Asbury Leadership Staff  
Tom Harrison
Senior Pastor

Asbury members listening to Dr. Tom Harrison on Perceptions or during his Sunday morning sermon hearing him relate amusing stories or seeing his mischievous grin cross his face may think, “Here’s a guy I can relate to.”  He speaks from his heart and believes that when he talks to the congregation it’s like talking to his friends or to “friends he hasn’t met yet!" One of his greatest joys comes from visiting with members: “I like hearing what God’s doing in their lives and when they come to Christ. I feel privileged to be a part of the process of changed lives,” he said.
Tom enjoys sports— and is an especially active St. Louis Cardinals fan. He also likes to read history, biography and leadership books.  He sees his wife, Dana, as an integral part of his ministry and a wise counselor. The couple have three children: Joshua (and wife Amber), Jessee (and husband Clif), and Jeffrey.
Though raised in the church, it wasn’t until he was 14-1/2 that he found a personal relationship with God. “There was a Lay Witness Mission at my church. The people talked about asking Jesus into your life. Until then, I thought of Christianity as a list of things you did, not as a relationship. I was in ninth grade. I had a life-changing experience. I began to read the Bible, pray and share my faith.”
Following graduation from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, he served as a youth director (Marlow, Oklahoma; Collinsville, Oklahoma; and Epworth UMC in West Tulsa). He received his bachelor’s degree from ORU and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. His Doctor of Ministry degree is from Oral Roberts University.  Oklahoma City University has also given him an honorary doctorate. Prior to coming to Asbury in 1993, he pastored three other charges: Vici/Lenora in the Woodward District; Sallisaw in the Muskogee District, and Sunny Lane in the South Oklahoma City District. 
Dr. Harrison tries to teach the Bible in an understandable way. He also insists that it must be applied, lest it is only “Bible trivia.” He often marvels that he is paid to do a job that he enjoys so much.
Bill Mason
Pastor Emeritus

William Cameron Mason, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University, served as Senior Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from June 1964 to June 1993.
Prior to entering the ministry, Bill was associated with the Mike Bryan Office Supply Company in Oklahoma City for twelve years, serving as vice president and sales manager. 
Under his leadership, Asbury UMC grew from 118 members in 1964 to 5250 membership. Funding increased from a budget of less than $10,000 to a budget in excess of $2,500,000.
Bill has served on numerous Boards and Committees of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received the Henry Denman Award for Evangelism from the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Bill received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Oral Roberts University May 1, 1977, and on May 15, 1982, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Oklahoma City University.
In addition to his pastoral functions, Bill has given leadership throughout the Tulsa Community and the State of Oklahoma.
State Leadership
• Past member of the Alumni Association of Oklahoma University
• Past member of Governor’s Committee on Ethics in Government
• Member of Board of Trustees, Oklahoma City University
• Past member of Alcoholism Advisory Council of State Department Board of Mental Health
Community Leadership:
• Member and past president of Southeast Rotary Club of Tulsa
• Past member of the Board of the American Red Cross of Tulsa
• Past member of Mayor’s Council on Alcoholism of Tulsa
• Board of Tulsans for Community Values
Bill and his wife, Jayne McFarland Mason, have four children: daughters - Peggie Nash and Robin Tanner; sons - Cameron and Randy Mason; and four grandchildren.
After completing 29 years as Senior Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, the Masons retired on June 6, 1993. Bill has since served Asbury as Pastor Emeritus.
Bill was a “Point of Light” recipient on December 7, 2001.
“Points of Light are the soul of America. They are ordinary people who reach beyond
themselves to the lives of those in need, bringing hope and opportunity, care and
friendship.” President George Bush
Revised 7-26-06 (VW)
Todd Craig

AIM: tcraig135
Facebook: Todd Craig
Skype: tcraig135
Twitter: @tcraig135
  • What do you love most about your family?
    I love my family because they are my family! Ethan (born in 2005), Caleb (born in 2008), and Will (born in 2012) and I have so much fun running around the house being silly. My wife Stephenie not only puts up with all this but jumps in to participate as well. Whatever we are doing, I love that we are doing it together.
  • What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
    I am not sure I could guess what my life would look like without my faith in Christ. I decided at an early age to follow Jesus. I chose the path early enough in life that it has essentially shaped my entire life journey. I can’t imagine finding rest, peace and freedom apart from my relationship with Jesus.
  • Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
    I had been wrestling with the idea of full time ministry as a vocation for a couple of weeks my sophomore year of high school. I was sitting in the stadium at Memorial High School watching a football game when I finally relented.
  • What happened next?
    Graduated from Holland Hall high school, earned a bachelors degree at Oklahoma Baptist University and then completed the Masters of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. In June of 2001, I joined the staff at Asbury.
  • If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
    I would suggest we go out to eat (seriously).
  • If you could have one hero or role-model join you for that meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious answer—“Jesus.”)?
    That guy who does Perceptions on the radio.
  • After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?
    Braveheart (cliché?)
  • In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
    Not sure I treasure any book in particular but one of my favorite reads was Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  • What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?
    I love sports!
  • If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
    Architect for Vandalay Industries
Jim Lenderman
Senior Associate Pastor

Twitter: @jim_lenderman
  • What do you love most about your family?
    I love that I get to spend my life with the woman of my dreams and two sons who have captured my heart. I love how the four of us all follow the Lord. That’s more important than I can put into words. I also love our shared sense of humor. It’s a real blessing to feel right at home when I’m with them.
  • What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
    Words can’t express the difference Jesus has made. I professed my faith in Jesus Christ when I was 12 or 13. That decision has had eternal consequences for me. Knowing Jesus as my Savior, I know my sins have been forgiven through Him. He took the penalty for my sin on Himself on the cross. I am now a new creation with a new, abundant life before me. With Jesus as my Lord I have a new purpose for living. My life is no longer my own, it is God’s. My purpose now is to grow to love the Trinity with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love my neighbor as much as God loves me. I have a very long way to go with the Lordship of Christ in my life, but I’m moving in the right direction.
  • Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
    I was called to become a minister when I was 13 or 14. I didn’t hear an audible voice or anything like that. I just had an inescapable conviction that I was supposed to be a United Methodist minister. As I began to share God’s call on my life with other people, many said I was “just going through a phase” since I was so young. I eventually listened to them.
  • What happened next?
    I went to college to be a chemical engineer because I saw an ad for a chemical engineer with an $80,000 salary. (That was 4X as much as my dad ever made.) During my freshman year I became friends with a 27 year-old grad student in mathematics who was from Tulsa. His name was Brad Hunt. Brad was sold out to Jesus. God used Brad to reel me back in and remind me of His call on my life to be a minister. So I changed my major to Administrative Management and focused on preparing for full-time ministry.
    Beth and I were married two weeks after I graduated from the University of Arkansas. I used my undergrad degree to work for a couple of years before entering Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY. After finishing seminary in 1991, I served in full-time ministry in Arkansas for sixteen years at First UMC Hot Springs, Parkers Chapel and Pleasant Grove UMCs, First UMC Prescott and Grace UMC in Conway. In 2008 we moved to Oklahoma when I began serving on the pastoral staff here at Asbury UMC.
  • If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
    No question I would ask for a mound of assorted crab legs (snow, king and Dungeness) with a baked potato and house salad. Then I’d ask for the impossible – make the drawn butter both real and fat free. OK, who am I kidding? At that point what difference would that make?
  • If you could have one hero or role-model join you for that meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious answer—“Jesus.”)?
    That’s another very easy one. I would want to share that meal with my mom and dad. My parents passed away in 2002 and 2001 respectively. They impacted my life and faith more than anyone else. I would love for them to see how my boys have grown up. I would love to hear their voices again as they share about what God and heaven are like. What I believe by faith, they know by experience. That would be a very special evening.
  • After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?
    I don’t know if I would want to spend some of that time precious watching a movie, but if we did it would have to be It’s a Wonderful Life. That is my all-time favorite movie. It reminds me of my parents’ lives and how I want my life to count for God as well.
  • In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
    It’s definitely Kingdom People by Jim and Molly Davis Scott. This book helped give me focused purpose and intentional direction for my life and faith. I also use it for a major portion of my ministry here at Asbury. God uses it to help people create an environment in their lives where God is more intimate and real, to discover who God created them to be apart from what they do, and to discern what God is calling them to do as they join God in ministry and service in the church and in the world.
  • What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?
    Mostly I love being with my family. I dabble with art a little bit to raise money for Swahili Bibles for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (though I’m definitely NOT an artist). I have to admit I don’t recreate very well. This is one of my many opportunities for growth.
  • If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
    I always dreamed of having a long career as a power forward in the NBA for the Boston Celtics after completing my legendary career for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Unfortunately I never had the kind of high quality coaching that would unleash my skills on the court and make my dreams come true. Either that or it was my lack of height, vertical leap, quickness and shooting ability that caused me to never be discovered. Now I’m just too old.
Dick Read

  • What do you love most about your family?
    I have the most amazing wife and two kids. Cindy got ripped-off when she married me, but I got the blue ribbon prize in her! Cindy and I are extremely proud of Rachel and David, especially how they run after God’s heart. What I love most? I love just being with them!
  • What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
    As I claim Jesus as my Savior, I think of Psalm 40:2: He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. As I intend to live my life with God’s purposes and plans at the forefront, I find so many amazing adventures. There’s no way I could have written the script that God has written or dreamed the dreams that God has dreamed or experienced all that God has purposed unless it had been for Jesus. And the culmination of it all is still to come!
  • Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
    As a young teenager, Billy Graham was my hero when I watched his crusades on TV. When I was home alone, I would stand behind the pulpit-like tall wing back chairs in our living room and preach incredible (so I thought!) salvation messages to thousands of imaginary hearers. That’s when I realized that being a pastor is what I really wanted to do with my life.
  • What happened next?
    As an “Air Force brat,” my intention was to be USAF chaplain, but once I experienced civilian life, I thought, “Hey, this is all right!” During my junior year at ORU, I started volunteering in the youth ministry at Asbury. Finding a deep passion for youth ministry, I spent the next 15 years doing life with teenagers before taking some of those same ministry principles into adult discipleship.
  • If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
    I would plead with Virginia Huddleston (Asbury’s own celebrity chef) to batter up her amazing Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet green beans and home-made rolls, then top off the meal with her famous Chocolate Kahlúa Cheesecake - step aside Cheesecake Factory!
  • If you could have one hero or role-model join you for that meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious answer—“Jesus.”)?
    Billy Graham on one side and Bono on the other –THAT would be some cool dinner conversation.
  • After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?
    Bono would probably gag on his kernals of corn when he would first see Julie Andrews twirling atop the Alps with “the hills are alive with The Sound of Music.” I’m pretty sure it’d be just Billy and I for the rest of the movie – Bono would be back in Dublin before Do-Re-Mi.
  • In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
    You mean other than Spiros Zodhiates New Testament Word Study Dictionary (my Bible study companion)?
    In the past year, two books that have been transformational in my Christian perspective are N.T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope and Richard Stearns’ The Hole in Our Gospel. Each book has caused me to rethink God’s heart for me as a follower of Jesus and has renewed my vision and passion for ministry that extends beyond the walls of the church.
  • What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?
    I like (okay, well sort of) to work out. Cindy and I like to do long walks or light hikes together. I enjoy reading (most of the time), working in the yard and watching the St. Louis Cardinals. And we really enjoy hanging out with Rachel and David or family and friends over dinner.
  • If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
    Because of my size, I know people are shocked I’m not playing in the NBA or NFL. The comments first started when I had my college growth spurt - I shot up to 5’9” (almost) and 139 lbs. (no, really, I did!)
Charlie Ryser

  • What do I love about my family?
    Outside of everything, I would have to say we’re still pretty tight after all these years and all the things we’ve gone through as a “minister’s family.” We’re not afraid to disagree and have lively discussions about a wide variety of topics and still love one another. Our daughters, their husbands and our grandson are the joys of Sally’s and my life.
  • What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
    Looking forward and back on my life he makes the total difference. In choosing Sally as my wife or was it her choosing me? Our allowing Christ to be the Lord of our life and other times not letting him lead have made for interesting twists and turns in our life journey. All I know for sure is that the Lord has been merciful and gracious through it all; laughing and crying with us; dancing with us while tasting our tears of joy or sorrow, embracing us when we would let him and letting us laugh with him, and still other times letting him laugh at us, but never without sensing or knowing that we are eternally loved by him.
  • Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
    Sally and I were driving back from my parent’s lake place and Sally was asleep beside me when I asked the Lord if he possibly had anything in this life better for me to do? I told Him that I was willing to simply obey him. I heard the audible voice of Jesus telling me; “Charlie, you are accepted.” I woke Sally and asked her if she heard that? I told her the Lord wanted me to enter the ministry.
  • What happened next?
    I went to Bill Mason’s office. I had to sit in line because there were four other men sitting outside his office waiting to speak to him about entering the ministry that day.
  • If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
    This has to be a trick question? In this moment I wouldn’t want anything that fancy; iron skillet fried chicken, homemade yeast biscuits with white cream gravy and some really good local honey and or apple butter, coleslaw, and maybe Sally would have to teach them how to make her cherry or strawberry pie with homemade ice cream or real whipped cream. That might possibly tide me over for a while, but really it’s the family or friends around the table that makes it taste good.
  • If you could have one hero or role-model join you for that meal, who would I invite?
    That’s not fair, I have quite a few so I’ll cheat. I would want Adam and Eve so I could ask them, What were you thinking?; Socrates; I would want my great, great, great, great grandparents on both sides; Apostles Peter, John and Matthew; and Mary the mother of Jesus. I think it would also be interesting if Paul was there, but he was probably cause us all to have indigestion.
  • After the meal which DVD would you choose and why?
    Either the Mission, Crash or the Pink Panther with Peter Sellers. If Paul is there it would have to be the Pink Panther just to hear and watch everyone laugh.
  • In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
    Sally and I have been reading all the Brennan Manning books together; The Raggamuffin Gospel because he leads with grace and honesty but doesn’t shy away from asking Christians tough, soul searching questions, or True Faced, which is much the same way.
  • What do I do for recreation?
    I enjoy our garden and yard work. If I could I would fish for trout and would love to try ocean fishing some day. I enjoy art, craft exhibits and day trips, but most of all I really enjoy being with my girls and grandson.
  • If I were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
    I would love to be a naval aviator, college professor or archeologist on a dig.
David Thomas

David Thomas was brought up in the church. His father was an active layman and served as choir director in the Will Rogers United Methodist Church of Tulsa. At 12, David was attending a youth camp and felt the call into the ministry. Just six weeks later his father was killed in a plane crash. On top of that, his mother was a struggling alcoholic. She went into a three-year bender, ending up in a number of institutions dealing with her illness.
Now he was living with his grandmother and for a period of time, a teenage David went through a rebellious stage, feeling both guilt and anger. "I got away from the church. I got in with a gang and into some trouble. One friend said to me when we were drinking, 'Dave, I thought you were going to be a preacher. Boy you’re going to have to do some changing.' That was terribly embarrassing. I told him that I was going to get things straightened out some day. There was this girl next door. I couldn't date her, but I could go to church with her. It was there that I realized that my life was a mess and that I needed some help. I accepted Jesus into my life as Savior and Lord, and it was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. It was like I had had a taste of heaven.
“One Sunday night in church, it was like flashback to the time of my original commitment to God. 'It's time,' I thought. I placed my life back into His hands. Back in the fold, David began ministry at his uncle's church, Sheridan Avenue United Methodist Church, where he served as the custodian, youth director and assistant pastor. "It was there that I met Patty Stevens (later to become his wife)." While a senior in high school, he began serving as pastor of the newly organized St. John's United Methodist Church in north Tulsa. "There I learned what it meant to lean on the Holy Spirit," said Dr. Thomas. Serving as a pastor captured his heart, and it's a role he fulfills to this day.
Following graduation, he attended Oklahoma City University. In 1962, he graduated from Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and he later received his Doctor of Divinity degree from OCU. Following his ordination he served as pastor of churches in Tulsa, Shawnee, Oklahoma City and Bartlesville.
After retiring following seven years as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Bartlesville, he and his wife, Patty, moved to Tulsa where he assumed a post-retirement position as Minister with Senior Adults at Asbury UMC.
Dr. Thomas has done a remarkable job in building the senior adults ministries through Tweenagers, Bible studies, and other programs and special events designed to serve our senior adults. He helped start the Asbury Singing Ambassadors, a strong and joyful singing group, composed of some 125 senior voices. The goal of that choir is more than entertainment; it's a vehicle to help seniors grow and reach out in serving others.
Aside from his role as pastor, Dr. Thomas enjoys reading and study. His favorite authors are Max Lucado, Emerson Fosdick, and Chuck Swindoll. He loves to teach, likes to play golf and finds it relaxing to work in the yard. He quickly adds that he loves just "being with Patty." He sees Patty as the perfect mate for him and feels she has been a real blessing as they have shared together in ministry. "Patty has a unique way of relating to people…all kinds of people. She can identify with them and she sincerely cares for them," he said.
Betty Logan
Administrative Assistant to Pastors

Victoria Williamson
Executive Secretary

Gloria McGee-Denton

Facebook:  Gloria McGee-Denton
Twitter:  @runthehumanrace
Gloria Grace McGee-Denton was not raised in church or in a Christian home, and was often not allowed to go to church.  She always had a sense that God was there and began to pray to God by simply talking with Him about what was going on, asking Him to save dying puppies and help unhappy people.
She was a visitor at a VBS when she first felt God “tug at her heart,” but while she was trying to decide how to get out of the middle of the pew and go down front, the preacher said accepting Jesus would make life easier.  Her parents, fiercely independent idealists, had taught her the easy way wasn’t always the best way.  So she rejected a relationship with Jesus out of pride when she was only in 2nd grade.
The next time she was in VBS was in Junior High.  Her parents had divorced, she’d moved several times and gone to several different schools, money was very tight and she’d struggled with chronic illness.  This time, she accepted the offer of salvation…and found so much more.

What do you love most about your family?
My family was designed by God, and that’s a wonderful gift. My husband Carter is truly the most humble, kind, Godly man I know. We’ve been married since 1999 and have been partners in ministry throughout our relationship. We have four daughters: Kiara (high school), Leola (elementary), Kalissa, (elementary), and baby Emma Grace. They have challenged and changed us, and they are so resilient, strong and fun. 
What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
I was scared to be one of ‘those Christians.’ Much to my surprise, after accepting Christ as Lord and Leader of my life, I remained me.  Only the new-and-much-much-much-improved HD version. I’m still amazed that someone like Him would pick someone like me to love.  Never a boring moment when you play Follow the Leader with Jesus! 
Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
I had wanted to do thrilling things like be a heart or brain surgeon, a race car driver or paratrooper, a war correspondent or foreign ambassador, but when I accepted Christ and found joy, peace, unconditional love and meaning, none of those other things seemed as exciting anymore. Of course, with no church background, I didn’t know what ministry even looked like. I just knew, at 17 years of age, there was no company or career or calling worth my whole self and my whole life besides Jesus. So I offered myself to Him, head-to-toe, heart-and-soul.
What happened next?
I couldn’t help but talk about what I’d experienced (Acts 4:20), so I became a “bringer,” bringing good news, prayer, support, love, light, truth, kindness everywhere I could—and bringing people to church, Bible study, activities. I’d invite so many people to worship that I couldn’t fit them all in my car, so I’d drop off a load of friends, then go pick up another load of friends. It’s just what you do when you find something so awesome!
Got an Army scholarship, planned to be a Chaplain. Double-majored in Speech Communication & Sociology, minored in Military Science. Went to Oklahoma State University for Masters Degree #1 in Speech Communication Consulting, believing that ministry and the work of the church, at the end of the day, is simply about communicating the unconditional love of Christ through our organizations, our worship, our teaching, our actions, the way we live our lives.  And when we fail as the Body, it’s often a result of a failure to rightly communicate or communicate the right things.
Twenty days after graduating from OSU, I started Masters #2 when I went to seminary at Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas.  While there, I begged God to let me be on the front lines, the places of darkness and suffering and tremendous need for change, to be a missionary a yard from the gates of hell. God responded by simply telling me to feed the sheep. Reinhold Niebuhr said the pastoral role “offers greater opportunities for both moral adventure and social usefulness than any other calling.” So true.
Spent the last 13 years as a Director of Student Ministries; Director of Wesley Foundation campus ministry at SEOSU in Durant, OK; and pastor at Colbert UMC, Colbert, OK, before coming to Asbury in 2011
If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
Seafood.  I would love to love seafood…but I really don’t. 
If you could have one hero or role model join you for that meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious answer—“Jesus”)?
Depends on the day.  Yesterday, I would’ve had Adam Sandler over for some laughs.  Today?  Probably John, Paul, George & Ringo.  Tomorrow?  Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Dorothy Day.
After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?
“It’s A Wonderful Life.” Why? Well, because it is.
In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
My 1914 copy of Squirrel Nutkin, by Beatrix Potter.  Love the way she brought nature to life and shone an early light on care for the earth.  AND, my husband’s grandfather, William Nelson Denton, was a ranch foreman and Baptist preacher/circuit rider/church planter in Southern Oklahoma. The pages of his preaching Bible are slick and shiny with use and tears and sweat. They are a link to not only Carter’s family heritage, but to those who shared the Gospel amidst difficult times when it was hard for many to believe in the “goodness” of God.
What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?
Go outside. What can I say? “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.” Food tastes better al fresco, people smile more (or is that squint more), kids laugh more. I’m pretty sure birds chirp and squirrels scamper in heaven.
If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
A farmer, a writer and an artist. 
Guy Ames

What do you love most about your family?
Family has been the most important formative world for me. I grew up in a Methodist preacher’s home and both parents were “preacher’s kids” or “PK’s.” In fact, my family has come from Methodist parsonages since the early 1800’s. From generations “my family” has taken seriously their role of passing on the faith to future generations. Also, I have never been able to separate family from church family. I was even born on a Sunday morning so that my Dad still had time to make worship that same morning. My wife, Margaret and I married the weekend I graduated from seminary, and we began our first local church assignment t two weeks later. For many “PK’s” growing up in church has left a bad taste in their mouths, but for me I found my second home among God’s people in the church, and this has been true for many of my extended family over decades. One phrase from Psalm 16 speaks for me about this: “The LORD IS my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”   (Psalm 16: 5-6; ESV) 
When thinking about my immediate family, though, what stands out most has been the ways in which my family has persevered through trials and serious challenges. I’m incredibly proud of my three grown sons and their marriages, and probably my greatest joy comes when we can all be together. The most important Ames, though, is our grandson, Jacek, (who will soon have a sibling) who keeps Margaret and I busy driving the Turner Turnpike to Yukon for play days with him.  
What most excites me these days, though, is spending time with Margaret, my wife.  For many years, a painful disability has kept her from doing many everyday tasks. A few years ago, God opened a door of joyful healing for her, and now she and I love to experience the simple joys of jumping in the car and taking off, catching a movie, or walking together at Haikey Creek Park.
What difference does Jesus Christ make in your life?
This question is almost like asking what difference oxygen has made in my life. Jesus Christ has been at the center of my life’s history. In his tenth year as a pastor, my father gave his life to Christ for the first time. That change alone brought the Presence of Christ close up into my boyhood home. Over many years God placed people around me who knew and loved Jesus. Their influence and mentoring continues to be with me every day. In my senior year in high school, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ presence became more real for me than I had ever known. From that moment on our front porch in Muskogee, the words of the Bible came alive, and I determined to do my best to live for Christ and to follow His Word. 
Jesus Christ has given me direction and central purpose. I love the Bible’s declaration, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20) My deepest meaning and greatest contentment has come when I have sought to let Jesus have his way with me.  Many times I have forgotten this principle and inevitably lose my way. But always, Jesus Christ has given me a way back. Time and time again, knowing Christ has given me a perspective on which to rebuild after something has become broken. When messes have invaded my life, Christ has enabled me to pick up the pieces and began asking how to use those broken pieces to make something new and different and useful for Christ’s purposes. 
One of my life’s Bible verses has become Romans 8:28, where the Apostle Paul writes, “in all things God works together for good to those who love him, to those who are called according to his purposes.” Following Jesus Christ and His teaching has continued to give me direction, so that even when I have taken one of life’s detours I can eventually get back on track. What difference does Jesus make in my life? Because of Jesus I know who I am.

Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry. What happened next?
The decision to enter full-time ministry grew slowly over many years. From my senior year in high school, I wanted to serve God in some full time fashion but did not want to be a pastor. During my years at ORU, I spent time as a youth director, summer missionary, even a short-term pastor of an all black congregation, but I did not see myself either attending seminary or serving as a pastor. In fact, I did not want to continue serving in the United Methodist Church. As a passionate young Christian, I wanted to serve God in a more secular field as in counseling or social work or possibly politics, never church. After college, I worked full-time as a Methodist youth director, and the loving and serious Christians in that congregation opened my heart to the possibility of continuing to serve among Methodists. While taking a two week prayer retreat seeking God’s guidance about my future I prayed daily for new direction. “What do you want of me, where do You want me to go next?”  For 13 days straight, I prayed the same prayer with no clear answer. Finally the last day of the retreat, knowing that I had to return to work and a passel of youth, I desperately cried out in prayer, “God, please give me some direction.” God’s still small voice came to me, “Go to seminary.”
I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding, Lord.” Over the course of that year I looked at seminaries and after months believed that God had led me to Asbury seminary in Kentucky. At the end of three years of study and preparing to marry a beautiful Kentucky woman, I needed a job. Still not convinced that I was called to pastor, I received my first appointment as pastor of two congregations in Ada, OK. The folks were wonderful, loving, challenging, and within a short time we had found a home. One afternoon about six months after arriving in Ada as I was walking home from the church, the fall leaves crunching under my feet and the brisk fall air filling my senses, it suddenly dawned on me, “I am doing exactly what I was meant to do!” It was that day that God’s calling which had started during my childhood days became finally clear.
If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
I would ask for a meal that my mother prepared: pan-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, okra gumbo, home-grown tomatoes and onions, fried eggplant and fried squash, and fresh picked green beans, bread and butter pickles, homemade biscuits, hot apple pie and peach cobbler and home made peach ice cream.
If you could have one hero or role model join us for a meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious—“Jesus.”)
Kevin Durant or Serge Ibaka or Thabo Sefalosha or Russell Westbrook – actually the whole OKC Thunder.

After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?
Schindler’s List.  Spielberg is an absolute genius in the production and direction of this movie with the use of black and white, which places the viewer back into the  WW II era. Schindler’s List is a true story of real humanity that rises above the selfishness to selflessness.  Schindler is like many of us, looking out for self and then finally sees that God has called us to more than self. I love the heroism that immerges form this unlikely hero. When I visited Israel, I stood next to the tree-lined walk where Gentiles who sought to save Jews during the Holocaust are immortalized. Schindler’s tree is not far from the tree honoring Corrie ten Boom.
In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
Two books stand out. I hold a prized 1830 copy of Wesley’s Sermons. Every Methodist preacher from the very earliest days of the American Methodist movement in 1784 has been required to read this. My great-great grandfather, Matthew Davis (the first in the line of now six generations of Methodist ministers) would have owned a copy of this. From Wesley’s sermons comes some powerful and important Christian principles that are still helping to mold the Christian Church around the world. The other book is The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian who left the safety of American education and went back to Germany during the 1930’s. He fought against Hitler’s insane Nazi leadership, finally being incarcerated in a concentration camp. He died shortly before the camp was liberated. Bonhoeffer’s book was one of the first influencers in my Christian thinking. He challenged me with the notion that to follow Jesus calls for me to realize that even though God’s grace may be free it is not cheap. What cost Christ everything cannot cost me any less.
What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?
Watching the OKC Thunder (with my wife); playing with my grandson; golf with my sons; fly-fishing for trout on the White River or Mountain Fork River); taking long walks with my wife.
If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
I would probably like to work in international relations or serve in a non-profit agency that helps to treat people in the poorest parts of the globe.
Mike Hardgrove
What do you love most about your family?

That they ARE family and that means family meals, celebrations, sharing and caring and… grandkids!

What difference does Jesus Christ make in your life?

Without Jesus Christ there is no life.  There is only loneliness, lack of meaning and lack of vision. I attempt to live my life in response to the thankfulness I have in my heart for what God has done for me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.

While attending church camp at Camp Egan when I was in the 7th grade I received my call to ministry. It did not become clear to me that it was a call into full-time ministry until I was in high school.  I told my youth director and my pastor and they began mentoring me.

What happened next?

I began being more involved in the leadership of the youth group, even on a district level. I began to imagine how God might use me.  I first thought it would be in music ministry but that changed when I changed my major in college from music education to psychology.

If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?

Which celebrity chef?  I’m afraid it wouldn’t be too exciting because I would ask for my traditional birthday meal. It would be meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and cherry pie.

If you could have one hero or role model join us for a meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious—“Jesus.”)

The author of the book of James would be my first choice. The book of James has always been my favorite book because to me it is the instruction manual about how the rubber meets the road.

After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which DVD would you choose and why?

I guess it would be one of the Harry Potter movies. In spite of the magic, Harry Potter is a story about the human struggle to overcome unrighteousness.

In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?

The United Methodist Hymnal is one of my most treasured books. Every since I was young I’ve found guidance, assurance, motivation, inspiration, peace, challenge and education through the words and music of the hymns of the church.

What do you do for recreation (or re-creation)?

I do many things for recreation and re-creation. It includes family time, time spent in nature, music, stained glass and carved glass, watching movies and reading, when there is time.

If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?

Retirement! I’m too old to seriously consider another career.
Jon Odom
Twitter: @jonodom
What do you love most about your family?
We’re Odoms! We are built for each other. We understand and love each other’s oddities and quirks and have a blast together. Emily and I have been together since early high school—not long after I got my braces off and started learning to drive. Libby (our 2 year old) is full of personality and is just a nice little girl. We are very excited to meet our next kiddo in December 2013!
What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?
I don’t know who I would be without Jesus. From the time I was a little kid, I wanted to have a relationship with Jesus and have always felt Him pursuing me. I attribute most of that to my parents. Jesus has given me peace, confidence and hope like I could never find elsewhere.
Describe the moment when you knew you would enter full-time ministry.
I felt a sense of calling to be engaged in ministry somehow at summer camp after the third grade. That calling has been confirmed throughout my life through my friends and family, experiences, passions and interests and through open doors from God. It’s an honor and a joy for me.
What happened next?
I started the fourth grade!
If a celebrity chef offers to prepare a special meal in your home, what would you request?
I’d request a combination of items from some of my favorite restaurants: A steak from Mahogany, macaroni & cheese from Republic (in OKC) and brownies (of his or her own invention).
If you could have one hero or role model join you for that meal, who would you invite (excluding the obvious answer—“Jesus”)?
This is a very easy question: Weird Al Yankovic. I watch Al’s movie “UHF” dozens of times during my childhood (that might explain a lot, actually). I still think he’s one of the funniest people out there. Fun fact: I got to talk with Al on the phone for a few minutes in the spring of 2013. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. One of my goals in life is to have lunch with him.
After your special meal, your guest/hero asks you to pop some popcorn and queue your favorite movie. Which one would you choose and why?
Weird Al and I would certainly watch “UHF” and then we’d go drive around Tulsa to scout out all the old locations from the movie (it was filmed in Tulsa in the late ‘80s).
In addition to your Bible, what book in your library do you most treasure and why?
Several books come to mind. I have a couple first-edition books from the ‘30s by a Methodist missionary named E. Stanley Jones that I really cherish. In recent years, Eugene Peterson’s book—“The Pastor”—has become a real favorite.
What do you do for recreation?
I like doing yard work (at MY house), playing a variety of instruments, going to concerts, having friends over for dinner and just being with Emily.
If you were not a full-time minister, what career would you choose?
I would probably be a pro-juggler or member of the men’s Olympic synchronized swimming team.
Dwight Yoder
Executive Director

He holds a MSME degree from Rice University, Houston as well as a BS degree in Engineering, Physics and Mathematics from Northeastern Oklahoma State University. For most of his business career, Dwight partnered in a company involved with all aspects of engineering software: development, sales, consulting with a focus in the international petroleum drilling and mechanical manufacturing market.

Dwight and wife Carolyn have been Asbury members since 1989 and have been actively involved in many ministry areas. They served as Lay Leaders for several years, during which time they became special friends and advisors to Pastor Tom, who says that one of Dwight’s chief strengths is his unique ability to listen to people and to succinctly summarize their thoughts. In his spare time, Dwight likes to read and play golf.

As Executive Director, Dwight manages the staff and assists the pastors in casting the vision for the church. He has a broad and thorough understanding of project management at the executive level. He is responsible for coordinating, developing, deploying, and evaluating Asbury’s ministry.
Joe Spence
Director of Operations

Joe Spence retired from T.D. Williamson, Inc. in 2006, at the young age of 52. He now had freedom to pursue other dreams and it was his desire to be in ministry. He was open to God’s leading. He feels that Asbury as Director of Operations was his call. In this position he will oversee the various support services within the church.
From 1986-2006, he was with T.D. Williamson, Inc., serving the last 10 years as Operations Manager. In this position he was responsible for engineering design, manufacturing, production quality and served as facility manager for the company.
Joe received his bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University in 1976 and earned his Master of Business Administration in 1980.
Joe received his secondary education at Tulsa Edison where he played baseball--shortstop. This led to a baseball scholarship from ORU. Joe believes there is a time for everything and that ORU and baseball were the avenues God used to help Joe grow him toward a Christian commitment. While there, Oral Roberts planted a seed in Joe’s heart which would come to fruition later at Asbury. Joe was in an accountability group with Dick McKee (then Asbury’s Executive Pastor) and he felt that Dick had a way of delivering the Gospel message that was different and compelling. “One day in the old Sanctuary I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life. While I didn’t have a dramatic conversion, I knew I was a different person,” said Joe.
Joe and his wife Beverly have been members of Asbury since 1981 and have been involved in many areas of ministry including global missions and various accountability, administration and study groups. Joe and Beverly have two grown children: Bryan and Amanda, and five grandchildren.

Jenny Stevens
Administrative Assistant
Angie Brashears
Director of Communications

As Director of Communications, Angie brings over 19 years of strategic marketing, branding and public relations experience to Asbury United Methodist Church.  She oversees all aspects of communications and public relations and is responsible for all church and ministry-level communication initiatives.
Prior to joining Asbury, Angie was Director of Marketing at Oral Roberts University from 2008-2010, where she was responsible for ORU’s brand identity, market research, website development, advertising, and publications to increase student enrollment.  For 13 years, she worked at SolArc, Inc. as Marketing Communications Manager where she oversaw brand identity, domestic and international events, direct mail, advertising, website development, public relations and sales collateral.
Angie received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Oklahoma State University. 
Angie and her husband, Roy, were wed in 1994. They have two daughters, Alyssa and Alexis. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, baking and watching her daughters in their competitive sports.
Kay Mains
Administrative Assistant
Dean Hatch

Jennifer Dunn
Janet Day
Managing Director of Discipleship Ministries


Pam Wallace
Adult Ministries Coordinator
Care and Marriage

Charlene Giles
Director of Care and Marriage
Celebrate Recovery

Glen Grusendorf
Director of Recovery Ministries

Kim Broadhurst Discipleship Events Coordinator 918.392.1165
Jennifer Barnes Discipleship Events Associate 918.392.4582
Shanon Brown Discipleship Events Associate 918.392.1170
Cara Philips Discipleship Events Associate 918.392.1131
Stephanie King Upward Associate
Christina Treat Children's Ministry Coordinator 918.392.1172
Amanda Sanderson CM Administrative Assistant
 Heather Horton CM Volunteer Recruiter
Sarah Holland Kindergarten & 1st Grade Associate
Bonny Coats 2nd & 3rd Grade Associate 918.392.1167 
Ashley Knight 4th & 5th Grade Associate
 Leanne Campbell 6th Grade Associate

Jason Jackson
Adult Discipleship Director

Robin Brush
Adult Discipleship Associate
Global Outreach

Jim Davis
Director of Global Outreach
Local Outreach

Radhika Aussieker
Local Outreach Director


Joanne Miller
Preschool Director

Mark Fowler
Student Ministry Coordinator
Caroline Smallwood
Junior High Associate 
Josh Coats
Senior High Associate
Katelyn Moore
Senior High Associate 

Chris Cleveland
Director of Modern Music

Sean Groombridge
Director of Traditional Music