Kyle Lake


The Emergent community is mourning the tragic passing of Kyle Lake, pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. As Brian McLaren explains in his touching remembrance, Lake was killed in a freak accident on Sunday when he was electrocuted while performing a baptism in front of his congregation of 800. May God’s grace and peace be with Kyle’s wife Jen and their three young children.



Posted on 10-31-2005


  1. scott ayres says:

    November 13th, 2005 at 1:14 am

    This event has been hard, real hard for me. On one hand I understand where he’s gone and I know he has received he gift that we all long for. But, on the other hand I’m overwhelmed at time with grief and anger. I either want to laugh about the jokes and stories Kyle used to tell over a burger and shuffleboard at Crickets, or cry, no sob, over the loss of perhaps one of the most influential people in my past, or I get so pissed off I cuss at God and want to give up this whole damn thing we call religion. Why would our God allow something like this to happen to a man of God who is doing His work?? Just makes no sense to me…

    I think what pains me most is that I never took the opportunity to tell Kyle how much he meant to me and how much he influenced me. It’s funny how we don’t realize those things until something tragic happens.. We get so wrapped up and caught up in ourselves, and our own pursuits that we forget to pause and thank the ones that got us here. So, I want to take a moment and publicly thank Kyle for what he was and is to me.

    Thanks for being a free spirit.
    Thanks for making me laugh and laugh alot.
    Thanks for being the one back when we started the 2nd or 3rd married couples group at UBC to break the backward silence when topics got tough (and by breaking the silence I mean breaking wind at times!)
    Thanks for being there for Lisa and I after our first miscarriage, with a smile on your face and a casserole dish in hand!
    Thanks for letting me yell at you and your God.
    Thanks for letting me get angry and not telling me I was going to hell for telling God to fuck off.
    Thanks for healing me and showing me how to trust in God again.
    Thanks for being at the hospital at our 2nd miscarriage and making fun of Lisa’s socks as she went under anesthesia.
    Thanks for your prayers.
    Thanks for the lunches at Cricket’s and for letting me whip you at pool a few times, although I think you always won at shuffleboard, too much of a girlie sport like soccer for me!!
    Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder, snot and all.
    Thanks for buying me breakfast at Barry’s Bagels one morning so we could discuss me getting into youth ministry.
    Thanks for telling me it was ok to mess up and just be me, the kids will appreciate honesty instead of political correctness.
    Thanks for being my reference as I applied at churches and putting your reputation on the line for me (although at the time your reputation wasn’t that good! It was 1999 afterall!).
    Thanks for crying with us as we left UBC, our home, to pursue what God had in store for us.
    Thanks for wearing those goofy zip up padded vests. I thought only my trucker dad wore those, somehow you made them look cool.
    Thanks for being just a phone call or email away when I wanted to catch up every couple of months.
    Thanks for preaching from your heart.
    Thanks for not taking yourself seriously at all.
    Thanks for showing all of us that pastors aren’t hypocrits.
    Thanks for being honest.
    Thanks for being an author.
    Thanks for being a movie watcher.
    Thanks for wiping a booger on me once during a prayer!
    Thanks for being a husband and for showing young college students how to love your wife.
    Thanks for being a dad, I wish I could have seen you with your kids, I know you were great…
    Thanks for being my pastor.
    Thanks for being my friend.
    Thanks for being you…..

    I’ll miss ya man, enjoy Heaven, and save a place for me at the pool table.. I get winner…

    Grace and Peace,

    Scott Ayres
    Minister through Sports and Recreation

    [ Lisa and I started going to UBC, less than a year after it started, in early ’96. The church grew so fast in that first year, that during the Baylor school year it had to meet at the Hippodrome (an old civic theatre seating close to 1000). Now when Baylor was out, we went back to reality and met at this tiny, old church house with maybe 25-40 of us there. Kyle came on staff shortly after this (maybe a year or so) and fit right in with us. It was an exciting time when we bought the building on Dutton and started renovating it and making it our own. Lisa and I went to church there for 4-5 years and left the church maybe 6 months after Kyle took over for Chris (Chris moved back to Houston to start Ecclesia). It was hard for us all, but Kyle filled his shoes well and didn’t miss a beat in pastoring the community there. Lisa and I had a hard time leaving in late ’99 as God called us into youth ministry at this small country church out in the sticks, but it was what God wanted for us. And I remember Kyle being so supportive of it and helping me through it. We got to know Kyle and Jenn well the previous year or so in our married bible study group. Kyle and Jenn were a part of our 3rd year of meeting and were freshly newlyweds, man they would make me sick!!! I can’t think of any other couple besides Lisa and myself that were more in love..]

  2. Stephanie Wolfe says:

    November 18th, 2005 at 8:41 am

    I didn’t know Kyle, but reading everyone’s tributes and memories of him sure made me wish I’d know him. His death has caused me great distress. It has hit me hard and I am not a friend, member of his congregation, or family member! Loving Jesus and living the simple faith is key to our witness to the world, and sounds like Kyle was a great example of that. No matter how I die, I want my life to be the shining testiment to loving God and loving others that Kyle’s was. Jenn and kids, we are praying for you here in Atlanta!

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