Gavin Rogers has been a pastor at Travis Park church for many years. He has been actively involved in serving immigrant communities, the homeless community and bringing attention to many other social issues in our city. He also runs the very successful Pub Theology that was once an in person meeting but has moved online. We did a joint podcast and it was great fun.
Gavin: Good evening friends on Facebook. We are having a special Pub Theology with our good friend Justin Hill with the Alamo Hour Podcast. Welcome, Justin.
Justin Hill: Hey man. Thanks for having me.
Gavin: If you’re confused, what this is going on, Justin Hill runs a podcast called the Alamo Hour. It’s a destination podcast for those who want to take an in-depth look at different people, places, events, and happenings in San Antonio, Texas. He’s a local attorney and this podcast is going to dive deep into the city that we all love so much. He hosts that about every week. You can listen to his podcast on YouTube or various podcast channels like Apple and SoundCloud and all those things. Justin is a graduate of Texas A&M University graduated in 2004, we just learned that we’re the same age. We have merged platforms today. The Alamo Hour and Pub Theology are of the same broadcast. Welcome, Justin.
Justin: Hey man. Thanks for having me. Since we’re kind of co-host, I will [inaudible 00:03:58] Gavin is associate minister at Travis park church. To me, I always like to have people on that I think a little bit more about than the resume. To me, you’ve always run a really good live as you speak way of life with all of your social justice stuff. I look up to you in terms of you put your money where your mouth is, but really your time where your heart is. I appreciate that.
I think you do so much for people, but you’re also the host of Pub Theology. Pub Theology is a dialogue group that usually meets at The Friendly Spot, but because of COVID we’re meeting online, you talk about faith, the community in San Antonio, creating common good and I love the slogan, “Different brews and different views. All perspectives welcome.”
Gavin: What are you drinking today, Justin?
Justin: Well, I’ve got a sparkling water from Kirkland, but I also have a Saint Arnold’s art car, IPA.
Gavin: Good Texas beer. Right now– I’ve never had this one, the Freetail Bat Outta Helles. Pub Theology themes, so there’s a hell theme there, but it has a San Antonio scene there.
Gavin: That’s fair. It’s good. Now, I really respect you, Justin, you’ve been serving in around town at various events and been supporting political candidates you are involved in everything I know about. You’re also good friends with my good friend, Phil Walkins, who goes to our church and a great local attorneys in town. The stuff that you promote it always connects with me. I think a lot of the people who listen to Pub Theology and probably Alamo Hour. You started this Alamo Hour maybe at the start of 2020?
Justin: At the start of the shutdown. I didn’t want to do it, and all of a sudden I had time on my hands, so I was able to do it. I had started buying the equipment, troubleshooting, but then once the shutdown happened, I didn’t have an excuse anymore.
Gavin: Wow. That’s great. Who has been your favorite guest so far? Now I’ve had maybe like 20, maybe 15, 20 episodes.
Justin: This is 25.
Gavin: Oh, wow. That’s great. Yes.
Justin: I like the meaty dense stuff. I’ve had some really interesting– These epidemiologists, including Dr. Rohr-Allegrini from here in San Antonio, Dr. Lesch is a Syrian expert. Some of those things have been really interesting. A surprise one is I had a guy who was the Texas League Commissioner of baseball for 27 years and wrote books on it. I thought it was dry and boring and really it was just super interesting to hear the story of Texas League AA Baseball.
I’ve had some really great storytellers and I walk away from him and feel one way, but then I get a whole bunch of people responding about what they think about him. It’s just been fun. It’s been fun to get to know new people and kind of share their stories.
Gavin: I want to remind our listeners that as you listen today, if you’re listening through the Pub Theology live Facebook stream, I know we share this with different watch parties and different groups, but if you’re watching it on our Pub Theology live page, you can post comments and we will see those, Justin and I will see those. We’ll answer any of your questions. Justin believes that any topic is up for discussion. So do we at Pub Theology, we talk about everything. That’s why it’s different views and different brews.
You can go to his website, thealamohour.com to learn more about all the different podcasts that he has had 25, including Mayor Ron Nierenberg and great doctors during COVID. Go to there. If you can always follow us at Pub Theology SA, on our Facebook page or YouTube channel. He’s been going online for 25 episodes. I think we started right after the pandemic and we never have been online. We’ve always promoted our events live at The Friendly Spot. I think we live in a new world now. We live in a new world where all this is going to become a new reality for years to come.
Justin: It’s a new deal. It’s funny, I started a podcast and you’re doing a podcast about San Antonio essentially with this, and I joked that if this was in any other city, I would be way behind the curve, but San Antonio we’re slow to adopt technology and new things. We’re both at the forefront of this. Good for us.
Gavin: No, that’s great. I really enjoyed your episodes. I did listen to the COVID doctor recently. The epidemiologist, I believe, right?
Justin: Yes. Dr. Slutkin has been advising with governors and mayors, including Ron Nuremberg. A million things you could talk about with that guy, but he was really interesting and very gracious to agree to do my lowly little podcast.
Gavin: That’s great.
Justin: I want to start with you Gavin. I do this on all of– I see Phil reaching out. I do this on all of my podcasts, since this is joint, I’m going to go through at least my general top 10. This is supposed to be kind of short and pithy. When and why did you move to San Antonio?
Gavin: I moved to San Antonio after I graduated grad school. I think we probably went– Did you go to law school right after A&M? Did you jump into it? Yes, three-year degrees. I graduated at Duke Divinity School, after I went to Baylor and I had a few jobs lined up after at various churches, one in Houston, I remember one was in Tyler Texas, and one was in San Antonio. My sister still lives in San Antonio, after graduating from A&M she became a teacher and a principal here.
It was like, “Oh, my sister is here.” I thought it was a great city to live in that I hadn’t really experienced much other than vacations. It felt like a different story I could create than moving back to Houston where I’m from or the Woodlands, or I didn’t really want to go to Tyler, Texas. I landed in San Antonio. My first church was a University Methodist Church on days of De Zavala Road.
Justin: Tyler is beautiful. I have a [crosstalk] I’m surprised how petty it is.
Gavin: I didn’t want to probably move there as a 26, seven, eight. I can’t remember how old I was. You’re able to–
Justin: [unintelligible 00:09:47] I think we met through Jody Newman who’s been on I’m sure your show, my show. I met her when she was first Queen Anchovy. Next question, what was your favourite [unintelligible 00:09:59] character that you played?
Gavin: Well, I played only three. Two of them have been the same. I played Ozzy Osborne and two of those– The first time we played Ozzy, obviously I didn’t really want to play Ozzy the third time, but it was just the skit Lean that we had to do it. The first time I played Ozzy probably got the most rousing laughter when we made fun of the downtown loo that was put in by Roberto Treviño. Jody, and I wrote that skit along with the [unintelligible 00:10:33] we just had a blast with that. I think the next character was the Confederate statue that was removed. I had to play a Confederate soldier. That was fun in a way, but Ozzy Osborne for sure.
Justin: I was wondering how Ozzy is still relevant. My next question you already answered, which was what beer were you drinking? We talked about– This is the only one I gave you the heads up on. I was going to be asking you is what are your favorite hidden gems in the city and you said a restaurant. I want to know restaurant, but also, non restaurant location or a thing in the city?
Gavin: Good. My favorite restaurant is Maria Cafe South of Southtown I think it’s not Nogalitos. I believe that I love that place. The family run restaurant there is a blast, you can get brisket nachos and you could really make anything you want there. I think they have a name for everything. Justin, if you order something different, they’ll make it the Justin Hill enchilada special. I love that. I love Maria’s.
Justin: Do you have a dish named after you?
Gavin: I don’t. I know John Berrera does. He’s part of our- [unintelligible 00:11:32] group too, but I just love the family that works there and runs that operation.
Justin: The first time I really hung out with John other than meeting him was watching Obama’s first inauguration speech in 2008. That’s my history with John Berrera.
Gavin: Mine is [unintelligible 00:11:50] through Jody as well. By the way, we really want to support The Friendly Spot it’s back open and social distancing we really want to support that. Please support local, support places like The Friendly Spot and all things around San Antonio that are open during this Covid crisis.
Justin: Favorite hidden gem that’s not a restaurant or a bar?
Gavin: This is going to be a tough one. My favorite hidden gem is probably the trail that’s right behind King William, that crosses into Blue Star and you cross the river on those rocks. I love that rock and I love walking around that part of the Mission Reach and down into, obviously now you can always go all the way down, but I’ve always really cherished that one strip, especially when it was more not known. It’s known now, but 10 years ago when I lived by Brackenridge High School, I loved that spot.
Justin: I’ve never done it. You drive by and you see it and it’s got the little weird carve out there and I’ve still never done it.
Gavin: There’s Alamo Street, then you go toward the mission just by probably 200 yards and you can crawl down me stairs off of Blue Star and you cross the river and some stones and you get into the King William. It’s like a back way to get into King William. I love that little area.
Justin: I’m going to do it. You meet with a bunch of leaders, you talk about a lot of social justice issues day-to-day. What do you think the biggest issue facing the city is right now? Outside of COVID?
Gavin: Well, that’s good. We don’t have to talk about COVID. We’ve talked about COVID so much. I only speak to certain leaders about certain topics. I don’t speak to everyone about everything. Mainly, I think generational poverty is probably the number one thing. The report that came out that said San Antonio does not do very well. We’re top on the list depending on what you looking at?
Justin: The most stratified financially or economically of all major cities. Right?
Gavin: That’s right. I think that the way we need to tackle that is difficult. Especially when it comes to issues of race and redlining in the past, and the skeletons in the closet there that really keep us from moving forward. I’m guilty of it. We’re all guilty of it. We’re people of privilege even in this gentrification movement and I’m learning where I’m at fault. I think that we just have to have honest conversations about that and really how to work with the homeless situation in downtown too. Obviously, that’s something that I’m passionate about, but I think homelessness is part of that discussion of the overall poverty in San Antonio.
Justin: I always talk to people about what they’re passionate about. That’s what got me going on the Alamo Hour, and the sort of check myself on what really I’m passionate about. Homelessness has always been one of those things since I was a little kid. That’s one of the questions I had for you. You’re really involved with Corazon ministries. What is the best way the average person like myself who is not embedded with the ministries or the homelessness outreach, what’s the best way they can help?
Gavin: I think this is always important. I just actually spoke to the Alamo Heights Rotary Club. I speak to Rotary Club. I’m in the Downtown Rotary Club. I’ve been a member of the Downtown Rotary Club for, I think 12 years now. I’ll sit at the table at Rotary still and they’ll be like, “Sir, did you just join? “ I’m like, “No, I’ve been a member for 12 years,” because they think everybody is old there. When I speak at those places they always ask the question, “What can we do? What can we do to serve the homeless?”
I think a lot of people want me to respond in a way like, “Go volunteer at a soup kitchen, go volunteer at Haven For Hope. Serve food on a plate.” All that requirement of serving food on a plate is a risk turn. If you risk and turn and put the mashed potatoes on a plate, you qualify to volunteer, it’s a very low bar. I really want people to start volunteering with the homeless differently.
I would actually love instead of the Rotary Club coming down to volunteer and fold clothes or serve food, I’d want them to actually eat meals with them once a week. They’re like, “We don’t want to eat food. That’s the homeless food.” I’m like, “No, that’s cheap. Food is very, very cheap. Cook.” Having conversations with people to be vulnerable with one another. That’s the hard part. I think those are when relationships can be formed because you start learning what you have in common. You can start learning where you can provide opportunities. They can teach you things that you don’t know.
I think that’s where transformation happened. Homelessness is really about trauma care. Trinity Universities freshmen, did a study years ago with Edwin Blanton. I don’t know if you know him, he’s a Chair around town. I don’t know where he is now, maybe Texas in San Antonio, but he led his freshmen group to talk about trauma care. They said, there’s different levels of trauma care Haven For Hope with a state level two or three. There’s advanced counseling, there’s religious groups.
Those are advanced levels of trauma care. What San Antonio does poorly on and a lot of cities do poorly on is level one trauma care and that’s just interactions between me and you. Interactions with anybody that we can treat normal areas of trauma by just conversations the way we look people in the eyes if we say their name or not. I think we need to better understand how to treat level one trauma care because that’s not the responsibility of the doctors. That’s not responsibilities of the caseworkers, that’s responsibility of all citizens in the community. That makes sense.
Justin: Being human.
Gavin: Yes, being human.
Justin: I wanted to do that. Do I come down to one of the kitchens or a feeding opportunity and just [crosstalk]
Gavin: You can reach out to Corazon Ministries or Travis Park Church, or probably even Haven For Hope and say, “I really want to mentor people.” They have mentor programs. I got to give a shout out to my favorite nonprofit that works for the homeless and I’m not going to say Corazon, it’s the SA Hope Center run by Meghan Legacy and team. On the Westside and now they have a downtown location at First Presbyterian Church. They do counseling, job training.
They just got a huge grant to house about 80 people in apartments during COVID. They really do a holistic look. They don’t do the bandaid operations that we often serve in homeless work. They’re pushing us to be more holistic in our homeless services and they do a wonderful job so check them out SA Hope Center, our San Antonio Hope Center.
Justin: Two more questions, Duke or Baylor, those are your two Alma maters.
Justin: Which one? Who do you pull forward? Which one is [crosstalk]
Gavin: I hadn’t really have to worry about this too much until Baylor played Duke in the elite eight. When Duke won the National Championship in 2010 and they played in Houston and I wore a Baylor shirt in the sweet 16 game and I wore a duke short, and then they had to play each other and I wore a Duke shirt. I was actually in charge of the basketball committee at Duke, you could run for it. It’s like being a yell leader at A&M. I managed the Cameron Crazies for one year.
Justin: While you were in seminary?
Gavin: [unintelligible 00:18:43] in seminary, yes. It was the coolest thing I did in seminary. I met the best friends because all those people in that basketball committee were like chemists, lawyers, doctors, undergrads. I had a blast and now my heart bleeds blue. Now, if it comes to football and they played Duke, I’d probably go for sure. I would root for Baylor in football.
Justin: Duke has been coming up in that too though.
Gavin: Duke has gotten better because the coach. People were like, “What are y’all talking about?” Yes.
Justin: Last question. People always ask me, why did you become a lawyer? What brought you to the ministry?
Gavin: I grew up in the Churches of Christ, which is a denomination that– Max Lucado is a Church of Christ Minister. Both my grandfathers were Church of Christ Ministers. So both my parents are preachers’ kids. I really loved my granddads. One of them was very, very progressive, went to Southern Methodist for seminary, which is totally unusual for a church of Christ Pastor in the 1940s. That influenced my life and I really wanted to do what they did.
The more progressive pastor died when I was 10. Then the other one died when I was like 21 and I knew him better and when I was growing up, he would allow me to go to his church and preach and how to get into the ministry and that’s how I got led into it. That kind of my early life. When I was at Baylor, I worked for Young Lives in Waco and I was at Comely High School, and I had a student get killed in a drive-by. That moment is when I realized I wanted to do this the rest of my life and do pastoral care.
Justin: That’s a really good story.
Gavin: Yes, I can’t talk about it too much. I can focus on my granddad’s, but that Baylor moment really altered– It’s really the reason why I went to seminary. Young Life people usually don’t go to seminary right after. I thought I was just going to be a Young Life leader, but that got me to push me to do a little bit more studies in the ideas of theology and pastoral care.
Justin: That’s a big jump from Young Life to [unintelligible 00:20:38]
Gavin: I got my heinie kicked, let’s say, going from this very active Christianity at Duke, where their program is a hundred percent academic. They don’t care that you went to camps or you said the right thing. I’m grateful for that. I knew the other stuff. I didn’t know that other side of things.
Justin: All right. That’s my top 10.
Gavin: You do that every week, the top 10 list.
Justin: I always change it though. Obviously, I don’t ask a scientist what brought them to the ministry, but I always do a top 10 list. There’s a few normal, but I never tell the people.
Gavin: I have a question of you. We talked about Phil Watkins, he’s just commented right here. Look. I’m going to show you how we can do comments here. Justin good to see you staying active during the quarantine, how do you know Phil Watkins, the best lawyer in town?
Justin: One A and one B, obviously. One B, one A. As a young lawyer working for Mikal Watts, and his wife was on your show, I always heard about Phil Watkins, kind of legend Phil Watkins and the [unintelligible 00:21:42] mavericks of all the county areas of South Texas. As I moved through the legal profession and got to know more people, I became really good friends with his daughter Beth, who’s a justice on the Fourth Court. We worked cases together before she went on and then Phil and I became friends.
He was very gracious about some of the stuff I did with his daughter in terms of some of the good cases we worked on. He bought me a fantastic book that’s a compendium of different lawyers talking about good works. He started these happy hours of local lawyers, which I’ve made some really good friends out of just those happy hours. I knew who Phil was before I knew Phil.
Gavin: Phil is one of my heroes at Travis Park. Corazon started 21 years ago now. It started in various programs, they didn’t always serve seven meals a day like we do during COVID or even four meals a week. They started with a prayer circle and recovery group that meets on Wednesday nights and they serve dinner. The way it operates now, and I think it’s operated almost the entire time of that program with Phil and a great group of volunteers that have been there since the beginning. Let’s say, a lot of churches collect prayer requests like, “I’m going to pray for my aunt, I’m going to pray for somebody in the hospital.” We collect those at either on Sunday morning at church or throughout the week.
They can call us or write us in. He cuts up those prayers and the different individual prayers and passes them to the homeless. The homeless clients of ours, for Corazon, our guests, is the prayer team at Travis Park Church. It’s inverted, it’s the opposite of what you think it would be, and Phil is the designer of that. It really brings a whole new life and energy to our homeless guests that have an opportunity to give back. They’re not asking for things, they’re actually giving prayers to people they don’t even know. Phil is the best at that. It taught me a lot about how to appropriately work with people on the streets.
Justin: That’s not surprising with Phil. I also hear that Phil is not scared to say what he thinks should be done within the church
Gavin: No. No one is at Travis Park. If you know Travis Park Church, they are not afraid of controversy. Travis Park Church is a radical group. Even in the World War II, they were hosting–
Justin: A radical group? All right.
Gavin: They are, and I love them. That’s why I want to work there, that’s why I wanted to work there. Since the very beginning they’ve been doing things. In the World War II area, they were allowing people to escape internment camps to sleep at Travis Park, like they did during the migrant increase just a few years ago. He’s a part of that coalition that always stands for what is right and what they believe is right and even when it’s not very popular in the Christian tradition or even the Methodist Church or anything. All the above.
Justin: We had talked about doing a podcast together. Really, the impetus of doing a podcast together was that we have podcasts essentially. What are you trying to establish with yours and what’s the story you’re trying to tell with your podcast?
Gavin: This is new for us. At The Friendly Spot, when we started, I met Jody four or five years ago now. Four years ago, I came with the idea. I said, “Hey, I just want to do a table where we bring in a priest or a rabbi, people can just go around a table at The Friendly Spot, maybe put some chairs together, and they can do ‘Pastor on a Hot Seat,’ ‘Rabbi on a Hot Seat,’ and they can just ask questions.” For a few weeks, that’s all Pub Theology was. Then people started recommending guests.
“Oh, we should interview a clergy about LGBT issues or we should interview a clergy that’s at Cornerstone.” It became that. Then all of a sudden, “Hey, you know what? We should interview Ron Nirenberg because of the vandalization that just happened at the Jewish synagogues and he spoke up against that.” We brought in Ron to speak about that. I think our fourth time, a fifth time at Pub Theology, Ron was a councilman in District 8. That started changing, all of a sudden, the guests we invite.
Bob Rivard was our fifth guest, I think. He was one of your early guests. Then we had educators. Then we started getting co-hosts. Bekah McNeel joined us, who was a reporter around town. She recently worked for the Rivard Report, now she’s an editor for Christianity Today and 74 Million, which is an educational news agency. She gets guests that I can never get. We just started meeting at The Friendly Spot and not being almost like a podcast or like a forum place. You can go to PK, you can go to TED Talks and hear somebody talk.
We were like, “What if we have that same person and you can drink a beer with them and discuss theology or faith or community and you get to actually have a direct conversation with the mayor?” The first mayor we had was actually Mayor Ivy Taylor when she was mayor in San Antonio. Really only recently have we gone online. People have been asking us to go online for a long time, we just couldn’t figure out how to do it sound-wise, with a live bar. We didn’t really want to do that at the start, but COVID has really forced us to do this, and it’s been great.
We get thousands of people watching now instead of maybe, on a good night, 150 people at The Friendly Spot. Usually or sometimes, we just have 40 or 30. What’s been great is, I look back on our events, we’ve had 130-something events since we started at The Friendly Spot. I think over time, we’ve had over– This is months ago when I looked, like 7,000 people come through The Friendly Spot to attend. If you look at it that way, it was a very interesting way to get people involved in these discussions. I hope that’s what we’re really all about even when we stay online. What got it for you?
Gavin: Say that again?
Justin: Shared a platform. What got into it for me was, San Antonio is a social city so I don’t want to say I have a problem, but sometimes we go have happy hours with people. I just started realizing I’ve met some just fascinating people. I’ll tell people like, “Oh, I met this guy at happy hour, and here’s his story,” and people were really interested in knowing what other people’s stories were. Then I think people were interested in knowing what else is in San Antonio.
One of my guests is David Lesch, who’s a professor at Trinity. He personally befriended the dictator of Syria. I’m sure he calls himself a democratically elected president. That’s a strange story that he’s in our city. He was working to negotiate a peace agreement during the Syrian Civil War and he’s a Trinity professor. That’s just one of a bunch of stories. I think it’s fun to hear those people tell their stories and I wanted to provide a platform in a casual way because nobody’s going to probably pick up his book that is the compendium of the history of the Middle East. He’ll sit here and have a beer and tell me stories, and I wanted to share those kinds of stories.
Gavin: Again, if you want to ask questions to Justin or myself about anything San Antonio-related, political, religiously, socially, anything about San Antonio, or really anything about anything, you can post these questions on our Pub Theology live feed. If you don’t do that, we probably won’t see it, so make sure you post your comments on there. That’s how it works right now with our streaming services. We’re all learning how to do this together. Justin, you’ve been involved in, I would say, local government.
It’s not always politics. It’s involved community, discussions, leadership. When did you get really involved in that? Obviously, you’ve been here for about 12 years, what point did you say, “Okay, I really want to get really hyper-focused on campaigns or the right people in local government or just connecting people, networking people,” where we kind of cross over in that way. What got you involved? What was the first thing that really pulled you in?
Justin: I’ve always had a soft spot for politics and all of these issues. I wrote for the paper at A&M, I was the only– At A&M, I was a moderate, but for A&M at that time, I was a bleeding heart liberal. I’ve always been into understanding and trying to provide some moderating factor– Really, honestly, my mom’s a social worker, I came from a social worker background with her. People are people and I think our politics are kind of mean. When I moved here, San Antonio, met me with such open arms, I didn’t know anybody when I moved here. I moved here because Mikal Watts gave me a job and told me to move here.
I loved the city. I loved the inclusiveness of the city. The city feels like New Orleans, that weird thing where you can just go out one day to a park or a bar or restaurant, and make friends for life. I wanted to not be somebody that sat on the sidelines. I’m involved in ways that affect my industry. I’m an attorney, but Ron’s heart is in the right place in a lot of ways. I want to support people whose hearts are in the right place because I want to raise a family here and be here for a long time. I don’t want to be one of those people that’s just moaning on the sidelines.
Gavin: Now, that’s why I love San Antonio too. I didn’t know I was going to like San Antonio. The first three years I was working in the north side, even though I lived in the Cadillac loft downtown, I was working on the far north side. This is even before. You had to actually go out into the stone of shopping centers to have fun. I think I remember doing those things, but then when the downtown movement started happening, maybe 10 years ago, eight years ago. It really changed the dynamic of these parks and where we get out and interact.
I fell in love with it because it felt like New Orleans. It felt like this larger city but still small enough to engage. Now, when I go to Dallas and Houston or my hometown Houston in the woodlands area, I drive there and I’m like, “I don’t think I could live here.” I really love this community. Sometimes I can learn how to explain it, but it really is something we’re both passionate about and why we’re probably both involved in trying to make it the best city as we can.
Justin: My podcast, I really try to avoid politics. I want people to tell their stories. There’s a few things that I’ll pop up on. You’re friends with me on Facebook. There’s plenty of things I care a lot about and passionate about, but I don’t want my podcast to be–
Gavin: I see that.
Justin: I want it to be a forum for discussion. I’ll guide that discussion to some extent, but everybody– I want everybody to think through what their thoughts and opinions are and have a reason to say them. Maybe I disagree with what those reasons are, but if they’re reasoned, good for you for having those positions. What I want to know is just I’m going to– I’m always selfish about these things a little bit. How is your backlash from being in terms of your work as a social justice– I’d say, warrior, almost.
You take on the plight of the poor, the plight of the immigrant, you make it your own, you advocate for it and yet you’re a minister which has become so aligned with conservative politics, unfairly so, but it has. Have you dealt with backlash from that or dealt with people that disagree with you? Obviously, Travis Park is a different kind of church, but you are a religious leader. Do you get some of that backlash?
Gavin: Sure. It’s grown over time. Right in my early days, I might have been a progressive youth minister. I might have been a progressive pastor within Trinity Baptist where I worked or at Christ Episcopal Church, was a very conservative Episcopal Church. I’ve always enjoyed being that liberal voice, but in the last few years, it’s been tough. Jody Newman knows this. I’m very close to Jody and she sees my inner belly, she sees my darkest sides and where we take things personally.
In 2018, the end of 2018 and 2019, during that immigration– Where I traveled with a migrant caravan. Then, right after that just unconnected but connected, our church hosted 22,000 migrants at our church. We had info wars come in and try to interview us and raid the city offices and they toured our church. All of a sudden, my phone is blowing up with 3,000 messages and I’m like, “Whoa.” Most of them were not kind. I have never experienced that. It really took it out of me for a while. I really had to evaluate, honestly go to therapy, and learn how to place that appropriately in my life because I never had to deal with it.
Standing up for the homeless is tough and it’s challenging, but it’s not necessarily controversial within the worlds I live in, conservative or a liberal. The immigration thing really was hard for me and to manage being a white voice within that and I had to learn when not to talk and allow other people of color to speak during this journey we’re all on. I still don’t get it right. I think that’s been the toughest thing for me to manage personally, but also just the critiques. I remember one, I think it was sometime during the caravan were a person that we– If I said it, I’m in a more San Antonio environment, but she’s politically involved, and very faith-based kind of politician.
Not anybody who has been elected to any major office, but she wrote to me one time and said, “Hey, Gavin, the migrants are stealing our stuff. Do you believe stealing is wrong? It says in the Bible, ‘Thou shall not steal.’” I used to feed into that stuff. I used to respond to it. I learned not to respond to it anymore. I don’t even care. I wrote back said, “Yes, it does say, “Thou shalt not steal,” in the Bible, a few times actually. The 10 Commandments are mentioned twice in the Bible.” She said, “Well, if somebody steals your coat, are you supposed to give it to them?”
I thought she was joking because at point that’s a direct question Jesus was asked. Actually, I copied and pasted her question she asked me verbatim, Googled it and the first thing on Google was the actual scripture, where Jesus is asked, “If somebody steals your coat.” Honestly, it says, “You should not sue them, just give them a coat.” It says it in different ways, in different gospels, but the overall message there is, you don’t really need to worry about it. It’s just a coat.
All I did was respond back to that with the scripture and my Facebook feed exploded. That’s when I realized I couldn’t do that anymore. I just needed to believe what I believed, share what I believed, and not really debate on social media. I think that was the hardest thing and I still don’t get it right. I still have great friends of mine within liberal circles that remind me of my privilege and things that can get in the way of some of these really hard conversations. When it comes to the church now I’m okay.
I know there’s a big divide within progressive and conservative Christianity. It doesn’t surprise me anymore. I just say, “It’s freedom of religion, and I’m going to stick with the gospel, I understand and that leads me to a more progressive understanding of the community.” Now religiously I’m okay. It’s just when you get involved in politics– And I dabbled in that a few years ago, just getting more involved in local politics, supporting candidates. I realized that can be very tricky as a pastor. I pulled away a little bit when it comes to those things. I don’t want to over speak that, but that’s mainly it.
Justin: You hit on a good point. If you’re using social media, you’re always going to be told to check your something. No matter what you say, you’re always going to be from the people that agree with you and the people that don’t agree with you. I’ve just started blocking people on Facebook now. Facebook, I use to scroll through news articles is what I’ve decided, is the only reason I want to use it. Every so often I will get into the debate, but I shouldn’t.
Gavin: I know. It’s not very helpful usually. I don’t really remember a time it has been super helpful. What shocked me more was the amount of hate that came out of people in these things. Even when they try to hate on people they don’t understand or they feel like they’re not– That’s what really wears me down. We just have to look at it differently and surround yourself with good people. Jody really helped me see things differently when those comments come up. My friends were kind of like my pastors during that time.
Justin: Well, I’ve been to Pub Theology a few times and I’ve always appreciated the idea that– Because that’s how my take has always been on it. This should be a very inclusive discussion all the time. The mixture of the politics and the faith has really led to a bunch of division among people and probably families that isn’t well-deserved.
Gavin: No, I don’t think religion should be very complex. I think it’s a very personal thing for a lot of people. Obviously, that’s why we have different denominations, spiritualities, ways to do things, non-believers, agnostics, and atheists. It shouldn’t be complicated too hard. Loving somebody, learning how to serve other people, and see each other, see the common humanity in all of us is actually very simple. I think that simplicity is actually what gets people upset. They can’t believe it’s that easy. It can’t be that simple. Grace can’t be that easy. Then there’s some complex things in theology, but in the end, love is what really wins out.
I think it’s always gotten people in trouble. Anybody in history that has championed this has gotten themselves in trouble, so it’s nothing new, but it was new for me at the time.
Justin: You got a question?
Gavin: I do. One thing we don’t talk about in Pub Theology often is law stuff. We’ve done education, we’ve done all this stuff, we’ve done authors and scientists, the list can go on, reporters, and non-profit leaders. I don’t know if we’ve had a lawyer.
Justin: Probably because we’re boring.
Gavin: We did have a lawyer, we did have Shannon Sedgwick Davis, who is a lawyer who wrote the book, To Catch a Warlord. She uses that angle, but we haven’t really talked about– You’re a personal injury lawyer, I believe. Is that it?
Gavin: Okay. This is my question. This is the only ads I see on billboards.
Gavin: What is it like to be a personal injury lawyer in a town where there’s so many famous personalities within your field?
Justin: Misunderstood. [chuckles]
Gavin: What is the biggest misunderstanding about personal injury lawyers?
Justin: I think the misunderstanding is well-deserved due to some people in our industry. Look at Thomas J. Henry. He created a TV show for his own family with his jets and his planes and all of those things. On the backside of him making that money were thousands of people who got compensation for, probably in those cases, a lot of drugs that caused bad injuries to people, especially children.
They were prescribed drugs that were supposed to never be prescribed to children and caused certain medical conditions. I think that’s probably where he really got off to the races because it’s all written about having to post. There are stories behind his opulence that aren’t being told. I think that’s unfortunate because it trickles down to the idea that plaintiff’s lawyers are opulent and over-the-top and seen maybe.
For me, I think all of that’s just a distraction in the reality of, we do good work for good people, and some people make a lot of money. Some people are in it for business reasons and their whole thing is that clients are widgets. There’s a lot of us that are in it because we enjoy the fight. I personally really enjoy the fight. I like to represent a normal person against an insurance company or a corporation who’s being screwed over. It’s motivating to me. Yes, our industry’s maligned, and it’s probably well-deserved because of things like that.
Gavin: Do you have a number? Do you have a catchphrase?
Gavin: No? You need one. You need a catchphrase, Justin.
Justin: The buddy did detect.
Gavin: Where did you grow up in Texas?
Justin: I grew up on the border of Oklahoma, in a town called Burkburnett. If you went 281 North until you hit Oklahoma, the last town you would hit, would be Burkburnett.
Gavin: Wow, then you went to Texas A&M. Did you grow up– Oh, good. We have a question from Kristen.
Justin: Earlier when I said there’s a question, I meant that, but you–
Gavin: I got one pop-up, just popped up on my screen, so we’ll get to that, Kristen. Did you grow up a certain faith, like a tradition? Were your parents a certain–
Justin: I had two parents who were forced to go to church every single Sunday-
Gavin: Got it.
Justin: -one Southern Baptist. With us, they were like, “You do what you want.” You grow up in small-town Texas. It means you go and then you don’t go, you go to this one then you don’t go, and you double in everything. I went through all of that stuff in life to where you went to that church because your buddy did, you went to that camp because your friend invited you, and you went with your grandma to this one.
Gavin: Especially the town where you grew up.
Justin: What’s that?
Gavin: Especially the size of town that you probably grew up in.
Justin: Yes, that’s right. My parents weren’t really big on it. My grandparents were very big on religion. I don’t like feeling like I don’t know everything in something, so I’ve read and gotten really involved, and tried to flesh it out for myself. In small-town Texas, it’s not about basically filling in the gaps on intellectual conflict in your brain about that.
Gavin: Got you. Actually, right now, Tammy Watts and I are planning a prayer event in town. We’ll talk about that toward the end of the program. She’s just called me, so she must have her ears ringing because we’ve mentioned Tammy and Mikal Watts in this program. Kristen, thanks for writing this question. I’m going to pull it up here. We’ll ask this to Justin, “If you could change or improve one thing about the dynamics and culture of San Antonio, what would it be and why?” Thanks, Kristen, for that.
Justin: Why are you giving me that question? That’s a tough question.
Gavin: I’ll answer it too.
Justin: I think the most important thing for me to do is learn by listening. As you said, you and I are both in a different boat. We don’t deal with some of the issues that other people deal with. I have always felt education is the backbone to answering some of those issues related to poverty in two different worlds that people live in here. For me, if I could change anything about the dynamics, the dynamics would be about disparate education opportunities throughout the city. Depending on what zip code you live in, you’re stepping into a different situation.
Culturally, I like San Antonio. I could culturally say there should be a little bit more of this, a little bit more of that, a better airport, maybe some more museums. Really, I think, at the end of the day, San Antonio is in the right direction. We just need to make sure that our rising ship rises everybody. I think that’s what we’re missing, and I think education is a big part of that.
Gavin: That’s great. My normal co-host, Becca, would love that answer. She’s all about education, so thanks. Kristen, there’s one thing I can improve about the dynamics. I talked a little bit about it earlier because Justin asked that question to me, in a way, I talked about generational poverty and the poverty that we often see throughout San Antonio, what level of or rate of poverty that we have in this city compared to other cities. I think that’s something that needs to be discussed. I don’t think we’ve had policies really address it.
We’ve had campaigns, we’ve had various discussions about it, all ways that we’ve had, think-tanks and commissions. I don’t think we’ve really addressed the reasons why people are in poverty. That goes back to some of our redlining and the way we place people in San Antonio. It’s something that, I think, we need to stress more and more each and every day.
The culture of San Antonio? I wish that Fiesta was more culturally-correct. I feel like Fiesta is great, I love it. I participate in a lot of the events for the fundraisers there. Sometimes when I go and watch those parades in San Antonio, when it comes to culture, I’m not talking about anything serious here, I think that it’d be nice to see a more true diversity represented in some of the celebrations that we have in San Antonio when it comes to simple cultural things.
I don’t know what you meant by culture, but I took dynamics as more of improve the dynamics of something very serious, like generation poverty. Maybe that’s what you meant too, but I read the question. Justin, do you see any other questions that are different on your screen?
Justin: I can’t see your screen, but no.
Gavin: Okay, good. Both of us have known Ron Nirenberg, our mayor, he’s our current mayor, and probably supported him in different ways in his last two campaigns. What drew you to our mayor? You have a good relationship with him. What is one attribute that you saw on him, that you really appreciated and said, “I can get behind this even when I don’t agree with him all the time.”?
Justin: I think Ron is wonky. I think he really cares about the minutia of the issues that he’s dealing with, and I think it’s important to know that minutiae, especially on local government. Ron talked to you about sidewalks and water drainage, he will be really detailed about it. I think that’s really what you want at the end of the day with a local politician. We all want to talk about the fight about Chick-fil-A in the airport, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t really affect you and I, but sidewalks do.
I think knowing how wonky he was about that, just through general conversations, I thought that’s going to be a good guy to run the city, because those are the things that really affect us day to day from our city government.
Gavin: A local city geek is what you want?
Justin: Yes, you do.
Gavin: I think that Chick-fil-A [unintelligible 00:49:23] we’ve ever talked about it too much at Pub Theology, but when you see issues like that, I rise up. How do you interpret that, when you see an issue like that invade our local government? It even influences our state government with so many anti-laws against what we were doing. How do you interpret that? How do you navigate that in your world?
Justin: I don’t. Honestly, it’s the red meat stuff to get a whole bunch of people worked up. It’s chum in the waters. It’s really not a big relevant discussion in my mind because whether we have a Chick-fil-A in the airport, at the end of the day, isn’t going to affect whether or not– I’ve got roads that are drivable. The schools have air conditioning that works. Those are just the issues that actually matter to us day to day. You can go back to George W. Bush’s second election when they decided to put gay marriage amendments on ballots all across America. They say that really secured his second win. Those things get people worked up, but those things aren’t the things that affect you and I.
Gavin: Sure, at least most of us. You know what? We’re going to ask that question. We have a few listeners live right now, and if you could change one thing in San Antonio dynamic or culturally, you can post that comment. You can always have to ask us questions if you have a comment. Even if you’re watching this video after we’re live, and you’re watching this days later or hours later, please post your comments of where you think that San Antonio could improve and be a better city either with its dynamics or cultural implications.
Got any more questions, Justin?
Justin: I like this format. I’ve never done this to have a live streaming and people respond and all that type of stuff.
Gavin: It’s different every week. I’m getting used to it. I’m never the person answering the questions [inaudible 00:51:17] in Pub Theology, where they interviewed me about the caravan. All the other times I’ve been the dork asking the questions.
Justin: I always end my shows with guests’ wish lists. I want to know who’s your wishlist would include, who you could get on the show. Mine’s always Pop. Pop’s always number one.
Gavin: That’s for sure. I said I would quit Pub Theology. I would end it. I will try to say Coach Pop when he co-hosted Cornel West, I don’t remember this, Cornel West is a black theologian. He’s a very big liberal. He has great books about race. He’s a theologian liberal, kind of liberation theologist. He interviewed Pop, and Pop interviewed him at a high school here in San Antonio a few years.
Justin: Is that true?
Gavin: It is.
Justin: Never heard of that.
Gavin: That is like my dream. Theology meets Coach Pop. Now, imagine that conversations they had, it was close to the public. It was only open for this one school. That would be like getting Coach Pop to talk about social issues and religion, which he knows about. I think he knows more than he gives away, even though he’s a pretty outspoken guy. That would be my dream. I feel like we could get really deep with him, in Pub theology, about theology or philosophy because– I’ve never even got to meet Cornel West, and he got to interview a black theologian.
It’s one of my favorite theologians in all time. That was my dream. If I could get those guys back in San Antonio, I would quit the show.
Justin: Cornel West really- is he that respected as a theologian? Because I know him because of politics. He’s always a very [inaudible 00:53:13]
Gavin: Just like we all do. All theology, pastors, Christians, they get in trouble when they dive too much, and he probably is controversial in his political way. As a professor, what he teaches, he’s a very outstanding professor in his field.
Justin: Who else is on the wishlist? I always do three at the end of every show. It started.
Gavin: It changes. I’ll tell you this. My favorite guest was Simran from Trinity University. He’s a Sikh theologian. Do you know him? He has a brother named Darsh, who also played basketball at Trinity. He was, I think, the very first Sikh collegic basketball player. He speaks about mis-identity and religion, especially Islamophobia because a lot of people think that-
Justin: Sikhs are Muslims.
Gavin: -Sikhs are Muslims, yes. That was when I realized what people really wanted out of Pub Theology. We invited him, and over 100 people came really early on to Pub Theology in the backroom of the friendly spot. That’s when I thought, “Oh, man, this is what people really want.” Sometimes when I bring in people who I think are going to be good, maybe, even if I bring Ron back or if I bring counsel in person back, sometimes the room is empty because people are expecting to hear what they want to hear. It’s those discussions, I think, that really people want.
I already think that way. I think, “Can I get somebody in the community a lot of people don’t understand but they want to understand?” A lot of people don’t know about Sikh identity and Sikh theology and what it’s like. I think a lot of people genuinely came to hear Simran. I think guests like that– When it comes to a political guest, I would love to interview Sheryl Sculley, especially with her book coming up. That has to be on your list somehow. Politically, that’d be like that, locally just for fun, San Antonio geeks like us.
It’s guests like Simran that I have, and I think that’s why I answered Coach Pop and Cornel West. There’s other leaders that I haven’t gotten to speak with.
Justin: Charles Butt.
Gavin: Charles Butt would be great. The Butt family in general, just the H-E-B foundation and how that all interacts. That’d be a great conversation. What’s your favorite? Other than Coach Pop?
Justin: Popso is number one. Charles Butt has made his way into the top three. I’m sure he’s [unintelligible 00:55:43] by this. I’ll share- it’s Charles Butt’s story. I love San Antonio because of how accessible it is. I went to a fundraiser at his house for a politician out of Corpus Christi. This had to be 10 years ago now. Juan Rodriguez, maybe. He was a big public education advocate. It was a public education. Charles Butt’s politics are public education. He will give money to that, doesn’t care what political party you are. I’m there and I’m walking around his house in King William.
It’s a weird time capsule of– I don’t know how to describe it. They’re old tube TVs that probably don’t work, but they’re there just– I don’t know, for props. He walks up to me and he’s like, “Would you like a tour of my house?” I was like, “Of course.” Charles Butt takes me all around his house, upstairs, downstairs. Then he takes me down a basement deal. You walk down a couple of stairs, and then off to the sides there’s big wine room. Then you go down a few more stairs, and there’s this super long hallway that’s almost like one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest.
It’s UV lights, or whatever those tube lights are called. What are they called? Those long tube lights, and it’s white walls and it’s white floors.
Gavin: Fluorescent lights?
Justin: Yes, those. You walk down this long hallway and you come up and you’re in this time capsule of a weight room from 1970, it’s [unintelligible 00:57:13] equipment, chrome. It’s shiny as it can be. It looks like it’s never been used, and all these pictures of bodybuilders around the wall. It was just a very strange experience. I remember him telling me that everybody thought he had a tunnel that went into H-E-B, but he doesn’t. He was such a nice man.
Gavin: No, that’s great. I have always wanted to interview Henry Neesham. He gives a lot of money to great organizations. He’s been single, I believe, his whole life, if I might be mistaken, but I just think he’s a fascinating guy, and cares deeply about certain topics especially children in San Antonio that are in poverty. He’s been a big contributor to some ministries and just projects around. I would love to interview him and just his heart. A lot of people may know him in certain circles, but what a big person in our community that does so much good that a lot of people don’t know about.
That’d be somebody locally that I would really like. Then, there’s people nationally that, of course, I would interview. I would love to interview Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu. They’re not coming to Pub Theology, San Antonio. I’ll let that off the wishlist.
Justin: Jimmy Carter might. He might do it online.
Gavin: Yes. I would have to have Shannon Davis come helped me. She’s that lawyer. She’s on the board of elders with him. There’s like 13 people in this group around the world with Desmond Tutu, and she’s one of them in the advisory group there. They’re world leaders that just tackle huge issues. I think she was probably one of our best guests. I’m going to do a thing, because I regret not recording some of these great conversations with Simran and Shannon Davis, I’m going to go back and do a remix where we’re going to invite them back during COVID and just rehab the conversation, so a lot of people can hear what the cool ones we’ve done in Pub Theology in the past.
Justin: I forgot to record this. You’re going to have to send me the audio.
Gavin: Oh, you did? You forgot to hit the button. We even talked about it. What do you see coming up here? What do you think are some of the local issues that are going to matter? This is something to be politically question. Coming up in the next few years in San Antonio, what are some of the things that you think are going to creep up and be a big deal for people in local involvement.
Justin: I think how we come out of this is going to be a big deal. Ron talked about how this is an opportunity. I think there’s a lot of discussion about how he is making an opportunity to change the dynamics of the city, including education and workforce retraining. I think that’s going to be a big deal. I think the city is going to have to take a hard look at itself being a hospitality industry when things like this happen. We’re very vulnerable. I think the access to technology and internet, I think that’s going to be really highlighted by what we’re going through now. In the long term, I think things like charter schools are going to have to become an issue at some point. We’ve created this very real two-tier system in San Antonio, more so than maybe any city in Texas where charter schools have such influence. You have charter school advocates that are part of the nonprofits running for school boards. That’s a really strange thing. Both of my parents were public school teachers, so, to me, that matters a lot.
Gavin: That’d be a great person to interview, the leader of SA Charter Moms, which is a national Facebook group. She’s here in San Antonio, if you know Inga. That’s a great [inaudible 01:00:44].
Justin: I know, but somebody reached out to me two weeks ago on my Alamo Hour stuff and said I should interview her, because, obviously, I have thoughts on charter schools and–
Gavin: Yes, that’d be a great discussion. She’d love to have it with you.
Justin: I have no interest in getting in a fight with somebody about that. I know she’s got a very [inaudible 01:00:59] She’s got a personal story. Who am I to tell her her personal story is wrong? Charter schools serve the now purpose for a lot of people, but do they serve the long-term purpose for the city and our public education as a state? That’s a different conversation than did they provide my child a better school when they were five years old than the alternatives? Those are two different conversations, but they both need to be had, I think, over the long term for our city.
Gavin: Wow. I don’t think she would get into debate with you. I think she would just talk to you. I had her on Becca McNeil’s, one of the first times we had Becca McNeil’s, my co-host, and she interviewed Inga, and they’re friends in the educational world. Also, somebody like Mark Larson from KIPP, formerly of KIPP Academy, he used to be the CEO of KIPP Academy, San Antonio, then he went to a citywide initiative, sometimes nonprofit, and he just left that. There’s some great people I think that could discuss it without a debate or trying to argue a certain cause.
Justin: Politically, I find it fascinating how charter schools have managed to become a darling of the progressive millennials as well, which is a strange-
Gavin: Yes, it is.
Justin: [unintelligible 01:02:14] fellows. I’ve asked people about it. I’ve had some friends that were progressive’s millennials who are into that world, and even they had a hard time explaining the relationship. Just politically, it’s a strange set of bedfellows. I think that’s interesting, I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I think it’s an interesting set of bedfellows.
Gavin: If you still want to ask the question, we have a few minutes left, I think, more or less, you can ask the question to us. There’s a few people listening. There’s actually a little couple more, so, please, somebody be bold enough to ask a question to close out our question-answer session, but until we get that, I believe somebody listening right now will be bold enough to ask the question. Either Phil or Helen or Lindsey, try to get us a good question. During COVID-19, what has been your favorite? Do you talk about hidden gyms in San Antonio in COVID, trying to get out and safely get out? What has been the favorite one thing that unexpectedly you’ve enjoyed about San Antonio during COVID-19?
Justin: I had a child during COVID-19.
Gavin: There’s a name for it. Is it COVID baby or something?
Justin: It was born during COVID.
Gavin: You didn’t have it during– That’s a different name. [laughs]
Justin: [inaudible 01:03:29] thing. That’s been its own set of facts, which, honestly, has allowed me to be in town more, which has been fantastic. Outside of that, very personal story, we really just went nuts a little bit on food delivery and all of these random things that popped up to serve people who did not want to go out. We had boxes of fruit being delivered one week and vegetables the next week and Sichuan House now delivers up to 20 miles, that’s been awesome. We kind of went a little overboard on that, and then we also set up my yard into a– We don’t have to leave, so we have tetherball and disc golf and horseshoes.
Gavin: Oh my Gosh.
Justin: Yes, we had to create an environment where we can stay home, because Lindsey is horrified of getting coronavirus.
Gavin: You spoke with the Sichuan House, they do deliver at a wider range. Now, that’s on Ingram road ish and 410, but they’re one of the three restaurants that support Corazon Ministry, so we can provide seven meals a week during COVID-19 for our homeless guests on the streets in downtown San Antonio. Our ministry cooks four times, more or less four times a week, and then we have restaurants support that. It’s farm-to-table in downtown San Antonio, they cook a meal for us. Sichuan House cooks a meal, and Chick-fil-A cooks a meal and they deliver that.
We have a wide range of restaurants supporting, but I’m very grateful to the food that– Actually, it might be the favorite meal of the week when Sichuan House cooks. The protein and the pasta and the rice for our guests, and they’ve done it faithfully. I think they’ve already crossed thousands of meals that they’ve cooked for us during this pandemic, and that’s just locally, downtown. I’m grateful.
Justin: Thanks for spending my money with them.
Gavin: Yes, for sure. Support them just for multiple reasons, but I really appreciate Kristen and her team at the Sichuan House. Any other last, closing thoughts? If we don’t get a question, we don’t get a question, but if you have any lasting thoughts in this conversation, Justin?
Justin: I always end mine with my wishlist. I’ve already got Pop and I’ve got Charles Butt. I always do three, maybe five. Also, I want to do Patty Mills and Lonnie Walker, because it’s-
Gavin: [inaudible 01:05:59] you want this, to interview every Spur?
Justin: No. Probably, but you also– They’re oddly involved in our community which–
Gavin: Yes, Patty Mills still lives here in downtown San Antonio.
Justin: Lonnie Walker’s out cleaning up graffiti. It’s rare to see professional athletes get that involved in the towns in which they live, because so often they’re sort of, “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be here,” type deal. They’re always on the deal. I think Patty Mills just gave a bunch of money to one of the women’s shelters, I believe. He’s always on it. Then, Jackie Earle Haley, because he’s here, and he’s fantastic. He’s a Rorschach in the Watchmen. I haven’t done an actor. I have done Tim Maloney, who is producing a Bravo reality show.
Gavin: Oh, wow. Do you have any upcoming guests that you would like to actually talk about on the Alamo Hour? Do you have anybody lined up?
Justin: Nico’s supposed to come on. Nico LaHood is supposed to come on.
Gavin: You say you don’t talk about politics? There’s no way you’re getting out of that one, man.
Justin: Nico is also very religious.
Gavin: Yes, he is. He’s a very faithful Evangelical, Protestant assembly of God, something like that, yes.
Justin: He’s also got his own podcast.
Gavin: He does, it doesn’t surprise me.
Justin: I think the next guest will be Poncho Navarez, who’s a state rep out of Eagle Pass. He is no longer running for office, but he was a state rep for a long time. He’s a personal injury lawyer as well. Gerry Goldstein, who represented Hunter Thompson. Gerry Goldstein’s probably the most- he could write a book about all the people he represented. He’s a lawyer here in town, a criminal lawyer. He’s done more for you and I on Fourth Amendment and Bill of Rights issues than you’d ever know. We’ve got some good people coming up. It’s just getting them scheduled.
Gavin: We have a couple of people lined up next week, same time. Thank you for doing this at our time. I know that you record at different times throughout the week, so thank you for sticking to our schedule that was kind of you to do that. We, on Wednesday nights, next Wednesday, we have Reverend Dorian Williams who is a pastor in San Antonio, also a former Air Force captain and pilot. He is going to speak about the pray SA events that him and Max Lucado and Tammy Watts and myself had been planning with a bunch of people throughout San Antonio.
That’s happening Sunday nights on August 9th and 16th at the Freeman Coliseum, not in the Coliseum, but it’s a park and pray event where people can come and park and pray and just listen to it through the car radio.
There’s not going to be even like something that you can really see, like a stage. Max will lead different people and prayers. You’ll hear voices that you may- we don’t even announce what voices are praying, but it’s a diverse group of people from different faith backgrounds within Christianity. We’re having that event this Sunday night, and in between the two events I’m going to interview Dorian about how that went and what he learned and what are the prayer requests people said in San Antonio.
There’ll be a time where people can text in their hurts or their laments or their scares or their fears. Dorian will talk about that. Then, we also have doctor and Reverend Keely Petty, who is the chair person for the MLK Commission, which puts on the March and the big celebration on the East side of San Antonio on MLK Monday.
They’re going to just have a discussion about race. I think that’s one thing that we’ve been trying to do better at Pub Theology is, it has a- we have diverse racial guests, especially during the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s next week’s Pub Theology, and sometimes our guests pop up throughout the week. We learn about something that happens, and we want to interview it in the next seven days. Sometimes our guests are really, really planned out, and some of them pop up. Like, really, you. We planned this pretty quickly, and I’m grateful for that. I don’t think we have any more questions unless Tony pops up in less than two seconds.
Justin: Lindsey just added a Father Kevin Fausz from Holy Redeemer would be a good guest for Pub Theology.
Gavin: Where are you seeing this?
Justin: I guess mine pop up, before that, it’s two people talking about Sichuan House.
Gavin: Something’s wrong. Something’s up with my thing. Do you have any others that you see?
Gavin: See, I thought that was weird when you said that popped up last time, I think just something that’s happening on my end, which is the fun facts of–
Justin: Have you had Father Kevin Fausz from Holy Redeemer?
Gavin: No, but I will. I will find that comment on our, probably, Facebook page. I’m trying to look to see before we end, if somebody put a comment on any of our other–
Justin: Yes, you posted this on a lot of things.
Gavin: Yes, sometimes they ask questions in different things, but sometimes I can see them pop up. You know what? I think in your hour it’s the Alamo Hour, not two hours. I want to respect your podcast. Your listeners are probably like, “You all are talking way too long. I am done with this.” You just had your first child?
Justin: I did. Two months ago.
Gavin: Wow. Name?
Justin: Lincoln. Lincoln Dexter Hill.
Gavin: Why did you name him Lincoln?
Justin: Who’s a better illustration of what you want from a human being than Abraham Lincoln.
Gavin: Okay, it’s named after Abraham. I would figure that it was, but I didn’t know if it was a family name or–
Justin: No. Dexter is great-grandfather’s name.
Gavin: We should have Phil Watkins on. You know what you should do? You said that you were going to do a podcast with Phil, then he got cut from the program?
Justin: I never said that, but I should do one with Phil.
Gavin: I thought you said that early on, that you were thinking about doing a podcast with him one time.
Justin: I need to do that. No, I was going to come to a Pub Theology.
Gavin: I see. Oh, with him? I see what you’re saying.
Gavin: I got you now. We should have Phil on. When I was at St Peter’s Episcopal church in Kerrville, I got to know the Mosty family, which, they’re are lawyers in Kerrville. As you know, the Mosty Law Firm?
Justin: I know who they are. I don’t know them personally.
Gavin: Yes, Richard Mosty is the grandfather of the group now, and he got to be the defense lawyer for four murder cases in the ’70s and ’80s. That is unheard of. When you’re a defense attorney, you might get one good one in your career, especially in Kerrville, Texas, and Kerr County, and he had four ones that were nationally famous. The Kerrville Slave Ranch that happens in Kerrville in the ’80s where they were picking up people who were homeless and forcing them into labor somewhere around that area, and he defended them, and he’s a strong Christian Episcopalian, a man of faith.
He’d be a great interview for you to talk about being a defense attorney defending, and he has some great, great stories of the most famous case he had of a 18 year old, a kid who was drug dealing and– I see of them popping up now. The comments are not popping up, but he– This 18 year old kid was in Florida dealing drugs, Justin, and trying to get the gain street cred. He read about a murder in Texas and said that he committed it. It was undercover officers that were doing this drug deal, and they were like, “What?”
They followed through, they called Texas, they were like, “This murder really happened exactly the way he said it.” He got arrested, put on trial in Kerrville, Texas, this young kid, and Richard Mosty defended him. People went crazy and really angry at Richard for– They had a confession in a way.
He went through the truth and found all this evidence and fought. The sheriffs had to protect his home. So many people were upset in Kerrville that this Christian man would be defending this murderer. You really should interview him. [inaudible 01:14:21] lawyers in town, Richard Mosty is really a famous lawyer in Texas.
Justin: I’ve heard of him, yes.
Gavin: Yes. I think that’d be a fascinating article, interview for you.
Justin: You didn’t see the comment that says, Phil went outside to smoke and drink.
Gavin: [laughs] It should be. I don’t smoke, but I’ll definitely drink with Phil any day of the week.
Justin: He’s a cigar smoker.
Gavin: Is cigars, probably is what you said?
Gavin: Maybe he puts a little something in it. I’m just kidding. Thank you, Justin, for being on Pub Theology.
Justin: I’ve enjoyed it.
Gavin: I hope this wasn’t just rambling. The ramblings of two San Antonio dorks [laughs] who just love to talk about dorky things [inaudible 01:15:06].
Justin: [inaudible 01:15:09] man.
Gavin: Good to see you. Take care, and check out the alamohour.com.
Gavin: Anytime you want. Oh, hey, there it is. I saw this suggestion. Thank you, Lindsey, for suggesting Father Kevin from Holy Redeemer. I’ll definitely get him on.
Justin: Awesome. Thanks Kevin.
Gavin: See you guys.
[01:15:31] [END OF AUDIO]