Ministers on Staff

Pulpit Minister, Jim Hays

Prior to dedicating himself to full-time ministry, Jim had a 30-year career in the radio industry – primarily in music radio, but also in talk radio and sports broadcasting – ultimately working as a program director for the Westwood One Radio Networks in Los Angeles. He received God’s call to preach in 2002, serving as the associate minister and then the preaching minister for the North Oaks Church of Christ in Santa Clarita, CA until April 2007. A native Texan, Jim returned to his home state in May 2007 as the pulpit minister for the Goldthwaite Church of Christ. He has served as preaching minister at Southern Hills since March of 2011.

Jim did his undergraduate work at Abilene Christian University and Austin Graduate School of Theology. He is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Theological Studies at AGST. His wife, Deborah, is an administrative assistant with Cenpatico, an Austin-based firm providing healthcare solutions to under-served populations including foster children, Medicaid patients and those requiring specialized therapies. Jim and Deborah have three grown children, daughter Michelle and sons Anthony and James and a grandson, Elliott. Jim enjoys an occasional golf outing, working around the house, and reading N.T. Wright and Dallas Willard. His passions include high school football, Texas barbecue, and the proclamation of God’s unfolding plan to redeem creation.

Jim’s sermons focus on the grace and love of God, the saving work of Christ at the cross, and the importance of living out God’s purposes in the community of faith.

E-mail Jim at

Youth and Families Minister, Jonathan Sanford

Jonathan comes to Southern Hills, originally from Jasper, AL. He began leading singing as a child at the Midway Church of Christ at 5 years old. He began guest speaking as a young teenager, and became the pulpit minister of the Manchester Church of Christ at the age of 19. Jonathan continued serving as a pulpit minister, and youth minister during his years of ministerial training and undergraduate studies at Heritage Christian University in Florence, AL.

SanfordFamily_websiteJonathan was blessed to meet his wife (Jennifer) in June of 2002, and the two were united in marriage on January 4th 2003. Jennifer served our nation as an E5 SGT in the US Army, until the birth of their first daughter Hailey. They made their move to Houston, TX in October of 2003, when Jonathan served as associate minister, then pulpit minister for the Channelview Church of Christ. Jonathan continued his full-time ministry work while serving as the preacher for the Liberty Church of Christ until the fall of 2011, when an opportunity arose for Jennifer to take a music education position in the Austin, TX area. This move allowed Jonathan & Jennifer to be nearer Jennifer’s family.

Although no full-time ministry opportunities were available immediately following the move, Jonathan utilized his talents to soon be named the in-arena voice of the San Antonio Spurs. Jonathan’s vocal ability is a signature element of the fan-experience for all San Antonio Spurs home games, and is heard by millions watching worldwide during NBA television broadcasts via ABC/ESPN, TNT, and Fox Sports. In June 2014, Jonathan would announce his first NBA Finals, which culminated in the Spurs becoming world champions for the 5th time in franchise history.

Jonathan is currently known as the public address announcer, voice of the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), San Antonio Stars (WNBA), UIL Girl’s & Boy’s Basketball State Championship Tournament in San Antonio, the UIL State Softball Championship, and Austin Independent School District Football at Burger Stadium. Jennifer serves as the head elementary music teacher for Hays CISD, and teaches K-5 music at Fuentes Elementary.

Jonathan and Jennifer have five children – Hailey, Tegan, Billy, Emilia, and Zachary.

Email Jonathan at