The Rev. Howard Castleberry, Rector
The saving grace of Jesus Christ has transformed the Rev’d Howard Castleberry’s life from being an atheist in his mid-20’s to a priest today. His diverse experiences have brought him to welcome all viewpoints of those in a sincere spiritual walk.
Howard has a passion for global outreach has led him to lead multiple missions to Pakistan, Mexico, Kenya, and most recently to Tanzania. The Tanzania Water Project is a major part of Christ Church’s foreign mission work.
Rev. Castleberry is the twenty-seventh rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Nacogdoches, which was founded in 1848. Previously Fr. Howard served Christ Episcopal Church in Temple, Texas as Associate Rector. He received his M.Div from The University of the South/Sewanee and his BA in English from the University of Houston. He grew up in Austin and did undergraduate work at The University of Texas.
Previously Howard was an industrial real estate developer as co-founder of GSL Industrial in Houston, Texas (now called www.gslwelcome.com). His first career was as a photojournalist for nineteen years, where he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times while at The Dallas Morning News and The Houston Chronicle. He interned at National Geographic magazine. His assignments took him to Somalia, Zambia, and many other parts of the world.
He is married to his partner in ministry, Joanne Wilson Castleberry of Houston, Texas. They have four children, the oldest of which is a full time staffer on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Joanne leads a women’s bible study and is active in church life.
The Castleberry Family in late 2015
The Rev. Michael Caldwell, Associate Rector, Youth Ministry Coordinator and Chaplain of Christ Episcopal School
Fr. Michael joined the Christ Church community in March of 2016. A native Texan, he and Dawn, his wife of sixteen years, and their Cairn terrier Little One, left the cold of Wisconsin for East Texas – and are happy to be here. Prior to serving in Wisconsin, Fr. Michael served in Fort Worth where his primary ministries were to youth and young families. Fr. Michael brings his gifts of pastoral care, healing and shepherding to Christ Church and Christ Episcopal School, where he serves as Chaplain.
Fr. Michael earned an M.Div. from The School of Theology at The University of the South in Sewanee, TN., and an MBa from Schiller International University in Heidelberg, Germany. He also earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. His resume includes computer programming for the Air Force, Customer Support, and just about everything for the Caldwell family business. Fr. Michael has been a member of Rotary International since 1995. He holds a black belt in Kajukembo and a brown belt in American Kenpo and other disciplines.
Deacon- The Rev. Wanda Cuniff
Deacon Wanda was ordained in February 2007 and graduated from the Iona School for Ministry. As deacon, she gives of her time to the many local outreach ministries. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a Master’s Degree in LIbrary and Information Science. She is married to Troy Cuniff, and they have two grown children and three grandchildren.
College Missioner, The Rev. Ashley Cook
The Rev. Ashley Cook was ordained into the priesthood in 2015. She has worked at St. Cyprians in Lufkin and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Woodville, TX. She is married and has one daughter and has a heart for College Ministry.
Parish Secretary, Crystal Nett
Mrs. Crystal Nett has been the Parish Secretary of Christ Church since 2001. She grew up in Dallas and attended Dallas Community College. She is married to Don Nett and they have a son together, Christopher.
Crystal can be reached at 936-564-0421.
Accounting, Angie Nichols
Mrs. Angie Nichols handles all accounting and bookkeeping and has been with Christ Church since 2008. Angie graduated from Stephen F. Austin University with a BS in Education. She is married to Gregg Nichols and they have two boys together- Joshua and Jacob- and a daughter named Elizabeth.
Angie can be reached at 936-564-0421.
Tara Rollins, Child Care Coordinator
Tara Rollins is our child care coordinator and handles all babysitters for child care here at the church.
Dr. Ping-Ting Lan, Church Organist
Dr. Ping-Ting Lan, a native of Taiwan, holds BA, MM and DMA degrees in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas. She has worked for SFA as a staff accompanist, adjunct faculty and Music Prep piano teacher and has performed as a soloist, duo pianist and chamber musician in the United States and in Taiwan. Dr. Lan has served as a church organist along with her husband, Dr. James Pitts, at Westminster Presbyterian Church for the last seven years. They have one son, Adrian, who is ten years old.
Dawn Caldwell, Outreach Coordinator
Dawn hails from Wisconsin and grew up in Wyoming. Once she met Michael, she just couldn’t wait to get to Texas; but she did – they were engaged for four years! Born into the Roman Catholic Church, Dawn enjoyed attending a variety of mainstream denominations as she grew up. She brings her experience and love for evangelism, outreach, and hospitality to Christ Episcopal Church.
Before becoming a clergy spouse, Dawn was a Hotel Manager for almost 15 years, as well as a leader with Creative Memories for 25 years. Once a professional photographer, she still loves painting with light. She enjoys participating in and leading Bible Studies for women (including Bible Study Fellowship and Beth Moore), and was a small group leader of 13 & 14 year old girls.
Email Dawn Caldwell, Outreach Coordinator
Nita Hudson, Choir Director