The staff and leadership at Tyler Street Live is comprised of men and women eager to pray, counsel, assist, and serve you in any way possible. We are regular people who are passionate about Jesus and eager to see His love change the world. We would be honored to have you join us in our vision to love people, share life, and find faith in Christ. Feel free to contact any of us with anything you need.
Jeff grew up in Garland. He graduated from UT Austin in 1986, and was called to ministry that same year. He went on to graduate from Asbury Seminary in 1992, and was ordained an elder in 1994. He served three years as youth pastor at Casa Linda, and 26 years in pastoral ministry at Whitewright, Lake Highlands, Kessler Park, Chapel Hill, theTable, Forney and Cedar Hill. He has been married to the delightful Cindi for 30 years and is "crazy in love" with her. They have four grown children, Austin, Hannah, Alyssa, and Marshall.
Jeff likes movies, worship (both kinds!), laughs, and V8s with stick shifts. He fights with electronic gadgets, is a lifelong Batman fan, and likes hearing "you don't look like a pastor." He is moved by God's word and by bringing it to life.
Jeff and his wife, Cindi, are thrilled to be appointed to Tyler Street. They know us, they know our community, and they are very excited about our ministry together.
Edgar grew up in Mexico and moved to Dallas in 2004 with his wife, Dr. Evelyn Garza, to serve in the United Methodist Church as pastor. Edgar has served in two different appointments in addition to Tyler Street; he was associate pastor at Casa Linda UMC for three years and senior pastor at Oak Cliff UMC for eight years. He is a Master of Divinity graduate from Perkins School of Theology SMU. Most of his ministry has been focused on new church starts in transitioning urban communities. He also serves in numerous committees around the Conference including Director of Amigos Days, member of the Center of New Church Starts, the Center of Leadership Development, and the Congregational Assessment, Response and Transformation Team (CART). Edgar and Evelyn have two children, Emiliano and Santiago.
"I can’t refuse tacos, sushi, Thai food or a juicy burger, and I enjoy motorcycles, music, and exercising."
Scott is from Garland, TX and attended Texas Tech University where he received a Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies. He is passionate about leading the youth at Tyler Street and walking alongside them as they experience God. In his spare time, Scott enjoys playing music and hanging out with his dog, Rookie.
Maria Rios was born right here in Oak Cliff. She has taught Pre-K through fifth grade for over five years. Maria is an advocate of early childhood education and has a passion for sharing the Gospel with children. Maria has been a member of Tyler Street Church for six years, working as the assistant to the children's director before taking the position herself at the beginning of 2017.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Ray came to Dallas to attend Christ For The Nations Institute. After visiting Tyler Street for a while, Ray sensed the mission here and God’s call for him to serve with others here. That was over 39 years ago and Tyler Street is the only church that Ray has been a member of and he feels blessed to be part of God's family here, to serve the church and reach out to those in need. To know the Lord has used me at our Outreach or making a hospital visit or visiting one of our precious homebound members makes life at its best.
Nicole received her Bachelor of Music from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, and her Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, NY. She loves all things Texas and especially Oak Cliff, a resident for 15 years (and until Glory!). Nicole is wife to a fabulous tenor, and has 3 extremely precocious kids.
Shelton started piano studies at the age of 6. By age 8 he was studying organ and continued his studies at Meredith College. He has received numerous honors and rewards, with one journalist referring to him as a "child prodigy" of instrumental and keyboard music.
His professional life went in a different direction, however, as he holds a distinguished senior management, marketing, and leasing designation earned and awarded by the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York. Shelton resides with his family; wife, Elsa, an industrial engineer. They have 3 children; Leah married to Jesus Violante, Julian, and Robert Shelton Weeks, III married to Cynthia whom have blessed the Weeks family with 2 grandchildren; Peyton, 5 and Benjamin, 3.
Kay was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton with a B.A. in Math. She met Travis Talbert from Corpus Christi while at UNT, and they married in 1968. They have three wonderful sons, and three very special grandsons. They have been members of Tyler Street Church (and the Covenant Class) since 1977, and Kay has been employed in the church office since 1987.
"My favorite places are near water – the ocean, a lake, a river, or a pool -- and I love to travel, read, and spend time with family and friends."
Mariel Vela is from Mesquite, TX. She holds a degree in Merchandise Marketing and loves all that is artistic and creative. Mariel works for the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) as the Administrative Assistant for the Center for Leadership Development.
Currently she is discerning a call to ministry as a Deacon in the UMC.
"I feel called to be used to connect people to the love and grace of God through music and worship."
Mary Anne grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas and began studying piano at age 7, thanks to a wonderful great-aunt whom she never met. Mary Anne attended Louisiana Tech for two quarters and then transferred to what is now the University of North Texas where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. She came to Tyler Street in 1972 and was hired as the first music teacher at Tyler Street Christian Academy and children’s choir director at the church. Mary Anne met her husband, David, at Tyler Street. They were married in 1977 and are blessed with 3 wonderful children, Kimberly, Erin, and Scott. And five grandchildren.
Presently, Mary Anne is the Director of Hand bells at the church, and the music teacher at Tyler Street Christian Academy. She is also a member of the Adult Choir and occasionally fills in for Shelton at the piano or the organ. In the past, she worked with the children's choirs. Currently she is the pianist for the Oak Cliff Children's Chorus.
"I love what I do and look forward to seeing the results of all the prayers, hard work and planning that has gone into building Tyler Street into a place where many can build a relationship with Jesus."
Donna grew up in Garland and attended McMurry University where she met her husband Steve. They have a son (3rd generation Aggie) and daughter-in-law.
"I love to travel, visit historic places, drink Dr. Pepper and research genealogy."
Sergio grew up in Monterrey, Mexico where he stumbled (very literally) upon his role as simultaneous interpreter for missionaries working in Mexico. That was in the late eighties/early nineties; little did he know those early experiences would lead to a long lasting ministry that he would grow to embrace and enjoy so much. His beautiful wife Keren has given him two little blessings named Max and Marco.
"I enjoy photography, grilling and bike riding. Good coffee too."
On September 13, 2015, Tyler Street UMC and Oak Cliff UMC, having a combined total of 231 years of service to Oak Cliff, were united as one church in a Celebration Unidos in the historic Tyler Street sanctuary. The church(es) then combined their ministries of worship, education, missions support, community service and outreach from the Tyler Street location.
On November 27, 1911, the North Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church – South, appointed Reverend J. Leonard Rea to serve as minister of a proposed parish to be known as Tyler Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The Tyler Street congregation was organized in the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Forrester, 511 West Tenth Street on January 29, 1912. In 1919 a new building site at the corner of Tenth and Polk Streets was purchased for $5,000. In 1921 the congregation moved into the sub-story of its new structure and chose to retain its “Tyler Street” name.
By 1923 the church was debt free, had a healthy building fund and resumed construction of the upper levels of the sanctuary.
In 1926 the first of the church’s beautiful stained-glass windows was donated. Similar gifts followed, and the windows and dome of the sanctuary beautifully illustrate the gospel message to all who enter.
Tyler Street saw some of her darkest hours during the Great Depression when served notice to pay her indebtedness or face foreclosure. On Good Friday, 1932, the building was padlocked, and Tyler Street members celebrated Easter Sunday at the Rosewin Theatre on West Jefferson. The church shared facilities with Calvary Baptist until they obtained the use of the Sunset High School auditorium where services were held for nine months. Through the commitment and determination of the membership, and with the financial assistance of the North Texas Conference; the church renegotiated a contract with the lending institution, and the church was reopened in the fall of 1933. In seven years the indebtedness was retired, and the building was dedicated on December 29, 1940.
The 1960’s were times of tremendous change, but Tyler Street met the challenge. Another education building was built as well as administrative offices and the C.H.C. Anderson Fellowship Hall. In 1966, the sanctuary burned as a result of an electrical malfunction in the pipe organ. It was necessary to remodel, but fortunately much of the original woodwork, pews and stained glass escaped irreparable damage. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and the congregation became officially known as Tyler Street United Methodist Church. With the 1970’s came the completion of a 16-story retirement home, Tyler Street Manor; the founding of Tyler Street Christian Academy; and the Community Service Outreach ministry was begun. The 1990’s saw both the church and the academy embark on capital campaigns. The church’s sub-story was totally renovated, and the academy moved into a beautiful new facility in December 2001.
For over 100 years, Tyler Street has been blessed with pastors and lay leaders whose foremost vision was to spread the gospel of Christ.