Board of Commissioners

Commissioner James Batiste

James Batiste, Board Chair

James Batiste has lived in Abilene since 1997. Mr. Batiste served our country in the U.S. Air Force for four years before moving on to become a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for 31 years, before retiring in 2011. Mr. Batiste currently works as a Texas Licensed realtor for Coldwell Banker here in Abilene.

Mr. Batiste has been married to his wife Janet for 30 years. They have two daughters, Janelle Sands and Janaye Widemane, along with three grandchildren. Mr. Batiste is an active member at the Minda Street Church of Christ where he serves with his minister.

Commissioner Batiste can be reached at

Commissioner Cole Bennett

Dr. Cole Bennett, Board Commissioner

Dr. Cole Bennett, a native of Tyler, Texas, is a Professor of English at Abilene Christian University. Dr. Bennett holds a degree from Harding University, The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and The University of Southern Mississippi. Cole has lived in several southern cities in the U.S., but has lived in Abilene since the year 2000. Dr. Bennett is interested in both economics and the political sphere.

Commissioner Bennett can be reached at

Commissioner Gwendolyn Blount

Gwendolyn Blount, Resident Commissioner

Gwendolyn Blount has been a resident of Abilene, Texas since 2003. Upon moving to the Abilene area, Ms. Blount decided to pursue the field of substitute teaching. Her background includes an Associates Degree in both Business Administration and Behavioral Science. Ms. Blount also holds a certificate as a computerized Administrative Assistant. A wide range of skills and work in various occupations has lead Ms. Blount down a successful and beneficial path to continue her career in teaching, which she still pursues today.

Commissioner Blount can be reached at



Roberta Thompson, Board Commissioner 


Roberta Thompson first moved to Abilene, Texas in 1955 with her family from San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Thompson began a career with the Housing Authority of the City of Abilene in 1982 and retired from her career as the Executive Director of the Housing Authority in 2007. Her experience with the housing authority allows her to bring knowledge of the industry to the Abilene Housing Authority Board of Commissioners position. Ms. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Behavioral Science from Hardin Simmons University.

Ms. Thompson is an active member of New Light Missionary Church where she serves as the Vacation Bible School Director.

Commissioner Thompson can be reached at

Headshot- Tim Evans.jpg

Tim Evans, Board Commissioner 

Tim Evans, a native of North Carolina, has called Abilene home for the last 27 years. He came to Abilene by way of the United States Air Force, where he served for a total of 11 years. Mr. Evans is currently the Director of Programs at Disability in Action, here in Abilene, TX. He worked as the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator at the Abilene Housing Authority for over 2 years. Mr. Evans serves on numerous boards and committees in the Abilene community. Mr. Evans holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Park University.

Mr. Evans has been married to his wife Roz for 25 years. They have five children, 3 girls and 2 boys, and four grandchildren. Mr. Evans is an active member of the Minda Street Church of Christ where he serves as an elder.  

Commissioner Evans can be reached at