Bishop Rufus Kyles, Jr.
Bishop Rufus Kyles, Jr
Preparation for godly leadership began for Rufus Kyles, Jr. during his teen years in a small remote east Texas town called Magnolia Springs. While other students were playing, he was studying his Bible. From graduating as valedictorian of his class to now serving as a jurisdictional prelate, Bishop Rufus Kyles, Jr. continues to be recognized for his kind spirit, his ability to move a God-focused agenda and to surface as a leader.
Appointed Bishop of Texas Southeast First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in October, 2001, and consecrated on February 8, 2002, Bishop Kyles humbly serves more than 125 churches in the jurisdiction. He serves as one of the Regional Bishops representing the National Board of Bishops. He also is Chairman of the Texas Inter-jurisdictional Council of Bishops which comprises a total of 13 jurisdictions.
Born fourth of eight children on November 11, 1941, Bishop Kyles was called to preach the gospel at 19 years old. His own father, a brother and son would be called to preach the gospel in subsequent years at the influence of his ministry. Two years later, at age 21, he was appointed pastor of the Live Oak Church of God in Christ in Bon Wier, Texas. He nurtured the people of God there for more than 24 years.
Bishop Kyles enhanced his academic and theological development through continuing education courses and the C. H. Mason Bible College. There, he received a Teacher’s Certificate on May 14, 1977. Two years later on May 5, 1979, he received a diploma in Pastoral Theology. For several years, he served as professor at the Bible College. Today, he serves as President of the Texas area Branches. He was presented an Honorary Doctorate Degree at the close of the jurisdiction's 33rd Holy Conovaction on July 29, 2005, from St. Thomas College, Jacksonville, Florida.
Bishop Kyles married Louisa Shankle Kyles on October 8, 1966. Now after more than 44 years of marriage, they are the proud parents of two children--son, Elder Daer Kyles, and daughter, Dr. Ysidra Kyles. They are the loving grandparents of four--three granddaughters; Devin, Taylor and Blaice Ameris, and one grandson, Xakry Kyle Johnson.
He served as District YPWW President of Jasper District (eight years), Superintendent of Jasper District (17 years); founder and Superintendent of Saints Progressive Evangelistic District (15 years); Special Assistant to the late Bishop Robert Woodard, Sr. and Administrative Assistant to the late Bishop Robert Woodard, Jr.
For more than 25 years, Bishop Kyles has served the Evangelist Temple COGIC in Houston as overseer. Over the years, Bishop Kyles also has served as pastor for five other churches, renovated one church and built two others.
Bishop Kyles’ growth and edification of the people of God extends beyond the church walls. He presently serves on the Houston Mayor’s Advisory Board, Executive Board of Prairie View A&M University Ministers’ Conference, Liaison for The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) and many other organizations and projects. He was instrumental in the completion of the $3 million Sims Bayou project with Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee. He has received countless awards for outstanding contribution to the community.