October 2023


“Quarried Consciousness” by Angus Taylor

a laugh. Because the Moody family name has become synonymous with philanthropy in the Lone Star State, Frances does her part to carry on that legacy. She has a big heart for many causes, but her love of animals supersedes many passions in her life. When she and Buzbee joined together, the future of Antioch Ranch became obvious. “First, it started because we needed a place to put some of these horses we were rescuing,” Buzbee said. “I told her, ‘I have plenty of pastures.’ We were involved in several animal rescue charities in Houston even before we were married, and I always had a passion for animals. I just had never before included this property in that work.” With Frances, the vision, organization, and scale of the couple’s rescue project quickly grew. What began as pastures of horses and cows, which aren’t all that uncommon in this neck of the woods, has grown into a safe haven for kangaroos, camels, alligators, llamas, goats, zebras, wildebeest, and many other species. These animals are not just rescued and thrown out to pasture by the Buzbees. Each animal lucky enough to find its way to the ranch can count on a permanent place to live out its life. “I used to kill two or three deer off this property every year. I’d bring my buddies up here the first week

they are actually protective. You can put them in a field with other animals, and they are likely to guard them from coyotes and other predators. I just love them.” “She has made sure we have donkeys in every main field,” joked Buzbee. There are marvels around every bend in the road, including a chapel that is a cherished refuge. “The chapel is about a mile round trip from the main house, so it’s a nice walk over here to have a quiet moment. Everything inside was recovered from churches that were closed, including the stained glass windows. The Bible in there is about 200 years old, and the door is almost 200 years old too. I bought a lot of these things at auctions. We have special Easter services here, and the former Governor of Texas once even preached here.” Another passion of the Buzbee’s is art. They are serious collectors of impressive, invaluable pieces displayed at their Houston residence. However, Houston is not the only place to benefit from their impeccable artistic taste. Friends and neighbors of Antioch Ranch can all share in a special exhibit anytime they drive past the large-scale, stacked-stone sculpture, “Quarried Consciousness,” which is a reclining male figure created by artist Angus Taylor. The installation of this unique creation came after a trip to Cape Town,

of November and we’d hunt, but there has been no hunting on this property since two years before Frances and I got married. Now it’s just kind of a refuge.” There is no breeding or selling of animals from the property, and many are lovingly known by name. They are cared for on a level that most house pets rarely enjoy. The ranch is staffed with caretakers who have adopted the vision and created an oasis. “We love this place. Every time we are here, Frances wants to get out and hand-feed every animal,” Buzbee said. “I love them all,” said Frances, but she and Buzbee agree the donkeys are one of their favorites. “They are sweet,” she said, “and

South Africa, where Buzbee and Frances attended a solo exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery and decided this eye-catching wonder of another world was destined for East Texas. Power couple is a well-deserved description for Frances and Tony Buzbee. But, beyond the flash and frills of the beautiful life they have built together, the peace and quiet of their East Texas home brings them back to the family, faith, and belonging that is easily found in a small community. Antioch Ranch is a beautiful reminder that the only thing better than setting off to discover the adventures of a big life is coming back home again.

cover photo by Matt Cornelius



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