Heart & Mind for the Holiday
Fr. Stuart Bates has led St. Francis as Rector since 2007, and under his leadership it has become one of the fastest-growing parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, more than doubling in size. Fr. Bates believes that, “One of our missions as a church is to provide accessible and relevant ways for busy people to deepen their relationship with Christ.” To do this he has implemented additional worship services, expanded discipleship and Christian formation programs, and substantially increased outreach ministry.
Fr. Bates grew up in Dallas and then attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Ancient Greek with a minor in Classical Civilizations. He graduated from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in 1996 with Masters’ degrees in Biblical Studies and Divinity. Before coming to St. Francis, he served at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston as the Director of Family Ministries and, later, as Director of Discipleship. Before his ordination he spent time working in the music business, the Texas Senate, and as a sales representative for Dell Computer Corporation.
He is married to Lisa, who is an interior designer, and they have six beautiful children: Alexandra, Georgia, Samantha, Lily, Harrison, and Emma. After almost ten years leading the parish, Fr. Bates declares, “I am blessed to work with dedicated, hard-working, fun-loving people here at St. Francis… I love my job!”