It is a pleasure to introduce a newcomer to Lexington, Don Austin, who has been named Program Director of First United Methodist Church here. He and his wife Nancy, have bought a new home on Pratt Circle near the Westover community. They moved here in July from Fayetteville TN. Don was born in Pulaski TN a son of Rev. and Mrs. H.H. Austin. His father was a Methodist pastor who served on the Tennessee Conference for 44 years. Don lettered in three sports in high school and was in the tennis team in college. He finished high school at West End in Nashville and received a BS degree in social science from TN. Tech University and the MA degree in Christian Education from Scarritt College, Nashville. While at Tech, Don was elected as the first president of the Wesley Foundation.
He started his career in Christian education at Wichita Falls TX and since then served churches from North Carolina to Albuquerque NM and from Ohio to Louisiana. These churches ranged in membership from 70 to 4500 members. In addition to his work at Fayetteville, he has also served at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville and First UMC in Murfreesboro. Don is a charter member of the Christian Education Fellowship, professional organization in the Methodist Church of those persons involved in Christian education.
Don is the father of three children. He and Nancy have six grandchildren. Nancy is originally from Oakdale TN. She also attended TN Tech. Don's interests are sport, camping, horses, humor, good movies and people. He plays golf some and enjoys football. He has raised, broken, trained, and shown Tenn. walker horses and goes to shows as often as he can. For several years, Don coached Jr. Babe Ruth baseball and took two teams to the Jr. Babe Ruth World Series, finishing runnerup and 4th. To get there, these teams won the state and south eastern championships.
He felt the call to go into fulltime Christian service as a junior in high school. In Christian education, Don is a generalist in his approach and he enjoys working with the three groupings; children, youth and adults; having a particular interest in youth ministry. Don sees his primary role as being about ministries and programs that make disciples for Jesus Christ. He sees real renewal going on in the United Methodist Church and a deepening of the spiritual life of its people.