mobilize the church to take its next step in glorifying God energizes him. He desires to effectively reach and shape the next generation of believers and leaders, and finds Austin to be ripe for harvest.

WHY BRANDON? hear from our pulpit committee

Over the last several months, a five-member Pulpit Committee spent countless hours praying, researching, and interviewing potential Senior Pastor candidates.  On July 30, committee members shared with the AOC congregation why they think God has led our church to select Brandon as our new Senior Pastor.

Our Pulpit Committee members are: Gayle Clark, Jon Cobb, Elaine Jackson, Richard Powell, and Scott Wallace.  We thank them all for their hard work and devotion to this process.

AOC's 15th Senior Pastor

Pastor Brandon Zieske comes to us as the 15th Senior Pastor in the 92 year-history of our congregation. He follows the 26-year tenure of Pastor Emeritas Rob Harrell, as well as a long line of other godly men who have faithfully preached God's Word to us and ministered to our family so well. We're grateful for the generations who have gone before us and laid such a firm foundation that we continue to build on to this day.

Find out more about the history of Austin Oaks Church.



Brandon, Carissa, and their children begin the process of transitioning their lives from Winona, Minnesota to Austin, Texas.  Here are some ways you can pray for them during the coming weeks.

  • Praise God for leading the Zieskes to a new home here in Austin and for their safe travels across the country.
  • Pray for the entire family as they settle into their new home, new offices, new schools, and new routines.
  • Pray for their former church, Pleasant Valley - Winona, as they begin their own Senior Pastor search process.