Dr. Fred Lybrand

Interim Preacher

Fred Ray Lybrand has been married to Jody, his partner in life and family, for over 34 years after meeting, dating, and falling in love following a CRU meeting at the University of Alabama. Dr. Lybrand pastored for 25 years at Midland Bible Church and Northeast Bible Church (Evangelical Free) before retiring from the pastorate in 2010. He received his B.A. degree in English Literature/Communications from the University of Alabama, a Masters in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Phoenix Seminary.

Fred Ray is the author of eight books including Preaching on Your Feet, The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change, Glaen, and The One Success Habit (You Can't Do Without). He is the creator of a 10 Course Curriculum for college-readiness accessible at www.college-ready.com. Although a founding board member of Midland Classical Academy, Fred Ray & Jody homeschooled their 5 children from birth to college; where they all excelled in academics, community, and ministry at the University of Texas (4 sons) & Abilene Christian (daughter).

Dr. Lybrand currently coaches, consults, and trains businesses, churches, and non-profits. Among his clients are the U.S. Air Force, CRU, Be Broken Ministries, Continental Resources, State Farm Insurance, Chick-fil-A, and Pioneer Natural Resources. His current ministry focus is the development of a preaching curriculum for third-world pastors in association with BEE-World Ministries.

Karen Nicholson

Karen Nicholson

Executive director

Karen and her husband, Johnny, began attending here in 2002. Married for over 30 years, they are blessed with two adult children, their spouses and two precious grandsons. Karen enjoys her involvement with the Women’s Ministry at Austin Oaks Church and sharing laughter and life with her family and friends.

Contact Karen via email or call (512) 891-1631


Linda Sarrels

executive administrative assistant

Linda grew up in New Mexico and came to Texas in 1973 to attend Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.  She married Bob two years later and they have called Austin home since 1978.  They are blessed to have three adult children and five grandchildren, who all live close by with their families.  Linda worked at The University of Texas System for 27 years and retired in March 2015 to become part of the wonderful staff at Austin Oaks Church.  She loves being Mimi to her grandchildren and traveling with Bob on family road trips and to archery tournaments around Texas and across the country.

Contact Linda via email or call (512) 891-1642

Rob Harrell

Rob Harrell

Pastor emeritus

Rob has been married to Kathy, his partner in ministry, for over 30 years and served as Senior Pastor here from 1990-2016. Rob served for seven years at Metropolitan Baptist in Oklahoma City and four years at Westlake Bible Church in Austin, Texas. Rob received a B.S. degree in Psychology/Sociology from the University of Utah, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He enjoys riding his mountain bike, playing golf with buddies, walking through his neighborhood, being a pastor to pastors and working with other church leaders to reach the Austin so the world might be transformed by the gospel of Jesus. Rob and Kathy have two grown children of their own and an “answer-to-prayer son-in-law”. Their son, Stephen, lives internationally building US Embassies. Their daughter, Kylie, and her husband, Chris, live in Washington DC, where he teaches “at risk” kindergarten students, and she is a lawyer with Gibson Dunn. 

Contact Rob via email.